Readers Letters: Scottish Greens say 'follow the science' - when it suits them

A leading Scottish Green, Ross Greer, has described the Cass Review – the very epitome of science and evidence-based research and conclusions – as “a straight-up transphobic and conservative document”. Mr Greer is not known for his intellectual brilliance, that is accepted, but his recent remarks were nonetheless mind-blowing.
MSP Ross Greer dismissed the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People led by experienced paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass as 'a straight up transphobic and conservative document' (Picture: National World)MSP Ross Greer dismissed the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People led by experienced paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass as 'a straight up transphobic and conservative document' (Picture: National World)
MSP Ross Greer dismissed the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People led by experienced paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass as 'a straight up transphobic and conservative document' (Picture: National World)

To those of us who have to listen to the Scottish Greens continually lecture us on our approach to climate change, and scornfully inform those with a smidgen of doubt to “follow the science”, it is downright insulting.

Basically, he is saying: “Follow the science and evidence but only when it agrees with our Green dogma.” In the meantime, don't follow the Cass Review science and let the potential damage to our most vulnerable young people continue unabated.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Scotland’s way

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Jill Stephenson (Letters, 23 April) is concerned about Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie’s response to the Cass Review. MSP Michelle Thomson has accused Harvie of not respecting experts and denying science: “It is, in effect, a form of science denialism. That's heading towards the world of Trump.”

This is a little hard on Donald Trump, because he was shown how it was done here in Scotland when his golf course was passed on appeal in 2007 against scientific advice. Similarly, 49 per cent of council decisions on wind farms, based on expert advice, have been overturned at appeal since 2007 according to the Government’s own website.

Celia Hobbs, Penicuik, Midlothian

Faint praise

The regular Scottish Government supporters continue to trot out (dubious) statistics claiming how much better Scotland is doing compared to England.

Should the yardstick not be a measure of what is actually fit for purpose for the service being measured, not a comparison to a selected poorer performer, even if that indeed is the case?

Derek Sharp, Edinburgh

Try harder

There are definite trends in current news. The SNP blame Westminster for everything – climate target failures and failing education standards are the latest in a long line. Soon I suspect it will be the ferry fiasco. Next, Scottish Government ministers keep suggesting new taxes to fleece an already hard-pressed population – domestic air travel and road use taxes being the latest.

Nowhere is there any good news, suggestions that might boost the Scottish economy or schemes to make the country a better place to live in. I say this in the face of Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater actually saying that the Greens “have achieved more for the people and planet in the past 32 months than other parties have in decades”. My reply? How about actually trying to achieve one thing that society might regard as useful? We do not have a government; we have overseers with personal agendas and grievances.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Worrying thought

I seem to recall, in the distant past when police first started to concentrate on thought crime rather than policing our streets, predicting that it would all end in tears. Now we have a debate going on about whether “silent prayer can be intimidating”.

Firstly, if silent, how can one even tell someone IS praying? There are some gestures that could be said to be prayer related, but may simply be gestures of habit by persons of some faiths.Will it soon be an arrestable crime in Scotland to be “openly” or “overtly” Christian, Jewish, Hindu or other faith group?

Ian McNicholas, Ebbw Vale, Wales

Saw it coming

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Now the Greens are talking about withdrawing from the Bute House agreement, saying that red lines have been crossed. Let's not forget that Lorna Slater went on record saying that independence for Scotland would NOT be a red line in any future agreement with the Labour Party to form a Scottish Government.

Clearly the aim of the Greens is to hold Government positions in perpetuity, regardless of which party holds the majority. I consider their intention to gain power disproportionate to their electoral standing an affront to democracy. I saw through their plan on the day that the Bute House agreement was announced, promptly leaving the SNP in anticipation of where this would lead.

SNP environmental policies were coming along nicely without the need for a standing arrangement with the Greens. The prior Green leverage that produced workplace car parking charges in return for votes in favour of an SNP budget should have served as a warning of things to come.

I might consider re-joining the SNP if they push the Greens before they jump so that we can all get back to the business of pursuing independence for our nation.

Ni Holmes, St Andrews, Fife

Zero need

Net Zero Secretary Mairi McAllan letting slip that a ban on all petrol and diesel cars was even raised for discussion to meet arbitrary carbon emission targets confirms just how ludicrous this convoluted nonsense is. Even if Scotland and its economy ground to a halt completely it wouldn't make the slightest difference to the planet's environment.

If you are willing to ignore the evidence to the contrary that lies around Scotland's landscape and do believe man's carbon output is the sole driver of environmental change, bear in mind that the increase in that of China in the first quarter of last year surpassed the entire United Kingdom's output for the whole of the previous year and it has only risen since. Scotland is an irrelevance in this regard and it is notable Net Zero's cost/benefit analysis has never been brought out into the open for the public to see the huge sacrifices demanded of them for no benefit at all.

Scotland has as much need of a Net Zero Secretary as a motorbike needs an ashtray.

Hamish Hossick, Dundee

Unit costs

It was interesting to note that Patrick Harvie has made no mention of how flat owners can cover the £40,000 cost of a heat pump, rural Scots can afford the £33,000 bill to upgrade their property to the requisite EPC rating or those living in fuel poverty can meet the Increase in energy bills when gas (6p/unit) is replaced with renewable electricity at 24p/unit. Perhaps the Cabinet Secretary can outline the SNP/Green solution to such costs?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

Fair grievance

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Mary Thomas (Letters,18 April), in reply to Martin Redfern (Letters, 17 April), introduces a refreshing note in drawing attention to the numerous good things that the Scottish Government has overseen. Of course, like all governments it has its failures too, but Mary Thomas did not mention another very favourable difference.

The highly respected Institute of Fiscal Studies noted last year that they found that the poorest 10 per cent of the Scottish people were, on average, £580 better off than their English counterparts. Moreover, for myself, I am happy that the additional 1 per cent of income tax in Scotland, paid by only 11 per cent, helps that.

Identifying, and often exaggerating, grievances is what opposition parties do. Very many are fully justified. Not only Scotland, but Wales and Northern Ireland remain fundamentally subject to a Westminster government whose economic policies over recent decades have been manufacturing nearly the poorest economy in Western Europe, one far behind many. The financial crisis of 2008 and the Covid pandemic are no excuse; the rest of Europe faced these too. It has again become Europe’s “sick man”. That is a fair grievance about the Westminster government, not only for Scotland but for most of the people of the UK.

Duncan Clark, Edinburgh

Writing on wall

It was good to see our First Minister with a smile on his face, knowing that he still has the support of 2,000 flag-waving Scots in an election year. However, had he raised his gaze above navel level he would have seen 45,000 supporters turning out to watch Celtic play Aberdeen. If ever there was an example of “the writing is on the wall” surely that was it?

Bruce Proctor, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Big question

Recent events in Scotland beg a very simple and obvious question that remains unanswered and that is why would so many of my fellow Scots vote for the SNP again at any future election.

This SNP administration is undoubtedly the most ineffective, incompetent and inept government administration ever to hold the levers of power and yet it could still win the most seats in Scotland at an election. What is it that makes the folly of independence seem like the promised land of milk and honey when, after so many years of SNP incompetence, our country is broken, divided and has become a laughing stock?

Perhaps it may be the case that the ridiculous and dangerous Hate Crime Act, further ferry delays and the potential departure of the ludicrous Green Party from Government will finally persuade the voters to comprehensively vote them out of office at the first available opportunity.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh

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