HOW did we ever get into such a mess? With the incompetent and hypocritical SNP/Green management of our domestic affairs, up pops the Scottish Greens' Patrick Harvie to prove the point of how bad things are.

The ban on wood fires in new Scottish home developments ("Outcry after new-build homes hit with ban on wood stoves", The Herald, April 10) brings dogma and sheer cussedness to a new level. Even in the most remote rural areas, even where there is an abundance of sustainable fuel and no environmental damage whatsoever involved, the SNP-Greens want to control the actions of the people of this country, wherever they live, to the nth degree. Big Brother is indeed watching you.

Why do Patrick Harvie and his followers not hop on their bikes and head to Beijing or New Delhi and demonstrate there? These countries are still building coal-powered power stations in immense numbers. Any beyond-miniscule harm done by the rural communities of Scotland are as nothing in comparison, yet it is easy the easy target the Greens choose.

Virtue signalling and going through the motions of caring for the environment is demonstrably far more important than anything remotely positive and encouraging.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

We must keep our stoves

I WOULD like to add my tuppenceworth to the really quite profound change in building regulations regarding appliances giving off emissions in new-builds.

Having lived all my life in rural areas until recently, I believe that removing stoves from the option of domestic heating and cooking is a truly retrograde step.

A woodburner which could be no more than a design feature in a property in the Central Belt has a very different resonance to the country dweller. In our first marital home we had a Rayburn multi-fuel stove. It was a brilliant appliance fuelled only by wood, a renewable resource, that was a space heater, hot plate, oven, centre of the house and kitchen.

I think that people who have only ever used gas or electric appliances do not appreciate that warmth can be calibrated in different ways. Beyond room temperature there is an embracing warmth that a stove can provide that is simply beyond simple degrees centigrade. A stove is always situated where families gather in a home. It is a hearth, a convivial, cosy, communal facility.

Air and ground-sourced heating is expensive to establish and inflexible in application. It has to run on electricity full time in order to maintain warmth. There is no turning on quick heat if required. It is power-dependent, unlike a stove, which can provide warmth cooking and light when there is a power failure.

Businesses aligned to solid fuel use will fold.

The stove in the hearth is the warm spot and focus of the house. What will we replace that focal feature with? A portrait of Patrick Harvie? This unnecessary and expensive nonsense should be cast aside.

Duncan Cameron, Inverness.

READ MORE: Why have indy supporters stopped banging anti-Trident drum?

READ MORE: The Tories are the only ones to chime with the Scots

READ MORE: Why won't Sarwar show some backbone over the Hate Crime Act?

Hate crime law needs clarity

THE uncertainty surrounding the difficulty, if not the impossibility, of a layman like myself determining what may or may not amount to a penal offence under the Hate Crime Act is down to the semantics of the relevant parts of that Act which include terms such as “reasonable", "reasonable person" and "likely". These are subjective terms and thus arguably capable of different interpretations by different people, including different members of the police force charged with deciding whether specific complaints are or are not offences.

In a democracy, for a law carrying the possibility of imprisonment to be respected as just and enforceable it must be easily understood. As it stands, this Act is not and if it cannot be amended to clarify it, it should be repealed.

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

• RUTH Marr (Letters, April 10) has given Peter A Russell (Letters, April 9) her interpretation of the hate crime law straight from the SNP’s handbook. She tells us “the stirring up of hatred” has been on the statute as a crime since 1965. Then she tries to suggest we can debate as before as the Act has actually “strengthened freedom of expression" rights.

I wonder if it could be explained why this Act was required in the first place?

John Gilligan, Ayr.

Glen Rosa's huge crew

AND so it has come to pass that the Glen Rosa has been launched, an event met with mixed emotions by many ("Over-budget and much delayed ferry finally enters the water", The Herald, April 10). There are those who may have concluded recently that Robbie Drummond, former Chief Executive of Calmac and David Tydeman, former Chief Executive of Ferguson Marine, have been slotted in as the fall guys to be held responsible for the continued cost over-runs, delays and bad publicity associated with the history of the Glen Sannox and the Glen Rosa , due to have been finished in 2018.

I wonder whether or not those in the SNP Government since 2010 who have held ministerial office with responsibilities for transport are planning to get together to have a celebration of the launching. If they are, they will need to book a large table in order to get them all round it, because there are quite a lot of them who have acted as Minister of Transport: Keith Brown, Derek Mackay, Humza Yousaf, Paul Wheelhouse, Graeme Dey, Jenny Gilruth, Kevin Stewart and Fiona Hyslop. However, I notice that at the recent launching it was Mairi McAllan, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing, Economy, Net Zero and Energy, who provided ministerial comments on behalf of the Government.

But it may not be the launching this week which they are likely to be celebrating. More likely, perhaps, is the fact that their respective brevity of tenure in the Transport position has helped them to avoid any significant blame attaching to them for what has been termed the "ferries fiasco". The rapidity with which the name up on the outside of the parliamentary door of the Minister of Transport has had to be changed over the years has not helped in securing so far the "laser-like focus on delivery for our island communities" now being sought by our First Minister.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

• HAVING viewed the launch of the Glen Rosa from the other side of the Clyde at Cardross, I stood taking in the immense structure and all the work that had gone into this huge ferry.

I know all the controversy associated with the massive achievement of this launch. But there is the human story, the many households this ferry has sustained during her life so far, the many who have shared their talents and experiences in training up the next generation of shipbuilders and it was a pleasure to learn that it was one of those trained apprentices who launched the ferry. With the local economy and workforce in mind, we must hope that new orders are on their way very soon.

Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.

The Herald: The launch of the Glen RosaThe launch of the Glen Rosa (Image: PA)

A Tory landslide?

I NOTE an interesting letter from Dr Gerald Edwards (April 9) re The Tories being the only party chiming with the actual mood of the public. Following his logic I should expect a landslide victory for the Conservative Party in Scotland at the next General Election. If this does not happen is it because the electorate is very stupid or because they do not understand current politics at Westminster or Holyrood? Time will tell, but I won’t be rushing to the betting shop after reading Dr Edwards' predictions.

Malcolm Rankin, Seamill.

Get the Letter of the Day straight to your inbox.

Morality of trade with Israel

WITH unelected Foreign Secretary David Cameron making the announcement that the Government in London will continue to support arms sales to Israel ("UK will allow exports to Israel", The Herald, April 11) there is a fundamental question about the Government's concern for the humanitarian issues that arise out of Israel's conduct in Palestine.

I do not care about the legality of arms exports to a state whose actions present a plausible breach of the international Genocide Convention. My paramount concern is with the morality of any trade with Israel at this point in time.

Sound moral judgment is seriously lacking among both the Conservative Government and the Labour Opposition. Continuing political and military support for what Israel is doing in Gaza and on the West Bank must surely be a source of deep shame for anyone who is British; I declare myself Scottish by rights enshrined in UN Declarations and only ever British under duress from the Government in London. The sooner we are out of this highly immoral and extremely toxic Union the better.

Ni Holmes, St Andrews.