Readers' Letters: SNP's Stephen Flynn 'patronising and disrespectful' to questioner

I share Jill Stephenson’s concern that the sacred saltire affixed to Stephen Flynn’s lapel on BBC Scotland’s Debate Night might be seen by others as an affirmation of the increasingly delusional notion that the SNP speak for the Scottish people (Letters, 25 September). Every week that goes by this is becoming less and less true, if ever, in fact, it was the case in recent years.
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn appeared on Debate Night, hosted by The Scotsman's Stephen Jardine, last week (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn appeared on Debate Night, hosted by The Scotsman's Stephen Jardine, last week (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn appeared on Debate Night, hosted by The Scotsman's Stephen Jardine, last week (Picture: Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Mr Flynn’s patronising and disrespectful response to a young person asking a “perfectly legitimate question” will not impress an increasingly discerning electorate. waking up to the SNP “continuity” government's failed Westminster-blaming approach to health and education problems devolved to them.

If Conservative activists started sporting our patron saint’s flag more often and left the “Disunion Jack” back at HQ then a new era of political consensus might evolve to ensure this nation's emancipation from poverty, exploitation and cultural annihilation that would secure our children's wellbeing as independence gave way to consenting interdependence with the other nations of the world who are eagerly waiting to greet them.

Andrew Docherty, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire

Worst predators

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John Elliot is concerned about the distress experienced by hill sheep farmers in the west of Scotland when a sea eagle carries off a live lamb (Letters, 25 September). This is understandable, but the white-tailed sea eagle is more related to vultures than to golden eagles. They are very keen on carrion, like dead sheep, and they also feed on stranded fish.

Adult sheep in poor condition attract many potential predators, including foxes and unleashed dogs. Ravens, crows and gulls can also attack weakened sheep.

The difference between those predators and humans is that we have more varied options for food gathering, including supermarkets and farm shops. Other species have little choice but to seek nourishment where and when it’s available.

We slaughter around 1.2 billion animals every year for human consumption. Their deaths are not easy, no matter what slaughter technique is used. Most people don’t know about how things can go wrong, often causing great distress to the animals. Anyone with a modicum of sensitivity would be horrified by the gruesome details about those animals’ suffering.

Before we castigate wild birds for trying to survive, we should examine our own impact on the natural world. We are the most dangerous species on the planet, because we don’t always use our superior intelligence for the sake of our fellow humans, let alone for the protection of other creatures.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Hydrogen bombs

While I hope Labour win the next election, and also return a good result north of the Border, I was very disappointed to read that Scottish leader Anas Sarwar clearly has as little a grasp of basic science as most of his fellow people in government throughout the United Kingdom.

The concept that he is pushing, that hydrogen will be the number one option for domestic heating in Scotland (your report, 25 September), shows his complete lack of understanding of the physics of hydrogen, and is just classic net zero political soundbite over substance.

From experience, I know that hydrogen is a gas that’s incredibly difficult to produce and also incredibly difficult to handle safely in the petrochemical industries. The concept of having to manufacture a fuel, which you then intend to combust, on what would be an incredibly large scale throughout homes, is inefficient in energy terms while commercial valuations will show any kind of scale-up would be at massive cost, a massive cost that would ultimately fall on the consumer.

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The energy transition is a complex topic, not really suited to politicians, and until all the political leaders stop their point-scoring and begin to work together on a collective pragmatic solution, we will continue to go round in circles.

Chris Hilton FIChemE, Edinburgh

Net Zero cost

The claim by Humza Yousaf that “the SNP refuses to back down over net zero” highlights the problem for the SNP in that it is now a party for the rich. The failure of the SNP/Green alliance to heed the warning from the Swedish Company Vattenfall that the costs of implementing a green transition have doubled means the First Minister cannot indicate to the people of Scotland as to whether a green revolution has increased in cost to £300 billion, fitting a heat pump to a flat will now be priced at £80,000 and upgrading a rural property now comes with £60,000 of debt.

