SINCE the Scottish Parliament is in recess I thought perhaps we might have a two-month period without any further political own goals. No gender recognition, no highly protected marine areas, no further news of ferry delays and no can and bottle recycling schemes. Perhaps even a respite from the latest revelations in the long running, apparently never ending, saga, of the SNP’s own finances. Just when you thought it was safe to open a newspaper and not read all about the latest less-than-popular SNP policy we have drugs minister Elena Whitham’s call to decriminalise all drugs (just not cannabis as assumed by some folk).

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You have to ask what kind of message this would send out to potential new users. It would seem to imply that drugs are OK, and to the young almost trendy, something you really need to try and now approved by the Scottish Government. No more dangerous than vaping.

The real problem is that there is neither the money nor the facilities to help rehabilitate anything like the numbers of existing drug users. Rather than trying to remedy that situation, the Scottish Government now seems determined to help increase the number of potential new recruits entering into what is in fact the Scottish drugs industry. As far back as 2015 the Scottish Government was cutting drugs service funding. Perhaps we should not be so quick to lay the blame at the at the door of Westminster, as the number of deaths in Scotland is 3.7 times the rate for the UK as a whole with the same laws across all four countries.

Portugal is often quoted as an example of what decriminalising drugs can achieve, but even there a rethink is currently in progress with Porto’s mayor and other critics, including neighbourhood activist groups, calling for re-criminalisation in urban areas and near schools and hospitals. There are sights to be seen on the streets of Porto and Lisbon that I am sure would not be welcomed on the streets of Edinburgh or Glasgow. In Lisbon overdose rates have hit 12-year highs and almost doubled from 2019 to 2023.

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If I was a major or minor supplier or importer of illegal drugs I would be rejoicing at this recent Scottish Government announcement. It is an announcement that could potentially bring them many new customers, including children, sucked into the hellish world which can eventually lead to death by the use of heroin, cocaine and sadly often methadone.

The fact that the UK Government will probably not devolve the powers to enact this policy will frankly come as a relief to many parents of children who might otherwise become the latest victims of Scotland’s drug culture.

Recent local government by-election results should serve as a warning to the First Minister that the public’s perception of the SNP’s current policy agenda is very far from good.

Dr Iain Evans

WHY is the Westminster government allowing foreign money to finance the new battery plant in Somerset? Surely the Tories are the very people to loan money to start a factory to revitalise the British car industry. Think of the profits to be made! And why isn’t the Holyrood government doing the same thing in Scotland? Has the SNP forgotten about the climate crisis? I suppose there are no votes in it. I’d also like to know why there is so much criticism of the Scottish Greens. Again, I suppose no-one wants to vote for a party that puts the environment first.

I do find it puzzling that newspaper front pages show us pictures of scorching heat, wildfires and floods, and yet so few people seem to care what might happen to their progeny if nothing is done.

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I’m also worried that nothing is being done about green hydrogen. In Scotland we have more wind turbines than the grid can cope with. Why isn’t Holyrood putting money into a production plant?

JCB in England are building hydrogen-powered engines for earth-movers and trucks. Who’s going to supply the fuel? The Scottish Government should be financing these projects rather than building dual carriageways to stop drivers crashing into each other. After all, without drivers there wouldn’t be any road traffic accidents.

Tony Kime

IT’S hard to contemplate the personal devastation to thousands of lives caused by the huge travesty of justice dumped on the shoulders of thousands of families, through no fault of their own – victims submerged in the sub-postmaster fiasco.

If ever their was a case of emergency aid toward the deserving then this was surely such a case, and long overdue at that.

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With millions of pounds recently spent – or in opinion of many, squandered – on coronation celebrations involving a monarchy of dubious value, today one cannot but wonder, yet again, where do the priorities lie for both the UK Government and, most significantly, the Scottish Government?

Tom Gray