THE hitherto-unknown phenomenon of backbench revolt against the SNP Government has been in evidence (“First Minister to face new SNP internal revolt on controversial Gender Recognition Reform Bill”, November 6). Perhaps the MSPs were concerned by, among other things, the recent findings that there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of corrupt police officers working in England and Wales including those with convictions for indecent exposure and domestic violence.

I recollect previously having read of sexual offences committed against female inmates in prison, again, I think, in England and Wales, by trans women – that is, persons with male bodies who had opted to be treated as women in relation to their incarceration. There is also the infamous case of Wayne Cousins, the police officer who murdered Sarah Everard.

We need to accept that there are those among us who will go to great lengths to put themselves into positions from which they can give vent to odious sexual and other predilections, that the proposed reforms present them with an opportunity to do so and that society at large and vulnerable women and girls in particular require to be protected against the practice of these predilections.

Can there be any doubt whatsoever that the proposed reforms present at least a degree of risk to vulnerable women and girls? The more pertinent question may concern the number of victims that would be an acceptable price for the implementation of these reforms. I have not seen evidence of any modelling or other study having been carried out to establish the probable or possible nature and frequency of any such offending that is likely to ensue from these reforms. It seems foolhardy to proceed with the reforms without the opposing concerns being tested in this way and without the public being given the insight that such testing would provide.

One group, apart from immediate victims, which is likely to suffer from either untested reforms or from any consequent offending that might take place is, of course, those who are subject to gender dysphoria or similar conditions and who are likely to meet with a public reaction which is even less acceptable than that which currently causes distress to at least some of their number.

There seems to be common consent that the present legal position should be reformed to reduce the adverse consequences of gender dysphoria and suchlike but these proposed reforms seem likely to be a step in the opposite direction.

Michael Sheridan, Glasgow.


I READ the usual “too wee, too poor” diatribe from Dr Gerald Edwards (Letters, November 6) with some amusement. Professor Doyle of Dublin University has examined the supposed “fiscal gap” of an independent Wales and found it to be £2.6bn as opposed to the UK assertion of £13.5bn. A UK accounting exercise rather than a fiscal calculation, he summarises. Is GERS in Scotland also a UK accounting exercise?

In any case it is noticeable that the first port of call for the UK Treasury as the Tories crash the economy is Scotland, with its wealth of oil, gas and renewables. An extra £8bn is flowing into the UK coffers from Scotland’s oil and gas fields and more is mooted from our profitable renewables industry. Labour claims, if in government, it could double this tax take. Why would an independent Scotland not enjoy this bounty? And more if Scotland chose to tax energy transitioning through Scotland.

It seems energy will be increasingly vital in future years with Scotland blessed by an abundance, and eager suitors will await in a Europe desperate to distance themselves from Putin if our big southern neighbour takes the huff.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.


I’VE just awoken from a long slumber which started on September 19, 2014, when I found out that we, the nation of Scotland, had betrayed our great history and the great people who defined that history, by rejecting everything they’ve set in place by not having the collective courage to simply write an “X” in a box.

I’ve just read the wonderful interview by Neil Mackay with Professor Matt Qvortrup ("Global expert on independence says SNP can win Indyref2 ... but populism must be embraced", November 6), who’s the first person to convince me since that horrendous day that I wasn’t actually so naive to believe that we shouldn’t be demanding our independence based on white papers and our choice of currency, but rather our desire to take back ownership of our great nation and then bravely see where it takes us.

Danny Gallacher, Glasgow.


GERALD Edwards and Bob MacDougall (Letters, November 6) keep going with their attacks on the Scottish Government and the notion of independence.

If they really do think that Scotland is too poor to survive and prosper as an independent country then they must vote No in Indyref2. Luckily most of the electorate are not so dismal and can see exactly how and why Scotland will prosper as an independent country.

