The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
No support for Pennington theory
SIR, – It is unfortunate that Dr Alison Innes (Letters, June 19) was apparently unable or unwilling to grasp the context of my letter (June 6) before responding in a haste with a spirited and stronglyworded defence of Professor Hugh Pennington’s work. Had she paid due consideration to the discussion, she would have surely understood that no such defence was required.
The point, so spectacularly misunderstood by Dr Innes, was not particularly to question whether Prof Pennington would or could have provided valuable insight during this crisis but rather to provide a counterpoint to the baseless remarks of a previous correspondent (Allan Sutherland, June 11), in which Mr Sutherland answered his own unsolicited and theoretical question by suggesting that the Scottish Government had chosen not to engage with Prof Pennington because of his prominent role in the Better Together campaign.
The implication of Mr Sutherland’s unsupported speculation – that the Scottish Government would mortgage the welfare of its people for the sake of perpetuating a political grudge – is not only unhelpful and worthy of challenge on its own merits but would also be rendered objectively ridiculous by virtue of the fact that the UK Government seemingly followed an identical path in electing not to utilise Prof Pennington’s expertise in Sage.
Regretfully, therefore, the wider question to which Dr Innes herself alludes remains unanswered – if we were to assume that Prof Pennington’s candidacy for public service at this time was or should have been a matter for serious consideration by the authorities, and if we were then to give unwarranted credence to the absurd notion that the Scottish Government was unduly motivated by political bias in any decision it may have taken on the subject, then how would one propose to explain Westminster’s stance?
Paul Youngson, Ellon Road, Aberdeen