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Letters to the Editor


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Strikes are simply legalised extortion

Dear Editor

Flat caps, forelock-tugging, and watches on fob chains have all passed into history. So have vinyl records and VHS cassettes. Really it should be the same with striking.

Striking belongs in a time when some thought the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Soviet Union represented the way forward for humanity. It was a reasonable thing to do in a time before health and safety and before modern employment law.

Today strikes are largely confined to the public sector and large quasi-public sector concerns, such as the railways. The employees of these organisations usually already have better pay and conditions than equivalent roles in the private sector.

Because these organisations are effectively monopolies, these strikes are simply legalised extortion.

Also, in the private sector when times are hard, businesses can’t always afford to give employees a rise even if the cost of living is going up. By contrast, in the public sector, the state of the economy is just ignored.

Rather than striking, our bin men should make common cause with local councils who are being starved of funds by the SNP government.

NHS workers, bin men and train drivers should remember that they have a duty to do their job, as the public rely on them. 

Otto Inglis



And the winner is . . . boring

Dear Editor

Did the Conservative Party really have to drag out the leadership contest to be this long? Whoever we finally get will be knackered by the time they’re elected, and we, the people, thoroughly bored with seeing and hearing them.

Maggie Dewhurst


A challenge to TCW

Dear Editor

Your article on August 23, ‘The vital questions on Covid policy the Tory leadership candidates should be asked’, posed some valid questions.

The problem is that the electorate will never be given the opportunity to put these questions to anyone, let alone to the two prospective leaders of the (un) Conservative Party. We need a clean slate to rebuild democracy. The entire edifice is broken, corrupted.

Somehow the people who care and are awake as to how broken the system is need to join forces and present their prescription for fundamental change to safeguard our democracy and public institutions, to the people. Call it a manifesto of the people, by the people, for the people. Call it Magna Carta 2.0.

The title of this website was changed last year from The Conservative Woman to TCW – Defending Freedom. Perhaps it’s time for TCW to do just that and sponsor a working conference to bring these defenders of freedom together and work out what needs to be done. I’m not suggesting TCW should form a new political party (although that may need to happen), but by writing a manifesto outside the politicians and their corporate sponsor’s interests, there is a chance it would appeal to the majority of the electorate if they were given a chance to read or hear it.

One can but dream.

James MacRae


The truth about ‘Scotland’s oil’

Dear Editor

We need a proper understanding of Scotland’s energy position to rectify misleading statements and slogans such as ’Scotland is a net exporter of electricity’ and ‘97.4 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand was generated from renewables in 2020,’ plus ‘Scotland has 60 per cent of the UK’s onshore wind capacity’ and of course that famous slogan ‘It’s Scotland’s Oil’.

Let us get that oil slogan out of the way. It is not Scotland’s oil, nor is it even Britain’s oil. The oil extracted from the North Sea belongs to the private oil companies who went looking for it at their own expense in the1960s. They rented or bought areas of the seabed from the UK government and the Crown Estates for their search, and when oil was found and extracted in 1969 an arrangement was made to pay revenues to the UK government in the form of a petroleum revenue tax based on volumes produced, plus licence fees, and corporation tax.

This arrangement persists, and Scotland derives its oil income from a proportionate share of those UK revenues, calculated on area and population. This works out at about 8 per cent. But the UK does not own the oil, and therefore nor does Scotland.

Britain’s Labour government of the time decided to relinquish ownership of any oil found on the basis of gaining jobs in the oil industry, and because nuclear power was seen as the future for Britain’s energy.

Norway took a different approach and decided to fund North Sea exploration itself and to retain ownership of the oil found in its waters, so has been able to accumulate a sovereign wealth fund valued at $1trillion from the proceeds, and to afford things such as a better welfare system.

Now to the wind turbines, that the UK also does not own. They belong to the various private consortia –mostly foreign – who built them on UK land, motivated by the subsidy money. The electricity from the present 12,000 turbines, onshore and offshore, goes into the national grid, from which Scotland draws a share. In total terms, that 12,000 fleet has never produced more that 20 per cent of UK demand, and often a lot less if the wind is light. It is doubtful that their entire output would satisfy Scotland’s requirements, but that is never going to happen anyway because the UK doesn’t own any of them, so neither does Scotland.

It is true that 60 per cent of this privately owned onshore fleet is in Scotland, as the Scottish landscape and plentiful wind made Scotland a good UK place to build them, but Scotland’s relationship with wind-generated electricity is geographic.

To present energy in any other way is misleading, and could lead to a decision by the Scottish electorate based on a huge misunderstanding of the true situation.

