Letters page Dunoon Observer 7th October 2011

Dear Editor

Last week this paper published a letter from Mike Russell constituency MSP which claimed; “Professor Kay’s letter urges me to take actions which would be improper, illegal and mostly impossible. I am not surprised by that …”

I have never advocated illegal, improper, or impossible actions. He does not specify what he is referring to or why, but if he means my arguments for a frequent vehicle-passenger service between the town centres, the case is proper, legal and possible - and evidence-based.

The economic case is currently made on the Government’s own website in the form of the Scottish Executive / Deloitte Touche Report which shows that profits from such vehicle carrying would offset most or all the subsidy needed for foot passengers. The legal case was made by the ultimate authority in these matters, the European Commission, who confirmed in writing to the MEP Alyn Smith and then to me that such a service would conform to EU law.

Mike Russell has produced no evidence that I am urging illegal action. By evidence, I do not mean vague, unjustified and unsubstantiated opinion from within government but documented, substantiated, and qualified legal opinion that matches the authority of the European Commission, specifying which law or laws would be breached and why.

His failure to cite such evidence was compounded by his remark that he was not surprised to see me advocating illegality, unjustly implying this is a feature of my character. Mike Russell’s remarks would be offensive and unacceptable from anyone, but even more so from an elected representative.

Yours Sincerely

Neil Kay,




In last week’s edition we published a letter from Michael Russell MSP on the subject of the Dunoon ferry tender process and the new passenger-only service.

Mr Rusell’s letter contained a passage to the effect: “Professor Kay’s letter urges me to take actions which would be improper, illegal and mostly impossible”.

Professor Kay has asked the paper to make clear that there is no suggestion or evidence that he has been advocating any illegal actions, and we regret any embarrassment caused by the publication of this passage.

The opinions expressed in these columns are those of correspondents and not those of the Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard.