ALEX Salmond appears determined to destroy the Scottish National Party that he once led in any which way he can.

He's out for revenge over "the botched investigation of sexual misconduct" claims against him ("Salmond in £3m damages claim against the government, The Herald, November 24).

He was cleared of 14 counts of sexual assault at the High Court in Edinburgh in 2020 and he was awarded £512,000 in legal costs.

He talked at the time about "the waste of public resources" spent on the trial but now it's understood he wants £3 million more in damages and loss of earnings.

Damages? Surely not to his ego, which knows no bounds.

And I don't think he's been out of work. He presented a show on Russia Today, the TV channel seen by many as a propaganda machine for Vladimir Putin.

He is also leader of the Alba Party. Perhaps that doesn't pay as much as the SNP, largely because it has so few supporters.

But if he's talking millions of pounds in lost earnings (that's a fair whack over just a few years) he should think of all those workers in Scotland in the NHS, the railways, retail and hospitality who are suffering daily from low wages and rising costs rather than readying to line the pockets of lawyers courtesy of another expensive legal case.

But he's not. He's thinking only of himself. That is the reality and that for any Scot is sad.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

Why must the people pay?

SO, here we go again with Alex Salmond raising a £3 million (plus costs?) action against us taxpayers, as represented by the woeful Scottish Government. As yet there is insufficient information to take a view on the merits of his claim, which looks to me a bit like the next round in his battle against the reputations of Nicola Sturgeon and Leslie Evans.

On reading your front page report today on this action, for a moment I was able to indulge in a little bit of wishful thinking about personal accountability. That came about on reading Tom Gordon’s mistaken comment about the costs Mr Salmond was awarded in his previous skirmish that “SNP ministers subsequently had to pay Mr Salmond £512,000 in legal costs". If only that were true, with those responsible for clear botches being held personally responsible, as would Mr Salmond have been if he had lost. Instead they can simply order the payment to be taken from the taxpayers' trough.

I just wonder if Mr Salmond has calculated that having regard to the outcome of the previous skirmish, and as both the principal government players have moved on out of the firing line, the restructured government may well be advised to take the pragmatic decision to negotiate a settlement.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Read more: The loss of Grangemouth is the price of years of UK neglect

Take plant into public hands

THE real reason for the intended Grangemouth refinery closure is the same as the reason for the huge increase in energy costs in the UK leading to very high inflation and the subsequent reduced value of wages and increased poverty (“Gray hopes to ‘extend potential life’ of sole Scottish oil refinery”, The Herald, November 24). That reason is the privatisation of our oil and gas resources and industries by UK governments. The private oil and gas companies have no obligation to provide oil and gas to the UK. So even although we have these resources in our territorial waters we had to compete for oil and gas supplies on the world market and prices increased hugely due to the Ukraine-Russia war.

Grangemouth is shutting down processing because the private company’s priority is maximising profit. If processing can be carried out cheaper elsewhere the company will stop processing here. Any damage to the workforce and the surrounding area or the effects on Scotland and its economy are not the company’s priority.

As the Grangemouth processing plant and the workforce are of no value to them then why not take it into public ownership? Its existing function could continue with carbon capture in the Acorn project. That part of the Grangemouth plant proposed to handle imports would no longer have value to the current owners.

The oil refining in public ownership could gradually be reduced until no longer required and replaced by green energy produced in Scotland. Avoiding profiteering privatisation of that green energy and keeping it in public ownership should make the just transition easier.

Our low-cost, never-ending green energy will reverse the price increases generally. Industry wanting low-cost energy and to meet customer demand for green energy produce will be attracted here, improving further Scotland’s economy.

Jim Stamper, Bearsden.

The SNP is to blame

IT was with some incredulity that I read GW Weir's misdirected blaming of Alister Jack for lack of support to Ineos Grangemouth - citing support given elsewhere to the UK's car industry (Letters, November 24).

Mr Weir is clearly ignorant of the fact that many Scottish companies, not solely those in England, contribute successfully to the supply chains of these car manufacturers.

He also is clearly in total denial of the fact that the SNP - in pandering to its minority unelected Green colleagues - does nothing to encourage or engage with major businesses in Scotland, focuses its efforts on shutting down North Sea oil and gas exploration, and is determined to eliminate the use of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Why should Ineos invest in a loss-making oil refinery when the SNP - in its continuing failure to understand basic economics - removes both the source of the raw material input and the demand for the product output?

