Readers' letters: Sturgeon doesn’t get to decide if she’s staying

Nicola Sturgeon has stated that she has “no intention of going anywhere”. However, the SNP operate on a different timescale, where a “generation” is 48 hours after a referendum, so given this logic, she could retire next week if she wanted.David Bone, Girvan, South Ayrshire

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said this week she has no plans to move aside (Picture: Fraser Bremner/AFP/Getty)

Counting chickens

Nicola Sturgeon opposes new North Sea oil fields, meaning inevitable job losses and more imported oil for decades. Virtue signalling, but to whom? Not to the Scots.

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Nicola Sturgeon circulating avidly at COP26 was surely canvassing for alternative employment rather than for independence. What is she up to? Having regard to the classical component of my education, donning my robes (Etruscan haruspex), I killed a chicken (humanely) and examined the entrails; they claimed that Ms Sturgeon is actively seeking employment outside Scotland, caring not what mess she leaves behind. I am reminded of the first rule of Italian driving: “What is behind me doesn't matter!”.

Incidentally the chicken tasted fine; nothing wasted.

William Durward, Bearsden, Glasgow

Afterword

I refer to Gill Turner's letter of 24 November. She purposely misses the point in her defence of the First Minister, the original criticism levelled at the FM was one of cronyism in allowing the independence-supporting, SNP voting Val McDermid to use Bute House for a book launch. I am totally unaware of any previous book launches there.

Ms Turner also points out that the FM is a great supporter of Scottish fiction, but anyone who has witnessed her performances at Holyrood would know she loves a bit of fiction. Were the FM to pen a book herself, perhaps a good title would be “I can't recall”.

David Walker, Edinburgh

Catch a slow boat

I am certainly not an SNP supporter but I feel that Dr Richard Dixon's article about Scotland falling behind on its emission reduction targets and having no published plans to catch up is vindictive to say the least. (Scotsman Online, 25 November). Dr Dixon probably feels that he is a big fish, but it is only in a small pool since Scotland is responsible for a miniscule 0.13 per cent of global emissions.

Already the COP26 promises – yes, only promises, not legally-binding Climate Change Acts – are being broken by China, India, Indonesia and many others as they accelerate the building of new coal-fired plants and drag coal out of the ground. I am sure that many Scotsman readers would be more than willing to pay for a one-way ticket for Dr Dixon to go to China and write his articles for the People's Daily and China Daily where he could capture a huge fanbase. Who knows, he might even get an audience with President Xi Jinping and give his views on China's miserable attempts to reduce its 30 per cent share of the world's greenhouse gases.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Fantasy Island

Dr Richard Dixon's waspish condemnation of the Scottish Government's report on their latest of multiple failures outlines a typical ruinous costly utopian green dream for a nation that is responsible for a miniscule 0.13 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

I am all for sustainability and protection of our environment but a glance at the front cover of this report says it all. Connecting every facet of life with an imaginary electric cable are cartoon-like images of forests, wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar panels, retro-fitted buildings, cyclists, pedestrians and recycling, ending with an idyllic portrayal of a rural landscape complete with a methane emitting cow, probably on a special low emissions diet and a farm tractor presumably powered by diesel.

There are no proper costings for this pie-in-the-sky pipe dream or even passing references to the many hidden, negative environmental impacts of such policies. Can anyone in Government seriously believe that what they call “leading by example” is going to have any meaningful impact on the aspirations of the vast populations in the likes of India and China? Come to think of it, that front cover depiction of a green Shangri La would make a wonderful Christmas card for adherents to the likes of Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso, Scottish Borders

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Insight: Future of CalMac ferry service under scrutiny as islanders' frustration...

