IAN Blackford’s excitedly-trumpeted "Roadmap for a Scottish Green industrial Strategy" ("Ian Blackford: Roadmap for a green industrial future for Scotland", heraldscotland, July 14) flies in the face of what he said before he was elected. It is simply going to help Big Energy industrialise the Highlands against the will of many of his constituents and he would be well advised to remember what he wrote to me in 2015 before his election when trying to convince me that voting for him would be a good idea.

I had written to him regarding my concern at what was already the proliferation of industrial wind turbines.

Mr Blackford replied: “My duty is to the constituents and is to represent them. That may cause me some challenges from time to time but that is what I am there for. I am not standing just to be a party mouthpiece. I am too long in the tooth for that anyway! I do believe in what I would call the old-fashioned Highland tradition of representing the people.

"I understand your concerns, indeed I would share your concern for the potential of over-deployment of onshore wind turbines. I do fully subscribe to the desire to move to a low-carbon economy and a desire for an effective mix of sources of energy that will allow us to get there.

"My own preference would be to seek to develop wave and tidal power as an effective and perhaps less controversial supply of green energy alongside our long-standing approach to hydro power. I was struck by the recent public engagement that took place on the Black Isle and a local referendum taking place to determine whether the local community wished to see a wind farm development. In my opinion communities must be central to any proposed developments and must have at the very least a significant input into such decision making.”

The development to which he was referring was firmly rejected by the community.

After his election he reiterated his position to me with: “Everything I said to you earlier I stand by. I want sustainability and clean energy with a reduced carbon footprint but not at any cost. If there is a clearly expressed consensus against any development then I would stand behind the community interest. My priority is to stand up for people here in my constituency.”

Nothing Mr Blackford said indicated that rural communities would be swamped, with his help, by Government-backed Big Energy and that their voices would be drowned out by the virtue-signalling green army committing them to life engulfed in concrete and steel for the benefit of others far away and not directly impacted.

It’s time politicians realised that what they say to us matters. This is not a game, it is about the health and happiness of their constituents. We do not forget easily what these extraordinarily-well-paid (by us) individuals have pledged to do and what they actually end up doing.

Lyndsey Ward, Spokeswoman for Communities B4 power Companies, Beauly.

A different law for the rich

WE live on an island with a rapidly-ageing population and a declining birth rate. Many sectors of our economy are contracting simply because they cannot recruit workers to fill vacancies; logic would suggest that problem can only get worse with time.

It makes me wonder why Westminster would want to in effect reduce the birth rate when the exact opposite is needed ("Call to end two-child limit on benefits", The Herald, July 14). China had an even more radical “one child” policy than our two-child benefit cap which it now bitterly regrets. It is a complex subject but the benefit cap could be a significant factor in the reality that in 2022 approximately one-quarter of all the pregnancies in England and Wales were terminated.

It would appear that if you are rich enough, a la Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, one can have as many offspring as one wishes, yet, if one is from the lower orders Westminster won’t help you raise more than two children. Why not replace those who shuffle off this mortal coil with youngsters who could eventually contribute to society in many different ways?

After all, it is our taxes that pay for it and I’d rather spend it on that than Nato’s proxy wars. If the Establishment is intent on social engineering one has to ask why have any child support at all, if as it seems the purpose of the policy is simply to prevent what they see as feckless riff-raff breeding like rabbits irrespective of the predictable consequences.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.

The Herald: Should the two-child benefits cap be scrapped?Should the two-child benefits cap be scrapped? (Image: PA)

A SIMple question for Johnson

IT is reported that, in May 2021, Boris Johnson changed his mobile phone because his phone number was available online and that he can’t remember the passcode for the phone and is therefore unable to provide the Covid-19 Inquiry with WhatsApp messages which are on it ("Boris Johnson ‘can’t remember passcode’ to phone with Covid messages", The Herald, July 14).

Why, rather than obtaining a completely new phone, did he not get a different number by simply changing the SIM card?

George Rennie, Inverness.

Read more: Yousaf is firm, fair and loyal – just the leader I want

We were not consulted

DUNCAN Cameron, managing director of First Bus Scotland, an organisation whose group profits exceeded £58 million, seems to be suggesting that hard-working hospitality staff drive the night bus home following the criticism of his company following their decision to end 11 night services in Glasgow ("Bar staff told: Drive the night bus home yourself", The Herald, July 13). Perhaps if Mr Cameron addressed the well-documented problem his company has with staff retention he would not need to make suggestions which display total contempt for his customers.

