Sir, – The failure of the St Fergus carbon capture and storage scheme to proceed to the next stage might not be a political slight by the Tories in Westminster, it could be something else. Common sense.
With previous iterations falling short and, like this latest one, just another fossil fuel fiasco parading around as if it’s some great saviour which does little other than allow the status quo to persist and ruin the planet for another few decades, all on the promise of thousands of jobs (if you give us a billion).
However, there’s a far better alternative to this which the Scottish executive has invested in, and that’s the restoration of Scotland’s peat bogs which naturally hold more carbon emissions than some misguided people think.
Ian Beattie, Baker Street, Aberdeen.
Salmond idea was before its time
Sir, – In 2006, before he became first minister, I sat opposite old schoolmate Alex Salmond on a train.
He talked about Scotland being the “Saudi Arabia of renewables” and I was impressed, especially as he took a call from BP to discuss his ideas for a carbon capture centre in Peterhead. It was rejected as unviable.
In those days I was increasingly dismayed by the moribund Labour-Lib Dem coalition at Holyrood and thought Mr Salmond might shake things up. But what we got was a 15-year shakedown of the best of Scotland.
North-east England now has a cohort of dynamic MPs campaigning for investment and jobs – and we have 48 SNP MPs determined to break up the UK, who can’t bring themselves to team up with local Conservatives, and whose wind farm-fixated boss Nicola Sturgeon sits back while the Greens campaign to shut down oil and gas.
And our PM? He’s going with the well-supported carbon capture option.
Allan Sutherland, Willow Row, Stonehaven.
Lack of support for local democracy
Sir, – I recently read an article regarding the situation with community councils in Moray.
It did not make good reading. Of the 208 seats only 50% were filled and none were contested. This is a sad reflection of community involvement and is prevalent throughout Scotland.
It has been like this for a number of years and seems be worse in SNP-run councils. There will be a lot of theories.
My thoughts are it’s the continuing centralisation of government, reflected in the number of times community councils have recommended to a council that a certain action is not in the interest of their community. Even if the full council agree and turn down the application we find central government steps in to give the go-ahead. People quickly become disillusioned and question why they give up leisure time to a system that only pays lip service.
What can be done about it? The present Scottish administration doesn’t have the answer but then they don’t have answers to a great many problems being experience by Scots.
Finlay G Mackintosh, Lochview, Forres.
Scottish exports to Far East ignored
Sir, – Your article on Sir Patrick Manson reminded me of a Churchill quote.
“Of all the small nations on this Earth, perhaps, only the Ancient Greeks surpass the Scots in their contribution to mankind.”
Manson shipped 80 dairy cows from Aberdeenshire to Hong Kong to supply clean, cheap milk.
Sadly Frederick Stewart, “founder of the Hong Kong education system”, Manson and others of such standing in the Far East are ignored in schools.
Frederick Stewart, Alder Drive, Portlethen, Aberdeenshire.