Steph Johnson, Glasgow.

Westminster has failed us

THE fact that Douglas Ross and Anas Sarwar continued with their three-week witch hunt of Michael Matheson rather than quizzing the First Minister on Grangemouth at First Minister's Questions shows where their priorities lie. Even BBC Scotland TV news on Thursday led with Michael Matheson rather than Grangemouth, which says something about its editorial policy.

Westminster failed Scotland as our oil revenues were not used to reinvest in Scotland’s renewable manufacturing infrastructure such as hydrogen fuel cells or wind turbines. This is what happened in Norway and Denmark. So the UK Government should at least be protecting Scotland's energy security.

The closure of Scotland’s only oil refinery does not hasten our transition to renewables nor make us more sustainable. It only threatens well-paid skilled jobs, both the local and national economy, decreases our energy security and massively increases our dependence on the rest of the UK to manage our own resources and to provide us with a supply of fuel. Grangemouth has sadly become a further example of how control of its own energy assets and natural resources has been wrested away from Scotland.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

Read more: Adult Human Female: Inside the blockade

Trans people should be believed

I READ with interest Mark Smith’s article about his attendance at the Edinburgh University screening of Adult Human Female ("Inside the blockade of the gender film", The Herald, November 24). This is a film that many have described as transphobic and Mr Smith states in his article that “the film is also not what its critics say it is”. I was also at this screening and wonder if Mr Smith watched the same film as I.

There are many problems with this film, too many to list here, but I will outline two highlights for me. One section of the film focuses on trans prisoners. One of the participants in the film cites data to say that just over half of trans women in prisons are sex offenders. The data that this assertion is based on has been called into question since before the film was made.

At another point in the film, transgender people are described as being the same as transvestites and fetishists. This is a point that is reinforced with imagery of a shirtless young man putting on dress gloves in a suggestive manner. It is one of many problematic suggestive images in the film, a point that the filmmakers failed to address when asked about it at the screening.

One could argue that it is irrelevant whether Mr Smith or I found the film to be transphobic. As an adult human cis white male, I would never seek to tell a black person whether or not something is racist. Then perhaps we should believe trans people - a voice that was missing from the film and all too often from this discussion - when they say something is transphobic.

Anthony Michaels, Edinburgh.

The Herald: Could Nessie be part of the remains of a Viking longboat?Could Nessie be part of the remains of a Viking longboat? (Image: Getty)

Nessie is a Viking

I NOTE your report of the latest study of Loch Ness Monster claims ("Monster study reveals Nessie is algae-blob creature of the deep", The Herald, November 23). If you read the History of Beauly Priory, you will see that the medieval name for Fort Augustus was Sitheney, the same name as the capital of Sweden. The king of that country was called Erik. Thus we have the strath next to the Fort as Stratherrick.

In the early 1930s the west side road of the loch was being redeveloped. My late dad told me that many of the workers were Russians who had fled the revolution. Thus the long slope to the south of the Cobb memorial became known as the Rooshki Brae, Anyway, the dynamite triggered the loss of a shallowly-sunk keel of a Viking longboat belonging to Erik. His son was in charge at Loch Ness, so when the boat came to tell him of his father’s death, he had his own boat to sink. Swedish historians have ruled out other explanations and it now seems that it is accepted that Olof Scotkonung means Olof the Scotland king.

When the keel sank, it only went down as far as the thermocline so that whenever it rippled, the keel was sent back to the surface. Let me know if you can’t figure out the rest.

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George F Campbell, Glasgow.

• FIRST, I do not believe a Loch Ness “monster” (and family) could exist, but it would be nice if it did. However, some 25-30 years ago or so, my wife, two daughters and I were taking the young daughter of French friends up north sight-seeing (Dunrobin Castle, where there was a remote family connection) and we stopped at Loch Ness to look for “Nessie”. To our astonishment, we saw on the far side of the loch a wake travelling up the loch faster than a car on the adjacent road. It had the distinctive narrow V of something travelling underwater; the wind was minimal. After a couple of minutes it disappeared and I have no explanation.

Letitia, now married with her own family, knows precisely what she saw. It was the Loch Ness Monster.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

Not so green

REGARDING Stuart Neville’s letter (November 24), Glasgow Life doesn’t manage Glasgow Green and doesn’t receive income from its use by events and festivals.

Susan Deighan, Chief Executive, Glasgow Life.