Mr Cameron also says that "consultation on the future of the night bus began in late January this year and discussions were held with the local authority, councillors, businesses and city stakeholders". However, in your sister paper the Glasgow Times, Councillor George Redmond said: "Another death knell for Glasgow, with no consultation with communities, business, workers or it seems politicians." I would ask Mr Cameron why his alleged consultation did not include trade bodies representing the hospitality industry such as the Night Time Industry Association or the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and why was it not put before the Glasgow Licensing Forum?

Mr Cameron says: "People will be aware of comments being made by certain individuals and I can assure you, these individuals were very quiet through some of these discussions. I'm not going to hang anyone out to dry." As an individual who has commented on this matter in the media over the last few days I find that remark insulting as, like many people who care about the city we live in, I have had no opportunity to air my views on this matter.

William Gold, President, Strathclyde Licensed Trade Association, Glasgow.

Only in Glasgow...

ON hearing my accent, Lancastrians often ask me if all the stories they've heard about Glasgow are true. I rarely tell them I was actually born in Johnstone, but my favourite tale is of a sunny Saturday morning in Shawlands. Herself is in a big queue in the baker’s and I’m waiting patiently outside. There’s an ATM nearby with half a dozen or more people queuing to use it.

A diminutive mature lady (she can’t be more than 5ft) approaches. She is immaculately dressed and impeccably coiffured: her hair meticulously cut short and coloured as is common in ladies of her generation.

She approaches the bus stop, sees a large 4x4 parked in the stance and turns to me: "Is this your caur, son?" I assure her it isn’t.

She then addresses the ATM queue saying "Could whoever parked this big caur here get it shifted as ma bus is due and the driver wullnae be able to see me see me staunin'"?

No response.

So she starts at the end of the queue and works her way along it: "Is it your caur?" "Naw missus." She’s now nearing a bloke who is next to use the ATM. He is at least 6ft 2in and about 18 stone. I begin to get worried.

Before she gets the chance to ask him, he peels off, and walks toward his car. She follows him, saying loudly: "It’s awricht fur youse folk wi’ big caurs but how is the bus driver supposed to see a wee buddy like me behin your caur? It’s bliddy selfish. Ma sister expects me every Setterday an’ if ah’m no aff the bus she gets worrit."

I fear the worst.

But he jumps in and drives off without a word, leaving me rather relieved and the remainder of the queue having a (discreet) grin.

A few minutes later her bus arrives and she embarks, showing her pass to the driver who says "Hello Doll, howzit gawn?" And as it pulls away I hear her say: "Ah've jist hid to get a big selfish bugger tae shift his caur …"

John F Crawford, Lytham.

Read more: So farewell, SNP. It's time to unite behind a non-party indy movement

How to keep Scots tongue alive

DAVID Leask's article last Saturday about the Scots language ("Should SNP be doing more to normalise the Scots language?", The Herald, July 8) struck a chord with me. I had the honour of working alongside Matthew Fitt at Biggar High School; he has played an enormous part in keeping the Scots language alive. He has done this by transcribing many children’s books into Scots including The Gruffalo and many Asterix books.

This is a tremendous way of keeping Scots alive as a language and these books should be an integral part of the education system. I also feel that Scots should be accorded the respect shown to Gaelic.

Ed Archer, Lanark.

Media madness

AS a superannuated pedant, I have watched with dismay the transition of the word "media" from a plural to a singular noun.

The final straw came with today's Andy Maciver column ("I'm so tired of boring, corrosive scandal. We need a better media", The Herald, July 14).

I would have thought that a respected journalist like Andy Maciver would know better.

Iain Maclean, Bearsden.

Below-par performance

I WATCHED some of the Scottish Open Golf tournament today (July 13), but was very disappointed in the conduct of an Irish golfer. He has snapped a club in anger amongst other displays of frustration and today used the F-word. The reaction of those around him was to laugh, again disappointing.

Every golfer has their frustrations (don't I know it) but it is sad that golf is sinking to the standards that are to be found at some other spectator sports.

William H Laird, Glasgow.