Benjamin Tindall supplied this image of Eyemouth’s Widows and Bairns statue, which has won a Scottish Civic Trust award.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
FILLETING THE FISHERMEN
In May last year you published a letter in which I wrote: “Perhaps the group most taken in by Brexit lies were fishermen. They seem to think they are going to take back control of the seas again. It’s not going to happen...”
As the chaotic Brexit negotiations grind on, we learn more and more horror stories which will affect Scotland badly. Twenty-four competencies controlled at the moment by the Scottish Government are going to be seized by Westminster, including fishing and agriculture, with a vague promise that they will be returned to Holyrood at a later date.
Anyone politically aware will know about the perfidious nature of Westminster, especially the Tories, and be very sceptical indeed. If London does not have nefarious motives for fishing, agriculture or the other areas, why not return them to Holyrood right away?
Many constituencies with fishing interests were conned by the Tories during the general election last year and voted for them, as they had for Brexit in 2016. Is light now beginning to dawn on them?
It is unwise to believe most politicians, but foolhardy to believe any Conservative politician. Even Tory MPs are now furious about being duped by their own government, whose chief whip thinks that it’s OK to mess around with communities as “it’s not like the fishermen are going to vote Labour”.
Such arrogance should not be rewarded at any ballot box.
Fishermen were shafted when we were taken into Europe by the Tories, and they have been shafted again as we are being taken out by the Tories.
It is with a sense of sadness that I repeat: fishermen seem to think they are going to take back control of the seas again – it’s not going to happen.
THE LATEST PEOPLE TO BE BETRAYED
Ruth “no referendum” Davidson, supposedly leader of Scottish Tories at Westminster and Holyrood, is struggling, not only in ‘Bake-off’, but in delivering for Scotland.
Fishermen north of the border are the latest people to be betrayed by Ms Davidson and her 13 London MPs, who yet again have failed to represent the interests of their constituents. Only last week she promised that they would regain control over their fishing grounds after Brexit.
Borders MP John Lamont, representing Eyemouth fishermen, promised exactly the same, then toed the party line and, as usual, did as he was told.
Both he and Ms Davidson say they are “disappointed” (not half as much as the fishermen) that EU boats will continue to access Scottish waters for the foreseeable future – or forever if it suits Westminster.
Yet again facts are spun, promises are broken and Scotland is sold down the river. Will Scottish farmers be next?
The “Invisible Man”, Scottish Secretary David Mundell, says he “completely supports the Prime Minister” at every opportunity and illustrates clearly the Scottish Conservatives’ total lack of influence at Westminster.
Borders Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton faces a £52k bill in respect of breaching legislation regarding pension payments for her employees. Her lame excuse – it was a typographical error – rings hollow and voters should not forget this at the next election.
This highlights the broken promises to the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women who have lost out on their pensions because of this austerity-driven, divisive Tory government which has no interest at all in the needs of Scotland’s people.
Scottish voters deserve so much better than this, and only with independence will they benefit from electing a government which has all the powers required to build a fair and successful nation.
A BETTER USE FOR DONATIONS
We are now committed to spending 0.7% of UK GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on international aid which totals £13.5bn per annum.
Most proposed recipients don’t see these donations as it goes into the pockets of despots and criminals.
Also, one wonders how much of the money donated to charities at home reaches the benefactor after so-called administration costs are deducted. All management costs should be published, naming the recipients and amount received.
International aid donations from the UK Government could be channelled via the Secretary of State for International Development into funds at home for training of more doctors and other medical staff (the top priority for this government). Also, it would go a long way to helping the homeless (which is increasing by a minimum of 10% per annum).
Charity begins at home – especially when Brexit is finalised.
CARING FOR THE RAF FAMILY
My grandfather, Hugh Trenchard, often called the founder of the RAF, became its first chief of the air staff on its formation on April 1, 1918.
The centenary of the RAF is a chance for the nation to reconnect with the airmen and airwomen who defended this country in its most perilous moments, to honour their dedication, commitment and bravery, and to reflect on how these qualities endure in the RAF today – particularly in light of the recent loss of an airman at RAF Valley.
On this 100th anniversary, it is wonderful to see the nation come together once again to acknowledge the debt we owe today, just like our forebears did all those years ago.
Right from the start, my grandfather believed that there is a responsibility to care for members of the RAF family who are in need. And so in 1919, he set up a small fund to provide welfare assistance – the RAF Benevolent Fund which would sit at the heart of the RAF family.
That role has not changed in 99 years and the fund continues to stand side-by-side with the RAF.
From its modest beginnings in 1919, the fund has grown to become the leading welfare charity for the RAF, assisting 55,000 family members in 2017.
If you are (or know of) a serving or veteran member of the RAF family going through a difficult time, I encourage you to get in touch with the RAF Benevolent Fund – this also applies to partners and dependent children.
Call 0800 169 2942 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RAF Benevolent Fund)
SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR VOTES
We would like to thank all the local businesses, the community of Duns and all the great folk in Berwickshire who have supported our community vote to gain funds for the primary school.
We have been overwhelmed with your support and are absolutely delighted to inform you that we have been successful in our bid and the school has been awarded £29,000.
We will use this money to improve the stage facilities within the school and to enhance our playground, and we will be inviting all the local community to see how we have spent the money.
Special thanks have to go to the friends and families who collected votes in The Square (regardless of the weather), and the shopkeepers and townsfolk who let us bombard them each week and collected even more votes (you know who you are).
The children of Duns
TIME TO TEST CANDIDATES
The Electoral Reform Society wants legislation to ensure that at least half of parties’ candidates are women when they fight Scottish and local authority elections.
I have no difficulty with that, provided all would-be politicians and councillors pass a literacy and numeracy test as to their education standards.
An IQ test should be compulsory.
Successful candidates will be paid by taxpayers, so taxpayers are entitled to the best, not party members chosen for their loyalty and rewarded with a chance to gain a salary far beyond their ability in real life.
I am sure readers will recognise many current politicians and councillors who fall into this category.