THE UK is talking down Scotland’s energy potential. This time it’s green hydrogen. Norway is investing in green hydrogen in line with the EU’s €400 billion pipeline, the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, and the EU’s hydrogen strategy to have it account for 14% of the energy mix by 2050.

Westminster lied about Scotland’s oil wealth and secretly moved our maritime border 600 miles north to steal 12 Scottish oil and gas fields, so it’s no surprise the UK is using the same tactics with our renewables.

Scotland generates one-quarter of the UK’s renewable energy and 85% of its hydropower and is on course to deliver nearly half of Europe’s offshore wind grid supply by 2035. But London needs us to believe we can’t prosper outside the Union when the truth is that England can’t survive without unfettered access to our resources.

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In January 2022, offshore wind licences for 5000 square miles of the Scottish seabed were auctioned for a maximum one-off price of just £700 million. The licences went to Shell, BP, French TotalEnergies, Spanish Iberdrola and Danish Orsted.

At the same time, an area off Long Island, New York, 25% the size of the Scottish area, sold for $4.37bn.

In addition to not owning its energy assets, Scotland doesn’t own the transmission system. The UK’s privatised National Grid levies the highest electricity standing charges in the UK on Scots, who pay 50% more than Londoners. And Scottish generators pay the highest rates to connect to the grid in Europe, despite Scotland accounting for 52% of the total UK network.

Colonialism is when a colony’s resources are extracted and then sold back to it at a premium by the coloniser. It’s why one-quarter of Scottish households can’t afford to heat their homes. The solution? Restore Scottish sovereignty to end the theft.

Leah Gunn Barrett

THE Ferret article on the push for hydrogen heating (Apr 23) was extremely misplaced. All changes to our sources of energy have to be funded and if the current “polluters”, which have the most resources and associated skills, are driving a move to recognise the need for alternatives to burning fossil hydrocarbons then they should be applauded.

Contrary to the implied criticism in the article, they are very much part of the solution and very much best placed to drive that change.

There are significant challenges in “just stopping oil”, not least the availability of sufficient deployable replacement energy and the changes to the way global society operates that will be needed to achieve that objective.

Whether or not it is hydrogen-based is not the main issue. It is necessary to explore all alternatives and sadly none of them come without their own costs to the environment.

Nick Cole
Meigle, Perthshire

AFTER my letter on Friday saying that the Scottish Government should respond to the
UK Government’s blocking of the GRR legislation, not by applying to the English courts, but by taking this matter up directly with King Charles, I have had a number of contacts telling me that this would be unconstitutional.

Well let me respond to that publicly through The National. Walter Bagehot, political philosopher and constitutionalist and author of the famous book The English Constitution published in 1867, makes it clear that the unwritten Westminster constitution is in two parts – what he describes as the “dignified parts” and what he describes as “efficient parts”.

He explains that the dignified parts such as the monarchy and the public functions are there to “excite and preserve the reverence of the population” and the efficient parts are the bits that “made it work and rule”.

So the monarchy and the pomp and ceremony are merely a facade which distracts the population from the business part of the machine where the real power is deployed.

Bagehot’s observations were sound in 1867 and are still sound in 2023. So if we use Bagehot’s classifications it is clear that in the case of the GRR Bill, the “efficient part” of the constitution was in operation while this issue was going through the legislative process, and the UK Government could have had an input into that process if it had wanted to do so.

However, after the bill was finally approved by the Scottish Parliament, the “efficient parts” of the procedure were over and only the “dignified part” remained, that is, for the bill to go to the monarch for the Royal Assent, which is a formality.

Alister Jack is not the monarch, so he had no authority to decide that the bill could not have the Royal Assent. That decision was for King Charles, and nobody else. If the Scottish Government asked Charles why there is a delay in the Royal Assent, this would display the deception in the constitution, because he would have a problem trying to answer that question.

So why don’t we do that now, just before the coronation, so we can bring maximum embarrassment on to the Tory government and expose the weakness of the English constitution for all to see? That would be much better than going to the Supreme Court again.

Andy Anderson

THERE are at least two reasons why the leaders of the Scottish branches of the Tory, Labour and LibDem parties won’t release the numbers of branch members (Unionist parties rule out revealing membership figures, Apr 25).

They can’t without the permission of their parties’ headquarters and if income from membership is an indication of the number of members they wouldn’t want to release them anyway.

Declared income from memberships for 2020-21 was approximately £2,500,000 by the SNP, £220,000 by the Tory branches, £160,000 by the LibDems and £81,000 by the “Scottish Labour Party”.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry