I WRITE in response to Anne McLaughlin’s column about the migrants drowning in the Channel (UK bill won’t tackle root causes and criminalises migrants, Nov 27).

It brings to mind 2018 when there was an event to mark Refugee Week in Glasgow City Chambers. There was a letter displayed under a perspex cover, written in pencil. It was an invitation from a wee Glaswegian boy to a wee refugee boy, and it read as follows: “Come to Glasgow, it’s a nice, friendly place. You can eat shortbread and haggis, and drink Irn-Bru. You can visit great places like the Transport Museum and Tollcross Park”. I read it with tears running down my face, the same day there were photos in the media of President Trump putting children in cages.

Compare this to the actions of Priti Patel, and the Westminster government’s policy against immigrants. Obviously, we should leave governing to the young children. We have Extinction Rebellion and this letter from a wee Glaswegian boy. The adults haven’t a clue, so put the children in charge, they’ll make a a better job of it.

Margaret Forbes

THERE is a differentiation between green hydrogen fuel made using renewable electricity to manufacture it and hydrogen made using fossil fuel as the power source.

This to me raises the worrying idea that it will not be long before techniques are developed to extract the power from fossil fuel in situ and leave the carbon sequestered underground, bringing the power to the surface as “clean” hydrogen or electricity. This would provide a way for the UK to carry on regardless. This is worrying as Scotland still has resources of coal, gas and oil which would become by the agency of such systems very valuable again to the UK, which is poor in resources in comparison with its population.

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This of course would make it even more unlikely that we would achieve independence, given that England will need such hydrogen fuel almost as much as she will need water and electricity from Scotland. It also opens up the Pandora’s Box of sequestering nuclear waste from Rolls-Royce’s mini-atomic power stations in Scotland deep underground and of retaining Trident where it is.

This is a plea for political urgency before things get even more critical.

If this seems far-fetched, industry is pressing on. JCB is purchasing hydrogen from Australia for its machines, the existing engines of which are being amended for the new fuel. The problem of weight in private cars caused by hydrogen tanks or batteries (20%) is being possibly solved in America by a storage system which holds hydrogen in a film. In Japan, cars are already being made which have electric motors driven by hydrogen which powers fuel cells and thus provides the electricity.

Iain WD Forde

JOANNA Cherry claims Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is part of domestic law by virtue of the Human Rights Act (It’s imperative an avoidable tragedy heralds a change in refugee approach, Nov 26). This is not entirely the case.

The ECHR is part of domestic law because Britain is a founding signatory to it, and it takes precedence in our law. The Human Rights Act was enacted to enable cases raised under ECHR to be heard in British courts rather than the European Court of Human Rights; a matter of facilitating process, making it less costly and more accessible with some domestic control.


For the record, changes to the Human Rights Act as the Tories claimed they were going to make wouldn’t affect our ECHR rights as long as Britain remains a signatory, but it would make access to them more difficult and financially prohibitive for ordinary folk without either the substantial means to meet the cost of litigation, or at least the backing of an organisation to prosecute the case on their behalf.

Jim Taylor

THE information given in Monday’s Long Letter regarding displaying the Saltire on your vehicle number plate when travelling to the EU is quite simply untrue.

You can still display the Saltire/EU symbol on your vehicle number plate – the requirement is that if you choose to do so you must also display a legal UK oval sticker on the rear of the vehicle.

See this relevant paragraph, headed “Driving outside the UK”. taken from www.gov.uk/displaying-number-plates/flags-symbols-and-identifiers:

“If your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack), you do not need a UK sticker.

However, you will need to display a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following:

• a GB identifier with the Union flag

• a Euro symbol

• a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales

• numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier.”

Malcolm W Shaw
via email