MS Swinson would be prepared to use the weapons of mass destruction to kill millions of people. Fair enough, she is another warmonger, but at least has the guts to admit it.

Now my question for Ms Swinson is: would you be as willing to park the health hazards that are those weapons of mass destruction in your back garden down in England as you are willing to launch them?

You don’t need to be a genius to realise that in the case of war conflict, the location of those weapons becomes a hot target. Those weapons are currently in Scotland against the will of the people of Scotland. They are therefore making Scotland an unwilling hot target in conflict, and the Scottish people in practice can become a human shield for the warmongers living in England who are so cowardly that they cannot possibly handle the political heat of having those health hazards as near to a big population area down in England as they currently are in Scotland.

So I ask again, where does Ms Swinson courage stop? Or actually where does it start? Is she courageous enough to park those things in her backyard down in England and make herself and her family a target, or is she just courageous enough to make the people of Scotland a target and Scotland’s children human shields for her own?

Maria Carnero

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon attacks Jo Swinson's nuclear weapons stance​

JO Swinson is really “off the wall”. She reiterates the old LibDem mantra about the two tired old parties, but fails to realise that in a Scottish context a third uber-tired party must be added, namely, the Unionist LibDems!

The mish-mash of ideas in the LibDem manifesto seems to be a simple ad-LibDem incoherence. It seems to be a dog whistled list of wee soundbites to appeal to all and sundry with the usual standfast defiant macho-shout that she would have no hesitation in pressing the “button”. This seems to be a right of passage pledge for all UK party leaders. What is forgotten is that the US holds the codes, the hapless UK simply pays for the privilege to station the nuclear weapons of mass destruction and it costs money to keep them serviced, paid in hard cash to the US.

How much longer must we put up with this Westminster posturing? The whole edifice is crumbling fast like the externals and internals of the Westminster building itself. The monarchy at the head of the UK, given the latest revelations surrounding Prince Andrew, may not last beyond the next decade as indy2 starts to increase pace.

The UK has never inflicted so much discord on itself as of now. Still, the same old tired lot from down south have surely reached the end of endless permutations of soundbites, bribes and tricks to try and save the state!

What will next week bring? Vow2 with histrionics from Gordon Brown aiming for a federal UK to outdo the last one?

John Edgar

ACROSS the UK, older people are often assumed to be better off in comparison with those of working age. Older people may also be demonised and held responsible for many of the problems facing society today, whereas in fact pensioners continue to be one of the poorest groups within society.

Of the almost 12 million people aged 65 or over living across the UK, just over 1.9 million are living below the official UK poverty level. In addition, 7% of those aged 65+ are considered to be materially deprived, meaning they can’t afford items like warm clothes in winter, things which many people take for granted.

Pensioners have no real opportunity to increase their income. This means that pensioners who are poor remain poor.

The cost of essentials such as heating, food and clothing represents approximately 58% of their expenditure. Factor into this rent and council tax and there isn’t really very much left over. As heating and food costs continue to rise at a much higher rate than the overall rate of inflation, many older people are left with the decision of whether to eat or heat. Even if pensioners do have some modest savings, these are being used up to pay for essentials.

It is often conveniently forgotten that society benefits from the contribution many older people make as unpaid carers. Along with their voluntary work, older people actually save the government in excess of £34 billion per year.

There remains a real continued threat to public services, but rather than conveniently blaming those most in need, more must be done by the Westminster government to ensure that these needs are met. Government and local authorities must stop looking for soft targets by pitting young against old. They must stop trying to deflect the blame away from the real social issues that blight our society.

We at The Scottish Pensioners’ Forum hope to secure a fairer society, based on social justice for all. We believe that older people should not have to suffer by bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis. Our manifesto calls for all candidates in this election to support the concerns of older people, now and in the future.

Copies of our manifesto and more information about the Forum can be obtained from our website ( or by e-mailing

Colin Wakeling
Scottish Pensioners’ Forum