Farmer Neil White, of Greenknowe Farm near Swinton, took this picture after another shower stopped him cutting rape.
He said: “It looks like the pot of gold is in the combine? Must have a look!” Please email your photographic contributions, with a brief caption, to firstname.lastname@example.org
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
ACCENTUATING THE POSITIVE
Tourism is booming in Scotland in spite of much negativity from the usual quarters.
Visitors come to see our stunning scenery, historic buildings and experience our growing reputation for fine dining. Many people return time and time again because they meet friendly Scots who are enthusiastic about their country.
Walkers alone bring over £1.2bn to the Scottish economy, and walking is a growing activity for thousands of tourists.
With some imaginative planning and political will, the Borders could be great walking country, from the Merse to the Lammermuirs with a variety of walking experiences; but an interlinked network of marked paths is required first.
Tourism is a major industry for Scotland, bringing in millions of pounds every year and boosting our economy. In fact it is the lifeblood of some remote areas with little other income.
Perhaps if we were all a bit more positive in our public comments about Scotland, many more tourists would be attracted to our shores.
ON THE ROAD TO RADIATION RISK
Christopher Green (letters, August 10) typifies the green brigade who have so badly misled our politicians over many years.
He criticises Clark Cross for saying engineers and scientists should be in charge – I’m with Mr Cross on this one. The green agenda is a form of religion.
The electrification of the UK’s car fleet by 2040 is the latest in a serious of green blunders. The government proposal to electrify the entire car fleet, which should have been put out to consultation, will require the equivalent of 10 Hickley Point nuclear power stations to supply enough electricity.
The quoted range of electric vehicles (EVs) is the most favourable range – range will be halved in a Scottish winter with heater, headlights and wipers all on. Plugging in and uncabling is a chore, and recharging takes up valuable time. A new network of sub-stations and connection points will cost billions.
Modern internal combustion engines have minimal emissions, the technology is tried and tested, and the lifespan of a diesel and petrol car is double that of an electric vehicle which will be scrapped when its battery gives out after 6-8 years because of the expense of renewing it. The facts are that 75% of all Land Rovers ever built are still going strong, while 99% of all Subarus built in the last 10 years are still on the road.
How “green” is it to scrap vehicles, and I may add, how difficult is it to dispose of lithium-ion batteries which are full of poisons?
The UK produces millions of internal combustion engines for use at home and for export – some very fine engines indeed. Do we really want to shut down our engine plants and replace them with Chinese or German-sourced battery power plants? Nissan is selling off its lithium battery plant to GSR Capital of China.
There is also the health and safety aspect. If a large battery is burst, the consequences can be horrific. And no studies into the health risks of being adjacent to the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in EVs have been carried out.
When Renault brought out the first Scenic I bought one so I could take my bike in the boot. I found that when wearing my heart rate monitor in the car - which I used normally on the bike, it stopped working. Manufacturer Sigma confirmed by letter that this was caused by electromagnetic radiation from the car’s starter battery which in that model was under the floor – just where contemporary EVs have their lithium-ion battery pack.
Given that electrical signals in the body control heartbeat, and problems with the body’s electrical system cause arrhythmias and so on, what will the effect be of EMR on cardiovascular and other systems being adjacent to large battery packs over long periods of time?
POSING POWERFUL QUESTIONS
Christopher Green chooses sarcasm as his response to my daring to ask where the electricity will come from to charge millions of electric cars (letters, August 10).
Greens tend to do this when their green religion is questioned.
I, however, will provide information for your readers to decide for themselves.
Mr Green believes that both battery and photo-voltaic technologies will have advanced before 2040 – but wind turbines have produced electricity surplus to requirements for 20 years, yet no battery storage, just an off switch.
Solar his solution?
Southern Solar, Mark Group and Climate Energy have all closed their doors, leaving over 1,400 out of a job. Renewables Solar (UK) has been placed in administration, owing £48.6m to creditors who will get nothing.
Gas currently provides between 37 and 43% of our electricity.
Why am I saying this?
Quite simply, because of the UK’s reckless emissions reduction pledges in the Climate Change Act means drastic measures are needed.
The government intends to phase out gas for heating and cooking by 2050. So new electric cookers, new electric heating and costly new electricity infrastructure.
Perhaps Mr Green can tell us where this additional electricity and money will come from in addition to that needed for electric cars.
He gloats that English cars could be powered from Scottish electricity. SNP by any chance?
Vehicle numbers: Scotland 2.6 million, UK 36.7 million, Europe 251 million. But the world has 1.2 billion vehicles, growing to 2 billion by 2035 – and the majority will be “dirty” diesel and petrol in countries unconcerned about climate change.
Electric vehicles in the West will not “save the planet”.
Truly the lunatics are running the Westminster and Holyrood asylums.
SINN FEIN FUNDING FARCE
Before November 2005, Sinn Fein had no access to public funds from Westminster because of refusal to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen.
