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At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall,
However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free. To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.
The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
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No-one to blame
The debacle with CalMac and the Arran ferry service is symptomatic of the Scottish government’s handling and involvement in the Alex Salmond affair – no-one in authority is to blame.
Despite the fact Alex Salmond was acquitted of all charges, awarded more than half a million pounds in damages and the judicial review found the case to be ‘tainted by apparent bias’, no-one so far at any senior level in government has seen fit to step down. Not my fault guv.
One must conclude therefore Alex Salmond is to blame for not being found guilty.
Consequently, one must also conclude it is the fault of Arran residents for living on the island and we should all just go away and be happy with our lot.
The people who proliferate the highest echelons of Scottish government should be removed: they are not fit for purpose. Incompetence and lack of accountability at the very top can only percolate down to lesser officials responsible for the issues pertaining to the mess surrounding the Arran ferry service.
Which leads me to the current first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and Peter Murrell the chief executive of the Scottish National Party, who are to put it plainly bed fellows.
This is akin to the chairman and the chief executive of a major corporation having a personal relationship which would simply not be tolerated by investors.
Except here we are talking about the command and operational running of an entire nation – Scotland.
Maybe in some 1970’s central African despot regime this would be familiar, but in 21st century Scotland?
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Nicola Sturgeon and her husband need to go. It’s as simple as that.
Tokenism will not suffice
‘…any public figure, organisation or company which does not express unity with a popular sentiment or belief is automatically adjudged to stand in opposition to it.’ (McLaughlin, 2021)
The assertion made here is exemplified by the torrent of bile, via mainstream and social media, towards the international rugby players who chose not to ‘take the knee’ before recent matches in the Six Nations.
It also emphasises the naivety of those proffering such opprobrium. To advance such an over-simplistic, binary, do-as-I-do-or-you-are-racist argument does nothing to facilitate genuine progress being made against one of society’s most complex ills.
It is argued the overwhelming majority of people in the UK are honest, fair-minded and abhor discrimination in all its forms and that only a small minority in our society hold beliefs that such abuse of a fellow human being is in any way acceptable.
To counter the warped views of this small section of society, mere tokenism will not suffice. Only acts of substance will have any realistic possibility in altering the entrenched toxic views held by this minority.
The contrived furore surrounding ‘taking the knee’ is not only dictatorial in our free and democratic society but, regrettably, also obscures the laudable aims of the genuine anti-racist campaign and stifles the open and honest debate and action necessary to address fully the problem in any meaningful way.
Name and address supplied.
This March, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is encouraging the British public to take on their Dechox challenge and give up chocolate and other sugary snacks for the month of March. Dechox Warriors will help to raise life saving funds for the 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.
A recent survey carried out by the BHF, revealed biscuits were the UK’s favourite sugary snack, 42 per cent, closely followed by chocolate, 41 per cent. With the findings demonstrating just how important biscuits and chocolate are to us, giving them up will be no easy feat.
Covid-19 has cut our future research funding in half so we need your donations to carry on funding medical breakthroughs into heart and circulatory diseases including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and vascular dementia.
Please join the thousands of other people across the UK who have already signed up to Dechox and say no to chocolate for the month of March: www.bhf.org.uk/dechox
Head of Dechox,
British Heart Foundation.
Photograph of the week
This week’s photograph of the week was taken by the Banner’s Hugh Boag who captured this splendid shot of the hills of Arran emerging from the mist covering Brodick Bay on Monday. 01_B10cloud01