Dear Orkney News,
As the election campaign continues, it is disappointing that neither Tory leader, Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader were prepared to participate in open Leaders debates, on television.
These forums provide an opportunity to tease out, discuss and argue the merits of the various issues. The party leaders have to justify their various standpoints. It is to the credit that all political leaders, in Scotland, that they have not such inhibitions. It is disappointing also that the leaders of these Tory, Lib-Dem and Labour parties do not want to talk about the main Westminster issues, instead focussing on a Scottish Independence, which is one of many direct consequences of a damaging and divisive Hard Brexit.
In England the Lib-Dems are doing what is expected of them by vigorously opposing a Hard Brexit and an exit from Europe.
Scotland is, in many ways leading the political debate. The main Westminster parties could learn from the work of the Scottish Government, over the past few years.
The NHS has been performing at a much higher level than is the case, south of the border. In education, the absence of university fees allow Scottish teachers, doctors, engineers and others graduate without being saddled by huge debts in excess of £30,000. This also helps to ensure many able students from modest backgrounds in the Highlands and Islands are able to graduate, contribute to the economy and increase its performance.
Given the more divisive nature of international politics and threats of terrorism in many parts of the world, over the past few years, this is a time to cooperate, internationally and share information. The UK needs to continue cooperation with police forces in countries such as Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.
The UKIP driven divisive direction of the Tory party, under Theresa show us why it is so important to elect MPs who will defend our vital interests, while standing up for a fairer society. All people able to do so, should pay their taxes and be rewarded by high quality public services. Meanwhile the disabled, sick and unemployed should also be helped to enjoy a decent quality of life.
A vote for the SNP, in the Northern Isles, is a vote for strong effective opposition to an increasingly right wing Tory Government.
JOHN MOWAT Kirkwall, Orkney