ADAM Tomkins explains the tragic transfer of Covid-19 cases from hospitals to care homes was due to he and other parliamentarians, which includes ministers, "simply not knowing enough about the nature of the virus" ("Covid inquiry is a waste of time and money, so scrap it", The Herald, November 9).

I am astonished, because I (an ordinary citizen) knew that while China had questions to answer, it did two things early in 2020: it gave the international science community the genome of the virus, and it stated that young people had mild symptoms, with some not even knowing they had it, but that those over aged 70 were in danger. When my first wife, with Covid-19, was transferred from hospital to a care home I told my daughter I could not believe it, as the Chinese had clearly identified the danger to that age group.

Professor Tomkins describes the hospital-to-care-homes decision as "not the sort of error which can usefully be investigated by ... a public inquiry". Tell that to those who lost their parents, grannies and grandpas. I think they would agree, as should the rest of the community, that a public inquiry is essential, not only for this particular part of the matter, but for the loss of civil liberties, and the trashing of the economy which took place.
Jim Sillars, Edinburgh

Net zero target must change

A HUGE thank you to William Loneskie (Letters, November 10) and his analysis of our power station decisions leading to our current worries (and costs). I worked in manufacturing my whole career and witnessed the many decisions to move production overseas to reduce costs.

The UK economy, once based on added value in product, moved away towards added value in knowledge-based systems. We continue this trend. Who knew about LDI (liability-driven investments) that nearly broke the final salary scheme pension funds? Indeed, how much brain power is sunk into tax avoidance?

I hear much about entrepreneurs. I seldom hear they drive to make a product in the UK. Thus, Theresa May’s legacy net zero target for the UK must change to include at least an attempt to evaluate carbon from imports – where does our steel, our carpet, our cars come from?

I understand coal burning was harmful. However, our demands, steel, carpets, cars and more drive current coal burning in China and India. Education has failed to teach us this; or have our leaders simply decided we should forget the consequences of our demands?
David Hamilton, Largs

The problem of surplus energy

I AM writing to counter some of the claims in your double-page spread (Pages 6 & 7, The Herald, November 10) on wind energy.

A bar chart claims that Scotland's homes will be powered five times over by existing and planned wind farms. About half of that electricity would be surplus as homes only use approximately 40% of electricity. What will happen with this surplus energy? Exporting is not a solution, as when one country has good wind speeds the neighbours usually have good wind speeds at the same time.

And there's the claim that Scotland could start a sovereign wealth fund from wind power and see lower bills. Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland shows that renewable subsidies are costing Scotland £747 million per year and rising, or £300 per household. And that's just the pre-2017 schemes. The cost of post-2017 schemes will likely be far higher, as generating capacity has been rising almost exponentially since 2003.
Geoff Moore, Alness

• YESTERDAY we reported that Scotland has 25% per cent of Europe’s offshore wind potential, a figure supplied by the Scottish Government. This figure is disputed by opposition parties.

Sketch is a top draw

IN these trying times, it has long been my practice to turn first to Steven Camley's cartoons and the excellent photos in the centre pages. Jacki Gordon and George Crawford are particular favourites of mine.

This helps me gird my loins before, potentially, going in to battle with other correspondents in the Letters Pages. Recently, I have added Rab McNeil's witty sketches from Westminster to the first two items. Rab certainly manages to capture the farcical proceedings that go on in the House of Commons.
Gordon Evans, Glasgow

Sound and fury

I AM becoming increasingly frustrated by the incomprehensible sounds emanating from both TV and radio. There has recently been quite a debate about posh/local accents defining “class”. I enjoy the various accents and dialects we find on both media. That is not the problem.

There is nothing wrong with my hearing. It’s my listening comprehension which is failing. Certainly Covid and too many telephone inputs which lack clarity and quality are partly to blame. But we seem to have lost the art of articulation. Many broadcasters, and I include Radio 4’s Today, gabble and rush through their reports, such as in reading the newspapers.

Drama on TV is even worse. I have had to resort to subtitles. As for the huge number of drama scenes which seem to take place in dusk or dark ... enough said.

Back to the radio: my lovely late Mum was a gold medallist for elocution at the Athenaeum (pre-Royal Conservatoire), about 100 years ago. She would have been dismayed at the falling standards of speech from broadcasters and actors.
Lesley Mackiggan, Glasgow

Squeaky clean and dry

I AM lucky to have a pulley (Letters, November 9 & 10). It was in the house when I moved in 30 years ago and, after hearing about the difficulties some readers are having when drying clothes, I'm very glad I didn't dispose of it then.

Most clothes are dry overnight but occasionally some things like T-shirts can be dry by lunchtime. It's amazing the amount of heat near a ceiling.

Ian McCallum has reminded me that when I was a child I regularly heard that squeak... and still do today.
Helen Lane, Bearsden

Sodger on parade

I NOTE the recent correspondence concerning poetry ("Letters, November 8, 9 & 10). Aren’t we edging towards street songs?

In which case, to the tune of “My old man’s a dustman", one of my favourite Glasgow ones is:

My wee man’s a sodger

He bides in Maryhill

He gets peyd on Settirday

An buys a hauf a gill.

He goes ti kirk on Sunday

A hauf an oor too late

He teers the buttons aff his shirt

An pits them in the plate.
Gordon Casely, Crathes


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