CONGRATULATIONS to Uzma Mir on an excellent article on attitudes to language in Scotland ("Why can’t Scots, in Scotland, use Scots words, without being called jakeys?", The Herald, May 4).

Unfortunately we have a history going back centuries which has suppressed languages in Scotland. From the 1609 Treaty of Iona when Highland chiefs had to agree to send their heirs to English Protestant schools, through to various education Acts which discriminated against the use of the Gaelic language, speakers have been punished and disrespected with predictable results. The same dismissive approach has generally been taken towards the various Scots dialects.

We are so fortunate that Scots Gaelic has not disappeared completely. Its daily use may sadly be hugely diminished, but the culture of the Gaeltachd through music, poetry and dance – not to mention language courses through the Gaelic College, UHI and the excellent Radio nan Gaidheal and BBC Alba– has been really encouraging, strengthening our Celtic links with other Celtic nations.

We should treasure it and, where possible, bring it back into daily life. I'm not a Gael but, for example, why should Gaelic speakers have to anglicise their names? Whether in school, broadcasting or in Parliament, it would be a small but significant step to use people's Gaelic names. People would soon get used to them rather than view them as something to be avoided, just as they are becoming used to the names of "newer" generations of Scots originally from different cultures.

The good work done to give Gaelic names on street signs, town signs and public vehicles are not, as some people would have it, confusing, but of real interest to all Scots as well as our tourists. The everyday usage of people's Gaelic names would add to this. Likewise, many Scottish dialects are also threatened through "homogenising" our language. As a consequence, we lose so many words that provided colour and local identity. Some local authority schools may be more accepting of language diversity, but private schools perhaps not.

Those who do not take an interest in Scotland's cultural history and the preservation of it, should broaden their minds and start to have a bit more respect for the positive role that the languages and dialects have, rather than head towards a "monoculture".

Andrew Turnbull, Perth.


WHILST your Letters Pages are full of concerns from those living in the Central Belt, why is it that the vast array of wind turbines and HV pylons that desecrate rural Scotland receive no attention? The First Minister may well criticise Boris Johnson, but at least Westminster has extended democratic rights over wind farm applications to rural England. Why then do Central Belt politicians refuse to grant the same rights to those in rural Scotland?

A good move by Holyrood in listening to rural Scots would be a decision to run the HV cables in the GlenKens of Galloway underground, closely followed by a decision to set up two National Parks in southern Scotland to balance those north of the M8.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.


GREEN electricity should be electricity that is generated 100 per cent from renewable sources, not fossil fuels. Several major companies claim to supply "100 per cent green electricity". This is impossible since fossil fuels generate a large percentage of the electricity sent to the grid.

A report by consultancy firm Baringa in partnership with ScottishPower and Good Energy shows that as little as three per cent of the power supplied by green providers is "genuinely green"; they have asked the Advertising Standards Authority to investigate. Could the claim of "100 per cent green electricity" be termed "greenwashing" which is similar to "whitewashing", but used exclusively by the green brigade?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

* JOHN Fleming (Letters, May 7) claims that I am unaware that wind power can be used to electrolyse hydrogen. He is obviously unaware of the sheer cost and unviability of this idea in the context of trying to power a huge industrial economy like the UK.

Other people in his shoes claim that batteries are the answer. But the world's biggest battery (Gateway, California) would only provide the UK with energy for a theoretical maximum of 4.5 seconds. I can't find the cost of Gateway but it's undoubtedly at least $100 million. I don't have data for hydrogen from electrolysis but it's surely in the same ball park.

Geoff Moore, Alness.

* JOHN Fleming should note that any process connected with renewable energy, and now with that latest fad – the storage of electricity – is always presented as being feasible and just needing a bit of money to perfect. The wastage involved in conversions is always ignored, as are any other downsides to any green process.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinross.


I, TOO, am miffed that student graduations have been cancelled by universities this year (Letters, May 6). Mass public elections were held this week for the Scottish Parliament, and scientific research indicates that no spread of infection is associated with group events where people wear masks.

Universities pride themselves on how quickly they rose to the challenge of contributing to developing vaccines following the Covid outbreak. They should similarly urgently react to reward their student customers with a deserved graduation ceremony.

I Alexander, Newton Mearns.