There is no excuse
for booking into
Heaven help us if, as Kenneth Roy proposes (20 June), the Scottish Government tries to improve the standards of Scottish tourism. From past experience, this will be attempted via crude legislation and additional burdensome bureaucracy.
Previously a member of VisitScotland for 10 years, we welcomed the introduction of 'grading inspections', but were dismayed when these became an expensive annual trauma – the ultimate purpose of which seemed to be to turn every establishment into the same characterless clone. Our local council seems hell-bent on having all accommodation providers rip out any architectural features in their properties for which they do not have fire safety statistics. Such blunt instruments will destroy more than they fashion.
In these days of online reviews, guests are quick to criticise (sometimes unfairly) so there is no excuse for discerning visitors to book into sub-standard facilities. The reason appalling places survive is because tour operators (and individual visitors) continue to seek out unrealistically cheap deals. Scotland offers a great range of first-class accommodation, fabulous food and an incredible choice of entertaining activities. It's all easily found and booked with a mere twitch of one's mouse finger. Let's not cripple the industry with even more regulation.
Guest house proprietor and restaurateur, Isle of Arran
The fact that Americans know Ireland rather than Scotland (20 June) is due mainly to the fact that Scotland is an invisible country. Ireland, while much smaller, is independent and has a distinct identity. It is also true that Britain is usually referred to as England – all part of the union dividend. Better Together?
There is another lesson to be learned from the vox pop interviews in Los Angeles on the occasion of 'Brave'. This is that Americans are staggeringly insular (or should that be 'continental'?). Many of them do not know that they have to cross the sea to get to Yurup. The likeness of the protagonist of 'Brave' to Rebekah Brooks was one I was going to mention, but Kenneth Roy got there first. As far as visitors to Scotland are concerned, I urge them one and all to come to Moffat and not to bother with the Highlands.
I cannot disagree with a syllable of Andrew McFadyen's article (19 June). The reason that 'Reporting Scotland' is so awful is that the level of reporting is akin to the level of debate in the Scottish Parliament. I watch it on most days simply from horror fascination. Rangers FC has been the main item of news for a large part of the last few weeks. The report on the subject from the 'senior football reporter' is the first item of specifically Scottish news that the nation hears. Football is a re-run of the Roman games, brainwashing by spectacle, which is something of a compliment to football I suppose. BBC Scotland may have a poor budget, but to add insult to injury does not help the case for an increase. If more people read Andrew McFadyen instead of listening to the 'senior football reporter' we may yet see progress but I'm not holding my breath.
Bravo! to Kenneth Roy for 'The untold story behind a death in custody' (13 June). I am unable to distinguish between the degrees of shock I felt on reading the news that Serco had won the contract for the Orkney and Shetland ferry service and realising in the following days that the mainstream press made nothing whatsoever of the fact (and the related facts). Not the kind of 'New Scotland' to which I was looking forward.
Could Kenneth Roy explain precisely what relevance has the description of Hyman as '(an) evangelical Christian who donates a tenth of his salary to a pentecostal church' got to the rest of his article about Hyman's company? I see no causal connection between them.
Kenneth Roy replies: There is no causal connection. But it is pertinent to consider the background and beliefs of a man whose company has been so widely criticised for its treatment of vulnerable people.
Is the post-independence Midgie to be the Midige?
Nick Charlton Smith
The Midgie replies: Possibly. Bad spelling crosses all political barriers.
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