Readers' Letters: Starmer needs to do away with first-past-the-post vote

You report that Sir Keir Starmer says that voting reform is not one of his priorities (14 May).
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer says voting reform isn't on his to-do list (Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer says voting reform isn't on his to-do list (Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer says voting reform isn't on his to-do list (Picture: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

That’s a pity, as it should be his top priority. With Lib Dems support he has the chance to do away with our deeply unfair first-past-the post system.

It is the reason that the SNP, unfairly, takes so many Westminster seats in Scotland. PR would probably keep the Tories out of power in Westminster forever and mean coalitions in which Labour would surely take part.

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The Single Transferable Vote system is already used for all elections in Northern Ireland and local authority elections in Scotland.

It’s used for all elections in Eire and should be used for the Scottish Parliament elections.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Farms must adapt

Scotland on Sunday’s report on climate change (14 May) covers soaring world temperatures and their effect on health but there is no mention of changing climate in Scotland and how we need to adapt to it.

Kinlochewe in the north-west Highlands recorded the then highest 2023 UK temperature at over 20 degrees celsius in mid-April, while in west Edinburgh we shivered, taking until 30 April to exceed 14 degrees.

It’s not uncommon for Easter to be colder than Christmas now. Springs are becoming colder and duller in the east of Scotland but warmer in the west, where there were Met Office drought warnings in April.

Flooding is more prevalent in summer, and storms in autumn and winter.

We need to adapt to climate change and learn to farm differently.

The James Hutton Institute estimates that almost a third of Scotland’s carbon emissions come from the way we use land. Vertical farming is much more land efficient and significantly reduces carbon emissions. Scottish peatlands store 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon, about 140 years worth of our emissions.

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Conservation bodies like the Scottish Wildlife Trust are committed to repairing peat damaged by climate change and also by poor land management causing carbon emissions.

Conservation charities also promote biodiversity, reducing pesticides and call for a ban on the sale of peat for gardens.

As the climate continues to change it is imperative we adapt crops and soils to feed the nation as we increasingly can’t rely on food from southern Europe.

Scotland is well placed to become more self sufficient and export more food by harnessing new technologies combined with natural sustainable farming techniques.

We must prepare now before it’s too late.

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

Talk is sheep

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) has unveiled Portable Accumulation Chambers which will measure methane concentrations from different breeds of sheep.

Does SRUC think that this research will save the planet when Scotland only has 0.15 per cent of global emissions and only 6.5 million sheep? The world has 1.2bn sheep and other countries are not interested in reducing methane or other greenhouse gases.

The SRUC would be better employed supporting our farmers from the vegans and the climate zealots who would love to see fields of wildflowers with no farm animals. Wildflowers will not feed the population.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Write to Scotland on Sunday

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