If Scotland were a drain on rUK do you really think that rUK would want to keep us? Of course not. rUK doesn’t want another referendum because it would likely lose it and Scotland with it. The UK has never willingly given up any source of good resources and income and it never will.

Scotland has huge natural resources, a terrific and well-educated workforce, and a superb reputation worldwide. A recipe for success if ever there was. Now is the time.

George Archibald, West Linton.


THE First Minister’s uninvited and horrendously expensive trip to Egypt with her entourage and her desperate attempts to get attention were at first cringeworthy as well as unsuccessful. Then they became embarrassing to the point of curling toes. Ultimately they were simply excruciating. Who could have thought this charade a good idea?

She should never have gone in the first place. Ego reigns in the SNP administration. Enough is enough.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.


IAIN McIntyre and Ronald Cameron (Letters, November 6) need to look outside their Scottish bubble, which has a miniscule 0.15 per cent of global emissions or indeed the UK with 1.13%.

Mr Cameron, who has an expensive electric car on which he probably received a taxpayer-funded grant and possibly recharges it for free at a local authority point, should suggest what can be done about the 1.446 billion petrol/diesel cars in the world.

He claims "we need to learn to love wind farms" to stop floods, drought and famine. Those not on the climate gravy train have explained that the floods in Pakistan were due to mass deforestation of its watershed thus allowing the annual monsoon rains to carry millions of tonnes of topsoil downhill where it silted up the Indus river. China spent $3.8 trillion on renewable investments over the last decade but still relies mostly on coal for 81% of its electricity. Old King Coal is back worldwide as countries strive for economic survival.

Mr McIntyre says that Scotland should use its own cheaper renewable electricity. "Cheaper" is widely disputed. It is not Scotland's electricity, it is electricity produced by foreign-owned turbines which put electricity into the National Grid. Does he expect the Scottish Government to set up a separate Scottish Grid costing billions of pounds using Scottish taxpayers' money?

According to the UN report, all climate policies currently in place will result in warming of 2.5 to 2.8 degrees, not quite the success story that COP26 claimed. UK net zero by 2050 will cost £3 trillion which is £108,000 per household. Will Mr McIntyre and Mr Cameron be happy to pay this and also contribute to the $100 billion yearly Climate Mitigation Fund for developing countries paid for by the so-called rich countries and which India is demanding be raised to $1 trillion?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

• TWO writers are using climate alarmism against Clark Cross. Ronald Cameron mentions drought and famine in East Africa. Is he not aware that Zimbabwe is expecting a record wheat harvest this year despite lower than expected rainfall?

Both he and Iain McIntyre push the pie-in-the-sky idea of manufacturing hydrogen from surplus renewable energy. Perhaps the main reason why this isn't viable at large scale is energy losses. An estimated two-thirds of the energy would be lost during the whole life cycle of this process, and this lost energy wouldn't just be written off, it would have to be paid for by the public. High energy prices just now would be dwarfed by a hydrogen system.

Geoff Moore, Alness.

• I HAVE read with interest the correspondence relating to power generation and green energy (Letters, October 30 & November 6).

I wonder why output from hydroelectric power stations, formally operated by the Hydro Board, were not included? Could someone enlighten me?

Sylvia Boal, Edinburgh.


A BAN on trophy-hunting imports into the UK is long overdue, and on November 25, the Commons will debate a private member’s bill which, if it succeeds, will finally put a stop to hunters bringing back the body parts of animals they have mercilessly gunned down and killed.

Animals shot by hunters often endure a prolonged, painful death before their head and other body parts are chopped off and sent home as “trophies”. For as long as we allow these shipments into the UK, the nation is complicit in the slaughter of elephants, lions, and other magnificent species.

As an animal-loving nation, trophy hunting flies in the face of the British public’s values. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) urges everyone to rally behind this proposed legislation by contacting their local MPs and encouraging them to show support for the bill so we can finally end our involvement in this cruel and bloodthirsty business.

Elisa Allen, Vice President of Programmes, Peta, London.