Ex­pe­ri­ence backs up Or­well warn­ing

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - AGENDA -

SIR, – Your most dis­turb­ing re­port of a phar­ma­cist hounded from her cho­sen ca­reer (Press and Jour­nal, Novem­ber 28) il­lus­trates two very se­ri­ous con­cerns for our so­ci­ety and its peo­ple.

The treat­ment meted out by a high street name to a faith­ful em­ployee over an off-duty joc­u­lar re­mark in her own home was quite out of pro­por­tion. It is a glar­ing ex­am­ple of how com­pa­nies are pre­pared to sac­ri­fice em­ploy­ees if there is any risk what­so­ever to an or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pub­lic im­age. The irony in this case is that the dam­age to Boots’ rep­u­ta­tion is self-in­flicted.

But what­ever the con­cern of the above, there is a much greater dan­ger in this for all of us. It would seem in our “chat­ter­ing” age that any­thing and ev­ery­thing we say can be used to bring fire and brim­stone down on our heads. And the fo­cus by both the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and Po­lice Scot­land on “hate speech” is invit­ing – as in the case above – cit­i­zens to re­port fel­low cit­i­zens. Back in 1949, Ge­orge Or­well penned his dystopic novel 1984. Big Brother is well and truly here.

Colin Wil­son, Bell­field Road North Kes­sock

We face black­outs be­cause those who should know bet­ter have over-de­ployed on a weather-de­pen­dent en­ergy, leav­ing us all at se­vere risk from power fail­ures. These politi­cians have naively and shame­fully swal­lowed the wind in­dus­try spin (pun in­tended) and pro­pa­ganda and al­lowed them to con­struct forests of ro­tat­ing cash ma­chines that give us no en­ergy se­cu­rity and al­most cer­tainly do not save any sig­nif­i­cant emis­sions.

They have al­lowed mil­lions of CO2 ab­sorb­ing trees to be hacked down and acres of an­cient car­bon hold­ing peat to be ripped up to fa­cil­i­tate a greedy and ruth­less in­dus­try. While they wax lyri­cal about in­dus­trial wind tur­bines and Scot­land be­ing the windi­est place in the EU, they fail to add that is while we (the con­sumer) have spent nearly half a bil­lion pounds to wind op­er­a­tors to turn their ma­chines off when there is low de­mand – es­pe­cially in spring and au­tumn.

When there is no wind we are hap­pily im­port­ing vast amounts of elec­tric­ity from Eng­land to keep our lights on, peo­ple safe and in­dus­try run­ning but the likes of WWF, en­ergy ad­vi­sors to the Scot­tish gov­ern­ment fail to men­tion that in­con­ve­nient truth in their press re­leases.

Lyn­d­sey Ward

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