Magazine article The Spectator


Magazine article The Spectator


Article excerpt

Scotland's silent majority

Sir: Hugo Rifkind's article ('Scotland's nasty party', 9 May) is a first for the media. It expresses the dismay, disbelief and incomprehension felt at the rise of the SNP by least one -- and I suspect many -- of the silent majority in Scotland. When will the media confront Nicola Sturgeon's claim to speak for Scotland, as opposed to allowing her to deliver an unchallenged party political broadcast? She can only speak for the SNP, who at best can speak for half of Scottish voters. Not in my name. I want no part of her strident, demanding, aggressive brand.

The article did omit one issue. Thousands of young Scots work in England and abroad, developing and enhancing their expertise before returning home. That wider world view and knowledge benefits Scotland but, with the spectre of independence, how many of these young people will now chose not to return, making us a socially, intellectually and financially poorer, more parochial place?

Name withheld (I really don't want my windows broken), Glasgow

Top tipster

Sir: The Conservatives and Labour were 'neck and neck' or 'too close to call', according to all the so-called professional pollsters in the lead-up to the events of last Thursday. In five years' time they should just ring up the dentist/jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, and save themselves time and no doubt a reasonable amount of wasted expense. He was spot on in his Grand National notebook (11 April). Now, who does he fancy in the 4.30 at Doncaster?

Mark Peeters

Bigbury, Devon

Remembrance of lost Time

Sir: Taki's obsequies for Time magazine (High life, 2 May) were most evocative. In my teenage years, much of my knowledge of foreign affairs came the local cinema and the March of Time shorts. The stirring signature music and the closing slogan, 'time marches on', remain permanently in my memory.

As for the magazine itself, over the past few years it has become progressively more boring. Taki did, however, take me back to the days of its pomp when the letters pages were fascinating: I recall during the Eisenhower years an example of lèse-majesté when the President was referred to as 'that golf-playing idiot in Washington'.

There was also the response to an article on the anthropologist Margaret Mead, who had been exploring the sexual habits of South Sea islanders and condemned the masculinity of one tribe where the wives had to withdraw the special soup of the area until the men had performed. One correspondent replied: 'I don't think that the men are sexless -- they just don't like soup.'

Ken Wortelhock

Orewa, New Zealand

Keeping parsonages

Sir: Could I please clear up the confusion caused by the letter from Canon John Fellows (9 May)? …

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