MAY I express my pleasure at the announcement of talks between the SNP and the Greens on the possibility of a formal cooperative arrangement between those parties.

May I also suggest that the Greens should be offered a major role for the organisation of a sideshow to the forthcoming COP26 conference, which (depending upon the then prevalent Covid-19 status) would offer a conducted tour (or a “virtual” tour) of current research and development sites and projects within Scotland, and also invite collaborative development and training projects.

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This would provide the Greens with an opportunity to demonstrate their organisational abilities and their ability to operate within a formally prescribed budget and to collaborate with various commercial and academic institutions to achieve a stated objective.

I am aware that previous efforts to invite collaboration with a foreign government resulted in what was widely suspected (but never proved) to be the theft of Scottish innovative techniques. We should take action to protect ourselves from that potentially underhand type of action.

Hugh Noble

I WRITE as an ordinary member of the Scottish Green Party to support our party entering into discussions with the SNP.

The Scottish Government has been strong on aspirations to limit carbon emissions but generally weak on delivery. There is no clear plan on achieving the necessary changes in building standards, insulation and space heating nor of how to train the workforce required. Adequate afforestation will mean taking on large landowners. Reducing transport emissions will require an overall strategy that will put major question marks against much air travel and road expenditure. Nor is there any clear framework for ensuring that these policies will generate green jobs in Scotland – will the increased demand for larger radiators for heat pumps just be met from overseas, as is happening to wind turbines?

READ MORE: Lorna Slater says Green talks with SNP ‘a risk’ after LibDems’ Tory coalition

If discussions can lead to Green policies being implemented, with Green MSPs actively engaged in pushing these through, then I would welcome that.

If additional finance is required then reform of the base of local government taxation is within Holyrood’s powers. The SNP in the past promised the Greens that there would be an effective review. Nothing has happened. In the short run Holyrood can lift the cap on council tax increases, allow higher bands, allow a wide range of local government taxes (in spite of Covid, a tourist tax is feasible) and allow and encourage local authorities to provide a wider range of income-generating services.

In the medium term there should be a full valuation of land and property so that local authorities will be able to raise a much greater share of their income from land and property taxes, thus reducing the subvention from Holyrood and increasing local accountability. Community councils can also be given powers to levy a precept directly, as is the case in England with parish councils. All this can be achieved within the space of the current parliament.

David Mumford

IAIN Forde takes me to task regarding my comments on the deservedly renowned Scottish urban theorist Patrick Geddes (Letters, May 27). Unfortunately, there is no gainsaying the fact that many contemporary Palestinians see Geddes’s early work on the Hebrew University in Jerusalem – at the behest of the World Zionist Federation – as an integral aspect of the political project to displace the indigenous Arab majority with a European-Jewish state.

READ MORE: Patrick Geddes had good intentions when he planned Hebrew University

Geddes also worked closely with the hated British colonial administration on town plans for Jerusalem, which included freezing any development in the Arab parts of the city while expanding Jewish neighbourhoods. Geddes is known for his concern to incorporate historic civic traditions in developing modern townscapes. Usually this was a positive stance. But in this case, his suspect European “orientalism” and his support for the Zionist project led him to prioritise an historic vision of a purely Jewish city – a vision that somehow neglected 1500 years of Arab occupation. Surely we can celebrate the innovative in Geddes’s work at the same time as acknowledging his faults.

George Kerevan
via email

I AGREE with Martin Hannan that the Japanese rugby team, officials and staff should not be coming to Murrayfield on June 26, especially when much of Japan is in a state of emergency and with less than 4% of the country’s population fully vaccinated (Lions friendly with Japan yet another pointless risk, May 27). The USA recently have warned that people should avoid travel to Japan. This is yet another Cheltenham Gold Cup disaster about to happen and needs to be highlighted, not relegated to the sports pages. So Jason Leitch and Scottish Government advisors, think again!

Jo Bloomfield