Readers' Letters: Come on audiences, get reporting those offensive Fringe jokes!

Further to the always insightful Kate Copstick’s article (28 March) about the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crime and Public Disorder Act (Scotland), I suggest those against this indulged law take matters into their own hands at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Could performers at Edinburgh Fringe face prosecution due to Humza Yousaf's Hate Crimes law?Could performers at Edinburgh Fringe face prosecution due to Humza Yousaf's Hate Crimes law?
Could performers at Edinburgh Fringe face prosecution due to Humza Yousaf's Hate Crimes law?

Throughout the whole of August, hundreds of comedians will tell tens of thousands of jokes, the overwhelming majority of which will belittle at least one individual or group. Almost every joke has a victim. So, with Police Scotland promising to investigate every complaint of hate crime, including within the performing arts, those amongst the half a million punters and 50,000 creatives attending the Fringe who disagree with this law should report every comedian they see.

Ross Smith, St John’s Wood, London

What bias?

Over the last few weeks there has been a stream of outrage from columnists and correspondents regarding the “nazi-like” Scottish Government’s “state-control” of the police.

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Apparently, they are subservient to the SNP and can be deployed against political opponents, journalists, comedians and just about anyone who even thinks inappropriately.

Would this be the same Police Scotland that launched a criminal investigation into the SNP, erected a crime-scene tent outside Nicola Sturgeon’s house, arrested her, the SNP Treasurer and the Chief Executive, has spent more than £1 million and rising on the investigation and still, after three years and with a general election approaching, is unable to conclude what, if anything, was happening in the finances of a medium-sized organisation with annual turnover of no more than £6m?

Robert Farquharson, Edinburgh

Needless despair

I am surprised that Marjorie Ellis Thompson (Letters, 29 March) feels “despair” at Douglas Cowe’s sensible comments (Letters, 28 March). I’d have thought she might have felt genuine despair at the home truths Scottish nationalists were told by Professor Mark Blyth, economist, of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, at a “Scotonomics” event last weekend.

Ms Thompson repeats the usual SNP mantras about other countries that Scotland should emulate, perhaps unaware that Prof Blyth’s view is that “Nationalist circles like to say that Scotland is a small, open economy like the Nordic economies. That’s a bit like saying ‘I’m a supermodel simply because I have legs’. It’s simply not true when you really think about it.”

Another of Ms Thompson’s repeat mantras is about “Scotland’s natural resources”. Prof Blyth’s riposte is: “You don’t own any of that. You don’t own your energy infrastructure… I don’t do fantasy economics. I’m too old for it.”

This comes from someone, Mark Blyth, who sympathises with separatists: “I fully understand the desire to be separate, but, you know, the idea that it isn’t going to hurt…ooft! You can’t really say that Brexit is the worst thing ever and then commit the biggest Brexit of all time, which is literally what this is.”

If nationalists like Ms Thompson started telling the truth about the problems a separate Scotland would face and the hardship it would entail, perhaps some of us who know that this is the truth would have some respect for them.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

Time frame

Thankfully the First Minister has decided that it would not be wise for the Scottish Government to commandeer the project to rebuild Glasgow School of Art. The burnt-out ruin of that building is probably in better shape than the ferries commandeered by the Scottish Government some years ago, so it is best left well alone.

Michael Dolan, Forres, Moray

Myrrh proof

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Eric J Scott states there is overwhelming evidence that Jesus rose from the dead (Letters, 28 March). Can he show us this evidence? Given advances in CGI, AI and a recent controversy over photo editing, any visual proof he can provide will be taken with a large pinch of myrrh.

John Wann, Edinburgh

Little evidence

“Evidence” for the Resurrection amounts to no more than superstitious stories and imagination. The one almost believable account is of “Jesus” appearing to his disciples at a lakeside (John 21). However, some disciples were not sure it was Jesus and did not recognise him. In fact, that whole chapter was written after John's death to try to explain why John died before Jesus returned. Evidently the figure they met was a shepherd who was concerned about his sheep.

Jesus died accidentally during or shortly after his crucifixion due to a Roman guard's spear thrust. That's why his body was removed overnight and taken away. He was probably already dead by then and was never seen again.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh​

A good death

In a country not renowned for its government giving the people a choice over how they should run their daily lives, the Assisted Dying Bill could potentially be one of the most important pieces of legislation to affect healthcare in Scotland, if implemented.

Polls seem to suggest wide public support for the law change, although other people, organisations and even The Scotsman seem unpersuaded by the arguments in favour of introducing the legislation. It’s heartbreaking to watch terminally ill people fade away in pain when medical science can do no more for them, and a living hell for carers and relatives. Is it compassionate to force terminally ill people to go to countries like Switzerland to end their lives and not have the option in their native country?

Of course, patients wanting to end their lives prematurely must be of a sound mind to make the decision and fully aware of the consequences.

Additionally, the provisions of the legislation should be scrutinised by the best legal minds to prevent any dilution of the element of choice.

It's a step into the unknown, but one which a caring and compassionate society must consider.

Bob MacDougall, Kippen, Stirlingshire​​​​​​

A modest target

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Scotland's capacity for renewable electricity generation grew by 10 per cent in 2023, driven by onshore and offshore wind (your report, 29 March).

However, the amount generated fell by 7 per cent compared to the previous year due to less favourable weather conditions in the first half of 2023. In the last 12 months wind supplied 30.8 per cent of our UK electricity, solar 4.1 per cent, nuclear 14.2 per cent and gas 32.9 per cent. That means to get rid of nasty gas and nasty nuclear we need more wind turbines.

The wind electricity is supplied by 11,000 turbines in Scotland so that means we only need to build another 22,000 to be gas and nuclear free. What are we waiting for?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Next generation

This week I left my cosy home and joined a few others to visit our Community Council meeting to voice opposition to a local planning issue currently trundling through the appeals procedure.

Unknown to me, the Community Council were needing comments on local planning proposals for a large solar panel array on farm land and a battery storage unit elsewhere locally.

Those lifting their heads from mobile phones will be aware of the visual impact of wind turbines and if they had actually walked the hills where these are erected have seen the vast infrastructure of road network that allow construction.

If we had a joined-up planning sector perhaps it might occur that large onshore wind farm sites could also accommodate solar panel farms and battery storage units all together on the one site to utilise the infrastructure of roads and grid connections rather than spread these throughout the country in an ad hoc manner.

Probably a step too far!

T Lewis, Coylton, Ayrshire

It’s unfair

The Scottish Government has ruthlessly pursued a wind farm policy that I believe is inherently unfair.

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It is unfair that there has been no overall plan to put wind farms where the wind speed is greatest with the least destruction of our scenery, with proper grid connections to minimise constraint payments.

It is unfair that location has depended on which landowner puts their hand up, causing expense to councils and communities defending their area against a circus of lawyers and experts.

It is unfair the Government has overruled 46 per cent of council decisions on wind farms under 50MW at Appeal since 2007.

It is unfair that residents in the country have had huge structures forced on them with no compensation.

It is unfair that rural societies have been split by the bribe of community benefit.

It is unfair that the SNP has adopted the Greens Manifesto as policy for wind farms was voted for by just 8 per cent of the population.

It is unfair on lovers of the countryside to turn the wind industry into an export industry with no mandate.

Please, readers, do what you can to save our way of life. Engage in local battles.

Celia Hobbs, Penicuik, Midlothian

Write to The Scotsman

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