Letters to the Editor – 27.6.19

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The art of the meaningless non-answer

So, in response to complaints about the new parking charges , ‘A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council told The Oban Times it was a quasi-judicial process, implementing a full council decision, which delegates the determination of the TRO to the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee’?

I would like to tell The Oban Times that my reaction was a quasi-expletive process, implementing a full mental decision, which delegates the determination to a long HOWL. Or, to put it more simply: Theresa May and her government have perfected the art of the meaningless non-answer. We don’t want it spreading up here.

I very much hope that the ability to produce such awful drivel was not learned at a training day paid for by the taxpayer.

Anne Archer
Oban

Ferry disruption stems from Westminster

I read with interest Mr Isaacson’s diatribe on the recent ferry disruptions and could comment at length where the culpability, if any, lies and his use of language like sabotage.

However I’ll content myself with the thought that it could be a lot worse, we could for instance be ruled by a government who, in their incompetence, place ferry contracts to the value of £108million to a company that has no ferries and then proceeds to pay £50m to cancel said contract. Oh, wait, we already are and it’s based at Westminster not Holyrood.

Colin Morrison

Sea eagle predation is not a new problem

The recent article in your newspaper on predation by Sea Eagles prompts me to comment that this is not a new problem for Scottish farmers.

As a member of the Scottish Parliament From 1999 to 2016, I constantly listened to farmers and crofters whose livelihoods are threatened by this problem and mentioned it several times in the parliament chamber. It goes back a long way.

In 1996, while Westminster candidate for the Western Isles, I canvassed a farmer in North Uist who emphatically told me to go and tell John Major that he was not getting his vote until he did something about these b****y sea eagles!

I do not blame the birds as they are only trying to find food for themselves and their young. I am also well aware, as a councillor for the Isle of Mull, that their presence increases the volume of ornithological tourism to the island. That said, lambs are being killed on Mull also.

The problem is being exacerbated by RDH disease in rabbits which has decimated a main source of food for predators.

SNH pay limited compensation to some farmers and crofters, including myself, to make up for losses, but while welcome, this measure does not tackle a problem which is likely to get worse in the future. It is devastating for sheepbreeders to watch their livestock being taken and be powerless to act in their defence.

SNH reintroduced these birds and now eventually accept that they are causing great damage and mental stress to farmers and crofters. It is time that they produced a damage limitation programme. A programme to reintroduce hares and rabbits into areas where previously they were plentiful would return a major natural source of feeding for sea eagles and other predators. That would be a start.

Councillor Jamie McGrigor

Islanders are being betrayed by ferry services

CalMac keeps betraying the natives in the Western Isles.

It’s bad enough that [local] folk actually need to book, however where is the provision and initial David McBrayne constituition which declared that the service was for the social and lifeline needs of the good people of the Hebridean and Western Isles. That has been relegated and dismissed has it?

Visitors are actually given better treatment, via the purse of the SNP government when they took RET system onboard, but before such reductions, which were not done for the benefit of the native islander at all, we were absolutely doing fine, being considered the prime reason for the ferry to exist.

It’s a travesty that all our leaders/ and guys who are paid to work for the islanders do not have the backbone to stand up and say, ‘wait a minute, this ferry service was supposed to be first and foremost for the benefit, and a lifeline for the good folks of the isles’!

We as a people need to get a grip here and see to it that decent services are there for the people of the islands. Give us back our isles, and indeed our ferries.

Aonghas Eoghainn Mhoir
Uibhist a Deas