ENTREPRENEURIAL Scotland is well represented in the new Council of Economic Advisors to the Scottish Government. I expect it will shortly get down to considering the country’s huge potential to create clean energy far beyond our domestic requirements. No doubt it will also look at the prospect of exporting clear, clean water as Europe and the south of England warm up due to climate change.

Already several very big businesses are gathering to bid for offshore wind licences from the Scottish Government ("Giants increase competition for windfarm licences off Scotland", The Herald, July 16).

This evokes a strong sense of déjà vu, as I recall Westminster doling out the oil exploration and development licences in the early 1970s. Big Oil rewarded Scotland with several decades of hard-working jobs extracting this national resource from our waters and Aberdeen enjoyed boom times – now a distant memory.

We should however remember that whereas the UK has nothing to show for these boom years, Norway dealt with its natural asset differently and today enjoys the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world and is its six wealthiest nation.

Climate change is probably a lot more certain than exploring for oil, and clearly Big Business now thinks so. It now behoves the Scottish Government to ensure that this potential wealth benefits the whole nation and the profits do not disappear without trace into the insatiable neoliberal global machine.

FR Morrison, Helensburgh.


MID-JULY is not what you would call the high point of political activity in the course of the year but aspects of Holyrood are emerging which cause some anxiety.

The names of the Scottish Government's new economic advisers have just been announced, including some who are not pro-independence ("Controversial Treasury boss aids Sturgeon on economy", The Herald, July 9). Well, no surprises here as we have already had banker Andrew Smith of the Growth Commission and Benny Higgins, the Duke of Buccleugh's agent, in the team.

But two points in the discussion have been striking. The new team of advisers are preparing a10-year economic plan. How can we plan for that amount of time when pre-independence economic planning will be very different from post-independence? Or is it yet another sign that there is no rush to look beyond the present constitutional status quo?

The other point which struck quite forcibly was in response to your report on high-paid Scottish quango executives ("‘Excessive’ pay gap fears as quango chiefs pick up £10m", The Herald, July 15). The Scottish Government's response to questions was the old nineties mantra "You need to pay the rate to get the best". So there we have it. Where we thought we had a Government that espoused different values from Westminster, it transpires that we don't.

What a naive bunch we Yes campaigners have been. While I had no anticipation that we would be storming the Palace of Holyrood, I did think we would not be embracing the same old capitalist values that have created poverty and misery for many.

What a spectacle to see the defaced mural of Marcus Rashford covered by messages of love and support, including a six-year-old's "Thank you for our dinners". A young black footballer who uses his celebrity to campaign for child poverty pitted against a Prime Minister who lives his life in a constant battle to deny his past racist metaphors and lies. And a Scottish First Minister who seems to be feart to take him on.

The independence campaign needs to move forward with speed because the Westminster Government has not been waiting for Covid to be over.

Maggie Chetty, Glasgow.


ALTHOUGH The Ferret and The Herald are to be congratulated for revealing the facts they have been doing ("Who runs Scotland, July 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16), I find it extremely worrying that any of it comes as news to anyone who is allowed to vote. The fact that the Global Establishment owns Scotland’s major assets should not come as a surprise to anyone who ever leaves the house, as all our supermarkets, all our major fast-food retailers almost every brand you can think of has no Scottish connection other than that they take our money and offer a few Scots low wages in return. We are simply a resource.

Even our governance, our vaunted UK democracy, is not ours to control. Oh yes, we regularly get to vote for the donkey with the blue hat or the red hat but we don’t get to choose who the donkeys actually are, that is all done by the central party executive and they themselves are controlled from above, by money. A donkey can sit for decades in Holyrood and decide your future without ever being elected a constituency MSP. No party would choose donkeys who won’t do what they are told. The fact our Prime Minister has been sacked from previous jobs, clearly struggles to understand basic household bills or doesn't question holiday costs and lacks the unanimous support of his fellow MPs, graphically demonstrates how that rotten system works.

That Scottish wind farms are owned by the Global Establishment and they pay little or no tax here is because the same cohort that owns them decides the rules of the game. That is why our wages are taxed at source yet the rich who own the assets pay heehaw tax.

