THE UK Government has warned that in a reasonable worse-case scenario, power cuts will be necessary next winter. How have we come to this in the world's fifth-largest economy? The answer lies in a directive made by the European Commission and adopted enthusiastically by Labour's Ed Miliband as the UK's first Climate Change Minister. It was taken further by Theresa May when as PM she introduced a Climate Change Act without parliamentary scrutiny which will devastate Britain along the road to net zero.

The Government proceeded to demolish nearly all of our coal-fired power stations, including all those along Megawatt Valley which supplied electricity 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Nicola Sturgeon took a trip to Longannet, being piped in and out by a piper, just to see one of the biggest power stations in Europe blown up.

The statutory remit of the Central Electricity Generating Board, and the other boards, was to produce a surplus of electricity. The first objective of wind farm companies is to produce maximum profits, including delaying payments under the Contracts for Difference regime. As I write all the wind farms in Britain are producing 6.1 per cent of the nation's electricity; this morning it was 3.8%.

When the last deep mine in Britain, Kellingley Colliery, the "Big K", was closed its general manager said we would rue the day we closed down coal mining in Britain. From relying on reliable British coal to keep the lights on – and of which we have 187 billion tons of reserves – we are now supposed to be relying on a fickle and paltry mixture of wind, solar, and imported gas. All this to avoid increasing CO2, which makes up 0.04% of the Earth's atmosphere and to which the UK contributes less than 1% of the world's total.

During the Beast From the East in 2018 our six remaining coal power stations were crucial in keeping the lights on. They worked flat out. Now we have just three left, and the Government has delayed their closure because now, at last, it realises that they will be needed this winter in an attempt to avoid disaster. And hospitals which rely on back-up diesel generators may struggle to find fuel if further sanctions on Russia prevent the import of that crucial commodity.

When will he have an energy policy based on common sense rather than green ideology disconnected from the real world?

William Loneskie, Lauder.


GORDON Casely (Letters, May 31) will, I am sure, be aware that there is nothing new in overcrowding on trains to and from Fort William. Back in the 1990s when my employment with British Rail took me out and about on the West Highland lines, buses were sometimes used to supplement the trains when passenger numbers were high.

While the infrastructure is, and was, well-maintained, there has been no significant investment in lines such as this, essential as they are for local residents and tourist alike. To run the modern railway that Scotland needs, the West Highland lines need investment to extend passing places, dual-track where feasible, reduce the number of tight curves, and track renewal to allow increased speeds, as well as new rolling stock. Now if only some of the investment in HS2 and the Elizabeth Line could be made in this part of the UK...

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.

* GORDON Casely had the unfortunate experience of travelling on one of only two weekday services running at present from Fort William to Glasgow under the temporary timetable. It is similarly the case in the opposite direction. The Oban portion should have been attached at Crianlarich, but as he surmises there would be an operational reason for it not doing so on this particular occasion.

John Macnab, Falkirk.


I REALISE I might be shot down in flames over my thoughts about the current “celebration". I feel the phrase "years of service to the country” might be replaced by "privileged and clinging on to power". I see a solid gold state coach, numerous castles, jewels and grace-and-favour hangers-on yet we all have to contribute to the finances of one of the richest families in the world.

Maybe they would be endeared to ordinary people if some of their loot were given over to the families struggling with all the current demands of life. Some hope.

Veronica Nelson, Edinburgh.


I NOTE the letter (May 30) from David Clark regarding the Scotland v Ukraine World Cup qualifier and the subsequent game at the weekend against Wales to determine who qualifies for the finals in Qatar.

Mr Clark believes that sporting integrity would be compromised if both ties were awarded to Ukraine and I dare say that he has a point. Of course, Scotland and Wales are also in a no-win situation given that all neutrals worldwide will be willing a Ukraine victory and I dare say this support for the country literally fighting for its life will also extend to many Scots and Welsh fans.

However, a way to satisfy everyone would have been for the World Cup organisers to give Ukraine a bye into the finals and for Scotland and Wales to play each other, with the winner also heading to Qatar.

Yes, that would mean one of the final groups having five teams, but so what given the circumstances?

James Martin, Bearsden.


IN your On This Day feature (The Herald, May 28),1842 is quoted as seeing the opening of the first public library (Salford). There are others in England quoted as the "first". However, Innerpeffray near Crieff dates from 1680 and although no longer lending is still open to the public.

Can we claim it as the first?

Jane McNish, Glasgow.


AS a Collins-trained proofreader of 60 years' standing (mostly sitting), I despair.

Over the last week I have encountered "I done that yesterday", "I have went there last year" and "I have wrote this down for you".

Admittedly, I was mollified by the kindness of my informant, and the big smile that came with the information.

In Glasgow, English is a foreign language.

Irene Conway, Glasgow.