Conservatives have always had only one answer to economic problems: tax cuts, deregulation and market collapse.
The fact that this voodoo economic approach has never brought national prosperity does not interest them.
They have completely abdicated their responsibility as a government, which is to regulate market failures to protect the population, because they have been too busy lining their own pockets and those of their oligarch donors.
There is no better example of ruinous market failure than the so-called “energy market”, run by private corporations for a single profit. It does not operate efficiently, does not serve the interests of people and businesses, and has failed to invest in renewable energy and technology.
The United Kingdom is the only European state to have sold its energy assets and it did so in the service of a failing ideology.
That’s why, even though wholesale gas and electricity prices are the cheapest since 2010, energy bills have soared 85% since March. It’s pure profit.
We live in the agony of neoliberalism, an economic ideology indifferent to human suffering.
The opportunity for Scotland is to build a state that puts the well-being of its citizens first, taking back control of its resources and establishing and enforcing regulations to save and improve lives.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh
Among other somewhat ridiculous claims, Dr Richard Dixon (Scots, September 15) claims that our new Prime Minister “supports distant and ridiculously expensive nuclear power”.
Instead of such a waffle, let’s make a Kelvin and at least try to put in the numbers that any serious scientific argument requires.
The new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will produce 3.1GW for 60 years at an installation cost of £26bn, or around £140m per GWyr of essential base load.
Our latest and largest wind farm, Seagreen, off the coast of Angus, is nearing completion. According to its owners, it will produce an average of 0.55 GW for 25 years at an installation cost of £3 billion or £218 million per GWyr of intermittent power.
It will take about six Seagreens (more than 600 huge turbines covering an area of almost 7,000 square miles) to match Hinkley’s production and a huge and costly increase in energy storage to make them truly viable.
The nuclear plant, I have no doubt, will be more expensive to operate than the equivalent of an offshore wind farm.
I am not in a position to make numerical comparisons but it seems to me that, contrary to such outlandish claims as Dr Dixon’s, it will neither be ridiculously expensive compared to wind power nor much later in delivery than its nearly equivalent wind power.
Dr A McCormick, Terregles, Dumfries
Clark Cross does well to end the fearmongering against fracking in his September 17 letter.
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing are major over the supposedly harmful chemicals used. But the high-pressure water and sand mixture contains only one chemical, polyacrylamide, which makes up 0.05% of the solution.
Polyacrylamide has been declared safe by the Environment Agency and is also used in the manufacture of contact lenses.
We will need natural gas for decades to come, so getting it from Lancashire and other areas rather than importing it makes sense.
The British Geological Survey has estimated that there may be over two trillion cubic feet of onshore gas reserves in Britain.
Reader Steuart Campbell spoiled his positive case for nuclear power by failing to provide any verifiable figures to back up his conclusions (Letters, September 17).
A crucial omission was the real cost of dealing with nuclear waste that must be stored safely for over a thousand years.
As things stand, no country has invested capital whose compound interest is sufficient to save our descendants for the next millennia from having to pay taxes to cover the waste management costs we have created by keeping our lights on yesterday and today.
If Mr. Campbell knows otherwise, perhaps he could share that information with us?
Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian
We discovered on Wednesday evening the true state of mind of a large part of the Celtic supporters in Warsaw.
We discovered on Saturday the state of mind of a large part of Dundee United supporters, and not of a minority as claimed by their management.
If Celtic fans want to show allegiance to Ireland, I understand that, their club’s history is the clue.
As for Dundee United fans. it baffles me. No matter where the allegiances lie, showing such disrespect and venom towards our Queen is despicable and the boards of both clubs should lead by example and clamp down.
They know who they sold the tickets to.
King Charles III can be suitably apolitical, especially without a political party, while maintaining his interest and work on the global warming emergency.
Those who have a vested interest in portraying the climate emergency as a mere political issue rather than a global existential crisis must not succeed in silencing the new king.
King Charles III’s concern to restore balance within our dangerously contested ecological systems is grounded in his knowledge of the land and soil.
It is a locally rooted knowledge that has been confirmed by his extensive travels to all parts of the planet.
It is as climate king that Charles can do the most to define a new era and contribute to a better future for the planet and, ironically, for the monarchy and capitalism.
Stewart Sweeney, Adelaide, South Australia
I note that the SNP’s top economic ‘guru’, Tim Rideout, after completing his ‘anti-racism course’, is returning to work for the party.
After reading some of his predictions and statements, I’m afraid there was also a required course in the basics of economics and, more importantly, life in the real world.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh
Since the Brexit vote in 2016, the value of the pound against the US dollar has fallen by 28%.
The value of the pound against the euro has been 18% lower since mid-2016; the value of the pound against the Canadian dollar has been 25% lower since mid-2016.
The following examples of imported quantities are figures from the World Bank from 2019 (46% of food consumed in Britain is imported):
The US sells around $1 billion worth of food to the UK.
The eight countries that sell more food to Britain than the United States are all part of the European Union, starting with France, which sells $4 billion worth of food to the UK.
These figures show a calculated deception and betrayal of the British people and especially the poorest.
The value of the pound fell as soon as the 2016 referendum was announced.
The barrage of deception from wealthy fanatics and wealthier currency investors intensified and aimed directly at the less informed voters and those who resented anything foreign.
Britain has done exactly what Kremlin strategists have been craving to see since the 1920s. Britain has ridiculed itself and insulted a European project of peace, stability and democracy.
The new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has unwittingly identified a way out of this disaster
She promises that any constitutional referendum in Scotland must secure a majority of all qualified voters to effect any change.
The premise is correct for plebiscites literally affecting life and death, and poverty in the UK this winter will be a matter of life and death, mainly thanks to the public being misled in a wasteland.
That the decision to leave the European Union is canceled unless 50% of qualified voters confirm it in a new referendum, there is no problem on the European side. They always said they would welcome the UK back.
Tim Cox, Bern 6, Switzerland
The latest data on the NHS Inform website claims that the SNP has reduced waiting times for orthopedic operations to just 26 weeks.
This figure was reached by means of a new counting method, which only considers the median waiting times of 7,564 people who actually managed to seek treatment between April and June of this year.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf predicted that the “new platform” would “reassure people about how long they can wait”.
Imagine the wave of comfort that washes over the 42,372 people still on the waiting list, 12,209 of whom have already been waiting for more than a year!
Unsurprisingly, surgeons valiantly working on the front lines called the figure “grossly misleading”, evidently failing to report wait times for those still on the list.
The tens of thousands of patients involved will find the waiting process distressing enough without being fed false hopes and unrealistic expectations.
Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh
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