Those of us who live in such areas are penalised simply for where we are born. And yet these communities are and have always been a part of Scotland, historically and culturally. Basic human rights such as healthcare, the right to travel, the right to employment and to a range of simple human needs and services should not be left unfulfilled because of your proximity or otherwise to the country’s main administrative centres. Living in Dunoon (hardly remote) my autistic son has been failed by public services all his young life. After a recent and severe crisis we have been informed that our health authority has only one functioning adolescent psychiatrist. We fall under Highland Health Board and the specialist is based in Inverness!
In Argyll, I do not think anyone could defend the current Scottish Government-run debacle that is Calmac. We are also affected by the ongoing Rest and be Thankful farce. Meanwhile the silence from our MSP and MP continues to be deafening.
After a decade and a half of SNP government many had expected improvement, not decline to our essential services and infrastructure. Our government is always happy to promote our beautiful country for its own benefit but it’s high time that they provided fairly for those of us who live there.
Duncan F MacGillivray, Dunoon, Argyll & Bute
Sign me up
The Prime Minister is just one of many people urging the over-70s to get a booster vaccination. I would be delighted to get one if only someone would tell me how to.
Peter M. Dryburgh, Edinburgh
This week the Conservative government voted against a House of Lords amendment to the Environment Bill which would have made it illegal for water companies to dump sewage into our waterways. Raw sewage can now be dumped legally into our rivers and seas.Those voting in favour of legalised sewage dumping included the Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross and his five MP colleagues.
Although morally and environmentally repugnant, it does provide a fitting metaphor for what this utterly corrupt and clueless government has done, and continues to do, to our country.
D Mitchell, Edinburgh
Blade of glory?
Looking at the spectacular, front-page picture of Danny MacAskill stunt-cycling along a wind turbine blade in Saturday’s Scotsman, I wonder who is actually more terrified? Danny, or the wind industry terrified at losing the subsidies now the intelligent among us have seen through the scam?
The desperation of the wind industry in pulling stunts like this to keep the vast subsidies rolling in proves precisely why wind turbines are just not up to the job of “saving the planet”. The enormous blade is stock still. It must have been windless, and flat calm to allow a stunt like this to take place.
In recent weeks, the European continent has suffered blackouts, near-blackouts, and skyrocketing electricity prices triggered by a massive lull in wind. Grid operators rushed to buy fuel and fire up old gas and coal-fired plants. Europe petitioned Russia for more natural gas, and German coal plants ran out of fuel; even long-forgotten oil-fired power plants were pressed into emergency service on grids from Sweden to Asia.
Which all goes to prove why an analysis using data from ten EU countries, published in May 2018, affirmed that wind power “amplifies the growth of fossil fuels”, and “preserves fossil fuel dependency” because for every 1 per cent increase in the installed capacity of wind power, a quarter as much again is permanently required as back-up. Far from conning the public, the stunt and the picture has spectacularly backfired!
Yours, facing ever more terrifying electricity bills.
George Herraghty, Elgin, Moray
The whole story?
The Prince of Wales has told how his grandson Prince George is learning about climate change and how global warming i s causing "big storms, floods, droughts, fires and food shortages" (your report, 19 October).
For goodness sake, he is only eight years old. I hope that he is told that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly said that it had low confidence that global warming had any impact on the frequency or severity of floods, that hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical storms show a decreasing trend and that droughts were less severe.
Prince Charles might also tell Prince George that the 2006 Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth contained nine scientific errors and that a UK judge had said it was unfit for schools because it was politically biased, and teachers should point out the controversial or disputed sections. One part said that sea levels would rise by 20 feet “in the very near future”. Prince George could ask his grandfather when the remaining 19 feet 11.5 inches will appear and when The Maldives will sink below the waves.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian
I was disappointed by the article “Covid Scotland: No vaccine passport enforcement in all major Scottish cities” (23 October). The Scottish Government is trying everything possible to ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of Scotland. Many European countries have adopted Covid passports, and indeed, it was a move that the UK government was planning until recently. In the face of rising cases throughout the UK, and in particular England, for Scottish Labour to criticise these efforts as a "publicity stunt" reflects extremely badly on them. They are like school bullies gleefully clapping at any perceived failure. Surely it is time to get behind the Scottish Government and offer support, not simply try to score points. As a former Labour supporter, criticism like this simply serves to remind me that the move I made was the right one.
Stuart Smith, Aberdeen
Mary Thomas (Letters, 23 October) should reread her efforts and realise her argument actually illustrates exactly the case made by “Scotland in Union.”
Doubtless exacerbated by the UK’s Brexit, she points out that EU member Ireland has lost what previously was its biggest market and its effective short ferry and road route to Europe. She predicts EU member Scotland would have the same relationship as the rest of the EU has with England, without noting the border turbulence and damaging impact the UK is currently suffering. She fails to register the trade complexity and political instability currently being fought out between the UK and EU over the effective border with Ireland in the Irish Sea. It could be argued that the precarious nature of the Good Friday Agreement heightens a border difficulty that Scotland would not have with England.
Perhaps, but creating and enforcing a new EU border on the mainland risks any number of unintended consequences.
Kit Fraser, Dunbar, East Lothian
Ken Currie says the many failures of the SNP administration have been claimed by them as successes (Letters, 23 October). I can only conclude that the SNP is full of people who do not recognise truth. Having read Mary Thomas’s letter the same day, her line, “if Scotland chooses to join the EU...” only reinforced my view that SNP supporters are out of touch with reality. To my knowledge, the EU has never invited Scotland to make such a move, and is highly unlikely ever so to do. Why would the members of the EU wish to take on the basket case that Scotland is fast becoming?
EP Carruthers, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire
While I don’t condone the antisocial behaviour of some young people at the moment, I can understand a potential reason for the increase in such behaviour. We’re living through anxious times, and the current situation is the result of the decisions taken by their elders over the last few decades. This is having a negative impact on the younger generation. While we, the older generation, have lived our lives without having to worry about a pandemic, and all the restrictions which have arisen from that, young people are being faced with a precarious situation for which they bear no responsibility.
When teenagers are angry and feel helpless about a situation which is beyond their control, they vent their anger by being disruptive. Their behaviour gets them attention from adults, and even though it’s negative attention, it’s better than being ignored. I appreciate that some readers who have lived through the Second World War, with all the devastation and deprivation which resulted from that situation, will have little sympathy for the concerns of young people today, but each generation has to cope with the problems of their time.
It’s never easy being young. Show empathy, rather than outraged intolerance.
Carolyn Taylor, Dundee
I'm friendly with one of the players from the 1971 League Cup Final. He played with the Partick Thistle team. I said to him, I imagine you will have your cup final winning jersey framed and on display. What he said amazed me. After the game the jerseys went into the laundry basket for use for the next league game. Unbelievable. Nowadays cup final jerseys are always embroidered with the date and who they played against.
Jim Reilly, Hawick, Scottish Borders
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