This week’s selection of your contributions to The Buteman’s letters page includes observations on renewable energy, our built heritage, as well as the ongoing debate over Scotland’s independence referendum.
If you’d like to see your thoughts on any issue of importance to Bute appearing in print in our letters page, email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org (or click on the email address at the top of this story). Please keep your contributions as brief and to-the-point as possible - and remember to include your name and address for publication and a daytime phone number in case we need to clarify anything quickly.
In particular, if you’d like to see your thoughts on the referendum debate appear in print, please send them to us as soon as possible. Although we have an edition on sale on the day of the vote, some people won’t read its contents until after the polls have closed, so we’d like to include all independence opinions in our September 12 issue if we can.
The deadline is 5pm on Monday, September 8 - but the sooner you write to us, the better are your chances of seeing your views in print, so don’t hang about!
Keep wary eye on natural and built heritage
I was dismayed to see, on the Sunday morning after the Highland Games, that a prominent tree near the fountain in the Esplanade gardens had been pushed over, presumably by drunken hooligans out the previous night.
(Aren’t the Games wonderful, by the way - policing and all? They certainly are for pub owners...)
I was much more dismayed to find the tree cut down on Monday. It had been healthy, and its roots still touched the ground; could it not have been saved?
The council’s parks department has let us down here. It makes one both sad and angry to think that we are so much at the mercy of vandals.
Let us keep a wary eye on the old West Church building! Paul Duffy, on the Community Council, has warned us that Argyll and Bute Council, despite previous commitments, appears to have no other idea for the building but to send in a demolition squad.
Some of us would be prepared to obstruct this with a human chain, attended by all possible publicity at a national level.
But no, I say: we need to be vigilant to ensure the council does not act by stealth here, as such bodies so often like to do!
3 The Terrace, Ardbeg
Trident is not a truly defensive weapon
William Scott’s confusion of the economic impact of an industry with its profits (Letters to the Editor, August 29) makes it difficult to counter his arguments.
His pre-judged dismissal of any statistic emanating from the Scottish Government betrays the fact that his argument would be unaffected if the figures were halved or doubled.
The future of the UK’s weapons of mass destruction is a serious matter deserving of more careful thought.
Classifying Trident as ‘defence’ (self-evidently good) leads to the presumption that it may be worth keeping. But Trident is not a defensive weapon.
It can only be used in two ways: as a first strike offensive weapon, or for retaliation if we ourselves are the subject of a nuclear attack from one of the handful of nations which have such weapons.
Of the more than a hundred countries in the world, half are our friends and allies in the EU or Commonwealth and others are their close neighbours, a nuclear attack on which would cause them collateral damage.
Can William Scott tell us which are the countries that are left, and what threat they present?
Trident is useless against rootless terrorist groups operating as a franchise without central control. There is no centre which can be targeted and even if there were, a drone would suffice without making an entire county uninhabitable and killing nearly all its inhabitants.
Most of the countries that have nuclear WMDs are on the other side of the world. Their quarrels are with their near neighbours, and they do not have the means to deliver a nuclear warhead at such a distance.
The risk to an independent Scotland from an attack by Russia would only make sense if, as at present, we positioned ourselves as America’s subcontractors in their adventures in support of their short term military and economic interests. An attack from the rest of the UK (rUK) or from France would be spitting into the wind.
That leaves only the possibility of an attack from the only country ever to have used nuclear WMD, but we cannot use Trident against America, for they hold the codes to target it.
Trident is immoral, dangerous and expensive. It is bizarrely inefficient as a job creation scheme. It is useless for defence and we have no need for it as an offensive weapon.
If the rUK government values it as a means of enhancing their standing in international diplomacy and in their relationship with America, that is a matter for them.
It is not a reason why an accident risk and a target in any nuclear war should be placed 25 miles from Scotland’s largest city.
John B. Dick
Glendaruel, Ardencraig Road, Rothesay
A brief 1970 encounter in Rothesay
One day in January 1970, while serving in the Royal Navy, my ship,HMS Exmouth, anchored overnight in Rothesay Bay.
Off duty ships company were allowed a few hours shoreleave and I went into Rothesay with a few shipmates.
During the evening I met a local young lady, Irene Morrison,who was then about 20 years of age and living in Barone Road, Rothesay.
We spent a couple of very pleasant hours together before I had to return to the ship. We corresponded for a time, but she had another young man in her life and sadly, for me, this correspondence came to an end.
In September 1971, while based in Dunoon, I revisited Rothesay hoping to be able to look up Irene and was told she was now married and living in Edinburgh.
I realise that this is all a long time ago, but I am hoping some of your readers will have information about Irene that they can pass on to me.
I can be contacted at the address below, by telephone on 01904 489031, or by email at email@example.com.
16 Ashdale Road, Dunnington, York YO19 5NT
Community power people are ‘takers’
The letter written by BCP directors John Rushworth, Reeni Kennedy-Boyle and Jim Osborne (August 22) is clearly erroneous in its heading ‘Community misconceptions over BCP’.
There are no misconceptions over BCP. People do not want them here. Why do BCP want to “earn money from renewable energy”? I guess it must be easier than working for a living.
BCP have played the sympathy card; one can almost hear the begging bowls rattling. Please give us money, they say. Their lottery funding seems to have slipped their minds.
The people of Bute know givers and takers. These people in BCP will take away the natural heritage and replace it with nothing. Let us repeat: we do not want, nor will ever want, your wind turbines here.
Catherine McLean B.A.
24 Castle Street, Rothesay