Letters: You think Biden is bad? It could get worse
WHEN Joe Biden finally made it to the White House, the bien-pensant and coast-to-coast left media hailed his election as a victory “for the American people.” The triumvirate of President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have been hailed as sensible, level-headed professionals who can save the West.
Today you stand as the three responsible for the tragedy in Afghanistan. Mr Biden assured the nation there would be no rerun of Saigon with Americans climbing rooftops to evacuate in helicopters. Unfortunately, it looks like some Americans won’t make it at all while Afghans, on whose loyalty and cooperation the US armed forces depended for 20 years, have been abandoned.
Nobody seems to know why the US was bailed out without contingency plans. Looking lost, President Biden rushes off after briefings and leaves his press secretary unbelievable. Mr. Blinken and Mr. Sullivan are pedestrians from Washington, while the idea that Kamala Harris will take the lead if the president’s mental performance continues to deteriorate is appalling.
Dr. John Cameron, St. Andrews.
BIDEN DOES NOT WIN EVERYTHING AFTER OBAMA
I BELIEVE that John Birkett (Letters, Aug. 27) attaches too much weight to Barack Obama’s responsibility for the possible election of Joe Biden as President of the United States.
While Mr Obama, as a presidential candidate in 2012, would have had a huge impact on the Democratic Party’s decision on the election of the vice-presidential candidate, the formal selection of Joe Biden was made through that party’s nomination process, which clearly bears great responsibility for where Joe Biden is today stands.
In addition, in the 2020 election, people of America, knowing Mr. Biden’s age, political experience and skills, elected him to office according to their electoral rules. Mind you, they had a choice between a longtime politician in the late 1970s and Donald Trump.
Ian W. Thomson, Lenzie.
* JOHN Birkett (Letters, Aug. 27) writes, “Our former Ambassador to the United States, Lord Renwick, quoted Barack Obama” with a highly derogatory remark about Vice President Joe Biden. Lord Renwick was ambassador from 1991-95; At the time of President Obama’s first inauguration in 2008, he was 71 years old and had retired many years earlier.
Does Mr. Birkett have any evidence to back up his story?
Doug Maughan, Dunblane.
A LONG LIST OF ABANDONED
DESPITE the high-pitched statements in the media, no one has ever rationally explained why we were in Afghanistan. I remember discussions during Gordon Brown’s brief tenure about why – and there was no conclusion.
As for the Afghans being “abandoned” by the British government, just add them to the list after Nazanine Zaghari Ratcliffe, school children, the poor, democracy, peace in Northern Ireland, the thousands of unnecessary deaths from the pandemic , small business, the environment, the elderly and so on and so on …
Amanda Baker, Edinburgh.
WE ALL WANT TO BE IN ONE UNION
DAVID Leask is right in that “our political jargon can be quite mystifying …” (“There is another way of doing Scotland’s politics: non-separatist nationalism,” The Herald, Aug. 27). While independence is consistently cited as the current lynchpin of Scottish politics, almost no one in Scotland has or claims any interest in independence in itself and the Union is the political goal of almost all of the Scottish electorate. The majority of the electorate has always voted for the UK to remain a member, while in recent years there has also been a sizeable minority in favor of a Union, but with the EU rather than the UK.
The comparison with Quebec is interesting and instructive, but it would have been closer if the separatist minority had wanted to join the United States, for example, and not national independence. To the best of my knowledge, however, no elected politician at any level in Canada has advocated a Quebec-Canada exchange union for the US in living memory, and there has never been intelligent support for that option.
Michael Sheridan, from Strachur, Argyll.
GERS REPORT IS HOMEMADE
ALASDAIR Galloway criticized me again (letters of August 27th) for saying that the GERS figures (available on the Scottish Government website) faithfully reflect Scotland’s income and expenditure.
Who compiles the government expenditure and revenue statistics? Scottish statistician. Are you wrong? Are these all trade unionists who want to fiddle with the numbers? I do not think so. They show without a doubt that Scotland is better off as part of the world’s fifth largest economy.
