Scotsman Letters: High-profile ‘pile-on’ to Goodwillie is unfair

Having just read that many real criminals have been released early into our communities, I find that the continued focus on football David Goodwillie to be quite distracting.

North Lanarkshire council, which owns Broadwood Stadium where Clyde play their home games, has banned David Goodwillie - pictured playing for Aberdeen in 2014 - from the ground.  (Picture: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
North Lanarkshire council, which owns Broadwood Stadium where Clyde play their home games, has banned David Goodwillie - pictured playing for Aberdeen in 2014 - from the ground. (Picture: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

While he will never be on my Christmas card list I do think he is the victim of political righteousness and interference, which I find worrying for the future of Scotland. There was never any reason for Nicola Sturgeon and, now, North Lanarkshire Council to get involved in his employment.

Having played for, and even captained, Raith Rovers and Clyde over recent years, why is he now shunned and prevented from playing for them? He may be of dubious character but is he being treated by political and other outsiders – not potential employers – worse than ex-criminals. Do we not believe in rehabilitation, or are we happy for high-profile individuals to influence the future of those we don’t like? Why, when we are releasing dangerous criminals back into society are we focusing on this individual? One would think there’s an election coming.

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Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Plant is safe

The alarm over the attack on the nuclear power station at Zaporozhye appears to have been fuelled by ignorance and the mistaken belief that any such power station can explode like the one at Chernobyl (that as a chemical explosion due to an operational mistake). Even the Ukraine president joined in the alarm.Yet the Zaporozhye reactors are of a different type to those at Chernobyl. No nuclear reactor can cause a nuclear explosion; it's not configured to do so and can't be reconfigured to do so. The plant will be as safe now as it was before the attack.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

On obedience

Hope, they say, is a light diet but very stimulating; so, perhaps it is inevitable there are rumours of dissent among Russian citizens and soldiers. This raises the question: When is it rational to disobey authority? In practice, most people think it rational to defy an evil government or a bad law – so long as they can get away with it. Why do people commit irrational acts of mass destruction, such as the bombing of Dresden, the Nazi extermination of the Jews, the American use of napalm against civilians in Vietnam? The execution of these atrocities depends primarily on the irrational obedience of ordinary people. Why did they act as they did?

First, all these actions were performed by people who had received a strong training in obedience from military organisations.

Also, the initial order is usually given by someone removed from the situation who doesn’t see the victims.

Third, in all these instances, disobedience would have brought heavy penalties.

Fourth, the groups against whom these atrocities were committed were in all cases painted as ‘‘out-groups’’.

Next, people who believe they must always obey orders tend to exculpate themselves by denying that they have any personal responsibility.

Finally, acting out of obedience is often an automatic habit: people obey without even being aware that obedience is the cause of their actions. For unquestioned, habitual obedience there’s no possibility of deciding it is rational – that would require thought.

Doug Clark, Currie, Midlothian

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Needless alarm

Dr Richard Dixon continues to turn a blind eye to both the realities of life and further exaggerated pronouncements from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding extreme weather events. (“Incompatability of new oil and gas inventory”, Sustainable Scotland Special Report, March 3)

Predictably he decries the UK government's pragmatic appraisal in their Climate Compatibility Checkpoint of the need to maintain medium term access to our fossil fuel reserves in order to implement a staged transition to alternative technologies. Friends of the Earth state that “Climate compatibility of oil and gas industries is pure fantasy”.

I would suggest that the SNP, with its newfound disdain for its once-treasured oil resources coupled with its marriage of convenience to the minority Green Party, are the ones who live in the land of make-believe if they think that renewables alone can heat our homes, keep the lights on and ensure that the wheels of industry keep turning.

The IPCC with its so-called 97 per cent scientific consensus on climate change that Dr Dixon places so much faith in has made many incorrect, exaggerated and doom-laden pronouncements based on a huge range of supercomputer models which produce a broad range of results. Essentially these are scenarios as opposed to forecasts based in large part on assumptions that excessive human induced carbon dioxide emissions are the prime causal factor. By ignoring or downplaying many other powerful natural influences they create false impressions and needless alarm.

Neil J Bryce, Kelso, Scottish Borders

Jaw-Jaw 2?

While appreciating fully the utter barbarism involved in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, surely isolating the clearly paranoid Vladimir Putin further is not the answer. Many in Russia do feel Nato is encroaching and is a threat and Ukraine was set to join the organisation. This is surely not an insoluble problem. With goodwill it surely could have been amicably settled diplomatically. The further it goes the less chance there is for a peaceful settlement.

Winston Churchill always preached that ‘’Jaw-Jaw’’ was far preferable to ‘’War-War.’’

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Show figures

Your excellent editorial of March 3, “Seven ways that the world has changed”, was only slightly misleading in respect of the sixth point. There is certainly an urgent need to stop imports of oil and gas from countries like Russia but your suggestion that this can be countered by increasing our renewable energy capacity is not the answer.

Electricity from gas generators cannot be replaced from renewable sources but could be replaced by new nuclear plants designed with flexible outputs. Without increasing nuclear capacity it may be necessary to increase gas generation capacity if renewable sources increase significantly in the next few years.

With the existing governance of the electricity system resulting in the price of electricity being at an unacceptably high level I suggest that the government become transparent and publish the wholesale prices of electricity from all the different sources supplying the Grid. To complete the information for the public the government should detail all subsidies and taxes which apply to these sources of energy.

With all this information in the public domain we will be in a position to ascertain if the government are guilty of mismanaging the electricity system for which consumers are paying a high price.

C Scott, Edinburgh

Stop gas imports

Last week UK Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said, “Between just one and three per cent of UK gas comes from Russia” as though this did not matter. I am grateful to Net Zero Watch for revealing that by importing Russian Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Britain has been funding Putin’s war machine to the tune of £14 million per week. There is a global LNG market so this government should stop all Russian gas imports. This war is a call to revitalise North Sea exploration for oil and gas and finally kick-start a shale revolution to enhance Britain's energy supply and national security.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Thanks, Eric

I was saddened to see the announcement of the death of Eric Marchant in the Scotsman (March 2).

During the early 1970s, Eric Marchant and my late mother, May Myles Gray, jointly led a campaign to prevent a motorway being built which would have ploughed through the middle of Penicuik. Much of the town would have disappeared under Tarmac. Neither was a politician. They were concerned citizens and it took many hours, days, weeks and months to challenge the proposed project which would have destroyed the town.

I had no contact with Mr Marchant personally, but I – and, I hope, many people in Penicuik who remember the events of half a century ago and how they saved the town – will raise a glass in his memory.

Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh

Gender question

After the birth of a child the hospital where the birth took place gives the parents particulars of the child including its sex, parents etc so that the birth may be registered.

Likewise, after a person’s death a medical practitioner signs a certificate as to the cause of death etc to enable the death to be registered.

Given that the change of a person’s sex is at least as important as either of these events, what is the SNP’s objection to the issuing of a certificate by a medical practitioner that he or she has examined the person and that their sex is no longer the sex attributed at birth?

David Elder, Haddington, East Lothian

Strange silence

The silence from Nicola Sturgeon over the sudden resignation of the Scottish National Investment Bank's chief executive is significant.

There is no attempt at all to provide an answer except to say, it is nothing to do with me. We have seen recently how failure to provide answers by politicians has resulted in more, not less, questions.

Ms Sturgeon's reluctance to say anything is unusual unless the answer to this specific question is an embarrassment to the Scottish Government. Is Ms Sturgeon simply digging a bigger hole for herself?

Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

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