Pitch problems

AS A Heart of Midlothian fan, I congratulate our derby friends Hibernian on their first Scottish Cup win since 1902. In a season so much went badly wrong for Hibs '“ losing the League Cup final and failing to be promoted '“ one appreciates how much it meant to more than just 106-year-old Sam Martinez: a day all thought they'd never live to see.

The pitch invasion was unfortunate, the hooliganism from a micro-minority reprehensible; but the lurid headlines in Scotland’s media are beyond absurd.

The ludicrous public relations tantrums coming from Ibrox and their media chums have brought more ridicule to the reputation of the Scottish game than the pitch invasion ever did.

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Mark Boyle

Linn Park Gardens, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

The events of Saturday were an exact mirror image of what happened at Pittodrie when Rangers won the league in 1988. At the final whistle their fans invaded the pitch, abused Aberdeen players and wrecked the goalposts. Thankfully the Aberdeen fans did not join them on the pitch, otherwise there would have been a full-scale riot.

The west coast press hardly mentioned these events, concentrating solely on Rangers winning the league. Shamefully, the football authorities imposed no sanctions against the club or their fans. It looks like Hibs and their supporters will suffer a worse fate.

Rangers should ponder on the events of 1988 before taking the high ground in this instance.

Jack Watt

St Ola, Orkney

What has come out of the desperate scenes which marred the showpiece of the season, the Scottish Cup final, is that Scottish clubs must now sign up to the Uefa Code of Conduct, ie, strict liability. Scottish football clubs have body-swerved this for years, yet most European countries, including the English FA, are signed up to it.

The overwhelming majority of decent football fans in Scotland are sick to the back teeth of the repulsive sectarian singing and the smoke bombs and flares which were witnessed at the cup final by many millions across Europe via TV. It has shamed Scotland once too often. The SFA and SPFL need to have this on the agendas at their AGMs in June.

Were they to adopt strict liability then the SFA and SPFL would have the power to shut a stand or an entire stadium,or to fine a club, or to deduct points, or withdraw a club from a cup competition.

I welcome the SFA setting up an independent commission which gives them to chance to resolve this once and for all.

Those MSPs who considered repealing the Offensive Behaviour At Football Act need to seriously reconsider.

John V Lloyd

Inverkeithing, Fife

Fracking decision

Is it a green, amber or red light the Scottish Government intends for fracking in Scotland? North Yorkshire residents have been given their answer. However, Scotland’s homeowners might want to know if their homes would be covered by insurance companies for fracking-related damage resulting from subsidence, or contaminated water.

It says something when New York State bans fracking for public health reasons, and the links between the extraction process and methane emissions are being studied.

There are questions Scottish Government ministers must address, and the general public would be better to ask them and get answers before rather than after things don’t work out quite as well for our economy as is so airily promised.

Jim Craigen

Downie Grove, Edinburgh

Wind farm fears

The RSPB has suggested that thousands more wind turbines could be built with minimal risk to birds and the countryside. What nonsense.

The RSPB rationale is that climate change is the greater threat to wildlife. If that is the case, why is the rest of the world still burning coal – even Germany, which already has more than 22,000 wind turbines? Are these countries not worrying or is the UK the only country which believes in climate change?

At present the UK has 5,000 wind turbines. The RSPB suggestion that another 25,000 would be needed is environmentally insane. Already our countryside has been spoiled by wind turbines and another 25,000 would leave it an industrial wasteland.

Birds and bats will be decimated now, not as the RSPB claims by climate change in some time in the far-off future.

It’s time for RSPB supporters to realise the damage being done to wildlife and the environment in their name and cancel their subscriptions to send a strong message to the RSPB executives.

Clark Cross

Springfield Road, Linlithgow

A wind farm within the ClydeMuirshiel Regional Park near Greenock has just been passed on appeal by one unelected government Reporter against the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage.

Regional Parks were created, as were National Parks, for the benefit of the public. The Reporter admits the adverse impacts, but says they are worth it for the delivery of electricity.

I find it so distressing that one man’s opinion can ­overrule not only the national body to protect the environment but also the elected council and the wishes of the local people.

A group of us spent ten years preserving the views of the Pentland Hills Regional Park from three large wind farm applications and had public support. My heart goes out 
to all the people who have fought the Save Our Regional Parks campaign for just as long and now have to see their valued ClydeMuirshiel Park blighted.

Is it coincidence this decision comes just after the election? What about all the other wind farm applications which are in the pipeline?

Celia Hobbs

Peebles Road, Penicuik

Welcome roles

As the country sees the make-up of the new Scottish Parliament, we should take stock. We have seen some new members and some not so new members of the Cabinet, and the establishment of new ministerial roles.

Highlighting a couple of those new ministerial posts, one of which is social security (Jeane Freeman), a very welcome move – but we must remember only 14 per cent of the welfare spend in Scotland is being devolved, so the minister’s hands may be tied. Another very welcome position is a minister for mental health (Maureen Watt). The Scottish Government is clearly determined to make a difference in this crucial issue.

The Scottish Government is demonstrating determination to tackle those issues at source, right in the heart of our communities.

Catriona C Clark

Banknock, Falkirk

Ethical actions

Doug Clark (Letters, 24 May) misses the point. He suggests ethical statements could be made and actions performed by unbelievers just as well as by believers. Of course they could. But the question is not could they, but would they?

Individuals who become believers discover that their thinking is transformed by a Christian world view. Consequently they find themselves behaving in ways that they would not have done whilst still unbelieving. That some unbelievers might behave similarly does not invalidate the experience of people who have come to believe.

Geoff Miller

Newtyle, Blairgowrie