SO Jeremy Vine wants to ban discussing politics in the workplace, especially “divisive” Scottish independence. I remember colleagues in staff rooms and “workmates” in factories making outrageous reactionary and Unionist statements, filled with self-racism and self-hatred, which they always regarded as “normal”.

When you replied, they always countered with, “ah, but that is bringing politics into it”. I even remember educated teachers, whose names lilted with the music of the Highlands, being exceptionally vociferous and venomous, against the Gaelic language and the residual Gaidhealtachd.

We have whole government buildings, including Dover House, London, dedicated to shadowing, censuring and obfuscating any democratic manifestation of independence, backed by a grand imperialist media and multiple GB institutions.

Now, we are to be censured in the workplace. What is left, but to follow almost every other former colonial free nation in uncivil disobedience?

Donald Anderson


I CAN understand the Scottish Government’s statement about energy being controlled by the UK Government, therefore any exploration of Scottish geothermal heating will only be beneficial through being independent (Use disused mines and Subway to heat homes, ministers told, The National, Aug 2)

The perfect example of a country using geothermal heating is obviously Iceland. It has kept Iceland warm for decades and almost for free. Iceland has access to so much of its natural heating through its volcanic geology faults that it doesn’t even need to store it.

I met up with some Icelanders this last weekend and had a wee chat about their warm homes. I was also informed that almost every village has its own heated exterior swimming pool. If they can’t store heat supplies they put it all to an extended and excellent good use.

This form of green energy technology could produce around 10% of Scotland’s green energy supply. Alongside onshore and offshore wind power, wave power and solar sun panels, that would mean Scotland would have no need for oil and gas for its domestic heating supply.

Let’s get independence done. Let’s show the fence-sitters that Scotland can afford cheap energy, it can afford a decent state pension scheme, and it can afford to provide a better education for our children and a national health service for our population.

Alan Magnus-Bennett


THE SNP praised the Tories for announcing investment in the St Fergus carbon capture and storage facility. This is the supposed counter to the additional carbon dioxide which will result from the “maxing out” of the North Sea’s reserves. The UK Government wants it all.

Neil Gray, the Scottish Energy Secretary was quoted as saying that the St Fergus plant will improve on the 90% extraction of CO2, which will be collected, pumped and stored beneath the North Sea.

This is greenwashing in the extreme as 1) the technology is unproven at this scale; 2) even if it works, it is an expensive process which consumers would pay for with higher prices; 3) it justifies producing more oil and gas; and, finally and most importantly, 4) it diverts investment from green energy technologies such as marine wave and tidal projects and the production of green hydrogen.

The Scottish Government seems content to allow the various multinationals to control the production and pricing of our energy resources for the benefit of their shareholders. It refuses to create a National Energy Company (as the Welsh are doing) which could increasingly manage the joined-up policies of utilising our resources in a holistic manner.

As an example, look at any existing wind farm during the day. You will see many turbines stopped as demand is low. Electricity cannot be stored and the grid cannot cope with additional power. Individual companies cannot sell the energy so they don’t produce it.

If there was national control, the existing infrastructure could continue turning and producing low-cost electricity which could be used to produce green hydrogen whenever supply exceeded demand. Please think again, Scottish Government.

David Campbell Anderson

via email

THERE’S quite a lot I would question in The National’s “Fact Check” (Will more oil from North Sea ‘drive down’ energy prices?, Aug 1) but let us all understand that there is a war on!

In all of the articles on the subject of North Sea drilling licences, I struggle to see Ukraine mentioned. In the early stages of the war, the US went cap in hand to Saudi Arabia, pleading for it to increase output.

Can you imagine the US not also putting pressure on its other “friends” to do likewise, especially those it considers itself to have a “special relationship” with?

The UK’s first reaction would have been to say “we daren’t do that. It would be fuel to the Scottish independence cause. However, on reflection, with the SNP taking a dip in popularity then why not”.

And if it means Westminster gets to keep its nuclear toys then the UK needn’t ever bow down to the nuclear-armed French when they have a pop at our fishermen.

That’s what you call a special relationship.

Finally, when you ask “What is happening to oil prices?”, I would gently suggest that whoever believes that oil futures are a forecast of future oil prices badly needs to check their facts.

Alan Adair