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Readers’ letters: SNP’s lack of acumen costs Scotland renewable energy jobs

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Sir, – I read Dick Winchester’s response to Russell Borthwick’s letter.

A very full, technical and in my view an accurate portrayal of the current frustrating situation in low-carbon renewable energy.

Aker, Maersk, Vattenfall and other Scandinavian companies are streaking ahead with Scottish firms still trying to get on the blocks mired by the SNP’s lack of foresight, business intransigence and ineptitude.

There is to my mind a less esoteric clear marker of the SNP’s lack of business acumen and promotion in this sphere.

I, along with many of my peers, moved into the oil and gas industry in late 1970s/early 1980s during a short period of unprecedented development by large multinationals supported by the UK Government and very enthusiastic, hard-working local authorities. By 1985 a significant proportion of my friends, family and colleagues were in long-term employment and building great careers.

Compare this with the current renewable sector, particularly now transitioning is regarded as so urgent. Alex Salmond’s hubris-laden quote of “Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy” in 2011 is an empty statement.

In the 11 years since the quote, Scotland has provided the licences and sites for renewables, but little else.

Where is the parallel jobs boom for Scots working in renewables? I know not one single person who has a permanent job or career developing within the renewable energy sector in Scotland and I am not alone in this.

No doubt there will be the usual voices blaming or calling for the UK Government to do more, but let’s face it, any positive input from Westminster is likely to be met with indignation and the “not invented here” approach of the SNP.

The renewable energy opportunities are on our doorstep but are being built, installed and run by others including, ironically, Arabian companies.

Scots workers are capable and willing to engage with renewables, but currently let down by the Scottish Government and appear to be thrown only scraps.

William Morgan, Midstocket, Aberdeen.

Covid lockdowns disastrous for UK

Sir, – Statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggest Sweden’s approach to combating Covid-19 was perhaps the better way.

Excess deaths for 2021 in Sweden rated 38 per 100,000 compared to 109 per 100,000 for the UK.

Sweden’s “lockdown” was targeted – the entire country was not shut down. The elderly and clinically vulnerable were encouraged to isolate. Citizens retained the freedom to exercise informed judgment and behave responsibly – for their own good and the benefit of others. No draconian legislation.

Contrast this with the good intentions of Professors Whitty and Vallance which convinced politicians to shut down UK plc and pass legislation to compel citizens to “stay at home”.

Results? Money disbursed by the Exchequer in support of Covid – billions claimed, never to be returned to the taxpayer. Businesses closed – never to reopen. Employment sustained temporarily through furlough at considerable cost. Unemployment now rising. Too much money chasing too few goods and services, resulting in rampant inflation. A huge national debt. Nothing short of disastrous.

The only significant success was the roll-out of the vaccination programme. Not to forget PM Johnson’s resolve to open up the economy and relax Covid restrictions in England well in advance of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, despite the prophets of doom and gloom on the opposition benches.

Our only hope is we will have learned from the mistakes of the last two years and more.

Bill Maxwell, Mar Place, Keith.

Lib Dems should reject nationalists

Sir, – I read about the imminent agreement between the SNP and Lib Dems to form a coalition to run Aberdeen Council.

I understand the current administration is not perfect but I shudder to think of Aberdeen being run by the SNP.

Would it not be better for the Lib Dems to join up with the Conservatives and Labour?

The city voted almost 60% NO in 2014. Last week the SNP only got 22,000 votes from Aberdeen’s 207,000 registered voters. This means only one in every 10 voters could be bothered voting for the party that will undoubtedly use its power in the city to advance the unwanted case for independence, not least in our schools.

A coalition of Labour, Lib Dem and Conservatives would represent 34,374 total votes. An SNP/Lib Dem coalition would represent 32,094 total votes.

Aberdeen was voted the best council in the UK recently. If it works, why try to fix it?

Allan Sutherand, Willow Row, Stonehaven.

Park ahin us beats this big gless box

Sir, – To a Daisy – nooadays:

Wee modest crimson tippit flooer

We’ve stood richt here for many an oor

Bit bless ma sheen and bless my socks

We niver socht this big gless box

I mind the days o auld lang syne

The park ahin us did jist fine

The pipe bands played – the crowds turned oot

Some peyed for seats – maist folk jist stood

The floral crest, the trees, the grass

The seats, the peace – aa in the past?

I think o this and could jist cry

I’m gled I face the ither wye.

Margaret Duthie, Albury Road, Aberdeen.

Keep hands off Highland Council

Sir, – On May 3 you reported on a proposal to break up the Highland Council.

This letter is a plea to retain existing boundaries where possible for all our voting systems.

This eases the task of party workers.

My task back in the day was the booking of halls for our candidates to speak.

Voters came and we always won. (How do you find the hallkeeper? Phone the local post office!)

Geoff Leet, Burnside, Thurso.

Green gravy train needs derailing

Sir, – A group of researchers led by Julian Allwood, professor of engineering and environment at Cambridge University, has proposed the closure of all UK airports by 2050 in order to achieve net-zero.

They also want international shipping halted and a ban on eating beef and lamb.

This useless drivel is paid for by the UK taxpayer.

Whilst climate academics sit in their green ivory towers people are trying to pay energy bills, pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

There is a huge climate gravy train sucking up the UK taxpayers’ money so it must be derailed.

Every job with “climate change” in its title should be made redundant. Just think of the billions of pounds which could be put to better use.

Meanwhile the rest of the world uses aircraft, burns fossil fuels, builds coal-fired power plants and drives 1.4 billion petrol/diesel vehicles.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Tour de potholes

Cyclists will set off from the Granite City on September 4 in the Tour of Britain following different roads and routes over some of the north-east top ascents.

This will give Aberdeen City Council and the Shire time to fill in all the potholes on the roads/routes to prevent twisted wheels, burst tyres and cyclists with scraped knees, elbows and maybe even more serious injuries!

In the same article, Chris Foy, Chief Executive of VisitAberdeenshire, and Jim Savage, Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council, both said “this would be challenging for riders”).

The bigger challenge will be filling in all the potholes!

T. Shirron, Davidson Drive, Aberdeen.

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