YOUNG folk today would be horrified that the BBC's Black And White Minstrel Show regularly had a 16m audience for 20 years to 1978 with prominent singers' faces blacked up. This was cultural appropriation, yet today Channel 5 is blatantly after publicity by similarly subverting genre expectations.

There is little doubt Jodie Turner-Smith has a track record as a fine actress. Does one really have to re enact The Emperor's New Clothes, however, to point out her casting, as a histo rical figure like Anne Boleyn, is ludicrous?

What next? A Chinese actor playing Adolf Hitler? A white actor depicting Martin Luther King or a white actress portraying Rosa Parks? There would be outrage and rightly so.

Few today would be in the least concerned if actors of colour played James Bond or Mary Poppins or Sherlock Holmes or Princess Leia. Indeed Dev Patel has played David Copperfield.These, however, are fictional characters.

Does this matter? Well, imagine the confusion of schoolchildren if a major historical figure like Nelson Mandela were portrayed in a film by a Caucasian actor. This is a nonsense. Historical accuracy must not be undermined by a knee-jerk charge of racism.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing.


CLARK Cross and Neil J Bryce (Letters, May 30) both seem more driven by confirmation bias than rational analysis.

As Paul Simon put it: "a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”.

Deniers often have a 100 per cent filter. A perceived prediction error, or mis-citation, heralds the dismissal of the entire complex web of research evidence, and proves that climate change is a myth. Alternatively, the human numbers are framed as being too small to have an impact, so it is 100% of "natural" causation.

Science rarely has 100% certitude which is why the IPCC qualifies its full range of High, Medium or Low predictions by the degree of uncertainty involved, which are then modified over time as new data materialises. Yes, the simple things really are complicated – and as the statistician’s aphorism goes “all models are wrong, but some are useful”.

Things really have moved on since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary of 2006. Ice melt research means the IPCC 2007 projection of an average 21st century 300mm sea level rise, was tripled to 900mm in 2014.

By 2100 that would be 3ft, not 30ft – but then gross exaggeration or incorrect quoting of data is the convenient truth for climate change deniers.

Mr Bryce’s quoted "data" is recognisably from disinformation first promoted by Exxon Mobil in the 90s. His quoted headline figure of 96% is turnover through the carbon cycle. Such gross circulation is irrelevant when it is net growth that is important. This 45% increase (125 particles per million, ppm) is completely caused by humans.

The amount of CO2 in the air is 3200 billion tons. Humans are responsible for almost 1000 billion tons of this. In fact, in the last 150 years, we have emitted about 2,000 billion tons, though forests and oceans have absorbed about 50% half of that from the atmosphere – hence ocean acidification, and some carbon cycle uptake.

My first encounter with climate change was in 1970 when my geography teacher explained that global CO2 levels were increasing – and why. Then it was 325 ppm… now it is 418 ppm. This increase is around 25 % in five decades, entirely man-made in origin.

Prof Myles Allen (physicist) first introduced the concept of net zero in 2001, and carbon budgeting in 2005. The IPPC adopted both as the simplest way of getting the arithmetic across to governments and public.

He gave a recent interview where he noted we have long passed 1.0ºC and that the current rate is 0.2ºC average increase per decade – so 1.5ºC, the current target limit for net zero, will be exceeded before 2050.

His Climate Dynamics Group has recently recommended imposing carbon removal from all fossil fuels by sequestration at source with the responsibility being with the producer – an extremely serious proposition indeed.

That is the reality of the current situation. Don’t panic – just get on with it – it is an opportunity as much as a crisis.

Tony Philpin, Gigha.

* I WAS delighted to see that your dared to print a letter from Neil J. Bryce challenging the almost sacred orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming (May 30). The elephant in the room in this matter is the sun, without which no matter how much greenhouse gas in the air there could be little or any warming.

Our planet has endured a series of ice ages, each of which could only have been caused by the periodic waxing and waning of the sun; indeed we are currently in the final thawing of the latest ice age and that alone could explain the current global warming. The fact that two phenomena happen at the same time, in this case more CO2 and more heat, doesn't automatically mean that the one is caused by the other as a third factor could be involved. This is the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy which, I believe, has stirred up the present panic.

