Letters January 12th

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Rip off Government

The Westminster Coalition Government pledges to end ‘rip -off’ rises for top executives but does not wish to consider their own ‘rip-off’ and total control of North Sea oil and gas in Scottish waters.

The more the Unionists bang on about whingeing Scots being subsidised by England the more the Scottish people raise their hackles and look forward to them being their own masters and not dictated to by anyone from another country.

Together, we can make Scotland much better.How can we Scots ever forget (i) The Scottish Poll Tax, (ii) The danger of having illegal Trident close to Glasgow, (iii) The theft of 6,000 sq, miles of Scottish North Sea waters by the Westminster Labour Party in 1997. The time has come to be Independent. DONALD J MORRISON, Buckie

Special care

I write to convey my thanks and appreciation to the Nursing Staff of Stornoway Western Isles Hospital for their nursing care during my recent admission to the hospital.

At a time of scarce resources and holidays it would be easy to forget the dedication of nursing staff and forget or fail to appreciate the professionalism and care which they bring to caring for the Islands’ community.

There will be many over this festive season in Stornoway and beyond who will have cause to be thankful for the dedication of the staff and the sacrifices they make.

I am thus personally very grateful that ‘there was room for me at the inn’. I am grateful to the first responders, ambulance staff, the doctor who admitted me to the hospital and, to the nursing staff in Surgical and Medical Wards One for their care during my admittedly albeit very brief stay.

Over the years I have had the privilege of visiting many, many hospital wards in many different hospitals, but the Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway, is I believe very special.

There is something uniquely compelling about the nursing care, a specialness in the compassion the nurses bring to their daily professional duties. This is not something easily defined. It is an intangible extra something additional, something beautiful and, something extremely lovely when it is experienced.

Others may disagree, but I believe such a dimension of quantitative caring is akin to the spiritual in each of us and in the Western Isles in particular its genesis lies deep in the spiritual cultures and the religious wholeness of its people built up over the centuries.

After all we who are created in the Father’s image are surely meant to reflect the likeness of the Father’s caring nature to others.

It was something of this nature which I experienced and to the Nursing Staff I say thank you again. STEPHEN JW MATTHEWS, Uig

The Queen and her Christmas message

Elizabeth is not a theologian or a cleric or a politician or a scientist or a jounralist or an economist. She is our ‘QUEEN’ with 60 years of experience! As greatly loved now as she was in 1952.

It is heartening then that our Queen in 2011 makes it clear in her speech that she is not ashamed to own her Lord and her Saviour Jesus Christ.

Hopefully many of us to tuned into her Christmas address will, likewise, not be ashamed to state our Christian belief as clearly and simply as our beloved Queen did this Christmas.

Long may she reign. May God bless her. BOB MACINTRYE, Drumnadrochit

Cost of renewable energy

It was heartening to note the recent study by the UK government’s chief scientific adviser on climate change, Professor David MacKay, that switching wholesale to renewable energy won’t be any more expensive than replacing ageing fossil-fuel driven power stations.

A recent argument frequently heard is that renewable energy is too expensive. However, Professor McKay estimates that the cost of converting the UK’s energy infrastructure to low-carbon sources by 2050 would be around £5,000 per person per year.

A more ‘business as usual’ approach, based on upgrading existing fossil fuel power stations and importing large amounts of gas and heating oil, would cost around £4,600.

The calculator also lends some support to the argument that nuclear power is too expensive. A scenario based largely on expanded nuclear power costs around £5,500 per person per year, making it amongst the most expensive option.

Of course, none of the assessments offered by the calculator bear in mind the actual costs of climate change itself if we continue down the fossil fuel route.

The Stern review, the high-profile study of the economics of climate change published by the UK government in 2006, estimated that cost as equivalent to £6,500 per person per year.

The various arguments against renewable energy, such as cost, that they can’t supply consistent power, or that they can’t be expanded fast enough to meet our needs are being proven as having been false in the first place or outdated as technology improves. ALEX ORR, Edinburgh

The Sabbath and public transport

In scanning through Rev. Richard Ross’s piece on Sabbath breaking (Letters 29.12.11) I found myself agreeing that Sunday was an unfortunate choice for the holding of a New Year’s Day dance in Portree. The reverend is right to make his point, yet it’s what the world wants these days and the world holds the majority.

What I found truly odd however was Mr Ross’s insistence that public transport comes into the equation.

From his prohibition on the use of any form of public transport it would seem it’s o.k. for Free Church (Continuing) ministers and interim-moderators to use their private cars to convey themselves to Sunday services, but not alright for them to hop on a bus!

Suppose Mr Ross’s entire congregation left their cars at home and utilised public transport, think how much more eco-friendly and God-honouring that would be!

I’m afraid it’s quite foolish of Mr Ross to insist on these prohibitions, for assuredly they don’t advance the Christian cause, they retard it.

I recall another of his colleagues wanting to shut down gas and electricity supplies on a Sunday.

Get real gentlemen! “The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath.” KEITH FERNIE, Inverness