The controversial line from Beauly to Denny was fought and lost over environmental issues, and indeed employed many foreign workers. Now it pollutes the Highlands with its massive pylons, thick shiny transmission lines, and a noisy sprawling 42-acre substation. The notorious Beauly Buzz has plagued the area and residents for years and was given a noise reduction notice by Highland Council.
Beauly will be an industrial disaster if SSEN gets its way. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have named the village when she visited in 1564, calling it beau lieu – beautiful place. SSEN will erase history with three supersized lines, larger than Beauly to Denny, all converging in a quiet farming community in Fanellan at a new substation the size of 35 professional football fields. There are also indications that expansion may be necessary in the future.
The consultations have been a joke, and rural communities only found out in March of this year what is going to hit them. They were then given a few weeks to try to understand highly technical, life-changing information and respond to SSEN. Attempts to get answers to questions have been a slow and sometimes impossible affair.
Ms McQuillan, a self-confessed urbanite, needs to answer some serious questions if she thinks this outreach infrastructure is required that will mark the face of the Highlands forever, because we haven’t seen the facts or the SSEN figures to say so. As consumers who will ultimately be forced to pay for this and Highlanders who will have to live with it, we demand answers, not just “we need this”. Our experts say no.
This infrastructure is for thousands more wind turbines and we believe it is being driven by the wind industry. England won’t have the infrastructure to take this proposed power for a decade, so there will be a massive bottleneck and millions more in restrictions to turn off the turbines. In 10 years England will have more offshore wind and nuclear power; they may not even buy Scottish wind power.
Spare us the alarmist and condescending rhetoric and give us some indisputable proof that a) wind power will help change what the climate does and b) the SSEN plans are even necessary for the government’s goals to be met, because we have sought so hard and the evidence is not there.
A public inquiry is essential for democracy and for professionals to be able to make their case as needed, as clearly the environment and communities don’t give a damn.
Lyndsey Ward, spokesperson for Communities B4 Power Companies, beautiful
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Lessons from the Savoy
ALAN M Morris’s letter (April 5) entitled “Westminster and The Mikado” is quite correct in regard to WS Gilbert’s allusions to the politics of his day, particularly, of course, in Westminster in the 1880s and 1890s. The excellent librettist and author would surely have had a field day living in our turbulent times. And I’m sure today he would be hounded online, in court, and in the media by angry politicians who would deny everything he wrote about them.
Morris says that operas should really be called operettas; this is not exactly the case, as both men, notably Sir Arthur Sullivan, insisted that they be called operas, such as The Grand Duke, Utopia (Limited), The Yeomen of the Guard, Ruddygore, Trial by Jury, The Sorcerer and The Mikado were all called when they were written. The Gondoliers was called “A Completely Original Comic Opera”, HMS Pinafore “A Nautical Comic Opera”, while the remaining five operas were variously referred to as “Grotesque Opera”, “Melodramatic Opera”, “Aesthetic Opera”, “Fairy “. Opera” and “Operatic Per-Version”.
I end by quoting some of Princess Zara’s final speeches in G&S’s 13th opera, Utopia (Limited): “Government by Party! Bring in that great and glorious element, and all will be well!… No political action! it will endure, because one Party will surely undo everything that the other Party has done, inexperienced civilians will govern your Army and Navy, social reforms will not be attempted, because political capital will not be obtained from vice, sleaze and drunkenness… So there will be disease in abundance, endless lawsuits, overcrowded jails, endless confusion in the Army and Navy, and, finally, general and unparalleled prosperity!”
Walter Pablo, G.lasgow.
• JOYCE Avery’s contribution to Mikado (Letters, April 4) was a lot of fun.
How about my favorite: Monty Python’s Ministry of Putting Things on Top of Other Things? A beautiful waste of taxpayer money.
Hugh Steele, cumbernauld.
Paisley and the call of the wild
I ADMIT to having a soft spot for Paisley, having worked there for a year in general practice after mandatory hospital positions after graduation, and my added good fortune of joining a Paisley Buddy of the female variety 60 years ago.
During my time there, I never had a chance to experience Ian W Thomson’s romantic call “I’ll get you” (Letters, April 6), which to my survival instinct promises more of a threat than a gift.
However, I agree with him that Paisley women are not to be trifled with.
Russell Smith, big.
A spelling of A*** in Gaelic is “thon” (Letters, March 29 and April 5).
I was amazed in a French supermarket to see shelves of “Thon”, some in sunflower oil and some in brine.
The French locals must have been baffled by the crazy Scotsman who laughs at tuna cans.
david hay, Minard, Argyll.
• I ENJOYED the story of Tondergay (Letters, April 5) and was reminded of the story of the local vet, one John Edgar in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, of his enjoyment when young students from the towns came in and were learning to pronounce and actually , spell out the names of the local farms. It’s been a long time since I lived there, yet Airriequhillart or Arnimean (Grandma Ernimignan’s pronunciation) come to mind.
Ethel Fitzgerald, Longforgan.