Due to a weak Labour government, the rules were changed to allow them to cash in.
What did they spend the money on? Their own personal interests (as expected). The late Martin McGuinness, a former IRA chief, claimed £97,000 in one year. In total, the five Sinn Fein MPs, including Gerry Adams, trousered £1.3m in allowances.
All for not taking their seats in parliament and taking advantage of a huge amount of public funding. It’s time to bring this wasteful farce to an end.
But don’t expect any objections from their republican friends – Comrade Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and the Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones. All three are at present “working” with Irish premier (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar regarding the Irish north-south border and Brexit.
I am sure it will not be to discuss eradication of existing borders to form a united kingdom. No chance – it’s the last thing they wish for. They will only rest when the United Kingdom becomes a total republic and our monarchy eradicated.
HARDLY A TROOPS ‘WITCH-HUNT’
Paul Singleton wants action taken to “bring murderous republicans to justice” (letters, August 3).
Perhaps he thinks that the brave men and women of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and other UK police services were wasting their time during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, from 1969-1998?
Mr Singleton also bemoans “the witch-hunt of British troops involved in The Troubles”. Tragically, the army was responsible for the deaths of 148 civilians, including blatant cases of murder. Just five soldiers have been convicted of the murder of civilians – hardly a “witch-hunt”.
We would not tolerate the murder of innocent people in Scotland by soldiers, nor should we tolerate murders elsewhere in the UK or wider world.
The letter published last week from your prolific contributor, J. Fairgrieve, certainly plumbs the depths of hypocrisy.
He berates a previous contributor, Paul Singleton, for a letter concerning Northern Ireland, which I missed, possibly because of being on holiday. He then goes into full SNP mode, blaming, as usual, Westminster for every perceived grievance fabricated.
This rhetoric by the nationalists is normal procedure, and to be expected, with the usual punchline being if we were independent all these problems would be solved.
Having written this tirade, however, he ends his letter by expressing his delight that Mr Singleton, on this occasion, refrained from blaming the Scottish Government for anything.
If this is not hypocrisy, what is?
NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE VIBES
The mood music around the latest discussions between Scottish and UK ministers over powers being repatriated from the European Union as part of Brexit says much about the two sides’ prime motivations.
Scotland’s Brexit minister, Mike Russell, chose to portray the UK position as negatively as possible, with repeated talk of a “power grab” and dire warnings of an “attack on devolution”.
Meanwhile, UK ministers say they are looking for “a positive and open dialogue”, stressing that new powers will come to Scotland.
The stark contrast comes from one side having a weather eye to a possible future independence referendum, for which purpose no opportunity to stir grievance can be missed. The other seeks the best Brexit outcome for Scotland and every part of the UK, which does require some UK-wide arrangements to ensure a coherent approach overall.
TORIES’ BIZARRE TARGET
With Ruth Davidson being put firmly “back in her box” over immigration by the Prime Minister’s number two, Damian Green, this neatly puts to bed the claim that the Scottish Conservative leader has some influence within the portals of power in London.
Ms Davidson is right in her call for a debate over the UK Government’s ridiculous target to reduce net migration to less than 100,000.
While the amount of pensioners in Scotland is expected to rise by 28% over the next 25 years, worker numbers are only increasing by 1%. We therefore face an ageing population, but only marginal growth in the working-age population, yet all that seems to concern the Tories is achieving a bizarre arbitrary migration target that was set in 2010.
In the run-up to the European Union referendum, senior Leave campaign figures promised increased powers over immigration would come to Scotland, with the introduction of a points-based system, should the UK vote to leave the EU.
These pledges, like many others that were made in that campaign, have been predictably quickly forgotten.
Scotland desperately needs an immigration system that caters to the challenges we as a nation face.
Coldstream Civic Week came to a close on Saturday evening and I can honestly say that it’s been the best week of my life.
From the sashing in the rain on Sunday to the emotional day that was Flodden Thursday, to the handing back of the burgh standard on the Saturday, unsullied and untarnished, it’s an unexplainable experience I shall never forget.
I would like to thank the committees of Presenting Coldstream, Riders’ Association and Ex-Coldstreamers’ Club for their outstanding hard work and making it all possible.
Also the people of Coldstream, Norham, Birgham, Leitholm and surrounding area for amazing support and great hospitality wherever we went.
To all my family for their support and patience, not just during Civic Week, but all summer throughout other town’s festivals, I thank you.
For everyone who was part of a great week, volunteers or supporters, you are all Nulli Secundus.
We would like to thank all who baked cakes, scones and traybakes for the Heart for Duns tea tent at the Berwickshire Show on Saturday, August 5.
We took £814 during the day in aid of the Volunteer Hall, Duns.
Thanks also to the volunteers who put the tent up in torrential rain on the Friday, took it down in torrential rain after the show, and who served the tea and cakes.
(A Heart for Duns)