Sunday, 10 October 2010

How To Lose Voters in One Letter

The SNP plans to contact one million potential voters in the next week as it launches its campaign to win a second term in office.  Moray MP Angus Robertson will be leading the campaign for a second time, after successfully steering the Nationalists to victory at Holyrood in 2007.

However the SNP intends to loose the support of Dundee East voters.  Stewart Hosie (pictured) is the MP for Dundee East and his wife, Shona Robison is the MSP, and minister for Public Health and Sport in the Scottish government, for the same area.  Therefore the Dundee East constituency is well covered by Mr and Mrs Hosie.

Mr Hosie has irritated Dundonians.  Not so long ago there was much controversy about the installation of two giant turbines for Dundee harbour.  More recent is the debate out Forth Energy wishing to build a renewable energy plant, which includes a 300ft chimney, at the Port of Dundee.

A Courier reader, a John J Marshall, sent a letter to the paper, at the end of September, complaining about the building of this biomass plant - unfortunately that letter is not online - and Mr Hosie responded.  A couple of quotes from his letter:

'It is the same regurgitation of claims and assertions of those who have always been vociferously opposed to the plant and the same attack on politicians who have dared not to automatically accept these as fact.'

'That decision will be based on impartial evidence by those qualified to provide it independent of any vested interests.'

The tone of his letter (if you read all of it) is scathing and somewhat patronising.  However Dundonians don't take insults lying down and the following are just a few quotes from readers' letters in response to Mr Hosie's missive.

'The debate now should surely be about how we develop renewable energy and what locations are suitable for different types of production. For example, the biomass proposal for Dundee port does not sound like a good sustainable proposal — apart from anything else, it involves importing the raw materials.'
'I have voted SNP for many years now but feel let down by those chosen to represent the council and therefore the people of Dundee. The biomass plant and turbines being mooted as a valuable addition to our city is laughable if it wasn't so threatening.'
'Nowhere in the letter does he mention the wishes of his constituents. Do we only matter to him, his wife Shona Robson and the SNP councillors when they are standing for re-election? There is considerable opposition among the public.'
'Sir, — Once again we witness the unedifying words and behaviour of a politician, this time an SNP MP, Stewart Hosie with his patronising and personal attack on your columnist, John J. Marshall, simply because he has no substantive and fact-based counter-arguments of his own.'
'Mr Marshall's column last week presented a logical, defensible and fact-led argument against the proposed biomass plant at Stannergate and yet Mr Hosie resorts to personal vilification as his sole means of counter-argument.
Shame on you, Mr Hosie — surely our MPs are not all that shallow?'

I would suggest Mr Hosie isn't doing much for his wife's chances of being re-elected next year for the Scottish Parliament and Mr Robertson should hot foot it to Old Glamis Road, (where the SNP constituency office is situated and which was my local sweetie shop as a teenager), to have a quiet word in the ears of both Mr and Mrs Hosie.  I could never imagine my own MSP writing in such a tone to my local paper.  He's far too respectful of his constituents' concerns.


Joe Public said...

Why don't they put the Turbine on the top of the chimney; or, flue the Biogas plant up inside a hollow wind-turbine support?

subrosa said...

Auch Joe, they've got the whole of the waterfront to fill up so why try and be sensible. Of course all this will be alongside the new V & A. Marvellous isn't it.

RMcGeddon said...

I think a lot of folk threw in the towel with the SNP when they reneged on a referendum on independence. I notice Gordon Wilson ( a proper, decent, former SNP MP ) is now asking what happened to the independence referendum.
This proposed smoke stack at the waterfront 'will reduce Dundee's carbon emissions' according to Forth ports and the SNP. Not sure how that works. Importing old wood from around the world and burning it in a chimney ? Shurely shome mistake.
Salmond's plan to make us totally reliant on green energy by 2025 will cost £200Bn.
All that money wasted on a total scam.
Hopefully the SNP will get wiped out at the elections next year.
Ok the rest of the parties also believe in the corrupt EU, the global warming scam and mass immigration but at least we won't have the SNP putting up our alcohol prices and hounding us over eating habits and smoking habits aswell.
Oh and of course promising a referendum (again) then reneging on it after a 'conversation'.

subrosa said...

I read about Gordon Wilson RM. It is a scam but all political parties have jumped on the bandwagon and can't get off.

I don't want to see the SNP wiped out next year RM because I think they've done better in government than those who went before and they have some astute politicians. Stewart Hosie just isn't one of them.

