CLAIRE Whitehouse boasts that Scotland’s renewables produced the equivalent of 97 per cent of the country’s electricity consumption in 2020, mostly from wind power (“Railway electrification signals acceleration towards net zero”, The Herald, December 23). The theoretical capacity of the UK’s metered wind farms is 19,502 MW (megawatts), however from the 16th to the 22nd of this month the total generation of these wind farms never exceeded 3,400 MW as the UK and its seas were engulfed in a high pressure weather system. This was for more than six days during a time of winter demand.
Combine this with the fact that one of Scotland’s four ancient nuclear reactors recently shut down forever, and its easy to see that Scottish Government policy on energy is going to be ruinous. If this six-day windless period were to happen in the not too distant future when all of Scotland’s domestic energy generation will be provided by wind farms, solar panels and a precious tiny amount of hydro, then Ms Whitehouse’s trains won’t be going anywhere.
Geoff Moore, Alness.
WHY SHOULD PRICES SOAR?
DESPITE all my degrees and certificates sometimes I struggle to comprehend. I just can’t understand why there will be a 500% increase in the wholesale price of gas as a result of a “crisis” (“‘National crisis’ warning as energy bills set for 50% rise”, The Herald, December 24). Try as I might I cannot see reports of the lights going out all over Europe or anywhere else. Demand may have increased but there has been no obvious break in the supply chain so one imagines those who harvest the energy must be coping with the increased demand, else all of Europe would be experiencing blackouts. My simplistic perhaps naive brain cannot understand why producers should suddenly be allowed to charge 500% more per unit simply because they are selling more of the same thing.
I know the “crisis” has a large element of geopolitics in the background, Nato deliberately picking at the scab of a “cold war” that never actually happened when Russia is a major gas exporter to Europe and the grumbling war in Syria which is actually about Persian Gulf gas pipelines are major contributors. Whatever happens, we the general public, the workers, the ones who actually create the wealth will end up passing more of our wages or pensions to an Establishment who, just as they have done during the recent period of austerity, will get richer as we get poorer. If I can see that, so must our Government? Surely the role of government is to protect the general public not the interests of the rich.
David J Crawford, Glasgow.
MY CONCERN AT RAPE TRIAL PLAN
I READ with some alarm the news that the Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, believes that trial by jury may not be suitable for rape cases (“Lord Advocate questions whether juries are suitable for sex offences”, The Herald, December 23). While I agree that the accusers should not be blamed for not being believed, I am concerned that a mainstay of our legal system – the option to be tried by our peers – is being challenged here.
If jurors hold prejudicial views, then perhaps these views need to be discussed before a rape trial begins. Furthermore, unless the members of the jury state such thoughts, is it not a generalisation to say that “overwhelmingly” jurors hold false beliefs?
Is it not perhaps narrow-minded and looking for an easy means to increase statistics that this is even being discussed?
Jane Lax, Aberlour.
QEUH FEARS WERE UNFOUNDED
IT is with real pleasure I feel compelled to write on a non-political matter. I was recently admitted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital following an accident which resulted in suspected back injuries. I was fortunate that qualified First Aiders were present and the paramedic and ambulance arrived in less than ten minutes. The crews were fantastic and I was immediately admitted to A&E.
I was scanned and told I’d broken my back in two places and neck in one. I was transferred to Ward 10D and put in the care of the teams there. The first few nights were very hard going but I could not have had a better set of teams to help me through. Patient beyond measure, compassionate, kind, comforting, extremely professional and experienced, the care I received was second to none at a time when the services is clearly stretched. My room was kept spotless and the catering staff put room service at hotels to shame with their personal and super-efficient service.
My worst fear has always about being taken into hospital – based on stories and images from the past, but at the QEUH, I couldn’t have been in better hands or in a more modern and comfortable hospital. Remember, of course, that I’m just one of hundreds on any given day to receive that level of care. I thank all those who helped me from the bottom of my heart as I enter what is expected to be a full recovery.
Jamie Black, Largs.
A LETTER FOR AMERICA
I RECKON I’m a pretty cool dude, guys, and ain’t much fazed shootin’ the breeze with Americanisms which don’t cut the mustard with Rebecca McQuillan (“He guys, could we all please stop talking American?” The Herald, December 24), although I was once caught with my pants down in the good ol’ US of A when chips arrived as crisps.
And on vacation “bum bag” for the spondulicks hits the spot for me, but it’s the bum’s rush for a “fanny pack”.
R Russell Smith, Largs.