QUITE a few years back, when I was a local SNP candidate here in Inverclyde, the local small boat owners and fishermen’s association approached me with their worries and problems, which resulted in me taking up the cudgels on their behalf.

One of their spokesmen, who had a prawn fishing boat, was the late Brian Penny, who explained the problem and gave me the astounding fact that all the sea life had died in the Holy Loch.

The obvious cause of this was the USA nuclear submarine base of Polaris submarines, which must be discharging or dumping nuclear waste into

the loch. With the help of the Greenock Telegraph we made a complaint to the far-off powers in Westminster who (according to them) sent a naval investigation team and took samples of sand, and water from the Loch, and assuring all concerned, that there was no need for any worry, as their tests had shown that the Loch was clean and no contamination was found.

So who was to be believed, our local men who worked the river, or the boffins from the Anglo/Brit Navy? It was their expert word against our on-the-spot working fishermen. The result was that, as usual, nothing happened, until long after the USA navy left, the commander of the Holy Loch base retired and confessed to dumping tons of radio active waste into the loch.

Along with this admission was his statement that the base would have been illegal in America, as such nuclear bases have got to be more than 20 miles from the nearest town.This Holy Loch base was bang in the middle of the river Clyde, and only two miles from Greenock, the second-largest town in Scotland.

This confession by this former USA commander made the Royal Navy tests a total lie. No such tests were made. Proof of the pudding resulted in a permanently based dredger, working for well over a year on the very spot where the American commander’s mother ship was moored. I hope since that panic clean-up, sea life may have made a comeback, although some types of nuclear waste are a danger for a hundred years or more. I hope the USA were back charged for this long and hazardous clean-up, or did we taxpayers foot that bill also?

This doesn’t end the story of contamination, and if anything is only the beginning of a long line of attacks on our fragile environment. The English-flag-flying Royal Navy have taken over where the Yankees left off. Just across the river we have a nuclear submarine base, which not only admits to discharging radioactive waste from Faslane into the Gairloch but announces that this will increase by 50% when the new nuclear subs arrive.

The fact is, the only enemy attack we have to thole right now is from this highly dangerous Cobalt-60 and Tritium cocktail, a GIFT from the Royal Navy. However if you look up GIFT in a German dictionary, it means poison or venom. There are no contingency plans for our children’s health, when only less than two miles away we have a unique seawater swimming pool in Gourock which will eventually filter this contamination through, to be shared by all.

No, to Mr Donald Doull, the base commander, don’t install that new pipeline which will spew out this dangerous filth into our beloved Clyde. Rather fill your navy tankers with the effluent, and sail it down to the River Thames, when opposite the Westminster Parliament discharge this contaminated water into the river. Let’s see how long the Londoners would tolerate such muck spreading on their patch. You will find the English are not as gullible as to accept your stupid comment that this waste is of an acceptable radioactive level. Acceptable by whom, may I ask?

Iain Ramsay
Greenock & Inverclyde