THERE has been surprisingly little reaction to reports that Alister Jack has been conspiring to have new nuclear power stations built in Scotland. I can only assume the public has become so used to this sort of behaviour that they no longer find it remarkable.

Surely the majority in this country are opposed to nuclear power being imposed on them? Surely they don’t want yet another multi-generational decommissioning problem created in Ardeer, just down the road from the existing one at Hunterston, as seems to be being recommended by Mr Jack? Where does it stop? When the entire coastline from Torness, to Dounreay, Hunterston and Chapelcross is dotted with nuclear exclusion zones?

READ MORE: 'Menacing' Alister Jack kept Scottish nuclear plans a secret, John Swinney says

Is this to be one of the functions of “Great” British Energy? To demonstrate to us that we’re part of the new British nuclear future?

This is an issue that should be being shouted from the rooftops. It flies in the face of our government’s stated policy. There must surely be a majority in Holyrood to carry a motion rejecting the imposition of new nuclear power stations on Scotland. Such a motion could be followed by legislation prohibiting the construction of new nuclear facilities and enshrining this in planning our regulations.

Such action would almost certainly be vetoed by the Scotland Office as being beyond the competence of the Scottish Government because energy policy, like the constitution, is a matter too grown-up for us to be trusted with. How would that go down with Scots? It’s an issue that could become a rallying cry for independence. Why are we not using it?

Even some of the most ardent Unionists, at least in North Ayrshire, must be opposed to having yet another monument to the dead-end of energy from nuclear fission dumped on their doorsteps.

Cameron Crawford

SECURE Scotland aims to move the discourse around security away from the use of force and compulsion towards human security, based on fundamental human needs.

I want to write a bit about what Russian and Ukrainian conscientious objectors (plus the many many other war refusers and avoiders there) do for us all. They are islands of sanity in a sea of utter madness. While we cringe and writhe in front of our TVs and newsfeeds watching the hideous trail of slaughter and destruction, they remind us that it is possible to make a stand, to say “enough is enough”. They drop their small spanners in the grim machine. They represent a slice of humanity that has not entirely lost the plot. At considerable cost to themselves, they give us hope.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: Ukraine can win this war but only with our support

War resisters are labelled as naive, as emotional, as irrational, yet the whole war game and mindset is typified by irrationality. There is an almost complete lack of any rational and inclusive cost/benefit analysis when considering and favouring the continuation of a forever war, as against seeking routes to a peaceful settlement. No clear accounting for lives lost, bodies wrecked, long-lasting trauma and damage to the social psyche, economic and environmental disaster.

Such accounting as does take place is critically tainted by selfish calculations, be it around profiteering by arms manufacturers and sellers, or around the interests of nations and power blocks, or those of psychopathic rulers. There is also the critical dearth of honest risk assessment around dangerous escalation, possibly into nuclear war.

Continuation with war also displays another level of human stupidity – it keeps the real and urgent business right at the bottom of the agenda – and we are running out of time. Every other day we get fresh warnings about what we are doing to our climate and biosphere but there is little sign of a move towards the trans-global collaboration that is essential if we are to avoid catastrophe.

We honour these frontline war resisters but to also commit ourselves afresh to do whatever we can to put our own spanners in the works. As Howard Zinn put it about the Vietnam war: “They’ll say we’re disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war.”

David Mackenzie
Secure Scotland

AS I have opined lang syne, the recognition and long-overdue establishment of a Palestinian state is of paramount importance.

It is imperative for the people of Scotland request that a vote be taken in their own parliament in Edinburgh to establish that Scotland fully supports Ireland, Norway and Spain in their formal recognition of Palestinian statehood, and to formally advise the UN and EU of the result of such a vote.

READ MORE: Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise state of Palestine

In line with my consistent mantra regarding Scotland’s own shackled position within the colonial UK shambles, we shall not achieve independence for decades to come unless urgent and sustained efforts and progress are instigated to rationalise, mobilise and internationalise.

Séamas Ó Dálaigh
Cala nan clach