Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: Danger green ports will just relocate work from other areas

Recent media reports have indicated that five areas of Scotland are bidding for so-called Green Port status. The location of these bids is Aberdeen/Peterhead, Cromarty Firth, Orkney, Forth Estuary and the Clyde area. All these bids are being made by consortiums of private companies and local authorities.

Supporters of so-called Green Ports say that they are good news for businesses and communities because they are essentially a special kind of port where normal tax and customs rules do not reply.However there is evidence that so called Green Ports don’t create new economic activity but rather relocate existing work from other areas with the promise of tax breaks. There is not much hope that the Westminster Government will consider the danger of a Green Port development taking jobs away from areas not within its boundaries.

It is also probably unlikely that the Westminster Government will have much concern about the rights of workers employed within so called Green Ports. It is therefore vital that the Scottish Government scrutinise thoroughly all the bids that are made in relation to Green Ports status.

Arthur West, Trade Justice Coalition Scotland

There are plans to launch a multimillion-pound bid for the creation of a green freeport on the River Clyde. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

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Business comment: The time is right to establish Green Freeports, argues Charles...

Keep talking

Right now pupils are rightly concerned with exams (Exam results "to be manipulated to ensure more failures” Scotland on Sunday, August 7). It is perhaps an opportunity to consider another aspect of our school curricula. Trigger warnings, no-platforming and wokism generally in our universities are symptoms of something which those who fear for democracy must find very disturbing. Freedom of speech, dialogue and debate are notions which our universities appear to have defenestrated.

Dialogue promotes learning, growth, understanding, healing and renewal. And it is our values and attitudes that drive how we speak and listen. What to do about this situation? Our young people must be properly prepared for the social media tsunami. It is clearly too late in universities. Every school should have a debating society and every pupil should be given the tools and encouraged to take part. There should be inter-school debating contests. Democracy is not a trophy to keep and admire from afar. It is all of us – a participatory system: a living, changing, evolving spirit. And it needs our care.

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Doug Clark, Currie, Midlothian

Rubbing it in

People who rub the nose of the Greyfriars Bobby statue obviously don't give a thought to the damage they are causing, or just don't care, but I witnessed even worse last week. A boy who had climbed on top of the statue and was repeatedly rubbing the dog's nose, while a woman, presumably his mother, looked on, camera in hand, ready to take a photograph.

The time is long overdue for the council to give the statue a good clean and then put some railings in place again; they never should have been removed. They were low enough so that those who wanted to take photographs had an unobstructed view, but high enough and with enough space in between the statue and the railings so people couldn't actually touch the statue.

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Sandra Busell, Edinburgh

Spiky sculpture

Congratulations on choosing Luke Geram's magnificent E.coli sculpture on show at the National Museum as Picture of the Week. A bacteriologist might say that its spiky excrescences are exaggerated, but the artist's licence is entirely justifiable. Not only do these structures, called fimbriae, help the bug to be nasty, but they were discovered in Edinburgh by the brilliant bacteriologist Jim Duguid and his colleagues in 1955 – a true homecoming!

Hugh Pennington, Aberdeen

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