Letters from Scotland readers on Sunday: SNP updates Mark Twain’s comedic economy
He supposed everyone would realize that he was joking because such a saving would be useless when it comes to producing the things we really need: food, clothing, energy, transportation, etc.
But now it looks like the SNP didn’t get the joke. The economy they have created for Scotland is as frothy and insignificant as Mark Twain’s laundry system. Take, for example, fake embassies in over 100 countries around the world. The UK has a long established system of embassies around the world and Scotland is part of the UK. But the SNP decided to spend all that £ 350million on unnecessary doubloons, just out of vanity.
It’s the same story here in Scotland. There are over 130 quangos, all of which are publicly funded. Some of them provide useful services, but many are duplicative. In 2018, the Fraser of Allander Institute warned that the proliferation of quangos, strategies and advisers was creating a haze of recycled information that was weighing on the economy. The Institute recommended severe pruning. Obviously, nothing of the sort has happened, as another think tank, Reform Scotland, recently reiterated the call. In fact, the number of quangos has increased, not decreased, and the cost to the public purse has increased inexorably.
We do not need to look to the SNP to remedy the situation. Their leader, Nicola Sturgeon, continues to expand her suite of special advisers. There are now 17, all paid for out of public money at a total cost of over £ 1million per year. They are like the herds of courtiers that the old monarchs of Europe gathered around them.
So it looks like the SNP has made Mark Twain aware. Instead of exchanging laundry, the modern version has people sitting in front of computer screens all day exchanging worthless information. It sounds like work, but it makes no real contribution to our economy. No doubt if Mark Twain could see his joke come to life, he would find it funny. It’s not that funny to us, though, as we’ll have to live with the consequences when a sudden burst of reality brings down this whole house of cards.
The Scottish Government’s green light for the sports center and Judy Murray’s luxury housing project on the Keir Park Greenbelt is regrettable, given the strength of local opposition to the project (Scotland Sunday 26 December) .
His vision of a “brick and mortar legacy” for his sons’ athletic achievements is just a mirage designed to cover up what is in reality an environmentally destructive real estate development, as well as a project to build. vanity for Mrs. Murray herself. Obviously, the top spin is a key part of his game both on and off the court. Those of us who see through it all will keep calling him.
Roderick Dewar, Pont d’Allan
Andrew Milligan presents a three-part argument to oppose proposed assisted dying legislation in Scotland (letters of December 19). The first part is about better and more available palliative care. No one could seriously disagree with this.
The second part is a repetition of the familiar “slippery slope” argument; once the door is opened a little, it widens. This may be true, but only if the public and legislators support it, which is no different than accepting primary legislation.
To say, without precision, that some countries have “widened the laws to include children” is indeed a strange claim. The claim that the line between assisted suicide and voluntary / involuntary euthanasia is “good” is also without merit. Third, the proposals clearly protect medical personnel from any action to which they have a moral objection.
There are already instances where futile “life-prolonging treatments” can be withdrawn by the same medical staff who have “an unwavering commitment to the lives and health of their patients”.
There is no such thing as a scary ‘sharp wedge’ in health care. Finally, I would say that the fear of being a burden on the family may indeed be an additional reason for someone to consider assisted suicide. This could be addressed through improved support mechanisms reducing this “pressure”.
If my own end were to be long and painful, it is an emotional burden that I would not easily place on my partner; is not it for me to judge? As in the case of Mr. Milligan, my opinion does not carry more weight than the opinion of an individual can and should not.
David Mellor, Lochwinnoch
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