Readers' letters: Some home trusts on the property boom

It is not surprising that DJ Alexander (“Don’t be fooled by negative housing market headlines”, Scotsman, 15 June) states “… we do not want to talk ourselves into a downturn in the housing market, when it benefits no-one”.

It certainly does not benefit the estate agency sector, or those already on the housing ladder, but ignores the fact that we have a current housing emergency, with high numbers of homeless, rough sleepers, couch-surfers, householders struggling to pay rents or mortgages, and younger generations, with little hope of climbing on to, far less rising up, the ladder.

Lower costs of purchasing or renting homes may be the only hope for many, who cannot afford or even aspire to a home of their own.

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Those of us who, as homeowners or entrepreneurs in the housing sector, have seen several periods of substantial house price rises should not forget those who have not had these benefits.

Moving into a new home feels like an impossible dream for many ScotsMoving into a new home feels like an impossible dream for many Scots
Moving into a new home feels like an impossible dream for many Scots

​Peter Scott, Edinburgh

Double standards

How sanctimonious can someone act? I listened yesterday to Stephen Flynn berating Boris Johnson (probably deservedly) (Scotsman, 16 June) but go a stage further demanding that the cost to the public of his committee inquiry be reimbursed, that Johnson’s taxpayer funded allowances be withdrawn, and that he be put in a set of stocks for the public to throw rotten fruit at (I may have made up that last bit).

Can I remind him that in March 2021 Nicola Sturgeon was also found guilty by a parliamentary committee of misleading parliament over the Salmond inquiry. Eclipsing even that, she has actually just recently been arrested. So why not show sympathy for Boris?

Neither deserve sympathy but Flynn has to be displaying the ultimate in double standards.

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Bowled over

I understand that Nadine Dorries has decided to delay her formal resignation as a Member of Parliament until she is told precisely why she has been denied a peerage. Talk about throwing the toys out of the pram, all because mummy wouldn’t buy her a lollipop. Poor dear!

Mind you, I’m tempted to follow suit and refuse to resign from the Auchenshuggle Mixed Bowls Team until someone in Downing Street can explain what happened to my knighthood.

David Hamill, East Linton, East Lothian

Poll failings

The Scotsman reports “Slump in SNP support now stabilising, poll suggests” (16 June). There can only be two conclusions. Either the poll has got this badly wrong or Scots are still happy to be governed by a party which has failed in almost every conceivable way.

Sixteen years of SNP rule. latterly with Green aid, has not actually improved Scotland’s health service, education, transport, economy or practically anything else. If this poll is correct then we are just going to get more of the same at the next Holyrood election. Even independence is still un-costed and poorly explained as to its workings.

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If we don’t hold the current Scottish government to account at the next ballot box just where is Scotland heading?

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Don’t dismiss SNP

Jackie Baillie, depute Leader of Scottish Labour, is the epitome of schadenfreude as she rubs her hands, gleefully, at every piece of bad news for the SNP.

The problem for Jackie is that the people of Scotland will never vote for a Brexit party, and certainly not one whose energy policy would wipe out 90,000 oil and gas jobs in Aberdeen and north-east Scotland.

It is an education to follow recent Scottish Opinion Polls because You Gov, Survation, Redfield and Wilton and IPSOS continue to hover around 37/38 per cent SNP Support.

How can one explain this? Suppprt for independence is little changed despite all the SNP’s well documented calamities since early April. Some may be wishing to give the new First Minister a chance while it is hard to dislodge the mantle of Scotland’s party which the SNP took from Labour in 2007.

With the opposition parties ready to dance on their grave, could the SNP still rise from their sick bed?

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing, Fife

Labour pains

Far from abolishing the House of Lords, Labour peers failed to use the powers it does have by merely abstaining on Tuesday and thus supported Tory government plans to further curb citizens’ right to protest.

This was followed by Labour MPs abstaining rather than supporting an SNP proposal to set up a Westminster committee to examine the causes of the cost-of-living crisis and the impact of Brexit on the UK economy. Brexit is the reason for the UK’s much higher inflation and shortage of skilled workers desperately needed by Scotland’s tourist and agricultural sectors.

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Keir Starmer has U-turned on powering up a UK green economy using Scotland’s vast renewable energy supplies. After supposedly going to immediately abolish oil and gas extraction, he now claims that Scotland’s oil and gas, which we were told in 2014 by Better Together was worthless and running out, is needed by the UK for decades to come.

Rachel Reeves has rowed back on Labour’s grandiose plans for a Great British Energy Company as they are no longer going to invest £28 billion a year in green energy which is the latest in a long line of broken promises from Labour, which could have very real and damaging consequences for Scotland’s green energy potential.

Traditional Labour voters are also concerned by the drift towards increasing private health provision and means testing rather than universality, given their plans to rule out offering universal free childcare.

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh

Wind power blow

I have been monitoring the flow of electricity between Scotland and England during the past few days which shows Scotland to be consistently importing electricity and up to a massive 2.8GW at times. This is significantly more than half the average Scottish electricity demand of around 5GW.

This belies the repeated claims by politicians and wind developers who consistently tell us that renewable generation (mostly wind) meets our requirements and demonstrates the obvious truth that no matter how many wind turbines are built, they are useless when the wind does not blow. At present the installed wind generation capacity in Scotland is around 11GW with another 8.5GW approved or under construction and another 10GW at the planning stage.

This all-eggs-in-one-basket approach to energy supply/security is sheer madness with little or no consideration given to back-up needs when there is little or no wind and the lack of infrastructure to cope with these huge wind generation levels. There are no batteries on earth which can cope with and help balance such huge quantities.

GM Lindsay, Kinross, Perth & Kinross

Glass act

There is so much confusion about glass recycling, including in Frances Scott’s recent letter (15 June).

At present we buy milk in glass bottles which are returned for reuse. Otherwise our main use of glass is jars, some of which can be reused, some go for street recycling (less broken glass than collection at the gate). What glass is not reused goes to make cullet – ie it is recycled to make more glass. The proposed deposit scheme would use this to make roads! Some of our bottles are from a brewery in West Berkshire. How would we return the empties? So much is purchased online. It would be interesting to see Amazon and other such companies dealing with returns.

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In the early Sixties, in Iceland, I met an early organiser of “adventure” trips in the summer, who, in the winter, supplemented his factory income with returning bottles for the deposits.

When we lived in Weymouth in the Seventies I collected neighbours’ newspapers and took them to the WRVS to sell. When we returned to Edinburgh in the late-Seventies there were still wastepaper collections in smelly hessian sacks. Until the pandemic we collected cans for recycling.

Recently our streets have become much cleaner, and when the trucks come round, the men work efficiently in teams. I fail to understand any advantage at all in the proposed new deposit scheme, particularly as crushed cans won’t be accepted, and the glass would go for road building, not more useful containers. It all seems very ungreen.

I doubt whether the 40 jars and bottles I once picked up from a very small area of the Meadows would ever have found their way back to where they were purchased.

Marina Donald, Edinburgh

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