THIS week our First Minister unveiled the National Floating Wind Innovation Centre in Aberdeen whilst being quoted commenting that "Scotland is positioning itself as a world-leading nation" and that the centre is "a major step to realising the country's net zero ambitions", the Scottish Government having provided part of the funding ("First Minister says Scotland is positioning itself as a ‘world-leading nation’", The Herald, March 19). There followed press reports of 29,000 related jobs being created by 2050.

The BBC today (March 19) on its lunchtime news while showing offshore wind farms described them as "green, cheap, homegrown" and said that offshore wind power has been a massive British success story.

Readers may be unaware that the big generating companies have been recently flexing their combined commercial muscle to arrest the recent downward trend in Government Contract for Difference wind generation auction prices.

How? By deploying the simple expedient of refusing to submit any bids under the Government's 2023 Fifth Round administrative strike price procedure, which action resulted in our politicians increasing the CfDs of renewables auction prices by up to 66% for this year's Sixth Round in a desperate attempt to appease the industry.

For example, the Sixth Round administrative strike price on the table for 2024 for floating offshore wind (FLOW) has risen to £176/MWh from last year's rejected £116/MWh. Was the First Minister aware before he invested our money?

Hinckley Point C nuclear was contracted amidst a furore at £92.80/MWh at 2012 prices and both are escalable in relation to UK inflation. Hinckley C as at September 1, 2023 was reckoned to be at £128.09/MWh: considerably cheaper than future FLOW wind power and therefore its nuclear power always will be throughout FLOW windfarms contracted life cycles.

So at these contract prices that the industry is forcing us to pay one has to question any prospect of 29,000 FLOW jobs and the BBC "massive British success story " hyperbole.

The reality is that the lack of centralised, engineered energy planning since privatisation has created a British monumental shambles.

DB Watson, Cumbernauld.

Football needs strict liability

THE SFA and SPFL had high-profile talks with Police Scotland on November 21 last year about the inappropriate crowd behaviour at Dens Park, Dundee, on November 1. The entire away stand was illuminated, and the game delayed for 19 minutes, as hundreds of dangerous flares were set off. They were under intense media pressure but waited for the furore to die down then, true to form, did nothing. The talks were the end in themselves.

The events have confirmed the utter naivety of repealing the Offensive Behaviour At Football Act 2012.

Yet the answer stares us in the face: that is, emulate every other nation in Uefa. Bring in strict liability; deduct points, fine, shut a stand or have matches played behind closed doors. For example, it has transformed Dutch football..

The football authorities have been collating research on unacceptable conduct at football matches since 2017, but only hand it to the Scottish Government and Police Scotland on the grounds it is not made public.

The Scottish Government runs scared of offending the Glasgow giants but has reiterated that Police Scotland can turn to the Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Articles (Scotland) Act 2022 to deter misuse but, clearly, that has failed. No Scottish club has ever been sanctioned over the illegal use of dangerous pyrotechnics.

Hibernian FC are the latest club to, commendably, reduce the away allocation to supporters as they have a duty of care to protect the vast majority of decent fans at a match. The SFA is said to be open to Hibs' suggestions (on flares, sectarian chanting, objects being thrown etc) at the Rules Review working group, though few will hold their breath, unless they are engulfed in smoke in a stand at a future match.

John V LLoyd, Inverkeithing.

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Misleading acts at the opera

THE brochure for this year’s Edinburgh International Festival advertises various multi-buy discounts, similar to those offered by various orchestras and opera companies. The opera offer states that booking three or more operas merits a 20% discount, excluding concession tickets, which is fair enough.

Having booked three operas with no such discount being offered I contacted the box office, to be informed that the discount did not apply to top-price seats. This additional restriction appears nowhere, and would seem to have been invented post facto by either the box office or some higher authority within the Festival organisation.

At the very least this is seriously misleading the public. I am therefore being charged £143 over and above the advertised price.

Opera and music lovers be warned.

Ian Szymanski, Glasgow.

Against the odds

FURTHER to Niall Mackie's letter (March 20), I am frequently reminded of a quote by Ian McGeechan from a few years ago when he said: "There are more rugby union players in the county of Yorkshire than there are in the whole of Scotland." Which in fact makes the Calcutta Cup results of the last few seasons quite astonishing.

Bill Rutherford, Galashiels.

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Iconic defence

I MUST take issue with Robin Dow’s comments (Letters, March 20) on the meaning of the word “iconic". To declare my interest, I used “iconic structure" to describe the Titan crane in my letter you published on the same day. Whilst I admit to being guilty of not “deigning to consult a dictionary" before using that term, I have now done so. To my relief, my dictionary (Webster's) includes amongst specifically religious references a more generalised definition of "icon" as an “object of uncritical devotion".

I believe that definition can be applied happily to the Titan crane, revered as a proud symbol of the historic importance of the Clyde to the development of Glasgow, once the second city of the Empire.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

The Herald: Stuart Neville's photograph depicting the Finnieston CraneStuart Neville's photograph depicting the Finnieston Crane (Image: Stuart Neville)

Cranes in need of a lift

THANKS to Alan Fitzpatrick (Letters, March 20) for his mention of my picture of the Finnieston Crane.

As he points out, the crane does seem to be in a poor state of repair, sadly its less well-known sister cranes at the former Barclay Curle site in Whiteinch and at the James Watt dock in Greenock are in an equally poor condition and the Clydebank crane, popular for some time as a tourist attraction, and possibly showing the way ahead for these majestic structures, has been closed for years.

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.