Sir, – This week in London there was another terror attack using a vehicle.
The news coverage of this incident was extensive – but also counter-productive.
There were television cameras everywhere.
There was rolling coverage including interviews with the powers that be, dramatic references to previous attacks and a retired policemen saying we need more resources.
Meanwhile, a government minister said it is difficult to bring weapons into this country.
It was stated that this (ie a vehicle being driven at people) is the “weapon” would-be terrorists seem to be using now.
They insisted, nevertheless, that lessons would be learned from this.
The following day the national newspapers came out and the front pages were covered in pictures of the aftermath of the incident.
What are we thinking?
We make anti-heroes out of murderers by giving them names like Jihadi John and even The Beatles.
Meanwhile, our cowardly hidden enemy watches and reads and smiles and plans, because the way we are reporting is effectively saying “here we are, come and get us, and when we arrest you, if you are still alive, we will give you special recognition by given you a nickname”.
Some newspapers are calling it a “copy cat attack”.
Well it is surely the fault of the irresponsible coverage that brings that about.
12 Invergowrie Drive,
Lacking sense of proportion
Sir, – The Scottish Labour Party’s announcement of a zero greenhouse gas emissions policy intended to exceed in severity that of the SNP, welcomed by WWF, Friends of the Earth, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and the like, makes no sense in terms of proportions.
Scotland’s share of global CO2 emissions, at 0.13%, is so trivial that no influence on climate changes could possibly result from any further decarbonisation, nor by the UK as a whole, with 1.3% of the present world total.
Decarbonisation is a hugely expensive own goal to us, stultifying energy production, travel, industry and home lighting and heating.
Talk of favourably influencing the rest of the greenhouse gas emitting world not participating in the Paris agreement and the like is specious.
Likewise, there is no practical sense in seeking “atonement” for past CO2 emissions when our heavy industries prospered.
No one would take any notice of such efforts in, for example, China, the Indian subcontinent, and other non-adherents, to the international endeavour to “cut carbon”.
The USA, which has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gases by burning relatively carbon-poor shale gas, is, sensibly, withdrawing from the Paris agreement.
Far from aiming for zero emissions, a very strong scientific and economic case could be made for repeal of the Climate Change Acts (2008 and 2009) and abandoning attempts to curtail CO2 output.
Those who would disagree must lack a sense of proportion.
111 Viewlands Rd West,
No credit on either side
Sir, – Citizens of Dundee, the All Under One Banner circus comes to town on Saturday, August 18.
Prepare to be shocked, embarrassed and disgusted – whatever side you are on.
It is claimed that as many as 50,000 go on these marches.
A video was made of the Inverness parade on July 28 and 3,400 were counted, one quarter of the claimed 14,000.
I was there and stood opposite a token group of Union-supporting activists who blasted out Rule Britannia and provocative soundbites such as “welcome to the British city of Inverness”.
They were competing for volume with the black-clad group “Bikers for Independence” whose full throttling of their superbikes ricocheted deafeningly off the walls of Bridge Street to the delight of the marchers trudging by.
It was awful: horrible and humiliating in front of all the tourists.
The words “Scotland, what have they done to you” kept coming into my head and, honestly, tears filled my eyes.
I agree with Kenny MacAskill, who has said this is not the way to conduct a debate on the future of my beloved country.
However the blame for this disgrace to democracy lies squarely at the door of the SNP, who unleashed this tribal, bitter cult and now has the brass neck to complain when it can’t get the genie back in the bottle.
1 Willow Row,
Greys winning battle to survive
Sir, – I read with interest the article by Rob McLaren regarding squirrels in a recent edition of The Courier (“Concern as grey squirrels spotted in key red squirrel conservation area in the Mearns”, Courier, August 9).
If it wasn’t for the prospect of animals being killed, the article would strike a rather ridiculous note.
The tone is that of a national emergency.
The reality, however, is that one species of squirrel might replace another.
Neither species is endangered.
They perform the same function within the ecosystem.
Red squirrels were suited to the habitat the way it was several hundred years ago.
Grey squirrels are suited to the habitat the way it is now, post deforestation.
Perhaps we should be grateful that at least one species is adaptable enough for our ecological mess, not declare war on animals that are simply winning the game of the survival of the fittest.
Furthermore, the replacement narrative is in itself scientifically questionable.
It is worth noting that where the habitat is still suitable for red squirrels, for example in Craigvinean Forest, they coexist with their grey cousins, as documented in Bryce et al, “Can niche use in red and grey squirrels offer clues for their apparent coexistence?”, Journal of Applied Ecology, 2002.
55 Lavertsoke Gardens,
Must examine the history
Sir, – In his piece on the burka debate and Boris Johnson (Letters August 10) Alan Hinnrichs exhibits a deep-seated ignorance of Islam, a pathological hatred of political opponents and of British culture and history, and a classical example of the original political correctness of Marxism, more guaranteed to confuse an issue than the 1,000 articles he refers to.
Against the many that have been killed in Britain is he saying there is no Islamic terrorism?
Or that it is justified?
Of the 1,000 articles, he writes: “The findings showed that 69% of the articles presented Muslims as a source of problems not just in terms of terrorism but also on cultural issues, and that 26% of the articles portrayed Islam as dangerous, backward or irrational”.
Were he to study the Islamic history of its colonial expansion and the many tens of millions killed in the process (indeed even more than Stalin managed) and to dip into the Koran, Hadith and the Sunna he would be forced to agree with the above findings.
And were he to say the Bible also contains much killing he should know the Bible is historical record.
The Koran is the actual word of God to be acted upon here and now by every Muslim – in Islamic theology it is always up-to-date.
The war cry “Allahu akbar (God is greater)”, during the killings, gives attention to the source of the terrorism.
With regard to the burka issue, there is no requirement in Islam to wear a burka, the wearing of which is demanded by a male dominated tribal view and when encountered on a British street is an insult to our way of life as well as being a security threat.
9 MacLaren Gardens,
More than a hint of hypocrisy
Sir, – I noticed with interest Dr Liam Fox, the pro-Brexit International Trade Secretary, take credit for Taiwan opening its market to British pork for the first time.
I found this news rather intriguing, as at no point did Dr Fox mention the European Union, who in fact brokered the agreement, – an agreement which could be at risk when the UK leaves the EU.
More than a little hypocritical.
77 Leamington Tce,