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YOUR correspondent RJ Ardern (Letters, 6 November) reminds us that differences in regional energy needs are not well catered for.

It’s only too right that this issue be addressed, not forgetting that our more dispersed communities have to bear higher personal transport costs as well.

Unfortunately, there is still a detectable tendency to follow a certain line uttered by Margaret Thatcher – “they’re used to it up there”, which I distinctly recall her saying in relation to the cold – but I don’t think northern Scottish residents’ physiology is different from those who live in relatively softer climes.

Freezing is unacceptable anywhere, and needs more attention from both Holyrood and Westminster.

This links in to the point made about the Indian Mars rocket launch: why then send so much aid money to India, which seems to have somewhat muddled priorities when the funds are needed here?

Joe Darby



Two contrasting items of news (4 November) that illustrate equally appalling and apparently incurable problems can nevertheless be neatly resolved.

You report that some 340 MPs (ie most of them) have used the parliamentary expenses system to recoup the cost of heating their second homes; and that 5,000 children in Scotland will be homelegss this Christmas.

Why not simply accommodate all these children in those ghastly MPs’ second homes?