THE Scottish Government’s hair-brained proposal to scatter thousands of turbines twice the size of the 420ft-high Glasgow Tower and almost as big as London’s Shard into our rural landscapes must shock even the most environmentally disconnected.

Hardly a week goes past when we don’t read about the eye-watering and increasing constraint payments made to wind generators to switch their turbines off to protect the grid in times of low demand ("£227m in wind farm payouts are big hit to consumers", The Herald, January 10). These payments are added to every UK consumer’s bills and are becoming a sick and unaffordable joke.

Scotland’s two grid operators, who must know what the grid can cope with, also happen to be large wind developers already raking in a hefty chunk of what’s paid out for doing absolutely nothing and, disturbingly, are proposing even more turbines. Wind farms are actually being extended when the original turbines are already regularly being paid to turn off.

You really have to wonder what clown came up with the Connect and Manage policy that allows this growing abuse of public money, almost £1.3 billion as of January 6. This policy promises a grid connection to every approved wind turbine even though the grid has no chance of coping with them and then the adverse consequences are "managed" by paying the operators to switch off because their power is not required.

With every wind turbine approval the chances of hundreds of millions more of our pounds being paid to their owners to stop generating on to the grid will increase. This really is the stuff of fairy tales for wind developers. Being compensated to rest their turbines? It’s quite literally money for nothing and time we said no to having it loaded on to our electricity bills.

The UK Government must stop the further abuse of public money. It must protect all UK consumers because the Scottish Government is on a mission to seriously burden them further with its wind obsession. It is simple. There must be no more turbine approvals until the grid can cope with what they can potentially generate. Anything else is just gross incompetence and neglecting to protect consumers from huge and unnecessary expense and should be challengeable in law.
Lyndsey Ward, Beauly

Losing out on offshore windfall

NICOLA Sturgeon’s administration is desperate to be seen to be in the vanguard of "green" measures to combat climate change. Some may complain that selling off the office for the development of Scotland’s offshore wind power, through the auction of Scotwind earlier this year which brought in less than was potentially available, was a mistake. The SNP administration unaccountably put a cap of £100,000 per square kilometre on bids, whereas in England and Wales auctions brought in, on average, £361,000 per square kilometre. That amounts to a major loss of funds for hard-pressed public services.

Yet perhaps we should rejoice that the development of wind power is in private hands rather than those of Holyrood, which seems to mismanage everything it touches. For example, the SNP administration predicted in 2010 that by 2020 there would be 130,000 "green" jobs in renewables enterprises. By the time Ms Sturgeon became First Minister in 2014, there were more than 23,000 "green" jobs but now there are barely 20,000.

It is hard to understand how one regime can get so much wrong - and I haven’t even mentioned BiFab, Gupta, ferries, the botched census, and the totally skewed priorities on which time has been wasted, such as the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and the interminable secession obsession.
Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh

A vote for a song of freedom

SOME years ago I had to write a review of a book of national anthems of the world and in so doing, read the texts of all 200 of them. I should calculate that about half of them (including, for instance, that of the United States) would be vetoed by Mark Smith ("God Save Scotland: an idea for the new National Anthem", The Herald, January 16) on the grounds that they refer to past military or revolutionary conflicts.

However, usually they do so not to offend other countries, but to point out their own country's attachment to freedom. In the Scottish case, I should favour Scots Wha Hae. It is not, as so often alleged, an anti-English song. The comments Burns made on it show that he was placing the battles of Wallace and Bruce in the context of the struggle for liberty in his own day, by which no doubt he meant the defence of the democratic ideals of the French Revolution.
Kenneth Fraser, St Andrews

• MY vote for a national anthem would go to Scotland Will Flourish, written in the 1980s by Ian Richardson and sung by the Corries. It combines a melodic tune with idealistic lyrics expressing hope for a progressive Scotland based on “love thy neighbour” as opposed to war.
Mary McCabe, Glasgow

Formal exactitude

CORRSPONDENCE on the use of "Yours sincerely", "faithfully", "truly", and the like (Letters, January 9, 10 & 11) has made me think back to the rule as explained by my English teacher, Mr Shedden, some 60 years ago. (Some lessons were remembered.)

Dear Sir and Sirs and Madam or Ladies were signed off as "Yours faithfully ". Dear Mr or Mrs with their surname given, used the "Yours sincerely "ending. Dear first name usage finished with "Yours truly" as an alternative to "sincerely" . Anything else he considered to be patronising.

I wonder if Mr Shedden had it correctly?
Ian Gray, Croftamie

In praise of letter writers

IT'S good that Gordon Evans (Letters, January 14) enjoys the photos and cartoons in your centre pages. It's not so good to read his dismissive description of contributors to the Letters Pages – and he is one himself – as "doomsayers".

Unlike Herald columnists, who are paid to fill column inches, they are people – unpaid – who share their thoughts, hopes and fears on issues they care about. My own aim is to make my points clearly in as few words as possible and I particularly appreciate the letters of those other readers who are equally economical with words.
Willie Maclean, Milngavie


HeraldScotland:

Letters should not exceed 500 words. We reserve the right to edit submissions.