The planet has survived CO2 levels many times higher than today's.The real villain of the piece is the sun and about that we can do very little (although covering all sunny deserts with solar PV panels would make a difference). By all means stop using fossil fuels as fuels as they are valuable chemical sources and we suffer from pollution caused by their abuse, but don't expect the warming to stop when CO2 levels return to their supposed normal levels. It's really the sun wot dun it!

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian.


I HAVE to say I am extremely disappointed by the coverage given to that daft artistic (I use the word loosely) portrayal of the Battle of Culloden ("Scotland's greatest historian explains exactly why the Union is in peril", May 30). Displaying it perpetuates the myth that the Highlanders were a slovenly, dishevelled rabble, facing a uniformly dressed troop of well drilled professional soldiers.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Down the ages, Highlanders regularly underwent military training at the hands of their chiefs and did so with an enthusiasm which was evident in the aftermath of battle. When the corpses of both sides were stripped by scavengers, it was always said Highland soldiers could be distinguished from their regular army opponents by the fact they had no weals on their backs. I was born and brought up in Fraser country, so I have learned a bit of their history. For many years before Culloden, the Frasers from Stratherrick would meet with the Frasers of Strathglass in a field in Inverness outside the town house of their chief, Lord Fraser of Lovat. These military training meetings were held so often that the location eventually became known as The Northern Meeting Park.

It is noteworthy that we don't have any depiction of the Jacobite victory at Prestonpans. The tactics which were devised by Keppoch (formerly a distinguished officer in the French army for 10 years) secured an overwhelming victory which could not have been achieved without immense discipline on the part of the Highlanders involved. The first person to acknowledge this was a chap by the name of John Cope.

As for Culloden, as my ancestor said, "nobody fought like the Chisholms. If only they had been a bigger clan, we would have won the day." After 25 years of searching, I have finally found the evidence, so that is what I intend to provide, rather than opinion. For example, nobody seems to have noticed in 250 years that Cumberland wrote that he knew in advance of the night march on Nairn, but didn't bother waking up his men as he knew it was going to be sabotaged.

George F Campbell, Glasgow.


I WOULDN'T wish to speak de haut en bas to Sir Tom Devine, but the Jacobite risings were about getting Britain back for Stuart princes, not about ending the Union. They got as far as Derby in the '45, but the promised French landing on southern England didn't arrive

These campaigns were not quite risings because they were planned and sponsored from afar.

The 1715 was some part insurrection because it raised substantial troops for those times from Scotland and from England. But James VIII landed to make himself James III of England

Some of Charles Edward Stuart's forces of 1745 landed with him. There were hardly any troops in his army and not many Scots in his troops. Some joined out of opposition to the Union, but that was no part of that Prince's plans. Some Scots troops fought against him

Unwise and cruel reprisals have coloured the '45 in popular history as England vs Scotland. The attitude of London and of some Scots was clearly anti-Gaeltacht and the vindictive repression was like war on the Highlands. It was the most tragic part of the affair and a very great wrong. Regimes around the world are still acting like that, which shows an uneven spread of enlightened ideas in the 275 years since then.

A hopeless war had been taken to England and come back in the form of defeat. Glasgow had never opened the gates to the unwanted Jacobite warriors

Tim Cox, Bern, Switzerland.


NAOMI Osaka is the most complex, compelling, and exciting sports personality for decades. Hurricane Higgins was catastrophic. McEnroe was infantile. Jocky Wilson was the underdog of underdogs. What sets the young tennis star apart is the fact she is serious; and, she deserves to be taken seriously.

So, when Naomi announced she would not be attending any post-match press conferences as doing so was detrimental to her mental health, I found Susan Egelstaff's commentary on same astounding: "Without the press, Osaka would not be earning the millions of dollars she is" ("Osaka boycott sets a dangerous precedent", May 30).

Were her shin to be encased in a cumbersome plaster stookie, would Ms Egelstaff expect Ms Osaka to limp hopelessly around a tennis court, merely to discharge her professional obligations to the press? Because that is where the parity of esteem argument between mental and physical health would take us.

Why can't the press encourage this talented young prospect in her prowess and her campaigning work, both on and off court, and report on it from a distance, instead of insisting upon further opportunities to subject her to distress?

Archie Beaton, Inverness.