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.
F.McClymont More than 1 year ago
Is Mr McMilan a cousin of Bob Servant? This eloquent contribution is 'up there' with anything Mr Servant has uttered.
Ricky More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the first episode of Bob Servant, but not NEARLY as much as I enjoyed the books. This is the trouble with any literary to screen adaptation. Two completely different media. Screen to book is another troublesome one. Relax people. Enjoy it for what it is. Just be thankful it was set in B' Ferry rather than yet another thing set in the central belt or off in the twee mythical highlands of some country laird.
Stuart Allan More than 1 year ago
I wish NIMBYs would be not be so overly dramatic. Wind Farms are not "devastating". If you want "devastating" then coal, gas, nuclear and shale are your best bets. If turbines are so "devastating", then why is virtually every photograph I've seen so attractive? They are sleek, graceful and easily removed. Coal and gas are ugly, polluting and take years to clean up. Nuclear is ugly, expensive and takes millennia to clean up. Shale is ugly, polluting and the damage done by fracking will be there till the Sun explodes. Renewables are the least intrusive and the "fuel" will be available for as long as we need it.
F.McClymont More than 1 year ago
Alternative Energies - the problem is that wind turbines are not the ONLY form of alternative 'green' energy. Time to think outside the box - what other options are there? Of course comparing wind tubines with fossil fuels is a winner in terms of pollution - we all get that - the argument is overused and gets us no nearer to finding the best solutions.
Iron Man More than 1 year ago
TIDAL power is the way to go. The moon will always go past twice a day.
F.McClymont More than 1 year ago
Cool.... any other green alternatives to wind turbines?
Iron Man More than 1 year ago
Solar, biomass, geothermal,wave to name but a few. All need investment.
Turbinated More than 1 year ago
Could be you lack taste?
F.McClymont More than 1 year ago
What has 'taste' got to do with this???
Jock More than 1 year ago
Mr McMillan’s latest epistle is hilarious. Presumably this is part of a guerrilla publicity campaign by the series producers or a long standing joke by some local wit? Surely no real person can be quite so pompous?
Ricky More than 1 year ago
Jock, I think Mr McMillan is actually a Dandy or Beano character who's escaped the page!
Brotyboy More than 1 year ago
The personal abuse, George, is because of the way you come across. If your arguments were balanced and you demonstrated that you could understand how others formed a different opinion from yours then you would not lay yourself so open to charges of being, or sounding, narrow-minded. Add to this the plethora of subjects over which you have sounded off and claimed personal knowledge of and it is easily understood that people are tired of your lectures and your habit of using the Courier Letters to pontificate. It's only a TV program, after all.
Kenny Storrier More than 1 year ago
mr mcmillan, people resort to personal insults and abuse when they have lost the argument. i disagree with a lot of what you say in your correspondence, but this does not give me the right to insult you on a personal basis. that, is being narrow minded.
Clean Air 4 All More than 1 year ago
Mr McMillan is surely Victor Meldrew's pen name. Complains about everything, welcomes nothing modern or forward thinking. Always harking back to a glorious past through that never really exisited in reality.
AlexMontrose More than 1 year ago
Hey Dod, when you were a London based critic of Theatre ,films and stuff did you just watch the first 5 mins, head off and write your report?
Derek Farmer More than 1 year ago
Wind Turbines. I agree with Stuart Allan. The letter from Diane Holt is one of many published in the Courier in which she totally fails to differentiate between her so-called "wind Barons" and local farms that simply wish to erect a turbine to stabilise or reduce their increasing energy costs. She, and others invent all sorts of spurious reasons why turbines are the devil's implements, ranging from the unavoidable slaughter of pink-footed geese that would be stupid enough to fly into the blades of turbines, even although their migratory flight-paths are many hundreds of feet above turbine heights, to issues such as skyline visual amenity. She therefore routinely objects to Fife Council on all local farm planning applications. It is a rather unpleasant form of coercion that has become all to common in our democratic society. The basis for the initiative taken by farms is no different from that taken by householders installing solar-panels on the roofs of their houses and receiving Government subsidies to do so. There is a whiff of hyprocrisy, therefore, coming from the NIMBY camp.
Ricky More than 1 year ago
Oh No! Derek is back!
Derek Farmer More than 1 year ago
No. Actually, He's up=front as always !
Cobardon More than 1 year ago
I sincerely hope that this Mr McMillan who used to teach at Morgan Academy isn't the same one who ruined my teenage years when I was his pupil by making personal comments about my appearance. I was suffering from psoriasis and had already lost much of my self-confidence and being told (I quote directly) 'Just as well you are clever, as it makes up for your looks' by Mr McMillan set me back for many years. I didn't have a girlfriend until my 20s. Now that was personal abuse that really cut deep and was entirely uncalled for when delivered to a boy of about 13. I truly hope you are not that Mr McMillan, as he was clearly the kind of man who targets his personal abuse at one entirely unable to defend himself. It would be hard to take that man's complaints of being sniped at on a public forum of equals very seriously, wouldn't it?
BS - independant More than 1 year ago
Another interesting little ramble from George K - I wonder if he's trying to prove that old adage - "those ho can do, those who can't teach"
Checkley More than 1 year ago
Oh for goodness sake, Bob Servant is just a TV programme trying to amuse and entertain viewers. If anyone doesn't like it, there is an off switch!
kev reilly More than 1 year ago
Mr McMillan si tu vales ego valo one of the nicest neighbours I have ever known, although, I have long since left perth. oddly enough, i also studied french, german and russian, Who would have thunk it all those years ago George, Unfortunately, i couldnt pay the bills with these skills and am back hammering spanners Bob Servant...........I wasnt much taken with it either, but humour is subjective, just because I dont rate it very highly, doesnt make it bad, i just means i dont rate it, Nothing more. humour is a fickle subject, especially in foreign languages with regards to independence, i would love the chance to make the case for a Yes vote with you. I'd rather you were on this side of argument If there is a yes vote, like it or not...........you will be tuus amicus kev reilly