THE hitherto unknown phenomenon of the backbench revolt against the SNP government has surfaced (“First Minister to face new SNP internal revolt on controversial Gender Recognition Reform Bill”, 6 November). MSPs were perhaps concerned, among other things, by recent findings that hundreds, if not thousands, of corrupt police officers work in England and Wales, including those who have been convicted of indecency and domestic violence.
I remember reading about cases of sexual offenses committed against female prisoners in prison, again, I think, in England and Wales, by trans women – that is, people to the male body who had chosen to be treated as women in relation to their incarceration. There is also the infamous case of Wayne Cousins, the police officer who murdered Sarah Everard.
We must accept that there are some of us who will go to great lengths to place ourselves in positions from which they can give free rein to odious sexual and other predilections, that the proposed reforms offer them the opportunity and that society and large and vulnerable women and girls in particular need to be protected against the practice of these predilections.
Can there be any doubt that the proposed reforms pose at least some degree of risk to vulnerable women and girls? Perhaps the most relevant question concerns the number of victims that would be an acceptable price for the implementation of these reforms. I have not seen evidence of any modeling or other study having been carried out to establish the likely or possible nature and frequency of such violations that may arise from these reforms. It seems foolhardy to proceed with the reforms without the opposing concerns being tested in this way and without the public having the insight that such tests would provide.
One group, aside from the immediate victims, likely to suffer from untested reforms or any consequential offenses that may take place are, of course, those who are prone to gender dysphoria or similar conditions and who are susceptible to encountering an even less acceptable public reaction than that currently afflicting at least some of them.
There seems to be a consensus that the current legal position should be reformed to reduce the harmful consequences of gender dysphoria and the like, but these proposed reforms seem likely to be a step in the opposite direction.
Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.
SCOTLAND WILL HAVE MANY PRESIDENTS
I read with amusement the usual “too small, too poor” diatribe of Dr. Gerald Edwards (Letters, November 6). Professor Doyle from the University of Dublin looked at an independent Wales’ supposed ‘tax gap’ and found it to be £2.6bn, as opposed to the UK claim of £13.5bn of pounds sterling. A British accounting exercise rather than a tax calculation, he summarizes. Is the GERS in Scotland also a British accounting exercise?
In any case, it’s worth noting that the UK Treasury’s first port of call as the Tories crush the economy is Scotland, with its wealth of oil, gas and renewables. An additional £8billion is pouring into UK coffers from Scottish oil and gas fields and more is being conjured up by our profitable renewables industry. The workers claim, if they are in government, that they could double this tax. Why wouldn’t an independent Scotland benefit from this bonus? And even more so if Scotland chose to tax energy transiting through Scotland.
It looks like energy will be increasingly vital in the years to come with Scotland blessed with plenty, and eager suitors waiting in a Europe desperate to distance themselves from Putin if our big neighbor to the south catches its breath.
GR Weir, Ochiltree.
WAKE UP FROM A NIGHTMARE
I have just woken up from a long slumber which began on September 19, 2014, when I discovered that we, the nation of Scotland, had betrayed our great history and the great people who defined that history, by rejecting everything that they had put in place. in place by not having the collective courage to simply write an “X” in a box.
I have just read Neil Mackay’s wonderful interview with Professor Matt Qvortrup (“Global independence expert says SNP can win Indyref2…but populism must be embraced”, November 6), which is the first nobody to convince me since that horrible day when I wasn’t really that naive to believe that we shouldn’t demand our independence based on white papers and our choice of currency, but rather our desire to take back our great nation and to courageously see where it takes us.
Danny Gallacher, Glasgow.
THIS IS SURELY THE TIME
GERALD Edwards and Bob MacDougall (Letters, November 6) continue their attacks on Scottish government and the notion of independence.
If they really think Scotland is too poor to survive and prosper as an independent country, they should vote No to Indyref2. Thankfully, most voters aren’t so gloomy and can see exactly how and why Scotland will thrive as an independent country.
If Scotland were a drain on rUK, do you really think rUK would want to keep us? Of course not. The United Kingdom does not want another referendum because it would risk losing it and Scotland with it. The UK has never voluntarily given up a source of good resources and revenue and it never will.