Current events

While “going green” and purchasing an electric car seems to be the way forward, sadly, the drawbacks are so large that general ownership of electric cars can never take place.The small drawbacks are surmountable, like lack of charging points and faulty charging points and breaking down without fuel. The lack of raw materials for manufacturing batteries will be a great difficulty as time moves on and will finally dictate just how many people will own an electric car: our planet does not have enough Lithium, for example, to supply the world's needs.The Government states that “All new houses are to have charging points”. That sounds fine, but any family living in a present home and owning even a single electric vehicle would have to increase their domestic cabling and uptake of electricity by about 45 per cent.Leaving financial worries to one side, if a street had, say, 50 houses then that means that the main under-street cable would be unable to cope with the increased power requirement and would need to be dug up and replaced. Even if that street managed to get away without such an arduous task, the underground cable supplying electricity to that area of the town would definitely have to be replaced in order to carry the increased current. The time required to re-cable most streets in all towns and cities would be truly horrendous and the burden upon the taxation system would be unsupportable!Vehicles running on hydrogen would give us none of the above problems and yet supply us with transport at reasonable cost and with refuelling times roughly the same as for our current diesel/petrol vehicles. We will have no choice in the matter eventually.

Archibald A Lawrie, Kingskettle, Fife

Don’t sink cafes

In Alastair Dalton’s CalMac ferries Insight article (21 November), Lord Robertson, chair of Western Ferries, suggests that a “no frills” service, without on-board cafeterias, would be quite adequate. While that might suit vehicular passengers it would be most inconvenient for foot passengers, especially those taking several buses or trains on a several-hour journey with tight connections to reach the ferry port and, as COP26 has surely made clear, it is essential to encourage those ferry passengers who can travel without a vehicle to do so, by making that option attractive.

For example, when I travel from St Andrews to Arran, the journey just to Ardrossan takes 4-5 hours: bike, bus or taxi to Leuchars, then three trains: Leuchars-Edinburgh; Edinburgh-Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central-Ardrossan, with a quick pedal between the two Glasgow stations. There is no on-train catering and stopping for a coffee could mean not just a missed rail connection but also a missed ferry. Once off the boat, there is only just time to reach the bus before it leaves to cross the island. The only time on the journey when one has time to partake of refreshment is on the boat.

I cannot see somebody being persuaded to leave the car behind faced with the prospect of travelling for 6-7 hours as above without the chance of a bite to eat or even a coffee. The ship cafeterias must stay.

Jane Ann Liston, St Andrews, Fife

No vigilantes

I often read Brian Monteith’s weekly Perspective contribution. I rarely agree with his points of view, which tend to either be counter to my own opinions or simply wrong-headed rants. However, I read his articles because it is important to listen to those with whom you disagree, rather than listening in an echo chamber of those whose views you do agree with. Normally I just sigh and discount his points of view, but with regard to his 22 November column I feel I must protest .

Almost in passing, amongst a range of other complaints, he touches on the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kinosha, Wisconsin. He claims that the televised trial provided clarity but goes on to state that the victims (whom the judge stated could not be called victims by the prosecution) were “… intent on setting fire to the car dealership where the accused worked”. He clearly wasn’t paying attention. Firstly, the accused did not work at the dealership but had appointed himself as vigilante protector of the property after travelling 20 miles across the state with a loaded rifle.

Secondly, I would like to know what divine ability Mr Monteith has which allows him to know conclusively what is in the mind of individuals he has never met such that he is sure they are intent on burning and looting a property. Clearly there was violence and confusion in many quarters and it cannot be denied Rittenhouse was being pursued and attacked. But this was after he had already shot one man dead. Does Mr Monteith approve of vigilantism in some cases but not others? As someone who seems to believe in the upholding of law and order I cannot believe he can justify taking such a one-sided view. Kyle Rittenhouse has been cleared in due judicial process and that judgement must be accepted. But what cannot be accepted is approving the principle of vigilantism.

David Morris, Dalkeith, Midlothian

Scots law

HIR Allan is mistaken to say there were six queens entitled to be called Mary, Queen of Scots up to 1707 (Letters, 24 November). Only a queen regnant such as Mary I and Mary II (wife of William of Orange) was entitled to be called Queen of Scots. Queen Consorts had the honorific title Queen of Scotland, such as St Margaret, Queen of Scotland.

Colin McAllister, St Andrews, Fife

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