THE latest unemployment figures are a continuation of a long string of bad news spun into good news (Unemployment rate bucking UK trend but 'economically inactive' figures up, The National, August 13).

The media repeat the numbers as if they mean something – the monthly jobs gains and the unemployment rate – and ignore the numbers that show the continuing decline in employment opportunities while the economy is allegedly recovering.

The young cannot form households on the basis of part-time jobs. Pensioners take these jobs to make up the missing income on their savings from the Bank of England’s zero interest rate policy keyed toward supporting the balance sheets of a handful of giant banks, whose executives control the Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority.

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With so many manufacturing and skilled jobs outsourced to China and India, professional careers are disappearing in Britain.

The most lucrative jobs in the UK involve running City scams, lobbying for private interest groups (former and current peers and government ministers are preferred) and producing schemes for the enrichment of think-tank donors, which, masquerading as public policy, can then become law. Most new jobs for July are in the usual categories familiar to us.

They are domestic jobs, service, retail, driving, warehousing, finance and insurance, care homes and fast food outlets. Nothing to export in order to pay for massive imports.

With scant growth in real median family incomes, as savings are drawn down and credit used up, even the sales part of the economy will falter.

This is not an economy with a future. But you would never know that from listening to the financial media. The deplorable condition of the economy should be front page news.

Alan Hinnrichs
Dundee

JAMES Hamilton’s article was right to flag up the decrease in those “actively looking for work”.

These are, presumably, registered jobseekers.

Such numbers fail to count the freelancers and the self-employed whose numbers have risen in recent years.

Such people usually live an insecure, hand-to-mouth existence, and give the government and businesses a bonus by not being entitled to sick pay, holidays etc.

Hannah Clough
Drymen


YESTERDAY’S National gave us the Ken and Kezia Show (Scottish Labour’s leadership candidates write for The National, August 13).

It was Tweedledum and Tweedledee: “fighting furiously”, “vision”, “listening to the people”, “sharing hope, aims and values, inspiration” and blah blah blah.

Not a word from either about the monstrous white elephant squatting in the lounge – Trident. Don’t see it. Don’t want to talk about it.

Just stick fingers in ear and say nyah nyah na nyah na.

The world’s most powerful machine for the mass extermination of life, Britain’s criminal and illegal nuclear WMD is up for renewal in 2016. By their silence, they consent – unlike their fellow Labour would-be-leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Ken asks “is there such a difference between my ambitions and those of my fellow Scots now voting SNP?” You bet there is.

As I write, a young man sits at a control panel in a submarine waiting for the command to bring hell on Earth to untold millions of humans.

Ken and his fellow Unionists say yes to this. I, and all the independence supporters say no. There can be no greater gulf in politics, ideology, or religion than the gaping chasm between their yes and our no. Brian Quail
Glasgow


YVETTE Cooper attacks Jeremy Corbyn for “offering old solutions to old problems, not new answers to the problems of today”.

And what are the problems of today, Yvette?

Building a vibrant economy, ending child poverty, paying a living wage, improving educational attainment, ending inequality, reform of the undemocratic House of Lords – these are all listed by Ms Cooper in her programme for a “new” approach to society’s problems .

She wishes to “put the fight for social justice and equality back at the heart of the party.”

I doubt she would have any disagreement over any of this with Mr Corbyn as these issues have all been addressed by him in his campaign, together with that ‘old problem’ that New Labourites like Ms Cooper want to ignore – renewal of Trident.

James Mills
Johnstone


REGARDING Lesley Riddoch’s article (The great outdoors is for us all not just lairds, The National, August 13).

I chair the Loch Earn Tourism Information Group of small businesses off the A84 and A85. We are a welcoming community living and working in four villages around Loch Earn.

We respect ramblers and decent people who have fished here for years. Please respect our village communities.

There would not be any accommodation, hospitality, transport, outdoor activities, other services or employment in the area if we could no longer attract people to spend here.

Loch Earn is our communities’ front garden. Many of us need to earn a living from it – all year round. Tourism business volunteers promote the area.

Earning a living is challenging enough without residents and rangers taking time out to pick up other people’s excrement, abandoned tents and rubbish.

They do it to hide the evidence from visitors and to protect local wildlife. Too many trees have been lopped illegally. We need to move on. We have been talking about this issue for years and years and at last some action is on the horizon, even if it is unpopular.

What’s wrong with some investment towards enhancing this natural beauty spot? We depend on attracting tourists and day trippers to spend in this area to keep our contribution to the economy ticking over. There are many places to wild camp, including the hills that surround Loch Earn offering exceptional views.

Kim Proven
Loch Earn Tourism Information


IT IS good to know that Callum Christie’s blood boils for what he perceives as good causes (Letters, The National, August 13).

Perhaps his righteous energy and invective against the Scottish Government will be better orientated when he learns of The Mothers of Ituzaingo in Argentina.

The organisation was founded by Sofia Gatica, a woman whose three-day-old daughter died of kidney failure in 2004.

Contrary to Mr Christie’s assumption that GM agriculture will diminish the quantity of chemicals used, a video on the subject reveals that the chemical glyphosate is sprayed by helicopter not only on the vast acres of GM soya cultures but, of course, also on the indigenous population.

Gatica received death threats for her enquiries into the death of her daughter. The corollary is equally chilling; the Danish pigs being fed this same soya are now being born with physical disabilities and many will never be able to walk.

As yet, we know very little of the impact of GM cultures on the ecosystem and the multinational concerned will certainly not wait for a generation to find out.

Veronica Morrison
Grandvaux, Switzerland


WE are struck by the shrill headlines in some publications lamenting the fact that the number of EU migrants working in the UK now tops two million.

Some perspective is needed on this. There are around 2.2 million UK citizens living and working in the rest of the EU.

Of those from the rest of the EU living here, a mere 1.2 per cent are not economically active, a miniscule number.

According to University College London, between 2001 and 2011, EU migrants made an estimated positive net contribution of £20 billion to the UK economy.

Despite the periodical outcries about “benefits tourism”, there are only about 1,000 Romanians and 500 Bulgarians drawing Jobseeker’s Allowance in Britain, according to the DWP.

Those from the EU who have made the UK their home make a positive contribution and it is good to sometimes highlight the facts and dispel the myths.

Derek Hammersley
European Movement in Scotland