Len­nox view


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

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