Sir, – For years Angus residents and visitors enjoyed and appreciated the luxury of free parking in the county’s car parks.
Like many others, I am of an age where I am uncomfortable with new technology but when parking away from Angus I can cope with putting a coin in a slot, pressing a green button and taking a ticket.
Alas, those halcyon days are now gone.
What we now have in Angus Council car parks is a fleet of technological scarecrows with more computing power than Nasa had to land a man on the moon.
These robotic monsters frighten away more people than they will ever attract.
They each contain a total of 30 instructions.
There is also a keyboard with 26 letters and 10 numerals for inserting your registration number – but don’t get the letter “O” mixed up with a zero or you’ll get fined.
It’s not the usual “qwerty” keyboard either, this one’s different.
Below that is a slot to put in your credit card.
Having spent 10 minutes to get this far, you’ll have realised that if you have no mobile phone or credit card, you will not get a ticket.
At the very bottom is a wee door where your ticket comes out (to much applause from the frustrated three dozen folk standing behind you).
Notwithstanding the admin costs involved, there wasn’t much wrong with putting a coin in and pressing a green button.
The result of all this?
Plenty of new technology – also plenty of empty car parks.
Allan J R Thomson,
2 Parkhill Place,
No sign of any common sense
Sir, – Winter is now upon us and there is a definite nip in the air.
Still at Westminster our parliamentarians are unable to manage the Brexit debacle and there are plenty of political manoeuvres, with each side trying to manipulate each other.
Now, we have the mandatory scandal.
How dare Jeremy Corbyn mouth the words stupid woman?
Will the desperate-to-be-offended brigade ever spare us their mock outrage over trivial nonsense or is there a chink of light for common sense?
Sadly I doubt it.
Last week’s Prime Minister’s Questions represented a black day for free speech.
17 Rossie Avenue,
Behaviour was shameful
Sir, – I am absolutely disgusted, embarrassed and downright fed up of the Labour Party and its performance at Westminster under Jeremy Corbyn.
The leader and figurehead of the party has, in my view, lied with regards to what he mouthed during PMQs.
Both his and the opposition party members, and also various cameras positioned within the house, picked up what he said to let the whole country interpret the truth for themselves.
There is absolutely no hiding place for him, and for him to deny mouthing these words defies belief.
Is this really the party we want to lead the country in the event there is a general election, if as some now expect, we have a referendum on Brexit?
To try to save face in this way is shocking, unprofessional and downright unethical.
I am a fed-up and disgusted ex-member of the Labour Party.
David T Wood,
18 Station Road,
Climate change cash is wasted
Sir, – Though Gordon Pay enjoins us all to trust climate scientists (Courier Letters, December 21) he omits to mention the failures of their computer models in predicting global temperatures, illustrating “GIGO” – that is garbage in to the computer, garbage out.
That reflects science’s very imperfect understanding of how the exceedingly complex underlying influences operate on our climate.
Thus, despite continuing rises in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and against prediction, global temperatures have remained static for two decades.
In fact, among climate scientists there are still great controversies and no consensus despite the hype and pessimism from alarmists.
Al Gore and others’ urgent, direly dramatic predictions of the world’s flooding and baking have not materialised.
The lessons are that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases’ impact on climate changes are not proven and of unknown real significance – and that realistic climate prediction is not yet available.
Anyway, since the proportions of global CO2 released from the UK and Scotland, respectively 1.3% and 0.13%, are negligible, we cannot help anyone by decarbonising our industry and home.
All the financial benefits go to those receiving our tax money in aid of this fuss about nothing.
The Climate Change Acts (2008-09) need urgent repeal so as to curtail the consequential huge waste of monies which could be spent usefully.
Dr Charles Wardrop,
111 Viewlands Rd West,
Beware a plethora of spin
Sir, – The special report on global warming released by the IPCC in advance of the recent climate meeting in Poland was widely criticised and failed to be adopted.
The report conveyed an increased sense of planetary crisis compared to that of the IPCC’s fifth report without giving rigorous scientific reasons for so doing.
It ignored the body of observationally-based research evidence that has accumulated since the fifth report which reduces the sense of a looming emergency.
It also failed to communicate the concern expressed by leading international climate scientists about the widespread tuning of climate models to achieve “desired results”.
The report is a partisan contribution which shouldn’t be regarded by policymakers as a scientifically rigorous document.
Such manipulation is unacceptable in view of the extremely costly and highly disruptive recommendation from Green activists and their allies that carbon emissions be reduced to zero by mid-century.
Rev Dr John Cameron,
10 Howard Place,
Need to get real on immigration
Sir, – In answer to the letter from Linda Holt (Courier Letters, December 18) my late father who died 17 years ago was, I understand, someone who played truant from Waid Academy and left when he could at the age of 14 years.
What did his teachers of 1941 think of his prospects after leaving Waid Academy, I wonder?
Would national testing of the type proposed by the Scottish Government for P1 pupils have helped or hindered him?
After a summer with a painter and decorator he served his time with boatbuilders Smith and Hutton, spent 11 years in the merchant navy, going to Australia and New Zealand with Shaw Savill, and – for the last 27-and-a-half years of his working life – was employed at what is now the Robert Gough Centre in Leven.
Was that the future that would have been predicted by his teachers?
It also begs the question about how you value skills, especially when we leave the EU.
Elected members in both Edinburgh and London earn more than £30,000 a year.
However are they the skilled people we want to recruit after leaving the EU or is it people who pick fruit, care workers and health service workers who may well earn less than £30,000 a year?
How do you learn the dialect and geography of north-east Scotland well but by working in the area and mixing with the people and travelling around the area?
Does freedom of movement not work for both EU and UK citizens or does the latter not matter as long as we cut immigration from the EU?
6 Orchard Grove,
On track for another disaster
Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon wants to nationalise the Scottish rail system.
I’m off to the bookies to put a few pounds on that being as big a disastrous power grab as the failed Transport Police merger, and the screw up whereby the new Social Security Agency (£400m to set up, £200m a year to run), is paying the UK Government £7m a year for them to control carers allowance until 2020, six months after they asked them to take charge of disability payments.
1 Willow Row,