My Dundee friends say exactly that - bringing in old wood from all over isn't saving a thing. Forth Ports just want the money involved because they will get a handsome percentage.

Why don't they build it on the Forth I've been asked. Because the Forth is a protected river. Time the Tay was protected too.

All parties are hounding over food, drink and smoking RM, although I admit the SNP jumped far too quickly and without strong evidence, onto the alcohol issue.

We could have a referendum at any time although, if it hadn't been passed by the parliament, I'm not sure if it would be legal. That's a question for Lallands Peat Worrier.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

You are guilty of cherry-picking parts out of context to make his reply sound bad. Frankly, I'm ashamed of you. You oppose renewable energy efforts--that's your right but you are doing what you distorting Mr Hosie's comments.

Let's quote parts of his letter that you evidently did not want to quote, parts which are not quite what you represent his letter to be:

As we pointed out then, Scotland has some of the most strict health and environmental protection legislation in the world and the idea that a plant which Mr Marshall now asserts would "pump toxic gases into the atmosphere" would ever be given the go-ahead is quite frankly beyond ridiculous.

If any of the increasingly wild accusations, assertions and claims have any basis in fact then no such licence would ever be granted.

However, what if these concerns are properly answered and SEPA, Scotland's independent environmental protection agency, reports that such claims have no basis in fact...

The final verdict on the proposal will be made by the Scottish Government under the Electricity Act, with both Dundee City Council and SEPA being key statutory consultees in the process.

There are no insults in there, just a reasoned response to an attack stating that the decision will be made in accordance with Scotland's strict environmental laws (which it should be--surely even you admit that--or don't you?) and by the proper authorities.

subrosa said...

You're perfectly entitled to feel ashamed Jeanne. I picked out the parts I thought were out of order for an MP to write. I linked to the letter so everyone was able to read it.

I am not distorting his comments regarding Mr Marshall's letter and it wasn't a sake of 'evidently did not want to quote' it was the fact I didn't want to have a long, long post.

Of course there are insults there or are you accusing those who have complained about the letter, including myself, to be somehow hysterical?

The reason I wrote this post was because the letter infuriated people I know in Dundee who have taken a great interest in this biomass issue. They have a right to speak out. If you understood anything about SEPA and Dundee City Council, then I would accept your criticism.

Mr Hosie, in this letter, is not stating anything he hasn't said before.

How do you know Mr Marshall's letter was an attack? I've actually sighted the letter and it was in no way a personal attack on Stewart Hosie, but it was critical of the biomass plant.

Why should the public sit back and allow the 'proper authorities' to make decisions without being able to comment? We live in a democracy and there is strong feeling here about Forth Ports wishing to industrialise one of the most lovely waterfronts in Scotland.

PS We already have an incinerator in Dundee. We don't need another.

Anon said...

The SNP are still superior to Labour, the Tories & the Lib Dems etc. My main complaint against the SNP is their failure to expose the truth about Lockerbie; and their failure to get the message across about Scotland's enormous oil wealth.

- Aangirfan.

subrosa said...

I've always said they are too but I agree with you about their failures. Lockerbie is a hot potato and they don't want to rock the boat it seems. The question of oil is seldom broached these days - now that renewables are the fashion.

This move by the SNP MP to support this incinerator is purely politician. Mr Hosie knows that and the vast majority of Dundonians know that. After millions of taxpayers' money has been spent on 'de-industrialising' the harbour and waterfront at Dundee, now the owners want to re-industrialise it only because they will receive huge government subsidies for a 'renewable' project. It's not needed. We have a fine, modern incinerator at Baldovie.

Within a quarter of a mile of this plant the V & A are planning a new building which will jut out into the river. So looking left to right from Tayport, there will be the Discovery, the yet to be built V & A building, a biomass plant and 2 x massive wind turbines.

Strange why Forth Ports haven't tried this in the River Forth isn't it? We all know why.

RMcGeddon said...

Jeanne quoted Hosie ...

" the idea that a plant which Mr Marshall now asserts would "pump toxic gases into the atmosphere" would ever be given the go-ahead is quite frankly beyond ridiculous."

Really ? Well the Baldovie incinerator has breached regulations 120 times in 3 years by pumping toxic gases into the atmosphere.

What I find ridiculous is the SNP policy on energy. Relying on windmills and smokestacks when other countries have been there and dumped the idea. Denmark has stopped building windmills. They've run out of space (7,000 windmills) and their electricity prices are double ours and wind still only provides 5% of their energy. Assuming it's windy.
The SNP are steadily destroying our countryside by granting planning applications for windfarms. If they spent an hour or so studying the data on global temeratures they would realise the whole 'climate disruption' science is a scam.

