Energy prices continue to go up with gas and electricity bosses raking it in at taxpayers’ and consumers’ expense. No strategy has been forthcoming from all the Truss/Sunak electioneering. Strikes in various sectors of the economy are looming with labour shortages in other areas, not least the NHS.Brexit was supposed to give us more control over the economy yet more companies are in foreign hands, often making use of private equity interests financed by British banks.Politicians have lived up to expectations and have let down the British people and have simply no answer to the problems engulfing society. Help!
Jim Craigen, Edinburgh
I hate to lock horns with another Clan member but Robert Scott seems to be not so much from Ceres as from a cloud cuckoo land of Conservative-owned, London-based tabloids.
Does he want to continue to get his prescriptions free, possibly travel on the bus free, get free eye tests? Does he like the idea of free education up to and including University? Does he believe that free personal and nursing care that costs his English counterparts up to £1,600 a week is a good thing? Does he realise that council tax and heating costs are minimised for Scotland’s poor? Or perhaps he does but does not care?
At present Scotland is self sufficient in oil, gas and renewable energy. We would not face an energy crisis if our power was not shared with the rest of the UK. That alone should galvanise my fellow Scott to want Independence.
Listen to Brexiteer propaganda by all means but believe in Scotland.
Elizabeth Scott, Edinburgh
Mary Thomas repeats the customary SNP canard about electricity and renewables, albeit it in forked tongue mode (Letters, 2 September). She tells us “Scotland generated over 97 per cent of its electricity from renewables in 2020” and that “with independence, all of our energy needs could be met by renewables”.
The truth, as exposed by the Full Fact website, is that Scotland exports some of its renewables’ energy and therefore itself uses a significant amount of non-renewables’ energy: “In 2020, 56 per cent of the electricity consumed in Scotland came from renewable sources.”
This may seem a small point, but it is a matter of accuracy and highlights the tendency Scottish separatists have to be cavalier – to be polite – with figures.
Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh
Apart from that...
The Director of this year’s Edinburgh Military Tattoo should hang his head in shame.
There was no narrator. There was no evening hymn. There was no Auld Lang Syne.
What is the world coming to?
Also, when we have an American Forces band in town why is it that we always have to listen to the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, which is excruciating. Is there nothing else that they can play ?
Iain Munro, Bebington, Wirral
Refugee minister Neil Gray boasts that Scotland is taking in more Ukrainian refugees per head of population than any other part of the UK. Were it the other way around Mr. Gray would not be so hasty blowing the SNP trumpet. The UK government was asked by the SNP to be allowed to throw the doors open to those unfortunate people without first having a credible plan.
It’s glaringly obvious by the length of housing waiting lists and the amount of people sleeping on the streets that Scotland does not have the necessary accommodation required. As usual, another back-of-a-fag-packet plan in an attempt to get one over on Westminster, and the Ukrainians end up in unsuitable floating hotels. By all means help what people you can but not to the detriment of all of them.
Ian Balloch, Grangemouth, Falkirk
There’s no fuel
Was Liz Truss blind or stupid when she proposed the resumption of oil and gas extraction? Does she think that pumping more oil and gas will make an iota of difference to the price of these commodities? Since the area of flooded Pakistan is greater than the entire area of the UK, can she not see that anyone foolish enough to accept a fossil fuel extraction job will be forever pilloried by people suffering from climate change disasters, and be accused till their dying day of stealing water, food and land from such people?
This is the way Tory politicians think – that what we need, are more fossil fuel jobs for an overpaid elite to make money on other peoples' misery.
H Belda, Penicuik, Midlothian
Oil over place
Nicola Sturgeon is a bit of an expert at flip-flopping. Having found her new best friends in the sheep-hugging Greens, she suddenly finds that the real world is intruding on her separatist love-fest. Oil has become a dirty word to her, or maybe it isn't… or maybe it is. She just doesn't want to let on.
How does a leader who was once wedded to oil and who then jumped ship manage to board it again? With difficulty.
In Aberdeen the oil price is beginning to give our rather tatty city some hope again. People are getting back into jobs in the oil sector, but we need to use our oil and gas resources and use them now. Meanwhile, the Chinese-built turbines are disfiguring our much-prized landscapes and there are plans for even more of them not to provide wind just when you need it.The option of having clean nuclear power when you need it, without damaging the environment, is on offer to Holyrood by the Government, but the SNP say they will block it. They would rather have no power in Scotland in the dark days of midwinter and ensure that Chinese workers get the business than that Scottish businesses can continue to work and the people of Scotland stay warm.
I remember the three-day week in the Seventies, even if Nicola Sturgeon doesn't. I remember when we had no light – or candle-light at best – thanks to power-cuts. Nicola Sturgeon doesn't.
It is high time that these blinkered people whose only focus is on breaking up the UK did some work for a change and made use of all the resources we have. Nuclear is an obvious one.
Dave Anderson, Aberdeen
It’s our right
Perhaps William Ballantine has access to more information than the rest of us but claiming that all who vote for Labour, Liberal Democrat and even the Conservative and Unionist parties in Scotland do not support the right of the Scottish people to determine their own destiny, never mind hold another referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future, would appear at the very least misguided (Letters, 31 August).
While the Tories do not even seem to know the number of legitimate members of their own party, the Labour Party know that in accordance with their party’s founding principles around forty per cent of their supporters back self-determination. This number will likely increase as the morale and economic structures of the United Kingdom continue to collapse under an ideological right-wing government.
However, if Mr Ballantine is genuinely confident in his political arithmetic he should welcome, and probably even encourage, the forthcoming constitutional plebiscite which in theory should end the SNP’s long-held dominance of government within Scotland.
Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian
Your Mikhail Gorbachev obituary describes Boris Yeltsin as a “proclaimed free-marketeer”, but it was he who presided over the devaluation of the savings of millions and enabled the kleptocratic oligarchs to take over vast swathes of Russia’s banking and industrial economy as their personal fiefdoms. They financed Yeltsin’s 1996 election campaign in exchange for shares in state enterprises at well below market value – hardly classic free enterprise capitalism.
The West’s problem was that President Bill Clinton did not even realise that his prime and almost sole objective in office was to sustain and ensure the fledgling democratisation begun by Gorbachev and Yeltsin – but instead, inter alia, he blithely and prematurely encouraged Nato’s expansion eastwards which (whether or not Russia’s leaders had been assured to the contrary) not unnaturally offended and scared them.
Margaret Thatcher advocated extreme caution in both German reunification and even the dismantling of the Warsaw Pact, warning that Gorbachev needed a “fig-leaf” to convince his suspicious colleagues and countrymen that warmer relations with the West were to their advantage. She was right, but had lost her previous authority and was unwisely ignored.
Russia’s problem was that Gorbachev and Yeltsin could not set aside their mutual personal hostility and cooperate. Yeltsin insulted Gorbachev in public, was often boorish and inebriated, and was volatile, changing his prime ministers frequently, including – for still-unexplained reasons – his astonishing choice of an ex-KGB officer, Vladimir Putin, first as his PM and then as his preferred presidential successor.
Our problem for the next generation at least, thanks to the above and, very largely, to the EU’s actions led by a reunited Germany, is that our relations with Russia are set back 40 years, exacerbated by an effective new Axis of Russia, Belarus, China, N Korea and Iran, strengthened by their increased influence in the rest of Asia and in Africa and South America.
John Birkett, St Andrews, Fife
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