Dear Andrew Neil, I am surprised that for all the political presenters at the BBC not one has realised that Scottish Independence has nothing to do with politics nor has it anything to do with what is good for the people of Scotland or the UK.
What it is about is an obsession of Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond to write their names into history as the ones who gained independence for Scotland.
Having had a referendum that went against them, Brexit was just an excuse to argue for a second referendum and if one is held and the vote again goes against Nicola and Alex do you think they will accept that?
Of course not they will find a reason to argue for a third and so on and so on until Nicola and Alex get the answer they want and their names are written in to history.
Wake up and smell the coffee and stop interviewing them in a political manner which will get you nowhere.
Personally I would let them have independence because I do not believe with a population of 5.5m they would be able to manage their health service/education etc.etc.
What is more important?
I wonder how many of your readers watched the terrifying Blackburn valley floods in 2007 as I did.
I hate to spoil any argument for the proposed service station at the top of the Blackburn Valley but look at the facts of the valley.
At the bottom of the valley they have a poisons problem of traffic pollution and we would encourage more problems with the station. The valley is not just Junction 35, it stretches across to Grenoside and High Green.
The waters are gathered at High Green and into the man-made dam supplying the works while other waters flow down to Ecclesfield and down to the Blackburn Valley.
Waters from the Charlton Brook, Whitley Brook, Hartley Brook and Tom Gutter all find their way to the Blackburn Valley.
There is a big question mark over the Smithy Wood coking plant and all the hard surfacing laid down will only add the flooding of the Blackburn Valley.
Think of all the waters that cannot get away and the old people’s home in Chapeltown or the new housing estate at Thorncliffe works.
A service station built at the head of the Blackburn Valley will destroy the factories that have been in the valley for decades.
Some will leave the valley if they flood one more time.
Look at the sports field on Grange Mill Lane. That is a flood alleviator with a covenant on it to protect it from any development.
I wonder if the council are still monitoring that land. What is more important flooding of homes or a service station that could be the cause?
The lack of political choice between parties is one of the main reasons we have local and national elections with low voter turnout.
Despite their bluster protesting against the Tory government in Westminster, the localism agenda has been adopted by most, if not all, major UK political parties and is more about dismantling and offloading the public sector than empowering communities.
Volunteers running services like libraries need to be very aware of this agenda and the wider picture to avoid being complicit in it.
This localism agenda, which has seen, for example in Sheffield, volunteers take over libraries, is costing public sector workers their jobs and communities the right to professionally run public services.
We need Sheffield and the UK as a whole to have political parties who will provide real political choice on policies like Tory austerity and localism agendas.
We also need to explore models that don’t involve turning traditional libraries over to volunteers or a journey to the nearest library might become a day trip.
On a recent shopping trip to Sainsbury’s at Archer Road, my husband and myself only just avoided a nasty accident on the escalator.
We ascended the escalator at the bottom complete with shopping trolley.
A little further ahead was a very elderly gentleman with a walking stick, accompanied by a lady.
As the escalator reached the top and it was time for the gentleman and lady to get off, we could see that he was very unsteady on his feet and having difficulty alighting.
The lady with him did not offer her hand to help him off.
By this time we were getting closer and closer with our trolley.
How we avoided bumping into him and knocking him over, I do not know.
When I challenged the woman and asked her why she had been so stupid in endangering this elderly man by using the escalator instead of the nearby lift, she gave me such a glare and proceeded into the store.
Nearby was a member of staff and I explained to him what had happened.
He said there was nothing we could have done, other than press the emergency stop button.
This would not have been possible, as by the time we had reached the elderly gentleman we had passed the nearest stop button.
Even had we been able to do this, the escalator would have been brought to a sudden stop, throwing all the other users on it forward.
The lift is easily accessible and available for all to use. I think it would be a good idea if Sainsbury’s, and all other stores who have an escalator which has to be used to reach store level, displayed a sign at the bottom of the escalator advising all those who are infirm or afraid to use an escalator, for their own safety and the safety of others, to use the lift for the purpose for which it is provided.
Protecting UK aid
Britain keeps its promises, particularly to those most in need. For 10 years, our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our national income on aid has been testament to that, and featured in all the major political party manifestos running up to the last General Election.
I am proud of the UK’s history of providing life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable children.
As the first major economy to reach this spending target, the UK has shown how a transparent, independent and accountable approach to aid funding can change the world.
It is the right thing to do, and it shows the world that we are bigger than just ourselves. Immunising millions of children against preventable diseases makes us a bigger Britain. Supporting our doctors and nurses to lead the fight against Ebola makes us a bigger Britain. Creating jobs and trade opportunities in developing countries makes us a bigger Britain.
This election must be an opportunity for all parties to reaffirm that commitment. We are big enough to help people both at home and abroad. Let us all call on our future politicians to show their commitment to the most vulnerable by protecting UK aid.
Park Grange Croft, S2