Scotsman Letters: Campervan leaves a surprising comic legacy

Who would have thought Nicola Sturgeon's legacy would now be caricatured as an immobile mobile home, asks Jill StephensonWho would have thought Nicola Sturgeon's legacy would now be caricatured as an immobile mobile home, asks Jill Stephenson
Who would have thought Nicola Sturgeon's legacy would now be caricatured as an immobile mobile home, asks Jill Stephenson
Political regimes can be in danger when their policies meet with disapproval from the electorate. Criticism can be telling, but it can also fail to gain traction if the party is popular with enough voters.

This has even recently been the case with the SNP, until its leaders chose an improbable hill to die on - the Gender Recognition Reform Bill. It is estimated that two-thirds of Scots oppose the spending of perhaps half a million pounds on challenging His Majesty’s Government’s imposition of a section 35 order halting the implementation of the bill.

Yet what is much more dangerous for a regime is when it becomes ridiculous, when voters laugh at it. That is what is happening now, with the saga of the spanking new camper van that has graced Mrs Murrell’s driveway and done no more. The party leadership’s efforts to conceal its existence even from senior SNP figures like the new party leader have become joke material for cartoonists. Who would have thought that the Sturgeon regime’s legacy would now be caricatured as an immobile ‘mobile home’?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Battle bus woes

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At least one thing has become clear as a result of the recent recent SNP shenanigans. Nicola Sturgeon spent the last election campaign swanning around Scotland in a helicopter. The “battle bus” lined up by her husband for the next campaign was a camper van! No wonder she resigned.

Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh

Price of wheat

All the hype by government and the media about reducing CO2 emissions to ‘save the planet’ doesn’t overcome the fact that there is no consistent correlation between increasing atmospheric CO2 levels with enhanced global temperatures. Any dumb scientist can clearly see this when they look at a graph recording the official values of those parameters for the period 1945 to 2015. After the Second World War when industrial activity took off, atmospheric CO2 levels ramped up quickly but, unfortunately for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ‘consensus’ group of scientist vigorously pushing their theory of CO2 induced climate change, temperatures generally declined, in some cases quite dramatically, or held steady between 1945 to 1979 and 1998 to 2015 contrary to the ‘consensus’ theory.

An alternative theory for climate change that has been proposed many times through man’s time on earth, linking it with solar events, has recently been given new impetus by numerous scientists during the past 30 years, especially by a Danish research group. They proposed the theory that the climate was influenced by the interlinkage between the bombardment of earth by cosmic rays from the solar system, sunspot magnetic forces and the formation of cloud cover in the lower atmosphere: fewer clouds lead to a warmer earth and vice versa. They were able to prove their theory by conducting a laboratory experiment, called the SKY project. Several research groups have shown solar radiation and cosmic rays correlated much better with the climate’s temperature than does CO2, going back 10,000 years in one case and 500 million years in another.

The very prestigious CERN Laboratory, the world’s largest sub-atomic laboratory based in Switzerland, has confirmed the Danish conclusion with their CLOUD Project. It is ironic that one of the most sophisticated laboratories in the world has, apparently, also confirmed an observation made by the astronomer, William Herschel, in 1801, that the number of sunspots correlated with the price of wheat: few sunspots were noticed to give cold weather from which poor yields resulted and subsequently led to increased prices, and vice versa for increased sunspot activity.

Dr G Cochrane, Dunblane

Labour fraud

Mark Boyle (Letters, April 14) writes of Ian Murray’s appeal. I beg to differ.

As a constituent, I receive Ian’s modestly titled “Award-winning newsletter.” I don’t read it because whatever fine words he uses to try to convince people that Labour cares about them conflict with the evidence. Starmer’s English Labour party has lurched so far to the right that it should just merge with the Tories, ending the charade of a two-party state.

Here’s the evidence that New Labour is a fraud. It’s firmly behind the Tory hard Brexit. It doesn’t support striking public sector workers, wants to jail protesters and criminalise desperate migrants. It opposes electoral reform and taking public services back into state ownership. It promises to deliver more austerity and accelerate NHS privatisation to satisfy its corporate funders, yet will continue to splash out on nuclear weapons.

