I WAS aghast when I read the CEO of Scottish Power’s comments regarding escalating energy bills and his suggestions of who should be paying more ("‘Give poorest £1,000 off bills’ says Scottish Power boss", The Herald, April 20). Scottish Power is one of Scotland’s wealthy grid operators – the other is SSE. Both have built many wind turbines across Scotland and propose even more as though more wind power will solve the problem when we have no wind. That is akin to believing that increasing a fleet of sailing ships will mean more reliable transport when there is no breeze to fill the sails.

We don’t need more turbines – the ones we have now are costing us billions on our energy bills for the guaranteed subsidies, the constraints to switch off, the 24/7 necessary back-up required and the huge grid upgrades needed to manage their erratic energy. Thousands of UK wind turbines have made absolutely no difference to climate targets either.

Scottish Power and SSE have been paid a large portion of the £1.1 billion constraints bill to not generate because of low demand. Had we invested the massive sums paid for this weather-dependent energy source a decade ago in our own home-produced reliable generation we would now have an affordable and secure energy supply. We would not be exposed to prices or conflicts overseas.

Now the current energy policy farce has predictably blown up, those enjoying the biggest spoils, like wind operators, are not stepping up and accepting some of the responsibility for the mess we are in. Remove green levies from energy bills now as it is a regressive tax. Remove all public money payments to unreliable energy sources because what they provide is not available on demand and if, for example, the wind fails we are exposed to massive costs like £4,000 MWh to keep the lights on. Fine them when they don’t produce energy or compensate the consumer for the back-up costs. Surely the policy makers can see that wind is an increasingly unacceptable burden on consumers and taxpayers.

Lyndsey Ward, Beauly.

* YOU quote Keith Anderson of Scottish Power as claiming "the energy crisis is beyond what I can deal with" . Note that for years, when the unit price of gas was around 4p/unit, the renewables industry has been claiming that wind energy is cheaper than gas, which raises the question that, as the output of wind turbines is unaffected by oil and gas tariffs, why have Scottish energy bills escalated when Holyrood states that around 98% of our electricity is generated from renewable sources?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.


STAN Grodynski and David Gray (Letters, April 20) are quick to compare the various lapses of Boris Johnson (serial lying) with the "slight forgetfulness" of Nicola Sturgeon in failing to wear a mask in the East Kilbride barbershop. They draw the conclusion that there is no equivalence in the behaviour of the two leaders.

Given that SNP spokespersons have been quick to point out that even Mr Johnson’s brief nine-minute appearance at a "party" is a political capital offence it would seem reasonable to subject our First Minister to the same rigorous criticism.

Breaking of rules and regulations, however brief in terms of timing, is de facto a breach of law and should be condemned as such. Obeying the law is like virginity. With the latter you have it totally or you do not. The same logic applies to law. You obey it or you do not.

Mr Johnson’s critics have been consistent in arguing for the application of stringent sanctions in response to his behaviour. Moral equivalence suggests that the same tests should be applied without distinction to Ms Sturgeon.

I am not holding my breath.

Professor Douglas Pitt, Newton Mearns.


HAVING listened to Boris Johnson over the last couple of days "apologising" for his partying misdemeanours ("‘Not worthy of being PM’: Tories urged to oust Johnson after fine", The Herald, April 20), I have come to think that he has much in common with Richard Nixon, of whom it was said that his motto was "if two wrongs don't make a right, try three" (Laurence J Peter) and that he "could tell two separate lies out of different corners of his mouth at the same time" (Anon).

Mr Johnson would do well to recall the words of his hero, Winston Churchill, who said: "Politics are almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous. In war, you can only be killed once, but in politics – many times."

Dr Angus Macmillan, Dumfries.

* AS we watched the PM's performance in Parliament my wife and I started to argue. She said he was a scoundrel, whilst I say he is a cad and a bounder. Which one of us is correct?

George Smith, Clydebank.


THE most overused and abused phrase in the English language at present must be "I apologise". Hardly a day passes without some MP, public figure or celebrity mouthing these two words. No matter what they have done. "I apologise" gets them off the hook. The odd thing is how the majority of the population demand these words and seem satisfied when they are uttered.

Lawbreakers and MPs are past masters at apologising and are quite shameless afterwards. It is as though these two words will absolve them of any wrongdoing. However, apologies are meaningless without contrition and reparation for the harm that has been done.

The current situation in the House of Commons is a good example of this.

Richard A Mclellan, Lochgilphead.

* IT was interesting to hear the partying Prime Minister talking of addressing the "aftershocks" of the cost of living increases and the war in Ukraine in his Easter statement to the House of Commons. The makers of that particular shot will be encouraged to know that it is never far from his lips.

David G Will, Milngavie.


THE taxpayer is being asked to fund, directly or indirectly, a termination payment to the outgoing chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank, Eilidh Mactaggart ("Head of state-funded bank was awarded £117,000 exit settlement", The Herald, April 20), yet we are not to be told why that payment is appropriate.

With not a little experience of a few similar situations in business, I have to ask why any such payment is necessary given that you report that the chair of the bank, Willie Watt, advised the Scottish Government on January 31 that “the chief executive had offered her resignation”.

In that circumstance – ie, leaving of her own volition, why, coupled with the usual smokescreen of silence, is £120,000 being paid out with no explanation being offered to the taxpayers who fund that money? It would be a matter of regret, of course, should she

be leaving of a very personal nature.

Or is it the case that there is more to the departure than meets the eye? The attendant behaviour of ministers, including the First Minister, regarding the apparent confusion demands more openness as to who knew what and when they knew about the CEO’s planned departure and why there appears and appeared to be a shyness in being more open about Ms Mactaggart's waygoing.

We are entitled to ask for details and particularly if the basis of the resignation was other than bank policy or performance; for example, was any minister through actions or communications with the bank associated with this departure?

Chic Brodie, Ayr.


IN the past, slave traders exchanged human beings, against their will, for money. Now Priti Patel has agreed with the government of Rwanda to exchange desperate human beings – to whom we have an obligation under a range of international treaties and conventions – against their will, for money.

What is the difference? There is no word in the English language strong enough to describe this despicable reversion to past abhorrent practices.

L McGregor, Falkirk.


THE war in Ukraine continues to provide viewers in the West with an ongoing televisual horror show. We watch aghast as our leaders wring their hands and utter multitudinous platitudes and send some arms. How long can we go on watching as cities in Ukraine are bombed back to the Stone Age and civilians are mercilessly murdered by Putin’s invaders? Still more words of sympathy and encouragement will be spoken. To what effect?

The old adage "fine words butter no parsnips" was never more apt.

Celia Judge, Ayr.

Read more: How can anyone still have faith in Nicola Sturgeon?