Only rich politicians could disregard the problem as to whether the total estimates of a green transition are now over £800bn and push on regardless of whether it would crash the economy in attempting to adopt such levels of debt – a repeat of Trussonomics by the First Minister.

It’s time, surely, for the SNP to read the Perspective article by John McLellan (26 September) and come clean on the debt accruing from their climate change plans,

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway


Cameron Rose is spot on when he comments on the net zero policy both the Westminster Government and the SNP are pursuing (Letters, 25 September). The economic effects will be acutely damaging and no real research has been carried out on the impossibility of creating enough electricity to power the electric cars we do not wish to buy. We have a grand total of only 4,000 charging points in the whole of Scotland!

Now we see the irresponsible Green spokesman, Patrick Harvie, condoning breaking the law in pursuit of his “climate change” religion. It would be interesting to see what he would say if those whose scientific warnings about climate alarmism he represents were to take action of their own against the damage he and his extremist bedfellows would inflict upon us.

Scientists have been trying to make their argument that there is no climate crisis to such people as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, but have been ignored.

The truth is that there is too much at stake financially for most people involved in promoting the “climate crisis” to be able to afford to be honest. How much does Patrick Harvie bring in a year? £99,516, as you're asking, and Lorna Slater the same. I read that Al Gore was worth $20 million when he left office and is now worth over $200 million. I don't know if that's true, or that Greta Thunberg is worth over a million and she isn't even 21 yet! Wow, is all I can say.

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Think what all the scientists at the University of East Anglia, whose hacked emails demonstrated climate skulduggery a few years ago, earn. That was swiftly brushed under the carpet, wasn’t it? Then, there are the salaries of all the other academics around the world who want to hold onto their well-paid jobs. It's a little-known fact that over 97 per cent of scientists agree with the policies made by the politicians who pay their salaries.

Peter Hopkins, Edinburgh

Charge Harvie

Scottish Greens minister Patrick Harvie, with his latest statement, is in effect inciting lawless actions with the possibility of violence and should be charged. This man should never have had a position in the government in the first place. His made-up title and gross salary are obscene. If the FM does not immediately express outrage at Harvie’s public statement and remove him from government, he will be showing lack of strong leadership. In fact he should be ditching this whole green coalition with their green dream uneconomical policies.

Charles Sinclair, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Practice, preachers!

Politicians, councillors, eco-warriors, those with “Climate” in their job title and everyone else on the Climate Gravy Train should lead by example and fit expensive heat pumps in their homes, not own or travel in a petrol/diesel vehicle, not fly or go on foreign holidays, avoid cruise ships, eat less meat and not cook with gas. They must also avoid sporting and music events.

The savings in greenhouse gases from these 500,000-plus people will enable the UK to achieve net zero well before 2050.

Why are they waiting?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Well Covid

Attempts to absolve the SNP from blame regarding the Edinburgh trams fiasco continue, in spite of that party being in charge at Holyrood when they were being constructed and when most of the money was being spent. Fraser Grant concludes his letter blaming everyone else (Letters, 25 September) by noting with disapproval that Wales won't be having its own public inquiry into Covid-19.

But there is one too many inquiries already. It is very hard to see what public health benefits will come from having one covering the whole of the UK as well as another one limited to Scotland. Infections north and south of the Border were caused by exactly the same virus and variants, with exactly the same pathological consequences, and social distancing and lockdowns were applied similarly.

And in both parts of Britain politicians broke the rules and were found out, with deleterious effects on their careers.

Nevertheless, there is a unifying factor regarding the Edinburgh tram and Covid public inquiries. They are legacies left by the departed; the tram inquiry was initiated by Alex Salmond, the Scottish Covid inquiry by Nicola Sturgeon, and the UK Covid one by Boris Johnson.

Hugh Pennington. Aberdeen

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