The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

No sup­port for Pen­ning­ton the­ory

- Scottish Government · United Kingdom · Government of the United Kingdom · City of Westminster · Ellon · Aberdeenshire · Pennington

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

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