Readers' Letters: Matheson's support in constituency speaks volumes

As a constituent of the former Health Secretary Michael Matheson MSP I feel the voice of constituents should be heard.
While Michael Matheson has resigned the Health portfolio he remains a valued MSP, say reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)While Michael Matheson has resigned the Health portfolio he remains a valued MSP, say reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
While Michael Matheson has resigned the Health portfolio he remains a valued MSP, say reader (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Mr Matheson has been in parliament since its beginning in 1999 and served his constituents with the upmost diligence and attentiveness, and up until his resignation as Health Secretary was the longest serving in Cabinet – 13 years – something which speaks volumes.

Amidst all the criticism and calls for Mr Matheson’s resignation, we should perhaps reflect on Mr Matheson’s constituency vote at the last Holyrood election. Securing more than 54 per cent of the constituency vote, more than all other candidates in the constituency put together, is something which, again, speaks volumes. During all those years of service to his constituents and the business sector in his constituency, there has only been praise and respect for Mr Matheson, as his continued success at the polling station clearly demonstrates.

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The Scottish Cabinet has lost a stalwart of Government, one who puts the country and his constituents first and I know his service to constituents in Falkirk West will continue.

Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk

You’d grin too!

Following the resignation of Michael Matheson, First Minister Humza Yousaf announced his new cabinet. The photo in The Scotsman showed all ten of them smiling (9 February).

No wonder they are grinning from ear to ear as their combined salary costs taxpayers £1 million a year, plus taxpayer-funded gold-plated pension contributions.

Add on the Green MSPs Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater and £2 million worth of special advisers and one must wonder if the taxpayers are getting value for money. Well, all the economic and other disasters since 2007 would say a resounding "No".

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Average is good

While there is undoubtedly some merit in the argument that we send too many students to university, particularly those whose talents would be better honed elsewhere, I take issue with those who would deny that form of education to those who want it (Colin McAllister, Letters, 8 February).

I count myself as one of average intelligence. Forty years ago I attended the University of St Andrews and through sheer hard work I graduated with a good degree. This led in turn to a very satisfying career as a secondary school history teacher. I am eternally grateful for that opportunity to study at St Andrews, an opportunity that I might have been denied had the “average intelligence” rule been applied to me.

David Hamill, East Linton, East Lothian

Cold shouldered

With farmers all over Europe up in arms, and tractors, against idiotic “green” polices, it is appalling to read that the Scottish Government has given permission for a giant solar farm on the beautiful Isle of Cumbrae, completely ignoring the anger of local people who have been fighting the proposal for seven years.

The site is a designated Special Landscape Area and Local Nature Conservation Site. It is home to 20 endangered species of bird and seven priority habitats.

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On a tiny island, this will carpet an astonishing area the size of 22 football pitches!

Perhaps Humza Yousaf can provide us all with a recipe for solar panels? No farmers, no food.

George Herraghty, Lothlorien, Lhanbryde, Moray

Green brick wall

The claim by Leah Gunn Barrett that “the decision by the Labour Party over their £28 billion pledge on green projects” is economically illiterate (Letters, 8 February) applies equally to the £150bn Green Revolution policy of the SNP issued in 2020.

Implementing such a policy within the decade brings an annual bill of £25bn, plus inflation costs, which aligns with the 2021 pledge from the Labour Party.

As the SNP Green Revolution has hit a brick wall the issues raised by Leah Gunn Barrett that “the scheme would have paid for itself, investment would stimulate the private sector and improve the environment” all apply north of the Border.

Why the failure of SNP supporters to demand that Humza Yousaf include a Scottish Green Prosperity Plan in the 2024 manifesto?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

War crimes

One of the saddest news stories emanating from the Middle East crisis is the one concerning the fate of six-year-old Hind Rajab, who waited in vain for three hours, pleading for help from aid agency Red Crescent, following the deaths of her relatives after their car came under fire in Gaza city. The agency lost contact with the ambulance sent to her aid on 29 January, and it was found later, destroyed by bombs. The paramedics had been killed.

The little girl had died alone, in fear and despair, and I defy anyone not to feel a mixture of sorrow and anger after reading about her lonely end. This amounts to a war crime, and the perpetrators must be held to account.

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How many more civilians will be slaughtered before this war comes to an end? Many people are unable to leave the area which is under attack, for good reasons. How many of us could just close the door and run away, without some preparation? Children are dying, and their bereaved parents are in despair – if they are still alive.

It’s unusual for the US government to criticise Israel, but President Joe Biden has stated that they have gone “over the top”.

Most people would say they have committed war crimes, leaving widows and grieving mothers and fathers overwhelmed by sorrow, and wondering what they have done to deserve such pain.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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