Politicial parties must address nuclear power - your views

Gina Davidson has given a comprehensive analysis of the Ipsos MORI poll (Scotsman, February 26).

The poll predicts that the SNP will win 72 of the 129 seats at Holyrood. This prediction causes me great concern as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and now must urgently tackle the climate emergency.

Both the SNP and Green Party support a target of reaching net zero carbon emissions in Scotland by 2045. Unfortunately these two parties are opposed to nuclear energy and will block any planning application for such plants.

Without nuclear capacity, Scotland will become dependent on electricity from nuclear and gas generation plants in England and Wales, and is unlikely to achieve net zero for some decades.

The climate emergency policy should be the most important issue addressed by political parties before the Scottish Parliament elections in May

Because Scotland is part of the Great Britain grid system it is important to realise that to meet net zero, the electricity output in GB will have to increase by over 100% by 2040 from 35 GW to approx. 72 GW.

All credible experts advising on energy make clear that nuclear power is the only carbon-free energy source that can reliably deliver power at any time and has been proven to work on a large scale.

These experts find it hard to imagine in the future how, not only Scotland and Great Britain but other major industrial countries, will decarbonise their power grids affordably without increasing nuclear power.

In my opinion it is important that political parties make clear to the electorate how, when and at what cost they hope to achieve net zero, keeping in mind that without including nuclear energy in their proposals, they will not merit your vote to ensure affordable electricity in Scotland and the future of our planet.

C Scott, Mortonhall Road, Edinburgh

Labour lament

So bitter is Brian Wilson’s weekly diatribe against the SNP, (Scotsman February 27) it is becoming a source of amusement.

What politically does he think the union has to offer a left of centre country like Scotland now that the Tories lean heavily towards Faragism and Sir Keir Starmer has abandoned the Corbyn project?

Perhaps Wilson pins his hopes on the unlikely event of Scottish voters returning en masse to the latest version of New Labour.

Unlikely, because the red Tory label will prove hard to live down. Maybe he ought to place the blame for this where it belongs rather than continually venting his spleen against the SNP and all its works.

All the SNP did was occupy the ideological space abandoned by the Labour Party.

A Mcleish, Ashley Drive, Edinburgh

Holyrood panto

With the pantomime season in full swing at Holyrood, accusations and counter accusations flying in all directions, it is well to remember that the issue could be resolved very simply.

If the Scottish government released the legal advice it received in relation to Alex Salmond's judicial review, it would be crystal clear whether they were following an impartial process or pursuing a vendetta against him. Twice parliament has voted for the advice to be published and twice John Swinney has declined to follow the will of parliament.

You do not have to be a conspiracy theorist to conclude that the government was advised that Salmond would win but chose to defend their position anyway, costing the taxpayers over half a million pounds in the process. There can be only one motive for such behaviour.

Scotland is now making international headlines but not in a good way. The fact that the head of our prosecution service is a political appointee is a serious blot on our liberal democratic credentials.

The Scottish government ignoring the will of parliament has further damaged our reputation. Show us the legal advice and let's get this damaging farce over with.

Carole Ford, Terregles Avenue, Glasgow

Salmond revisited

Alex Salmond was widely praised for his performance on Friday. Patient, polite, well prepared and refusing to make claims and accusations without producing evidence or assuring and convincing us it exists.

He reminded us of the importance of democracy, justice and proper use of civil servants, freely admitting the current situation would not happen in Westminster.

Sadly he didn't conduct the 2014 referendum with the same honesty and decency. Instead he deployed the civil service to create a "Scotland's Future" manifesto that ludicrously claimed we’d be up and running in 18 months and fast tracked into the EU, all at a cost, he asserted with no authoritative evidence, of "as little as" £200m. In the case of the EU he refused to release the letter – the evidence – from the EU that confirmed this.

If he had, I'm sure, like the more realistic Growth Commission Report, the campaign would never have got off the ground, but at least his proposition would have got a proper, democratic, reasoned hearing and we might have avoided splitting families, friendships, workplaces and commercial relationships, and avoided another seven years of decline, division and indy can-kicking.

I suppose we should just be grateful that his time in the wilderness and damascene conversion to truth has enabled him to ignite the process of slaying the monster he created, ran and bequeathed to the nation.

Sturgeon's resignation should only be the start, We need a new government to get to the bottom of the Line of Duty – like corruption and human tragedies - the nest of vipers that Brian Wilson called it - that lie behind this.

Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven

Sarwar’s saga

I think most sane people in Scotland are pleased that Anas Sarwar has won the Scottish Labour leadership election. He will know himself that he will not get a honeymoon period of any sort. The Scottish political establishment will be out to get him from the outset, and we need to hope that he can deal with that.

His priority is to make his party in Scotland look credible and electable. He needs to make an ally of his party leader at a UK level, and not try to differentiate their positions for the sake of it. They both stand a chance of making a success of their respective positions if they work together, but divided they will fall. The Labour Party above all others should understand that.

Mr Sarwar must not get pulled in to the nonsense that is currently overtaking Scottish politics. Let Jackie Baillie deal with that. She is quite capable and effective.

His priority is to tell people in Scotland what his party are about before May 6. In 2016, Scottish Labour only published their manifesto on the Monday before the election, when postal votes had already been posted, and almost everyone knew already who they would be voting for. That cannot happen again.

Labour voters want a big, bold but credible vision, and if Mr Sarwar can do that, he will claw back SNP votes as well.

Above all else, he needs to concentrate on setting a Labour agenda. If he mentions the “I” word at all, he is giving oxygen to the agenda of his opponents. Mr Sarwar needs to set his own agenda.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire

Time for change

What an absolute hot bed of intrigue there currently is at Holyrood. The press is full of the parliamentary inquiry set up to investigate the role played by senior politicians, including the current First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in an alleged conspiracy against former First Minister Alex. Salmond.

But the current SNP administration seems intent on trying to undermine the powers granted to this Scottish parliament Inquiry.

It has to be remembered that Alex Salmond was acquitted on all charges faced by him in the High Court of Justiciary; and that later in a civil case raised by him in the Court of Session he was awarded over £500,000 in legal expenses against the Scottish parliament.

Following current events it surely follows that the whole structure of the Scottish parliament must surely be brought into question.

It has come to light, for instance, that the Lord Advocate, a senior member of the justiciary, would appear to be heavily involved in political matters at Holyrood, which is the legislature. I am certain that to members of the public that would seem to represent a conflict of interest.

I am sure the majority of folks in Scotland are becoming weary of the intrigue which has become common-place at Holyrood. We really do need to see major changes take place on the political stage.

As one example, I feel it is ludicrous that the SNP insists that the Scottish parliamentary elections should still be held as scheduled on May 6.

Heavens above, we are still in the throes of a pandemic! Why on earth have we to strictly obey the lockdown rules presented to us by First Minister Sturgeon, but it is OK for her to open up the polling stations?

Just another example of why we desperately need a change of government at Holyrood.

Robert I G Scott, Ceres, Fife

Begum exile

Although there should be a serious debate as to the circumstances in which citizenship can ever be withdrawn – for any such options might all too easily be abused – Shamima Begum’s exile could hardly be more self-imposed.

It was she, not we, who did the ‘rejecting’. It was she, not we, who looked at the murderous slave-state ISIS was creating and thought ‘my kind of people!’It is perhaps not fully realised in this country how truly evil the reign of ISIS was. Shamima Begum should receive the level of sympathy accorded to the female guards who volunteered for the Nazi concentration camps, of whom she is the moral equivalent.

Niall M Robertson, Letham Road, Perth