SNP MP Mr Stephen Flynn states that “we Scots are fuel-poor in an energy-rich land, and all from a broken Westminster system that is hammering household incomes and making Scots poorer”.

BUT, in spite of all that, he and the SNP/Greens in Scotland still expect us to fund the changing of our heating systems by putting all the costs onto us, the consumers! One minute we are fuel-poor and the next we are a rich country and can afford to convert all our homes to greener forms of insulation and heating and are to be given dates by which we need to comply with in their proposals. What is it going to be: poor or rich?

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Can they explain just how this might be achieved? Our houses are of an age that none were built to the standards of insulation needed. If you stick a heat pump on the outer wall, it’s still the same aged house with no insulation in the outer walls, or in the cavity if there is one, or still solid internal walls with no plasterboard partitions with insulation in these older homes.

Over the years we, like nearly 85% of households, have decided that a central heating system is the best way to heat our older houses, using oil/gas. Now they want us to go all-electric to cut down on fossil fuel usage. Our older homes were not built for that! It’s not like Scandinavia countries, where they have wooden houses with insulation that’s designed to suit, started probably 40 years ago with that type of heating included, heat pumps and radiators, triple glazing etc. You can’t compare like for like – it’s two different countries and their way of life is different.

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What they are expecting us to do is really a change in our way of life, to heat our homes. This must be led by the public, and not the SNP/Green ideals. Why should we be penalised if we do not agree? There should be no time limit set out either, or an expectation that all the costs, or bridging the gap, will be paid by us the consumers – that’s sheer fantasy world.

It’s our personal lives and circumstances that are much more important – fuel-poor in an energy-rich land – than climate action led by the SNP/ Green ideals.

Energy, oil and gas are not devolved, just when will that ever change? As things are, it just benefits the energy giants and their shareholders, and does nothing to reduce our bills in Scotland.

Michael Maclennan

FRIDAY night saw the first date in the tour of Lesley Riddoch’s latest film: Denmark, the State of Happiness. The cold weather did not keep people away because there was almost a full house at Dundee’s Steps Theatre for the event, hosted by Dundee & Angus Independence Group.

The film was something of an eye-opener, as the audience learned some of the reasons why Denmark scores so highly in happiness indices.

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The stand-out moments for so many in the audience included the level of political and social collaboration backed by Danes to support progressive policies which enhance their society, such as an all-encompassing social security system (including their willingness to pay high levels of tax to finance it!), an education system which genuinely considers the needs of their children and young people, and forward-thinking energy policies.

The film told of how these were at first put in place in the 1970s, in response to the oil crises of that decade, but now through investment and commitment to this move away from fossil fuels, Denmark is at the forefront of cheap green energy.

The ideas presented in the film were explored further in the Q&A with Lesley afterwards, and there was a clear sense of interest and enthusiasm as the audience left the theatre. What did they think? We asked a few:

Tony Baboolal: “Riddoch’s film and talk explore the evolution of the governance of Denmark and the education of its people, and looks at why this contented nation is ahead of the UK in so many ways. A real treat!”

Jenny Warren: “The film was a great eye-opener on several levels but the two key things for me were: 1. The degree of willingness to negotiate and cooperate both at a political and community level and 2. District heating and the fact that Denmark has had this system since the 1970s! Thank you to Lesley Riddoch and Charlie Stuart for showing we Scots what we could have had. Roll on Scottish independence!”

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Les Mackay: “An inspiring film, showing what could have been, and hopefully will be, for Scotland. But we can’t achieve that while held back by our lords and masters in London.”

Steve Malloy: “Feeling an acute sense of what could have been in 2014 ... worth a watch on what small independent nations can achieve.”

Fiona Murray-Crowe: “It was really interesting and inspiring”

This is definitely a must-watch film. If you haven’t already done so, get hold of a ticket for your nearest venue.

Jane Phillips
Dundee & Angus independence Group

Go to to see a full list of dates for the screening tour