Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor.
Letters to the editor.

Letters to the editor, edition October 15, 2015.

Energy savings

Before you get over excited, savings on your electric bill will only be possible, I read in the Gazette report (Oct, 1), once sufficient volumes of generation are available.

Nobody can be certain when. Certain things need to be in place, like reliable wind supplies; one doesn’t hear about enough turbines to produce sufficient volumes of electric. More turbines mean more costs passed on to the consumer.

Yes, there are negative aspects to electric as well as positive before it works. Then and only when that happens, the new energy firm will enter into joint venture with an existing licensed electricity supplier - seems presumptive to me, considering the nature and the spirit of the entrepreneurial.

It is said schemes like these are the future, but who is going to back it up with their own money? Advice is clear that there are benefits to a public energy firm says the council but there is no mention of really of hidden costs.

Not only that, how are they going to make any sufficient monetary gain? What is the point if they are going to retail the would-be electricity they’ve bought from the local community ownership at a price and then retail it to Island consumers at near cost as possible? Even charities wouldn’t do that.

As for the wider UK, market supply, forget it. Why would the council be bending over backwards to focus on getting sale of locally produced electric?

Could it be they know in advance there will be no subsea cable to the mainland? There wouldn’t be any electricity to export after local consumption was dealt with, anyway.

Fergus Ewing said recently in the Inverness Courier IF this new grid capacity is extended to the Western Isles, it will create massive new opportunities such as the banishment of fuel poverty.

How did he think this could be done; he must have been referring to the cable link though he didn’t like to say so. Yet we’re told it is Hebridean Energy, wind power, electric, that is going to banish fuel poverty - that’s how it will be done.

Speaking to my fellow Gaels, I’m not so sure the answer to fuel poverty is blowing in the wind.

Donald Murray

Suilven Way


Cancer support

Like many of your readers, I’ve had family and friends affected by breast cancer, which is why I’m encouraging everyone - with a little help from Linda and Pauline - to grab their favourite girls, dress up and hold their own fabulous Big Pink to raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Care.

A Big Pink could be a dress down day at work, a lunch, brunch or cosy night in at home – anything goes, as long as it’s pink and as long as you’re all having fun! Join in on Friday 16 October, or choose any date in October that suits.

Every year, 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer, and the number of those living with a diagnosis is on the rise - so there has never been a more urgent time to support the work of Breast Cancer Care, who provide vital care, support and information for those affected, from day one.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – so really there’s no better time to show you care!

You can get your free Starter Kit at: www.breastcancercare.org.uk/thebigpink.

Please join me and lend your support too. It’s incredibly important.

Lesley Joseph

Breast Cancer Care


Thank you to fundraisers

As the local fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK, I wish to thank and congratulate the members of the Isle of Lewis Local Committee on their 40th anniversary.

In an economic climate where fundraising has become increasingly difficult, the local community and businesses continue to support the Isle of Lewis Committee’s events raising a staggering £60,000 each year. This is testament to the dedication of all those involved and to the generosity of the Isle of Lewis community.

Thanks our supporters, Cancer Research UK has helped to double cancer survival in the 40 years since the Isle of Lewis Committee started fundraising.

For example, our scientists in Glasgow first manufactured the brain cancer drug, Temozolomide. Thousands of people now benefit from treatment with this drug worldwide. Money raised by the Isle of Lewis Local Committee will continue to fund more research like this to develop treatments that will benefit everyone across the UK, from Ness to Norwich.

But there is still so much to do.

Cancer Research UK scientists in Edinburgh and Glasgow are focusing on preventing cancer, diagnosing cancer earlier and developing treatments for bowel, brain, prostate, women’s cancers.

We intend to accelerate progress and create more tomorrows for more people. Our vision is to see the day when all cancers are cured and we can’t get there without the help of our supporters like the Isle of Lewis Local Committee.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in fundraising for Cancer Research UK on the Isle of Lewis over the last 40 years for their tremendous generosity, without which none of our progress would be possible. Together we will beat cancer sooner.

Fiona Harvey

Senior Local Fundraising Manager

Cancer Research UK

Esslemont Circle, Ellon,


How do we deal with change?

We know that change occurs, we can see this in the multi-decadal reduced numbers of fish in the sea and the weather so bad this year that the crofters are already using this winters feed, and we can probably work out that less fish is related to already caught as a food supply for the increased global population, while the weather probably relates to environmental change. Life is about where we live, and how we live here, change occurs whatever we do, the issue is how we respond.

Do we change our own behaviours or blame others behaviours and wait for them to change theirs?

Organised community structures, with hierarchy of decision-making or Churches that stay the same with the same interpretation and the same advice, refuse to Observe change and refuse to find ways to be part of the answer. If local or other, expensively educated and paid leaders are unable to Observe or deal with the issues, and with the need to review and fix the things that have changed, they should get another job.

We must respond, and do it as a people. If church will not stand together, even with itself, we need to find other ways and other meeting places and new people to help us make transition. It is the massive issues of increased population and effects on environment, with science-based projections related to climate change, from how we use resources, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, that need a response; other issues are just too small to compare, we need to do this everywhere and work on effective resolutions.

How do we already deal with change? In the past, Resource allocation, or land ownership has been decided in two ways, either through council or if council has failed then through war.

In the long term, the issues decided by council, or by complex co-dependant exchange systems, would have changed and grown through active coordination and try-and-try-again until it works, which was effective when change was slow-paced.

Today’s issues are fast paced.

If we are not even considering the issues, and not looking to see if things are broken or how to fix them, and think other people should deal with it and not us, we are not dealing with issues and are not likely to succeed. We need to work out how to coordinate a wide social group response to fast paced change.

Does the church have a system related to how to respond to fast-paced change?

H Mansfield

11 Ford View



Animal aid

In light of CRUK’s announcement yesterday of their “Grand Challenges” £100M grant scheme, when it comes to laboratory research, Animal Aid urges them to invest solely in species relevant human-based science, not unreliable and cruel animal-based methods that are scientifically dubious and to which some scientists display an attachment which is both puzzling and depressing.

The scientific case against animal research is supported by Professor Azra Raza of Columbia University, who stated: “An obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed in cancer research is that mouse models do not mimic human disease well and are essentially worthless for drug development”. Additionally, the former Director of the highly influential US NIH stated: “We have moved away from studying human disease in humans…We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.”

Away from the laboratory, CRUK should pay heed to their own recent statement that healthier lifestyles could have prevented almost 600,000 cases of cancer in the UK between 2009 and 2014.

Jessamy Korotoga


Animal Aid