I AM sure the fact they are not adding much to the effects of climate change will be of very little comfort to the many families in Scotland who will not be able afford to heat their homes this winter. As the hugely increased gas and electricity bills land on their doormats they can be safe in the knowledge that they are doing their bit for the planet.

From the warmth of the Scottish Parliament chamber it seems that Labour, Green and now the SNP MSPs led by the First Minister have come to the conclusion that the 800 million barrels of oil and the gas in the Cambo oil field should stay in the ground. The coal fields of Australia and the power stations of China will be allowed to pollute the planet while the weans of Scotland shiver in their beds.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon accuses Douglas Lumsden of 'complete nonsense' on Cambo oil field

On an almost weekly basis planning permission for new wind farms is refused either by local councillors or the Scottish Government. Those wind farms which are permitted seem to generate more profit for their owners than electricity for their customers.

In the coming months the price of heating is about to rise well beyond inflation. It may well become the number one issue in Scottish politics, and so it should. How can a country rich in wind, wave and hydro power get itself into such a mess?

I understand it is government policy to “de-carbonise” a million Scottish homes and 50,000 other buildings by 2030. How that is to be achieved seems a bit of a mystery. The Scottish Government’s own assessment is that “the total capital cost of converting our building stock to zero emissions by 2045 is in the region of £33 billion.” Based on the roughly 2.5 million households in Scotland, that amounts to around £13,200 per household.

MSP and MPs on generous salaries will have no problem in paying their winter heating bills and should also be able to find the £13,200 for eventually converting their homes, but perhaps they should spare a thought and spend a bit of time and effort in finding out why a so-called energy-rich nation cannot keep many of its citizens warm in the winter.

Glenda Burns


I WAS interested to read the comments of Ronnie Cowan MP on the dangers highlighted by the recent earthquake in the west of Scotland. The same thoughts had occurred to me and I would like to hear the views of someone scientifically qualified.

READ MORE: Scottish earthquake was nuclear waste 'wake-up call', Ronnie Cowan MP says

Although not exactly at the epicentre, this event must have been noticeable, to a greater of lesser degree, throughout the whole area designated on the maps published the day. This total area did seem to encompass Faslane, Coulport and even the outer Clyde around Beaufort’s Dyke.

Can we be certain that none of these areas were affected at all and, if there were to be a similar event of slightly greater magnitude, would these areas still be unaffected? Could subsequent such events not perhaps gradually destabilise these areas more each time, until we suffered a catastrophic level of damage to the stored nuclear arsenal, the submarines or even the discarded munitions of two wars, causing our own Fukushima effect?

Or do we wait, swallowing anodyne reassurances until some mouldering munitions wash up on beaches for children to find or the deadly weapons of mass destruction cause catastrophe that wipes us all out? In that event, I suppose we would not be around to care!

Time to get them all out of Scotland. If they are as safe as they say, they will be fine in and around the Thames!

L McGregor


ON Thursday morning I found myself watching UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps trying to defend the UK Government’s changes to its flagship HS2 rail project. It was hard to avoid as his statement was broadcast live on virtually every TV news channel.

The UK Government has now apparently scrapped the Birmingham-to-Leeds leg of the high-speed rail line as part of a revised package that ministers promise will still “transform services”.

The cost of HS2 has soared from around £55 billion in 2015 to currently over £100bn. It was not clear from Mr Shapps’s statement what the revised cost will be without the Leeds leg as other smaller enhancements to the North of England’s rail network were announced presumably to confuse the issue. In addition he re-announced related transport projects that had already been announced.

READ MORE: Tories accused of 'betrayal of trust' in new rail plan for northern England

The London to Birmingham leg was due to open at the end of 2026. But this is now expected between 2029 and 2033. The second phase, from Birmingham to Manchester, and for some reason to Wigan, was due to open in 2032-33, but has been pushed back to 2035-2040. Given inflation is currently officially hovering around 5%, and is no doubt actually a lot higher, you have to wonder with a sense of fear and trepidation what the final cost will be. Is £250bn by 2040 out of the question?

After watching for around 10 minutes I decided that old daytime favourites of Homes under the Hammer, the Antiques Roadshow (classic edition) and the like were more relevant to me since not one inch of new rail track or one penny of this massive transport investment will benefit Scotland. We will however be expected to bear our share (the usual 8.5%) of the national debt to which the potential £250bn bill will no doubt be added.

Brian Lawson


THE latest U-turn by Boris shows their rail to nowhere has become a nightmare of broken promises yet again, an Edwardian backwards system of fixes and repairs while Japan has bullet trains, better cities and better technology. They suffered two atomic bombs, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc while the elite establishment still keeps us back in Dickens’s times.

Glen Peters