CALL me naive or just simply old-fashioned. The initial proclamations from Downing Street by messers (and that’s certainly a valid description) Truss and Kwarteng about the tax cut for those earning ridiculously obscene amounts of money was jumped on by messers DRoss of the Tories and Roddy Dunlop of King’s Counsel fame and glory.

The former strongly advocated that Nicola must follow Kwasi and reward greed, while the latter in effect publicly extolled the personal benefits and virtues of residing in Berwick-upon-Tweed while benefitting from the Scottish public purse and payment system.

Let’s just get rid of them as soon as possible. Dross is clearly just a simple chap too far out of his depth on every subject and is a master at procrastination.

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You’d think that by now both of these characters would be experienced enough to grasp the direction of public animosity towards the Chancellor’s dictate and also the general unreliability of this wishy-washy puppet government in Downing Street.

Methinks Dunlop and DRoss will now wish they’d commented in a more neutral and balanced manner on this matter. However, now both of them have rather a lot of egg on their faces.

I for one would happily volunteer to chauffeur both of these characters on a one-way trip to the Border, free of charge and without delay.

Disappointed of Dunbar

SO we got a new statement from our wise Chancellor, reversing his decision to discontinue his policy of scrapping the highest tax brand. This just hours after his boss(?) had stated that it would all stay in place as announced. What a circus act of total incompetents.

While the miserable, long-drawn-out election process for a new Prime Minister was ongoing, I had this constant vision in my mind of Liz Truss’s head containing a large ball of fluffy cotton wool spinning around merrily inside without a worthwhile thought interrupting is happy progress. Now it appears that it is influenced by the internal draught passing from one ear to the other without any apparent control from the greater body politic.

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During the never-ending election it was blamed on the invisible Tory party members who elected her, however it must be remembered that it was the Tory members of parliament who whittled down the list of candidates and brought her into contention. Was there a pre-arranged cunning plan concealed therein?

During the last week I found myself thinking back to events of some years ago, when an image appeared in the press of Zimbabwe – President Mugabe passing along through litter-strewn streets, while a poor citizen could be seen pushing a wheelbarrow filled with worthless currency notes hoping desperately to be able to buy some food; thank goodness that could never happen here, was the thought. Oh yes it could.

Chancellor Kwarteng’s alleged statements regarding the cutting back on benefits deserves some comment.

After I left school around 1950, not long after the setting up of the National Health Service, I started work in agriculture on a wage of £3 per week and at the same time had to visit the post office every week to obtain a stamp to stick on my nice new insurance card; this cost me, as far as I can remember, about one shilling and sixpence, which must have been something like 2% of my wage.

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Working on for the next 65 years until age forced semi-retirement, and having paid whatever taxes were due during this long period, I now find that I am rewarded by an old-age pension of £136.53 per week, no longer index-linked as it was supposed to be, plus a generous addition of £23.26 of pension credit. This has to cover life costs, heating, eating, transport, insurance and all the other things that crop up in life; what a lucky bloke I am to live in such a caring and generous country.

I know – I could buy a Union flag to wave on celebratory occasions, that would help to soak up all these spare assets left over at the end of each week.

George M Mitchell

TWO things immediately struck me about Lesley J Findlay’s long letter (October 1). She said “vigils are not protests and do not harass”. If a group stands outside a clinic shouting through a loudspeaker and displaying posters claiming that babies are being murdered, it is a protest and does harass.

Just ask the staff, never mind the patients being forced to endure this when seeking medical help.

Secondly, she mentions “any mother who is being coerced into having an abortion against her will, which is fairly common”. How does she know? What are the figures? And as coercive control is illegal, why is the information not being handed to the police?

Assisting in the prosecution of people who are coercing women would be a far more productive use of time and a lot less distressing to patients and clinic staff.

Mairead Mackechnie
Bowmore, Isle of Islay