They could start reading Montfords book 'The Hockey Stick Illusuion' and follow his blog..

They could read the eureferendum blog...

They could listen to a Professor of Physics with 67 years experience..

They could stop this mad plan..

RMcGeddon said...

Oh SR, here's a letter from today's Courier just in case it mysteriously goes missing. I've removed the name and address of the writer for privacy.

" Even experts get it wrong

Sir, - I read with interest the letter in the Courier (October 5) by Mr Stewart Hosie, MP, on the subject of toxic emissions and the proposed biomass plant at the Port of Dundee.

I am touched by his faith in the infallibility of the "experts" — the same experts, presumably, who gave approval to the DERL waste-to-energy incinerator at Baldovie.

This has, in the last three years, reported breaches in emission limits for highly toxic materials on no fewer than 120 occasions. This has happened despite strict regulation by SEPA.

Is this not, in Mr Hosie's own words, "beyond the ridiculous"?

subrosa said...

Jeanne doesn't know the story RM. She's no idea just how much anger there is about this plant. Stewart Hosie's attitude is very anti the protestors. If he'd just started by saying he understood their concerns or some such language, but no, he was straight into attacking Mr Marshall for his 'regurgitating'. Wouldn't reiterating have been a more pleasant word to use?

Thanks for the links and also the copy of the letter published today. That's kind of you.

As I've said I've not been involved in this issue but the turbine one, although I'm told the Baldovie incinerator is enough.

I'm not anti-renewables, I'm anti the likes of wind turbines which will produce far less energy than their worth. That's the difference. What folk must remember is where is the money coming for this renewable programme? Aye those who pay for the utilities.

Joe Public said...

If this BioMass plant is so 'environmentally friendly', one has to ask why it needs a 300ft tall chimney to disperse the waste gases?

[One answer could be - to give the wind a chance to blow them far-enough away so that it's more difficult to trace back harmful concentrations to a single source.]

subrosa said...

I hadn't thought about that Joe. What I do know is that the plant at Baldovie's chimney is nowhere near that height. Next time I'm passing I'll take a rough guess at it. Mind you, Baldovie has now been going for around 15 years so its design will be well out of date.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. Another problem with the waterfront smokestack is that the prevailing south westerly winds will blow the toxins across Dundee ( inc 2 primary schools directly in it's path). I spoke to Forth ports when they visited Dundee during their 'roadshow' and asked them about this and about what 'old wood' would be burnt. They had no answers.
The Baldovie smokestack is to the north of the City and most of the toxins are blown out towards the Sidlaw hills and Angus.
When we get the still, foggy mornings in winter the watefront smokestack will cause a cloud to form above Dundee and then drop toxins onto the city. A haze will be seen from miles around. I've lived near similar smokestacks overseas so know I'm not talking nonsense or being 'ridiculous'.

subrosa said...

Ah so you were at that waste of time too RM. A couple of my friends were. He was also interested in where the wood was coming from and eventually found out it's to be transported from anywhere.

Great carbon footprint.

Key bored warrior. said...

Just a comment on objectors. We seem to have a band of objectors who will object on principal to any thing that this governemnt wants to do. I agree that proper objections with well presented and researched argument has to be part of the planning process. Look at the hysteria over some of these things, pounced on and pumped up by a Unionist biased MSM searching the bins for something anything to get Salmond and the SNP. Which paper was it that was forced to issue a retraction for it's Photoshopped images of Pylons towering over the Wallace monument? Listen to the wailing and howling over Donald Trumps Golf course, "trampling over, bulldozing SSSIs, evicting people from their houses, environmetal vandaISM." ETC ETC. Despite the fact that the overwhelming body of local opinion is for the Golf course. Imagine if the SNP wanted to build a St Andrews or Gleneagles or Muirfield today. To many political agendas at play. To many dirty tricks. To many enemies within the gates. To many Martin Fords bearing personal grudges.

subrosa said...

I see what you mean KBW, yet the people I know who were infuriated by Hosie's less than courteous response voted SNP. Can you believe it?

There will always be those who think that the 'union knows best' but Mr Hosie and his ilk should know the difference. My MSP does.Stewart Hosie is no newcomer to politics. I have no personal grievance against him other than he's not doing anything for the Dundee east constituency.

REmida said...

Find out more critical information on Biomass Energy
or download our Biomass Fact Sheet.

subrosa said...

Thank you for the links REmida.

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