WELL played to England's men's national football team, who finished runners-up in this year's European Championships, albeit having played all but one of their matches in their home stadium. While not all of us north of the Border may have equally revelled in the team's achievements, the column inches afforded them during and after their performance can hardly be begrudged, other than by our own inherent jealousy, healthily fuelled by many years of rivalry.

However, for the BBC to undeservedly award both Gareth Southgate and his players their annual Manager and Team of the Year awards on this basis shows a lack of respect for the other sports and nations under their watch which could claim both greater achievements and need for increased media attention.

Earlier this year Team GB clinched their first ever Olympic gold in wheelchair rugby before Scottish Curling's women and men both won their respective European Championships, also on foreign shores, to name but two of many examples more worthy of the accolade. Surely an open goal for a corporation ever struggling with accusations of geographical and gender imbalance to swing the spotlight elsewhere, rather than lazily rewarding those responsible for its existing viewing figures.

The history books show that an English team has won this award 19 times since one from any of our other home nations in the last "30 years of hurt". In fact, that anomaly, by Scotland's rugby team 1990 remains the only such occasion in the last 50 years, despite Wales having won the Grand Slam no less than seven times during this period, without ever having lifted the coveted silver camera. Is it the winning, the taking part, or just the (three) lions' share of the licence fee?

Blair Hutton, Edinburgh.


THERE have been recent debunking criticisms of the burning of imported wood to generate energy for electricity in the Drax power stations. These are a model for "renewables" and for putative carbon dioxide-sparing alternatives for "traditional" applications.

Except for some hydro and nuclear energy for generating electricity, "green" alternatives, intended to reduce carbon CO2 emissions, are inefficient, ineffective, dangerous or both. All are costlier than previous tried and trusted equipment and methods.

Very expensive, subsidised all-electric cars, with charging dependent on dwindling electricity supplies, also illustrate the severe limitations of "green" alternatives. Range anxieties and intensified battery fire hazards in collisions compound their many drawbacks.

Wind turbines, both on- and offshore, are an obvious example of poor and intermittent performance and wastes of money, land – and seascapes – and of avian creatures' survival. Prudent pilot evaluations, undertaken before their hugely expensive installations, were zero or quite inadequate. Their numbers continue to increase. Vast amounts of greenhouse gases are released during their foreign manufacture.

Moves for us to become vegetarian or even vegan to reduce animals' flatus-containing methane may be acceptable to some but do not enhance farming prosperity or tasty eating.

It's true that shifts to cycle and pedestrian travel might help the climate but subsidised electric buses are pure gimmickry.

The foregoing examples of costly, misguided and often dangerous green alternatives probably represent politicians' unthinking enjoyment of the kick of wasting taxpayers' money in vast amounts.

Can anyone provide evidence that CO2 release is reduced by green alternatives to traditional means and methods which justify their drawbacks and, indeed, their existence?

These alternatives seem to be a dire commentary on our human folly.

Charles Wardrop, Perth.


PAISLEY once again was subject to gratuitous insult, this time at the hands of Brian Beacom ("My week: Liz Truss", The Herald, December 18). He referred to the fact that she once lived in Paisley (she moved there as a young child and attended primary school in the town) and because of that, according to Mr Beacom, she was aware of the amount of rubbish eaten there.

She has spoken highly of her education there. He failed to mention that. One is left to guess at what provoked his gibe at the culinary and dining-out habits of the Buddies. Maybe St Mirren knocked his side out of the Scottish Cup one year.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


IT has been reported that around two-thirds of voters would like the chance of voting to abolish the BBC's licence fee and that there is discontent re the schedule of Christmas programmes, with the "usual suspects" being churned out again. In noting that on BBC2 at 5.20pm on Christmas Day, the film The Adventures Of Robin Hood is being shown, with a vintage of 1938, I would tend to agree with those expressing discontent. Surely a more modern form of entertainment could be programmed?

Derek B Petrie, Milngavie.


THE reference by Amanda Baker (Letters, December 18 ) to the Monster Raving Loony Party standing in the recent North Shropshire by-election reminded me of the question that party posed, tongue firmly in cheek, as part of its campaign in a distant General Election. The question was “Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?". Answer came there none.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.


R RUSSELL Smith recalls ITMA, broadcast in the days of rationing. The programme usually ended with "TTFN" (ta ta for now).

One one occasion, Tommy Handley closed with "TTFNQ". A cast member asked: "What's the queue for?". "Fish", came the response.

Simple humour in simpler times.

David Miller, Milngavie.