Malcolm Parkin



The name of the game

Dear Editor 

If Meghan Markle hates the royal family so much, why does she wish to continue to be called the Duchess of Sussex?

Daniel Birtle


A remedy for the dentistry crisis

Dear Editor

Four out of five NHS dental practices in the UK have closed their books to new adult patients. 

Even worse is that nearly 80 per cent of NHS practices are not accepting new child patients. There has been an exodus to private practice where large fees are charged and salaries are better. In Scotland this shortage of dentists and other NHS workers could have been avoided with a bit of Scottish Government foresight. For many years students who have lived in Scotland for three years are entitled to have their university fees paid by the Scottish taxpayer. Students from England pay £9,250 per year. Dentistry is a five-year course. Students getting this free education should agree to work in Scotland for five years to repay taxpayers’ generosity. 

There would then not be the present shortage of doctors, nurses and, dare I say it, NHS dentists who are scarcer than hen’s teeth.

Clark Cross 



Vote Labour to crush the Tories

Dear Editor

The Tory leadership contest can’t be doing either candidate or the Conservative Party any favours. Weeks of pointless campaigning and hustings with antiseptic questions is self-indulgent time-wasting that has only increased the Labour lead in the polls. It really matters not which of the hapless pair wins, the national mind has had enough of the lot of them. Of the two, Sunak is the adult in the room and with mastery of technical detail. The ditsy Truss will be a gift to the far left as Thatcher Mk 2.

How about C/conservative voters voting en masse for Labour at the next election to get rid of the Conservative Party once and for all. Deposing an elected PM, offering two sub-optimal replacements and doing so in the midst of a cost of living and energy emergency, is inexcusable and renders the CP unfit to govern. Once it is reduced to a mere rump it opens the way for a new centre right and principled party to emerge and a comprehensive programme of political, electoral and constitutional reform. A divided and philosophically incoherent party has been a block on progress for decades. Neither Truss nor Sunak have any prospect of winning the next election.  

Rhydwenna E Jones


A windfall tax on wind turbines?

Dear Editor

Since renewable energy now provides around 45 per cent of that supplied by the Grid, and the cost of offshore wind energy fell by around 65 per cent between 2015 and 2019, many will ask why our electricity bills are rising so fast.

Suppliers of energy from wind turbines seem to be selling to the highest bidder in a market with prices driven largely by the price of gas. So they are charging us much more than it costs them to generate the electricity, subsidised by hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies. Will they be subject to a windfall tax?

Add the cost of stored energy and back-up power on the Grid, needed to keep the lights on when there is little sun or wind,  because wind turbine availability averages only around 25 per cent of the nameplate MW capacity. 

How does the government justify such exploitation of the taxpayer?

Roger J Arthur 

West Sussex 


High-level alert on Covid vaccine

Dear Editor,

To date I have downloaded 42 scientific papers (which go back as far as December 2020) which give evidence suggesting that the cons of the Covid vaccines outweigh the pros. No doubt there are many more. A total of 234 researchers were involved in these 42 papers. Eight of the papers state that the vaccine rollout should stop and a further 21 express concern at the official vaccine narrative. The first paper that I found that called for a halt in the rollout was published just 19 days after the first UK patient was vaccinated.

On August 31, 2022 a landmark study titled ‘Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA vaccination in randomised trials’ was published by seven scientists who are absolutely at the centre of the medical scientific community.They include Dr Peter Doshi, who is a senior editor at the BMJ, has specialised in research into the risks and benefits of new drugs and authored no fewer than 139 papers, and Dr Robert Kaplan, who is Director of Research at Stanford University School of Medicine, has authored no fewer than 545 works and is one of the most cited experts in his field.

The study began with obtaining official data on adverse events of special interest (AESIs) observed in phase 3 trials of the mRNA vaccines which, at the time at least, had not been made public. AESIs include death, hospitalisation and chronic disease which is new to the participant. The conclusion of the study bluntly states: ‘The results show an excess risk of serious AESIs greater than the reduction in Covid-19 hospitalisations in both Pfizer and Moderna trials’. As an example, ‘In the Pfizer trial, the excess risk of serious AESIs (10.1 per 10,000) surpassed the risk reduction for Covid-19 hospitalisation relative to the placebo group (2.3 per 10,000 participants)’.

The study has several limitations due to restrictions in the data with which they were provided (for example the ages of individual participants are missing), including that the elevated risk of serious AESIs in the vaccine group represents an average across the group. Vaccine side effects may not be distributed equally across the demographic subgroups enrolled in the trial, and the risks may be substantially greater or lower in some groups compared to others.

Geoff Moore

Ross and Cromarty

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