Statistics show Scotland has received an additional £ 8.3 billion in reserved spending to fight the pandemic. It is a fact.
As Professor Ronald MacDonald, Professor of Macroeconomics and International Finance at the University of Glasgow, wrote in The Herald earlier this month: “This year’s dramatic GERS budget deficit of 22.4% of GDP again underscores the importance of pooling and dividing budgetary risks into political ones and monetary unions like Great Britain. ”
William Loneskie, Lauder.
JOHNSTONE HAS TO ACT ON FMQs
I AM certainly not the only one asking the Chairman, as Chairman (not as the Green MSP), to make an early and effective decision to deprive the Greens of the right to ask the First Minister questions about the First Minister’s questions. The conclusion of a coalition with the SNP government – and a coalition that is rejected, it certainly is – removes the Greens as the official opposition party.
It would be totally inadequate for one of two junior ministers to have the opportunity and the right to ask questions of any government in which they operate. Alison Johnstone, as President, must demonstrate her independence from the party she supports and act accordingly with immediate effect.
Richard Allison, Edinburgh.
THE COOPERATION WORKED WELL
JILL Stephenson (Letters, Aug. 27) writes that “everyone knows the SNP has established itself as an opposition to the London government,” but in reality Scotland’s voters have established the SNP as an opposition to the London government, the last three parliamentary elections a majority of the SNP MPs elects.
Ms. Stephenson suggests that the SNP does not want a good working relationship with Westminster, but during the pandemic both governments have worked reasonably well together and where possible, and if Scotland is an independent country its government will be entirely from the people of Scotland no longer be able to have one arm cuffed behind your back; and this equality should certainly foster cordial relations with the English elected government voters.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.
PUT THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS AT THE CENTER
I HAVE found the criticism from General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) in our education debate (Letters, Aug 27) a refreshing step forward, but I feel that the writers, perhaps academics, have pulled out their doors. What I think is illogical and completely misguided is that a national body is responsible for setting teaching standards, but is not responsible for the learning standards of students. The two activities must be viewed as one in order to be effective.
Towards the end of the last century, knowledgeable thinkers in the field of organizational strategy have often shown that an exclusive reliance on input-driven management inevitably led to the closed, protectionist type of activity we associate with the GTCS monopoly.
The GTCS often tries to highlight the professionalism of teachers in Scotland while alluding to the fact that it is now a purely professional qualification and teachers must be registered with it. What evidence is there that the standard of learning in Scotland has increased measurably in the years since the teacher registration requirement came into force?
Isn’t it time to put the aptitude and bureaucratic etiquette of potential teachers out of the spotlight and put student needs first? Then we could start shaking off the pretended professionalism that the GTCS seem to value so highly.
Bill Brown, Milngavie.
FIFE MOVES BUTE
I have found the letter from Kenneth Fraser regarding the steamer Duchess of Fife (August 27th) of particular interest. Little did I know there was another ship of the same name serving the south coast of England.
In 1990 I published a book entitled Memories of the Clyde – Duchess of Fife 1903-1953 (Hart, MacLagan & Will, ISBN 0 9516140). 0 2).
The book traced the life of this popular Clyde steamer in black and white pictures from her building to the end of her service life.
One of our readers, a paddle steamer enthusiast named Laurie Skinner, gave us a four-foot model of the Duchess of Fife – the Clyde – that he had built about 30 years earlier. He was anxious to find a suitable home for it. We, on the other hand, donated his magnificent model to the Bute Museum in May 1993, which was then under the direction of Leonard Cumming. I have no reason to believe it isn’t there yet.
David G. Will, Milngavie.
ROSEMARY Goering’s article on “Trigger Warnings” in theaters (“Trigger Warnings” about Romeo and Juliet are a total insult to the audience, “The Herald, August 25, and Letters, August 27) reminded me of the ad that the Opening of Thomas Kydd’s Spanish Tragedy in London in 1592. Far from warning, it spoke fervently of five murders, three rapes, a young man biting his tongue and “all other means to avoid boredom” .
Robin Dow, Rothesay.
Read more: Obama bears heavy responsibility for the Biden presidency disaster