Sir, – Alex Bell (‘Child-men ruling our world’, The Courier, December 26) in hailing Greta Thunberg as an “inspiration”, expresses only one reasonable view of her “crusade” for more international action against adverse global climate changes.
She has been talked of as a candidate for a Nobel Prize and has inspired followers from Cabinet ministers to school pupils.
However, there is another side to the “Greta phenomenon”.
Obviously, from her public manners, speech and bearing, of a nervous disposition, this youngster, arguably exploited by her parents and “minders”, has furthered a rather impractical and extreme view of the controversies around anthropogenic impacts on climate change.
Despite all the hype, many experts disagree as to the importance of human influences on climate from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; the bulk of carbon dioxide coming from nations such as China, USA and India which don’t in curbing its release.
She does not specify the “actions” she calls for and may well be wrong.
What is clear is that her “Joan of Arc” role will mark her for a compromised life.
Is that a fair imposition, or is she a victim of child exploitation and cruelty?
(Dr) Charles Wardrop.
111Viewlands Rd West,
‘Impediment’ to independence?
Sir, – Though I’m for a clean Brexit (where the Tories will betray us by accepting ongoing European Court of Justice jurisdiction), I take issue with FR Noel-Paton on Scottish independence (Letters, The Courier, December 24).
An independent Scotland need not “apply to the EU for membership”, nor indeed should we board the sinking EU ship, even though the SNP leadership wants precisely that.
They’d have us join that zombie currency the euro, and have us in the Schengen area with practically no EU-border controls.
Scotland should be aiming to emulate those fine non-EU states, Norway and Switzerland, who enjoy real independence and wealth, partly because the former doesn’t give up its fish nor the latter its currency. I am coming increasingly to the conclusion that the biggest impediment to our independence is the current SNP.
29 Hudson Road,
Older people are not a ‘burden’
Sir, – Please desist from using offensive, misleading and distressing headlines such as ‘Extra £1.2m a year needed to defuse Angus care time bomb’ (The Courier, December 27).
Older people who need care and support are our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents; our neighbours, friends, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins.
They have paid taxes and NI contributions over many years, they’ve brought up families, helped to bring up grandchildren, contributed to society in many untold ways.
Don’t disrespect older people who are living longer with conditions and frailty that older generations would not have survived.
Don’t describe them as ‘a burden’ or their care needs as ‘a ticking time bomb’.
Stop this right-wing narrative that perpetuates the myth that people who use public services and need social security, including Universal Credit, free personal care, or carer’s allowance, are a burden on society.
The mark of a just society is how it looks after those in its midst who need its support.
At no time around the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership board table do we ever describe anything as you have chosen to do.
People deserve love, humanity, care, dignity and respect. Please bear that in mind the next time you’re considering a tabloidy headline.
Now, I’m off to see my mum, who benefits from an amazing care package in a neighbouring local authority.
(Cllr) Julie A Bell.
Unionists are ‘running scared’
Sir, – Unsurprisingly we see another regular Unionist contributor, Robert Scott of Ceres, entertain us with his usual diatribe against the first minister (Letters, The Courier, December 23).
As it happens it is the very same as all his previous monthly letters deriding Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
He has absolutely nothing new to say.
I get the feeling that Unionists like Mr Scott are really running scared regarding the outcome of another independence referendum.
There is little substance in his letter other than to say the SNP have no right to another referendum.
This despite 47/48 MPs being returned in the recent general election which was run on the basis of another referendum for independence.
The victory of the “Remainers” in 2014 was of course based on lies, like “The only way to remain in Europe”, “Oil will soon be no more”, “Pensions will go unpaid” etc.
Mr Scott also always seems to make reference to the fact that he speaks for the majority of us Scots.
Well, that may be the case within his own personal close circle of friends but if he were to widen out his search he would find that most Scots today are desperate for another referendum on Scottish independence.
Industry created brand of slavery
Sir, – I agree in principle with Alex Orr when he states that slavery helped to create the wealth that founded the industrial revolution.
The barbaric treatment of people from Africa should never be swept under the carpet for any reason.
The industrial revolution went on to create its own brand of slavery throughout Britain and that should be remembered with equal distaste.
The poor, men, women and children, forced to work in the most unbelievable conditions for a pittance.
Living in so called housing that no one would allow animals to exist in today.
The wealth, for instance, created by the jute and linen barons in Dundee was staggering.
The owners of the furnaces that supplied iron and later steel were the billionaires of the time who also left a landscape defined as Dante’s Inferno, with the pollution still affecting parts of the country today.
No need to mention the coal industry. It was a tale of woe all on its own.
I am glad our children and grandchildren can only imagine what it was like and that it is indeed history.
25 St Fillans Road,
‘Foolish’ view on right-of-way
Sir, – I feel I must point out to Marc Mills, the spokesman for David Samuel Asset Management, who are apparently the owners of the Abbeygate Centre in Arbroath, that whether he likes it or not, the pedestrian access down Applegate through the car park towards what used to be Orchard Street has been a public right of way for over 700 years.
As Arbroath prepares to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence next year, it seems foolish to suggest that a right of way does not exist.
20 Muirton Road,