The situation can be summed up nicely by the fact that a Danish billionaire with little connection to Scotland can appear out of the blue and in a few short years become the second-biggest, if not the biggest, landowner in Scotland ("Scotland’s largest private landowners under fire over lobbying influence as store tycoon’s objection to spaceport is revealed", The Herald, July 16). He can contemplate rewilding areas and introducing wolves while at the same time many Scots face increasing levels of poverty and the backside is hanging out the NHS’s pants.

That’s how the world works, it is ruled by the rich and if they could care less about us they would. Wake up, Scotland.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


THE Prime Minister arrived in Coventry and promised to level up without anyone dropping down ("Starmer brands Prime Minister’s vision for levelling up ‘gibberish nonsense’", The Herald, July 16). Not a word was said about how it would be achieved that Peter would remain undiminished at his current level but Paul would be enriched to rise up to it as if by magic.

The PM came across for all the world like a travelling medicine show huckster offering his patented elixir to cure all ills and was equally credible.

One thing we do know for sure is that he makes grand and headline-catching promises and then moves on. Ask any number of people who may have believed his past promises and they will tell you: “He will let you down.”

Grant McKechnie, Glasgow.


THANK you for publishing and Neil Mackay for writing the powerful and searing analysis of the evil at the heart of the Westminster Government ("Johnson’s corrupted politics with the hate that has corrupted English football", The Herald, July 15). .

For someone born in England in the last war, it is heart-rending to see these changes in a country that was then fighting tyranny, inventing the wonderful NHS and offering succour to refugees from anywhere in the world. The vicious, uncaring, “devil take the hindmost” tyranny that has come to fruition since Brexit, where the rich get richer on the backs of the weakest in society, is distressing beyond belief.

More strength to all those, in Scotland and in England, who want to change this.

Dr RM Morris, Ellon.


THIS week representatives of the Scottish fishing industry expressed their anger that the "tremendous benefits" promised by Boris Johnson and the Brexiters have not materialised, and the UK Fisheries Minister put this down to "difficulties". I am truly astonished that fishermen feel let down. They knew what they were voting for when they supported Brexit and the UK negotiators who were to win this "great deal" for them.

In November 2018, it was pointed out in these pages, that several Scottish Office ministers and their own leaders had, over decades, criticised the UK Government for ignoring the interests of the Scottish fishing industry, yet they still trusted those who sold them out in the past to represent them over Brexit. Personally, I cannot summon any sympathy for them: they voted for it, they should now, like the rest of us, live with it.

TJ Dowds, Cumbernauld.


ASPECTS of the Nationality and Borders Bill currently being considered at Westminster should trouble all of us who are concerned about combating the scourge of modern slavery here in Scotland. For starters, it is highly questionable whether matters relating to slavery should be dealt with in an immigration bill in the first place. Surely a person’s immigration status should be considered separately from the decision as to whether they are a slavery victim?

We should also be extremely worried about clauses on victim support and immigration leave that could make matters worse than the status quo, especially as Scotland currently leads the way among the UK nations in terms of the recovery period for potential victims of modern slavery. The current recovery period in Scotland is 90 days (compared with 45 in other UK jurisdictions) and yet the bill defines the recovery period as 30 days. It is unclear if victims in Scotland will be able to continue to receive support or whether they might be subject to removal while receiving it.

It is therefore essential that MSPs make urgent representations to their Westminster colleagues about the likely detrimental impact of this bill upon the ability of Scotland to continue as a UK leader in battling the evil that is the modern slave trade.

Michael Veitch, Parliamentary Officer, CARE for Scotland.


I NOTE with interest your Remember When... photograph headed “Running in the Rain” (The Herald, July 14). The caption mentioned that some 9,000 starters were about to take part in the 1983 Scottish People's Marathon.

Alas, there will be no Great Scottish 2021 Run this October, as I recently received an e-mail to inform me that due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, both the 10k and half marathon runs have been cancelled.

I had entered the 10k and it is without a doubt one of the highlights of my running calendar. There is always a great atmosphere in George Square for the start of the run, and inspiring music all the way round. More importantly, for many years I and many others have supported the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity.

I dread to think how much money this wonderful charity and others will have lost out on due to Covid. The races have now been re-scheduled for October 2, 2022. How about putting this date in your diary and entering one of these runs to support your chosen charity?

George Fraser, Annan and District Athletic Club, Lockerbie.