Letter: The duke's statue should stay

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SANDY LINDSAY gives an over-simplistic explanation of Highland depopulation in his letter regarding the removal of the Duke of Sutherland's statue (Letters, 16 October). There are two more probable causes: the inhospitable terrain and climate, and the magnet of greater prosperity in the South.

Scotland has not been noted for its balanced appreciation of its sons, let alone someone born in London. Charles I, for example, was a Stuart king, born in Dunfermline and captured by Scots fighting in Newark. He was then handed over to the English for execution. Perversely his relative, Charles Edward Stewart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), was, despite being raised in Italy, given in 11 short months of Scottish residence, the freedom of the country.

Certainly the old duke may not have been above reproach. But what justification does Mr Lindsay claim to destroy a historic monument provided by public subscription, particularly from 100 miles away? The local community of Golspie are surely the only ones entitled to request its removal. If it should fall, I fear for the 'comers-in' of Kingussie. They could be next for ethnic cleansing.

G W Carruthers Oldham, Greater Manchester

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