Scotland has enormous natural resources, a wonderful and well-educated workforce and an excellent reputation around the world. The recipe for success if ever there was one. It is time.
George Archibald, West Linton.
THE EGO STILL REIGNS SUPREME IN THE SNP
The Prime Minister’s uninvited and horribly expensive trip to Egypt with his entourage and his desperate attempts to attract attention were initially laudable and unsuccessful. Then they got awkward to the point of curling their toes. In the end, they were just atrocious. Who would have thought that this comedy was a good idea?
She should never have gone there in the first place. Ego reigns in the administration of the SNP. Enough is enough.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.
LOOK OUTSIDE THE DOMESTIC BUBBLE
IAIN McIntyre and Ronald Cameron (Letters, November 6) must look outside their Scottish bubble, which accounts for a miniscule 0.15% of global emissions or the UK with 1.13%.
Mr Cameron, who has an expensive electric car for which he probably received a taxpayer-funded subsidy and possibly free charging at a local authority point, is expected to suggest what can be done about the £1.446 billion gasoline/diesel cars in the world.
He says “we have to learn to love wind farms” to stop floods, drought and famine. Those unaware of the climate explained that flooding in Pakistan was due to massive deforestation of its catchment area, allowing annual monsoon rains to carry millions of tons of topsoil down to where it silted up in the Indus River. China has spent $3.8 trillion on renewable investments over the past decade, but still depends primarily on coal for 81% of its electricity. Old King Coal is back around the world as countries struggle for economic survival.
Mr McIntyre says Scotland should use its own cheaper renewable electricity. “Cheaper” is widely disputed. It’s not Scottish electricity, it’s electricity generated by foreign-owned turbines that feed electricity into the national grid. Does he expect the Scottish Government to set up a separate Scottish network costing billions of pounds with Scottish taxpayers’ money?
According to the UN report, all the climate policies currently in place will lead to a warming of 2.5 to 2.8 degrees, which is not quite the success announced by COP26. UK net zero by 2050 will cost £3 trillion, or £108,000 per household. Will Mr McIntyre and Mr Cameron be happy to pay this and also contribute to the $100 billion a year Climate Mitigation Fund for developing countries paid for by so called rich countries and which India is asking that be increased to 1,000 billion dollars?
Clark Cross, Linlithgow.
• TWO writers use climate alarmism against Clark Cross. Ronald Cameron mentions drought and famine in East Africa. Doesn’t he know that Zimbabwe is expecting a record wheat harvest this year despite lower than expected rainfall?
He and Iain McIntyre are pushing the pie idea into the sky of making hydrogen from surplus renewables. Perhaps the main reason this isn’t viable on a large scale is energy loss. It is estimated that two-thirds of the energy would be lost over the life cycle of this process, and this lost energy would not just be amortized, it would have to be paid for by the public. Today’s high energy prices would be eclipsed by a hydrogen system.
Geoff Moore, Alness.
• I read with interest the correspondence relating to the production of electricity and green energy (Letters, October 30 and November 6).
I wonder why the production of hydroelectric plants, officially operated by the Hydro Board, was not included? Could someone enlighten me?
Sylvia Boal, Edinburgh.
CHANCE TO STOP THE TROPHY HUNTERS
A ban on imports of hunting trophies into the UK is long overdue, and on November 25 the Commons will debate a private member’s bill which, if successful, will finally put an end to hunters bringing back the body parts of animals they ruthlessly slaughtered and killed.
Animals shot by hunters often endure a prolonged and painful death before their heads and other body parts are severed and sent home as “trophies”. As long as we allow these expeditions into the UK, the nation is complicit in the slaughter of elephants, lions and other magnificent species.
As an animal-loving nation, trophy hunting goes against the values of the British public. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) urges everyone to rally behind this bill by contacting their local MPs and encouraging them to show their support for the bill so that we can finally end our involvement in this cruel and bloodthirsty enterprise.
Elisa Allen, Vice President of Programs, Peta, London.