Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cracking Letters in the Herald

Only security and negativity at Oban conference
Your Letters (Herald)
November 28 2006

ANYONE arriving in Oban over the past week could be forgiven for wondering if they had entered a danger zone. A massive police presence with armed officers wandering around with guns at hip level, cars escorted with police outriders, roads blocked off, police boats with support vessels in Oban Bay, at what cost to the taxpayers, and why? Even the Church of Scotland weekly worship next door to the Corran Halls had to be moved. The reason? The Scottish Labour Party conference. This used to be a political event; now it is a three-day, organised opportunity to insult the Scottish National Party and its leadership. There were no delegated motions, no votes, no democracy – just negativity. With the media outnumbering the delegates, the opportunity for national coverage was used for personal agendas. First Minister Jack McConnell was removed from the frontal assault, the good guy/bad guy routine, while the major political figures from national government, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Home Secretary John Reid and Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander, were used as the bad guys, to try to make Jack look good. The reality is that the Labour Party has been in power in the UK since 1997 and in Scotland since 1999, and Jack McConnell's speech was a 35-minute apology for not fulfilling promises and five minutes of more promises. This is the party "not fit for government".

W W Wilkie, Oakbank, Benvoullin Road, Oban.

In recent years, I can recall Labour ministers telling us that an independent Scotland would suffer the malnutrition that afflicts Bangladesh, the ethnic bloodshed that befell the Balkans, the type of passport control employed on the North Korean border and the sort of economic chaos that has only been seen in Europe in the past few years when Albania infamously discovered a pyramid-sales scam involving the distribution of brushes.So it comes as little surprise to hear this week from Labour that independence would somehow be "a gift to terrorists and illegal immigrants".I would say "give it a rest", but as a supporter of independence myself, I'm actually very keen to hear more of this wild, hysterical nonsense from Labour, particularly when it comes from the lips of the most unpopular and discredited Prime Minister since polls began. So, Mr Blair, let's be hearing more of the same.

Alasdair Allan, 54b Vatisker, Isle of Lewis.

THE last time I heard mass hysteria of the kind that emanated from Oban was when some poor itinerant swan ended up in Cellardyke harbour in Fife. Then what ensued was a lot of hot air about avian flu. This time it was a whirlwind of fevered outpourings about the apocalypse which would arise should Scottish independence ever be attained by those nasty Nationalists (forgetting that independence can only be achieved by the consent of the Scottish people – not by the actions of one political party). Alas, like the poor swan in Cellardyke, Scottish Labour is dead in the water – the poor souls just haven't realised it yet. For people who claim to be in control, methinks they do protest too much.

Donnie MacNeill, 65 Pentland Park, Livingston.

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