Readers' Letters

This new policy might win Scottish hearts

6 February 2013 2.25pm.

Sir, – Scotland and Ireland have long been used as dumping grounds for exploitative, unpopular policies by English Tories. Wind farms are only the latest instance, as Stephen Grieve notes (Courier letters, February 1).

There is a certain irony, then, that the Scottish Tories have just launched a new energy policy calling for curbs on this exploitation by the wind barons, who are, of course, lured by Westminster subsidies.

The bigger irony, though, lies with the SNP, whose whole raison d’être is to rescue Scotland from unionist exploitation. Yet the SNP government has used its devolved planning powers to set ludicrously low planning fees for wind developers and an open door planning policy for turbines.
 
This is why Scotland is suffering so much more devastating industrial wind development than England.
 
So far the Scottish Tories are the only major party to stand up for Scotland and its people against the march of turbines. If they cede from their Westminster cousins – as Murdo Fraser wanted – they could turn out to be the real thing; a party with genuinely national Scottish interests at heart.
 
Linda Holt.
Dreel House,
Pittenweem.
 
 
An opportunity missed in 1980
 
Sir, – On Monday January 28, the BBC Breakfast Programme spent most of the morning discussing the announcements by the Government of the proposed new high-speed rail link between London and Manchester. Although widely discussed they failed to mention that this link was first planned back in 1980.
 
Around this time shipping was going through a revolution, container ships had just come in and conventional ships that had served the Merchant Navy for the last 100 years were being sent for scrap in favour of the new, highly efficient container ships.
 
To service the new system the traditional docks were also being closed down and new container berths were required. Liverpool was chosen to build the first container berth in Europe.  The high-speed rail link was planned to link Liverpool with the new Channel Tunnel being built to connect Liverpool with Europe.
 
The new terminal was built on time, but the Liverpool dockers refused to work on it and the opening was delayed for more than two years. Meanwhile, Rotterdam went ahead and built their container berth which went on to become Europort. The new Channel Tunnel also went ahead on schedule but because of the Liverpool dockers there was no need for a new European Rail Link.
 
George Gavine.
The Veldt,
Monikie.
 
 
Shocking way to treat troops
 
Sir, – Though they face the Taliban while surrounded by murderous Afghan “colleagues”, front-line troops are being pressured by Ministry of Defence pen-pushers to accept redundancy. 
 
Surely if soldiers are on such deadly operations, they should not be distracted with threats of job loss and the prospect of long-term civilian unemployment. 
 
These “desk jockeys” also went to court to stop a brain-damaged soldier who lost both legs receiving the same compensation as an MOD secretary with a sprained wrist. 
 
But it also says a great deal about present day ministers because neither Denis Healey nor Willie Whitelaw would have permitted civilian time-servers to treat troops in this way.
 
Dr John Cameron.
10 Howard Place,
St Andrews.
 
 
Well qualified to comment
 
Sir, – Why do some correspondents feel it necessary to descend to personal abuse in order to present their arguments? This “sad old man” would like to answer his critics (Courier letters, January 31).
 
Graham Hendry accuses me of having a “narrow mind”, of producing “ramblings” through the years and of making a “monumental moan” about “Bob Servant Independent” and suggests I restrict my “future outbursts” to things I know about.
 
Dave Patterson says: “it is very arguable” that Brian Cox’s “judgment of literary material is more finely honed” than mine.
 
I taught literature as part of my subjects (French, German and Russian) for years;  earlier, as a Fleet Street journalist, I also wrote crits of theatre productions and films. I have no doubt, however, that Brian Cox has much more experience in that respect than I have. That’s why I was surprised he took part in such an abominable series.
 
The otherwise milder and more polite Dave Patterson does not realise that, although now a Perth resident, I was born and brought up in the city, worked for several years in my spare time as a Dundee “message-boy” for my Dad in his Strathmartine Road shop, studied at city schools and University College, Dundee, taught at Morgan Academy and lived for four years in Broughty Ferry!
 
I therefore “fully appreciate the subtleties of Dundee humour” and consider “Bob Servant Independent” to be an insult to it.
 
George K McMillan.
5 Mount Tabor Avenue,
Perth.