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

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