Concerned over health matters in Scotland
I was very concerned to read the misinformation contained in Caroline McAllister’s letter (Lennox Herald, August 8) regarding the future of the NHS in Scotland in the event of a no vote to independence.
Health care is a wholly devolved power to Scotland, as it is to the Welsh Assembly and in Northern Ireland. Each government runs an NHS model to suit its population. Indeed, in Northern Ireland, health and social services are under the same umbrella. This approach is being adopted in Scotland to ensure a seamless continuum of care from hospital to community.
It is up to the devolved Scottish government to shape and spend what it likes on health care, to address the health needs of its population. Increased powers are coming to raise more income within Scotland, which could be spent on the NHS. There is no appetite or evidence that Scotland would go down the route of privatisation within the NHS in Scotland. Ms McAllister is doing the very thing which she accuses the Better Together of doing: fear–mongering.
Our NHS is safe within the devolved Scottish government’s hands and does not need independence to secure it. In fact, it is safer within a united UK. Ursula Craig Shore Road Cove
Debate over keeping the pound doesn’t add up
Alex Salmond’s embarrassing performance during the recent TV debate with Alistair Darling, with his ludicrous references to an independent Scotland “driving on the right” and “being more vulnerable to an attack from outer space” was shocking, given that this was supposed to be a serious debate about the most important decision any of us is likely to have to make.
I would like to know why Alex Salmond, who once described the pound as a “millstone round Scotland’s neck”, is now desperate to retain the pound. If Alex Salmond’s ambition is for an independent Scotland to retain the pound as part of a formal monetary union, then he already has that, with Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.
Why is he so desperate to have a currency union with a nation from whom he wishes to break away? That does not sound to me like independence. A Westwood Cardross
Mapout right distance forus please Ms Baillie
With the referendum drawing ever closer the flow of scare stories from the no camp is turning into a veritable torrent of dire predictions that will befall us all should we decide to vote yes.
Jobs, pensions, our NHS, our major industries, our north Sea oil, our place in Europe, our universities are all for heading south - together with an exodus of 700,000 souls too - and truly the world will come to an end.
But maybe, we should listen to the one from our very own Dumbarton MSP who last week on Radio 4 declared in relation to her many discussions with immigrant families that: “The families are not concentrated in Scotland. They’re concentrated in the rest of the United Kingdom. The break up of the United Kingdom would make them slightly more distant geographically and politically”.
Now, whilst not wishing to detract from anything that our MSP tells us, can I gently ask Ms Baillie how more distant exactly she believes Scotland will be geographically post independence.
A mile, ten miles, a hundred or what. We need to know, we have a right to know, so let’s have it. Name and address supplied
Spelling it out over Dumbarton’sname
Not for the first time do we find Bill Heaney worrying over the spelling of Dumbarton and Dunbartonshire, the first with an M and the second with an N (Lennox Herald, Memory Lane, August 8).
The Celtic Dun (hill or fort) is found all over (Dunbar, Dunkeld, Dunfermline etc) and is represented in Dunbartonshire. But what of the M in Dumbarton?
It is no mystery. Philologists will tell you that it is simply assimilation to the labial, in this case the B.
This sound law is clearly seen in Spanish: un pie (a foot) is pronounced um pie. Similarly the older canbiar (to change) is a cambiar in modern Spanish.
Assimilation to the labials P and B has occurred in both instances.
Now, you may ask, why did this change fail to take place in Dunbartonshire? Simply, Dunbartonshire is a modern construct and therefore, as Bill tells us, ‘philologically correct’. J Cummings, Bruce Street Dumbarton
Taking a look back at Bill’s Memory Lane
There are a couple of minor errors in Bill Heaney’s column (Memory Lane, Lennox Herald, August 1).
The chip shop was run by Jack Ashenhurst and staffed by him, his wife and her sister.
They treated their customers, or at least us teenagers, with contempt – I assume for being working class scruff. It never seemed to occur to them that they were the ones working in a chip shop to midnight.
The Continental was run by “Louie” Pergrassi (apologies to his family if I’ve mis-spelled it), although his sister-in-law Gloria may have been a Moscardini. Unlike the Ashenhursts, Louie was one of the nicest, kindest people I’ve met.
Dinger McLean was the best selfpublicist I ever met. He made a career out of convincing the Newtown folk (nobody called it the East End) that Knoxland was a better school than Eton. It was in the rich end of the toun.
Denny’s gaffers and the “aristocracy of labour” – the engineers and electricians – lived there and the school had all the advantages that being in a well-off area has.
Dumbarton, in those days, was split nicely into five wards. One, the Newtown, had the toun’s Tories, the rest – like my home, Silverton – were Labour. The Tories in Scotland took a decision to run in local elections as Independent Moderates or Progressives, in the hope of fooling parts of the electorate. They were usually, but not always, Tory party members. They were totally funded in Dumbarton by the heid man at Hiram Walker’s, John Young.
I tried but never found out whether he was paying for the election expenses out of his own pocket or if his employers were paying it. Alistair Tuach By email