Scotland has no veto over English decisions, we have no control over our land and resources and our MPs are overwhelmingly outvoted by English MPs. The Union is a sham and Scotland no more than a colony within it.

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If Ian Murray, Scotland’s only Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, supported Scotland’s right to choose whether or not to remain in this so-called ‘voluntary’ union, then Labour’s fortunes may revive in Scotland. But breaking from London would take political courage that I don’t believe Mr. Murray possesses. Prove me wrong, Ian.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh

A million voters

On Wednesday night I heard a talk by Jim Sillars which gave meaning to my recent conversations with people at the coal face of public life.

They include a recently retired primary teacher appalled by Curriculum for Excellence and university lecturers in Aberdeen and Glasgow demoralised by the injection of woke gender language, "de-colonising” and dumbing down of course content.

I've also spoken to parents and grandparents concerned about sex education in schools, and a long serving ambulanceman told the first aid course I attended of the rise in heart attacks, stroke and diabetes complications in young people due to obesity.

The meeting, in Dundee, entitled ‘Are schools harming children by affirming their transgender identity’ was organised by The Scottish Union for Education.

No-one among the audience questioned the need for sex education or trans rights, only the appropriateness of Scottish policy and practice.

Jim Sillars’s theme was If we are producing under- and badly-educated, sexually and morally confused, unhealthy young adults it isn’t hard to fast forward 20 years to the decline of western democracy and civilisation and the ascendancy of authoritarian regimes.

He hardly mentioned the big threats, China and Russia. The example he gave was Vietnam and the comment of a friend, who had spent time there: “Vietnam’s education and the people its producing would wipe the floor with their Scottish counterparts.”

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The discussion turned to the reluctance of politicians and the media to air and tackle the issues. Jim Sillars’ advice was for campaign groups to make an organised, compelling noise to get the attention of the media. This is exactly what the For Women Scotland campaign achieved before, during and after the Gender Recognition Reform debate.

But why don’t the politicians catch on? There are almost 800k kids at Scottish schools and around 60k teachers and staff, so there must be at least one million grandparent, parent or teacher voters, most of whom are most likely to speak out in the privacy of the ballot box.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven

Back to the future

Heat pumps have a 21st century ring about them (Scotsman, April14). But more than half a century ago Sir George Thomson praised their efficiency, particularly when coupled with home insulation, in his book ‘The Foreseeable Future’, written in 1957.

Particularly prescient, it also predicted the mobile phone and the need to be wary about artificial intelligence. Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1937 for research done in Aberdeen on the electron, he is yet another scientist whose wise words got lost in the mists of time, joining Alexander Fleming, who warned about the development of antibiotic resistance in his 1945 Nobel lecture.

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen

Thanks Angus

How kind of Mr Robertson (Minister For So Many Things) to share with us his thoughts and hopes for the latest scheme thought up by the failing SNP Administration (Scotsman, April 14).

The diaspora already has well established links with Scotland, and we certainly do not need yet another quango to maladminister what has been going on successfully without the Nationalist’s input.

However, I am sure that Mr Robertson will have much enjoyed New York hospitality, and the vulgarity of Tartan Day, at no cost to himself or his entourage.

EP Carruthers, Lockerbie

Do the maths

Should the proposed pumped storage facility at Coire Glas Power Station be approved? It will take many years to complete at a cost somewhere north of £1.5 billion. The proposers, SSE, are asking the UK government to provide the funding so we must look at this as a UK rather than a purely Scottish endeavour.

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If we believe all we are told then by the time Coire Glas is up and running UK winter peak electricity demand will be in the region of 180GW, half of which will be from wind.

Let me remind readers that power output from wind turbines depends on the cube of wind speed. For the non-mathematical that means if the wind speed drops by half, the power output drops by eight times - a not unusual occurrence. Coire Glas will have a reserve energy capacity of 30GWh which would take care of less than a half hour of the foregoing example - and will of course then require recharging.

A McCormick, Dumfries

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