REACTION to the General Election result in Argyll and Bute, and across the UK, dominates the Advertiser's latest selection of readers' letters, while there are also views on ScotRail's new timetable, water safety in winter, and a look ahead to 'Dry January'.

To have your say on any topic of local interest, all you have to do is email your thoughts to or get in touch with us via the Send Us Your News section of this website.

Please try and keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as you can, and to provide us with your name and address.

We also require a daytime contact phone number in case we need to check any details at short notice, though this will not be published.

Happy writing!

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IT’S deja vu all over again. The same dull, uninspiring and ineffective candidates in this election leads to the same result as last time.

The success of the useless man in the brown suit will again be measured by his failure to close Faslane and re-erect Hadrian’s wall.

The least said about Gary Mulvaney, and his commitment to becoming our Tory MP, the better.

Yet again the Liberal Democrats secure victory for the SNP with their fantasies they could actually win.

There are 6,832 Lib Dem voters who don’t agree with the saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

So another five years of Nicola Sturgeon demanding a referendum she doesn’t actually want. In my day, if any of us lassies behaved like her, we would have been called “tick teasers”.

I’m not sure what the PC term for manipulative dishonesty is nowadays.

Anne Baird, West Princes Street, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: December 12, 2019

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I SHOULD like to send my thanks, appreciation and respect to all those who campaigned so energetically, enthusiastically and were so committed throughout the recent General Election. Without these people’s efforts democracy in the UK would be weaker.

These are the enthusiasts; the team players; the dedicated. They are prepared to sacrifice. They give up holidays, climb shaky ladders to erect posters, staff gazebos at temperatures below zero, receive abuse on doorsteps, and cancel luncheon appointments with friends. For them it is the taking part that inspires. A win would be a bonus but not an essential.

Of course many campaigners are disappointed and glad that it is all over.

However, a great Christmas with family and friends; many enjoyable drams at Hogmanay and the Celtic Connections in January and they will be ready to go again.

There can be no thought of a Westminster five-year term. Already the PM has indicated he will review the fixed-term parliament. There will be Scottish Parliament and local authority elections on May 6, 2021.

Of course the First Minister is already calling for polling before then. Nicola Sturgeon is the ultimate campaigner. Her whole body almost burst with joy when the election of 48 SNP MPs was announced.

The strength of political campaigners is also their weakness. When elected they seldom establish good administrations. Just look at the performance of the 12 years in office of the SNP: falling standards in education; a Scottish NHS in crisis; drug levels among the highest in Europe; poverty and homelessness.

The message is clear: those who enjoy political campaigning seldom run the best governments. Perhaps we should introduce a new national sport – campaigning! In this way we could all have the joy of participating and leave the running of the country to the civil servants.

Finlay Craig, Cove

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: December 5, 2019

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I WOULD like to thank everybody who voted for me at the General Election and the many people who helped in my campaign.

I congratulate Brendan O’Hara on his re-election and wish him well in his job of representing the people of Argyll and Bute at Westminster.

Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat candidate, Argyll and Bute)

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: November 28, 2019

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ON popping down to the local polling station at Cove Burgh Hall to cast a vote I found it disrespectful and dispiriting the depths the SNP are willing to lower themselves to.

Propping a political motif in the immediate vicinity of a war memorial on the opposite side of the road to the polling station just about covers all bases on how undemocratic this party and its values are.

The war memorial commemorates those involved in or affected by war and it enables people to remember and respect the sacrifice of those who died.

With no political allegiance to any party I do find this episode particularly crass.

Hugh Welsh, Argyll Road, Kilcreggan

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: November 21, 2019

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IF the General Election in the United Kingdom has highlighted one thing, it is that we are far from being a united kingdom.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to reject Brexit, to lock Boris Johnson out of Downing Street and for the right to hold a second referendum to decide the nation’s future.

South of the border a totally opposite path has been taken.

In Scotland the Tory appeal to block a referendum, their only campaign message, was roundly defeated by the SNP and seven of their MPs lost.

As nations we are on two very different journeys and yet Mr Johnson is responding to events north of the border with his usual contempt.

Nicola Sturgeon has now won four elections on a manifesto commitment to hold a second independence referendum. Indeed, in simpler times, that great hero of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher, famously commented that a majority of SNP MPs would be a mandate for Scottish independence.

The SNP victory across Scotland eclipses that of the Tories across the UK, with the former securing 81 per cent of seats north of the border while the Tories only secured 56 per cent of seats across the UK.

Despite this, while Unionists bizarrely argue that there is still no mandate for the holding of a second independence referendum as the SNP did not secure a majority of the votes, it is somehow okay for Mr Johnson, in very similar circumstances to pursue a damaging Brexit agenda.

Circumstances have changed since 2014 and it is difficult to see how Mr Johnson, who suffered such a crushing defeat in Scotland, can continue to deny the Scottish people the democratic right to decide their own future.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: November 14, 2019

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I CALLED in at Helensburgh Central station for a copy of the new ScotRail timetable but was told that it is only available online.

Most of my neighbours do not have internet access, so that is of no use to them. I however had already spent considerable time online trying to get the new timetable.

If anyone can do so, please let me know how. I do not want to go online every time I travel.

There was a small notice in the station saying these are the train times except at various times throughout the day when the times differ. So much for improved services!

Margharita McCallum, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: November 7, 2019

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Lots of us enjoy winter walks or runs around reservoirs, lochs and rivers, so we would like to remind everyone to stay safe and act responsibly when near open water.

People should not go too close to the edge because they could slip and fall in. Adults should keep children safe, and dogs should be kept on a lead if they are being walked near reservoirs and other bodies of open water.

Reservoirs are man-made features which, because of their purpose, have unique dangers such as dams, spillways and hidden water intakes and other hazards common to natural bodies of water, for example reeds, strong currents, steep banks and deep cold water.

Also, as the majority of Scottish Water’s reservoirs are situated in remote locations, there is a lack of immediate assistance.

For these reasons, and in the interests of public safety, Scottish Water does not encourage swimming or diving in any of its reservoirs.

Natural hazards can also lurk beneath the surface, where children and adults can get entangled in vegetation or stuck in mud.

Water safety is a priority and we are urging people to stay safe this winter around reservoirs and any other bodies of water.

Peter Farrer (Chief operating officer, Scottish Water)

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: October 31, 2019

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It can be difficult to say no to a drink, especially during the festive season.

In fact, our new research shows that almost four in five (78 per cent) of Brits drink more than they want or intend to. More than one in five (23 per cent) feel pressured to to drink more than they want to by people they know: most often by friends and colleagues.

These findings show that lots of us are drinking in ways that we don’t feel comforatble with, but it can be tricky to know how to make a change. Signing up for Dry January is a brilliant place to start.

Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or socialise. Strong evidence tells us that Dry January helps people – even heavy drinkers – drink more healthily all year round.

People who take on Dry January get a whole host of benefits, from losing weight to more money in their pockets and healthier insides. That’s why an amazing one in ten drinkers will be taking up the challenge in 2020.

So if you’re up for resetting your relationship with alcohol and improving your health, sign up for Dry January at or download the free app for Dry January and beyond.

People who sign-up are twice as likely to go the whole month without drinking compared who those who try to do it alone.

Dr Richard Piper (CEO, Alcohol Change UK)