Scot­land must build a green future for all

Sunday Herald - - EDITORIAL & LETTERS -

YOUR leader states: “It falls to the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to make sure that in forg­ing our green future, it has the in­ter­ests of the many, not the few, at heart” (Em­brace a green future, Ed­i­to­rial, Oc­to­ber 1). This is a vi­tal prin­ci­ple. The dif­fi­culty of en­act­ing leg­is­la­tion which runs counter to the in­ter­ests of the tax haven lobby de­mands bold­ness and en­light­en­ment, be it deal­ing with the cru­elty of the shoot­ing elite, sell­ing arms to Saudi Ara­bia or the power grab of a frack­ing pro­po­nent.

Believ­ers in progress should be­ware. Ruth David­son’s trip to the Manch­ester Tory con­fer­ence may have more to do with un­seat­ing Nicola Stur­geon than point­ing out you can “sell a three-bed semi in Il­ford and buy up half of Suther­land”. That re­mark is per­haps bet­ter suited to il­lus­trat­ing the erst­while treat­ment of the High­lands by her beloved party, but a bril­liant ex­am­ple of the wealth gap, past and present.

Back home, mean­while, the rit­ual pheas­ant slaugh­ter is re­duced to money and jobs. Ye­men is far away, and we are told that frack­ing will boost Scot­land’s econ­omy; once again, at the hands of the few: peo­ple and the en­vi­ron­ment pay. Iain R Thom­son Can­nich SO Nicola Stur­geon is to ban frack­ing in Scot­land (Re­vealed: SNP will ban frack­ing in Scot­land, News, Oc­to­ber 1). Re­ally? If she does, this means just now, as Labour’s re­nais­sance con­tin­ues, she seeks pop­u­lar sup­port in the form of cen­tral belt and Fife votes more than she needs to big up a new tax stream to re­place col­lapsed North Sea tax re­ceipts.

But if Scot­land were ever to be­come in­de­pen­dent, ex­pect a dra­matic U-turn. With­out a mas­sive new source of public-sec­tor fi­nance to re­place the Bar­nett For­mula, Stur­geon’s in­de­pen­dence dreams are dead in the wa­ter. Martin Red­fern Ed­in­burgh THE SNP-dom­i­nated Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has, af­ter a public con­sul­ta­tion, out­lawed frack­ing de­spite the fact that it would cre­ate 3,100 jobs and bring £6.5 bil­lion of in­vest­ment to Scot­land.

The 60,000 who voted against frack­ing be­cause they be­lieved all the scare sto­ries need to be re­minded that the Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Author­ity, ear­lier this year, told Friends of the Earth not to re­peat claims made in an anti-frack­ing leaflet, which in­cluded al­le­ga­tions that frack­ing caused health prob­lems, that wa­ter used in frack­ing con­tained a toxic cock­tail of chem­i­cals which could end up in drink­ing wa­ter, that 25 per cent of frack­ing chem­i­cals could cause can­cer.

Just about ev­ery­thing we touch con­tains plas­tic de­rived from shale gas so will the 60,000 stop us­ing “tainted” goods? Clark Cross Lin­lith­gow

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