WHAT connects an advert in Cambuslang, a LinkedIn post by Net Zero Scotland, crucifixions in early Rome, and Nikita Khrushchev? Sadly, this isn't an early Christmas cracker funny. The answer is the modus operandi of the eco-socialist lobby: shaming, blaming and punishment. I did say it wasn't funny.

The advert demanded to know: "Are you vegan yet?” It was that "yet" that did it. Such a little word for such an emotive impact. Its implication is clear: you've been told our facts; you haven’t changed your eating habits; so, you are to blame for the meat industry's carbon footprint. It doesn't matter that most of what passes for vegan food on the supermarket shelves is uber-processed junk. Sadly, I'm sure that there are many who have been shamed into eating they know not what.

But they should resist, and tuck into some free-from guilt, locally-produced fayre. NatureScot's recent excellent initiative to train people to stalk wild deer will put local food on local plates ("Deer stalking Scotland: New scheme teaching skills to locals", The Herald, November 17). But this will cut no mustard with the eco-socialists who have captured the environmental movement. It wasn’t so much an advert as a warning.

Net Zero Scotland has been travelling down a similar road. A recent LinkedIn post has been "encouraging" bus travel. Apparently, not only is it a great place to read (really? have they actually ever been on a bus?) but a great way to cut down "your" emissions. The emissions are no longer those of my seven-year-old car's internal combustion engine. Again, I have been told "the facts" and by now I should have bought an electric car. Be prepared for the personal emissions tax.

As I pollute my way eastwards on my daily commute, I am confronted by the arresting spectacle of Whitelee wind farm stretching out its pale limbs against the sky. It evokes the Esquiline hill where the rebellious were crucified from the earliest days of Rome. That too was a sight to behold, and not only figuratively. It was intended to be seen. And in seeing it, you would know and fear the power of the ruling elite. C'est la même chose.

The discourse regarding heat pumps has of late transformed into one of power, of the political kind. Patrick Harvie has insisted that, for now, homeowners will not be fined for not installing heat pumps ("No fines 'for foreseeable future'", The Herald, for not installing heat pumps, The Herald, November 29). Patrick Harvie is the Khrushchev of the devolution era. Part-tyrant, part-clown, and unelected, he has clearly learned the tricks of the Cold War: a threat here, a feint there, an outlandish act, the protestation of innocence. So he knows that he doesn't have to legislate his threat; it's enough that it's been aired. And he'll know we know that.

Creating fear and uncertainty, whilst claiming the very opposite, is straight from the tyrant’s handbook. Mr Harvie is a smarter politician than his co-leader, more ruthless, far more dangerous. Net zero is merely a waystation for his ambitions. For the sake of Scotland, SNP MSPs must stop him ("Is an SNP rebellion brewing over Harvie's heat pumps plans?", The Herald, November 30).

Graeme Arnott, Stewarton.

Read more: We cannot afford to put planet over profit at COP28

It must be planet before profit

I DON’T suppose Andy Maciver wrote his own headline (“We cannot put planet over profit: Transition is key”, the Herald, December 1) but it is surely self-evident that if we don’t put planet over profit, we are lost. The alternative, putting profit over planet, would be the ultimate act of conspicuous consumption: the destruction of the natural world. One is reminded of the famous lines from Act 3 Scene 3 of Ben Jonson’s Volpone: "…and, could we get the phoenix, Though nature lost her kind, she were our dish."

I was in Dubai Airport on March 8, 2020. We taxied for an eternity past hundreds of parked Airbus A380s and I thought: “We can’t go on like this.” Then with the pandemic the whole world ground to a halt, the skies emptied, and we all said to one another: “We mustn’t go back to our bad old ways.”

Perhaps the phoenix, a fabulous Arabian bird, the only individual of its kind, said to regenerate from its own ashes, is a metaphor for Planet Earth. We need to do all in our power to protect her.

Mr Maciver’s trope, “profit for planet”, is a fudge.

Dr Hamish Maclaren, Stirling.

The Herald: COP28 is in full swingCOP28 is in full swing (Image: PA)

Let's see some real action

I NOTE that Lorna Slater's Circular Economy Bill has come in for more criticism ("Cross-party committee labels Slater’s Circular Economy Bill ‘unrealistic’", The Herald, November 30). This bill comes at time when we are being informed that our bus service is being curtailed, our library is possibly closing, and we a trying to save our lollipop ladies.

We are still waiting for our ferries and the eye-watering bill. Our hospital waiting lists are getting longer and longer while Michael Matheson struggles to stay in post. He'll survive though, he's part of that SNP conclave that can almost walk on water.

Your SNP-supporting correspondents must be struggling to find any positivity in this Government other than baby boxes and free prescriptions. Let's get rid of these buzz words and let us see some real action.

Neil Stewart, Balfron.

• IN his damning critique of Nicola Sturgeon, Alasdair Sampson (Letters, December 1) describes her as "immaculate of couture and coiffure". I’m puzzled as to why this seems to upset him so muc that he feels the need to comment upon it.

Brian Logan, Glasgow.

Take polls with a pinch of salt

ONE wonders at the result of the opinion poll recently conducted by Ipsos suggesting that the SNP led Labour by 10 points ("Conflicting polls show Labour and SNP both ahead in election intentions", The Herald, November 30). This in the face of the result of the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, an SNP MP defecting to the Conservatives, the departure of an SNP MSP to Alba, many Scots wishing to see the Health Secretary submit his resignation, and a First Minister without the resolve to sack the said Health Secretary.

It is, perhaps, wiser not to place too much weight on opinion polls. After all, the only opinions that matter eventually are those depicted on ballot papers and properly submitted.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Read more: A show of support for Glasgow's Jews that was an antidote to hate

Israel must defeat Hamas

KEVIN McKenna ("Glasgow’s multifaith march was an antidote to hate", The Herald, November 28) did not "display ignorance on a grand scale of the Middle East conflict" as alleged by Kenny Sludden (Letters, November 29.) Israel did not start this war. It was a response to the brutal slaughter of their citizens and in defence of their existence, because the avowed aim of Hamas is the destruction of Israel, aided and financed by Iran.

Israel must defeat Hamas before any peace settlement can be made. It is regrettable that so many citizens in Gaza have been killed, and Israel has tried to avoid this, but Hamas uses people as human shields.

When Britain gained control of Palestine after the defeat of the Ottomans they gave back Palestine as the ancestral home of the Jews from the river Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea by the Balfour Declaration and by the same declaration, contrary to what John Milne (Letters, November 29) alleges, Britain did not lie over its promise to give land to the Arabs because they were given Jordan and Lebanon.

It should be remembered that Palestine is the Holy Land. It is the land of the Bible promised by God to the Jews by the covenant He made with Abraham. Its history is rooted in the Bible, with Jerusalem as its undisputed capital, known as the City of the Kings in memory of David, Israel's greatest King. It is the land where the Saviour of the world Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and brought up in Nazareth, now designated as the “West Bank”.

Both the Jews and Arabs are descended from Abraham, the Jews from his son Isaac and the Arabs from his son Ishmael. It is possible for them to live together in peace. There are many Arabs who live happily in Israel with full rights of citizenship. Unfortunately the conflict is driven by those who want to take over the whole land for Islamism as shown in the chant "From the river to the sea, Palestine” which means the destruction of Israel. They are not interested in a two-state solution.

Norman A Ogston, Johnston.