If I remember correctly, Sir Bob Reid, who was chairman of BR at the time, made strong recommendations not to privatize and fragment the railways in the manner proposed by the government. The privatization has failed and claiming that the new proposal is “not a nationalization” to a large extent can only be described as a kind of deception.
The privatization of the electricity industry in 1990 also resulted in fragmentation and failure. There are currently around 164 electricity supply companies in the UK and the price of electricity is increasing on average 4 percent per year, well above inflation. There is no central planning body or authority to implement the construction of the energy infrastructure necessary to meet the government’s own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The government is now expected to announce its intention to create a national energy authority with statutory powers to manage the energy sector. It is time to recognize that the market is not a suitable system for the energy sector, without noticeable competition between companies and with escalating prices.
Failure to do so will impose high electricity prices on consumers over the next few years and they will have little choice but to pay for government incompetence.
C Scott, Mortonhall Road, Edinburgh
When Tory MP Robert Adley warned of the dangers of privatization, he waved a British Rail timetable – “a wonderful book” – explaining it allowed passengers (and freight) to travel smoothly from Wick to Penzance on a single ticket. Mr. Adley has been vindicated. It’s sad he’s not here to see it.
The Williams-Shapps report should have gone further by allowing a directly operated service to run the entire network – LNER has shown this to be a role model. Nationalizing the railways is one of the most popular policies with the electorate and if the Tories were to pass it completely it would make people wonder ‘what are Labor for?’
Moreover, while privatization has separated the Union, nationalization brings it together.
It makes perfect sense that in the new configuration, ScotRail services are integrated with Great British Railways – the UK network is a single entity and there is no border at Berwick.
The same logic should be applied to the UK’s fragmented and privatized power generation system, where many private providers are losing economies of scale and, muzzle in wind power troughs, subsidies ensure that electricity bills will increase at an exponential rate.
William Loneskie, Justice Park, Oxton, Lauder
In her extensive review of the rationale for Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet reshuffle, Gina Davidson made only a fleeting reference to one important point – succession planning (your report, May 20). She rightly suggests that Ms Sturgeon sees new Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Finance and Economic Secretary Kate Forbes as the two who could one day replace her at the helm. Regardless of the machinations surrounding the timing of the independence referendum, this change could take place as early as the fall of next year.
By then Mrs Sturgeon will have made history as First Minister since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999. She would be less than human if she did not consider this point, or soon after, to be the right one. moment to intervene. down.
What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two proposed successors? Ms. Forbes doesn’t just have the comparative youth advantage. She has excellent communication skills, a forensic understanding of everything that has been entrusted to her, as well as respect and affection within her party. Few serious political commentators will ever forget the bizarre circumstances in which she was thrown into the government limelight following Derek Mackay’s resignation. She was able to present a budget with confidence and gain the respect of parliamentarians from all parties.
None of this in and of itself means she has the stamina and temperament to lead a team through a Covid takeover and constitutional war. But his insight and persistence stands in stark contrast to Mr. Yousaf’s equivocal approach. He often appears uncertain, hesitant, less informed and much less likely to face harsh criticism.
Nicola Sturgeon rose to power partly through a strong partnership with Alex Salmond and partly through her determination and vision. If Ms Forbes can foster her own strong partnership, she has the means to help her party hold onto power for the rest of the decade.
Bob Taylor, Shiel Court, Glenrothes
I’m not much of a football fan, but the Beautiful Game is so embedded in Scottish culture that even I am aware that Rangers have come a long way – from lower leagues – have waited a long time and worked hard to win what whatever the cut. I just won. Under the circumstances, it is no surprise that their devoted fans wanted to celebrate with effervescence.
However, like many, I was appalled at the scenes where Rangers fans all gathered and behaved so badly last weekend. Well, I was appalled until I read that the Rangers club had tried to prevent trouble and ensure a celebration that would both be safe and satisfy the enthusiasm of their fans. They knew that it wouldn’t be possible to prevent fans from individually deciding to go to Ibrox to celebrate this remarkable victory, so how best to manage the process?
In April, the club president wrote to the Scottish government asking that, over four consecutive nights, 10,000 season ticket holders be invited to Ibrox to join in a celebration in the stadium. The request was rejected on the grounds that it did not comply with Covid rules. In my book this makes the Scottish government guilty for the Glasgow scenes but I see the same Scottish government now blaming all the blame on the football club and trying to find a way to punish it.
It’s not a good thing Nicola Sturgeon is voicing about how she feels our pain if she doesn’t understand human nature. Rangers fans were always going to gather to celebrate. How much better if the Government had recognized the force of human emotion and that the event took place in complete safety, as proposed?
There is no virtue in being all bossy and sticking to the rules if it leads to a situation which then cannot be controlled. Either way, Covid’s rules aren’t absolute – they vary too much between the four nations for this to be true.
Judith Gillespie, Findhorn Place, Edinburgh
The Scottish government has rejected Rangers’ proposals for five title parties to curb …
I see that an “action group” has been formed to “explore options for the future” of McVitie’s factory in Glasgow which its owners regard as surplus to needs (your report, May 19) – a kinda like sending the fire department after the house burned down. In a recent letter it was suggested that the shutdown stemmed from concerns about supporting the independence movement, but I think it’s a bit more complex than that.
For decades there has been a model of a company owned and operated by Scots taken over by a company in England; the head office leaves immediately but production facilities continue north of the border until the new owners streamline their operations at their English site. In recent years, another dimension has been added. A foreign buyer appears to be offering the UK company good sums of money, and in due course production is moved overseas where labor is cheaper and employment regulations are more lenient or more lax. McVitie’s, after being subsumed into United Biscuits, is now owned by Pladis, which is, I believe, Turkish property.
The governments of Westminster do not appear to have taken any steps to discourage this process, which is understandable as the city, on which it seems we all depend, is now extremely interested not in financing the running of British affairs, but in agreements that produce an immediate return. . Could an independent Scottish government do anything to remedy this situation? In theory, maybe, but it would be very difficult.
In McVitie’s case, Scottish Enterprise has apparently advanced funds for modernization, including new products – and, sadly, a lot of good that has done.
S Beck, Craigleith Drive, Edinburgh
August Naturalist and National Treasure Sir David Attenborough has been named ‘People’s Advocate’ for the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. A better title would be “The Anti-People Advocate” since he condemned humanity as “a scourge on Earth”. He argues that we have stripped our planet, just as a virus flourishes by destroying its host.
Well, this is all very ‘awake’, but the point is that industrial progress has lifted billions of people out of poverty. It has cured diseases, increased food supplies, produced clean water, and centralized power plants with anti-pollution technology. Climate-related deaths have declined by 98% over the past century due to our ability to build climate resilient infrastructure.
Green misanthropes see nature as a finished cake. The more some use it, the less there is for others, so we must stop producing, stop transforming nature, minimize our impact and let nature take care of us.
But hanging out “harmonizing with nature” will lead to short, unpleasant, disease-infested lives, in which we sit in caves, get by on a diet of lentils.
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