Bird casualty monitoring is not before time

© PA

Sir, – Let me thank the Scottish Gamekeepers Association for calling for bird casualties around wind turbines to be monitored (Courier, November 13).

It’s not before time a study of this kind was initiated in Scotland.

However, as the gamekeepers and other estate workers often work in close proximity to many of the sites of these machines, I am surprised that they had not already begun this type of activity, given the controversial circumstances they labour under.

Alex Hogg, chairman of the SGA, offered that his members have witnessed dead raptors both underneath and within 200 yards of the turbines.

Given the persistent accusations of persecution by gamekeepers in regard to raptors, I would have thought that these birds might have been retrieved and sent for scientific examination to determine the cause of death. This would appear to have been the next logical step.

This might have dispersed some, if not all, of the cloud of suspicion which lingers around their activities in that area.

George Murdoch.
4 Auchcairnie Cottages,


‘Insanity’ of gender debate

Sir, – Councillor Gregor Murray, Dundee City Council’s equalities spokesperson, does not seem to understand the government’s proposals when criticising Dr Stuart Waiton of Abertay University (The Courier, November 13).

The councillor states that Dr Waiton is warning about something that will not happen because “clinical decisions will continue to be made by medical professionals within the NHS”.

And yet this is precisely what the Scottish Government is proposing – that people will simply, by filling out a form, without assessment or help from any medical professionals, be able to change their gender.

Furthermore, it has come to light that the Scottish Government has sent out guidance to all schools (including primary) that parents should not be informed if a child wishes to change their gender.

A teacher cannot put suntan cream on a child without permission from the child but they can help them ‘change’ their gender – without telling the parents.

This is the level of insanity that our government is going to in their pursuit of their Brave New World.

I suspect the good people of Dundee will fervently hope that it is not the direction that Dundee City Council will be pushing its schools.

To tell primary school children that they can change their gender is appallingly ignorant, to encourage them to do so is quite simply state-sponsored child abuse.

There is a growing body of evidence which shows the harm that this abuse causes.

Parents need to be aware and be warned. We need to stand up for our children before it becomes a crime to do so.

David Robertson.
St Peters Free Church,
4 St Peter Street,


Political dogma of electric cars

Sir, – The insane rush to get electric cars on the road to “save the planet” proves that political dogma has superseded common sense.

On each litre of petrol or diesel there is a fuel duty rate of 57.95 pence or £2.63 a gallon. To this is added VAT but businesses can recover this.

There is a road tax which is based on emission levels of the vehicle and electric vehicle owners pay nothing.

They also get up to £4,500 of a grant from the government, paid for from the taxes of those who cannot afford a new car far less an electric one.

As the number of electric vehicles increase then the revenue from fuel duty and road tax will plummet and grants increase.

The UK and Scottish governments will have created a huge financial hole of billions of pounds with nothing planned to fill it. Have they even thought about it?

Clark Cross.
138 Springfield Road,


Huge potential for ski industry

Sir, I recently learned that the Glen Coe ski centre had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in a machine that can produce snow for their ski slopes, enabling them to be able to guarantee skiing for a fixed period.

What an innovative thing to do.

However, I think with help from the Scottish Government – with grants and subsidies – skiing in Scotland could be as popular as shooting and fishing.

The sport has a huge potential for Scotland.

Keith Dale.
126 David Douglas Ave,


True cost of marine wind

Sir, – So Scotland is to have a sea-borne windfarm off Fife Ness, and one to be built by an Irish company who will doubtlessly be given generous grants by the UK (or Scottish) Government. Two billion pounds is a lot of money in anyone’s terms and £827 million is the projected gain on the whole enterprise.

That sounds grand until you look more deeply into the true cost of sea-borne windfarms. The timing for a financial examination of such offshore turbines could not have been better for all such schemes have a life-span (usually regarded as 25 years) and a major report on the closing down of the world’s first two such schemes was published by M.J. Kelly of Cambridge University only last month and can be found online.

The Danish Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm shut down last year, after 25 years. Having initially cost £7.16 million, its “post-mortem” considered that it had generated only 55% of the projected amount of electricity.

Apparently, there was no overall financial gain whatever on the entire project… and no one can say what it will take to clear up the site.

The smaller Lely Wind Farm Project (off Holland), which also lasted 25 years, is now known for having cost far more to build than it ever made from selling electricity.

Those two initial post-mortems on offshore windfarms do not make happy reading and, in hindsight, appear to have been both a waste of time and money.

I, for one, take those accounts as a timely warning about what may soon be built so close to our own shores.

Archibald A. Lawrie.
5 Church Wynd,


A government in disarray

Sir, – I have never seen the state of government in this country in such disarray, and I have been here quite a while.

Ministers falling on their swords because of their immoral behaviour, and rightly so, are adding to the already total distrust in politicians in this country.

On top of all this, the exposures in the Paradise Papers not only add distrust but absolute disgust. To the ordinary folk struggling to pay bills and survive on basic wages, this only comes as proof that there is a different set of rules for people with money.

With such a tenuous grasp on government, the Prime Minister will be forced to call another election, the Paradise Papers will cause many voters to cross to the left in the hope of a quick response from the socialists, not that I believe for one moment that it would stop the rot.

In Scotland we are now on the brink of being told what we can eat or drink and how much, an incredibly dangerous precedent.

William Duthie.
25 St Fillans Rd,