Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Since then I have been informed that, during at least part of the December cold spell, wind provided an entire 0.2% of our electricity. This was a period when temperatures were widely as low as -20C.
I have accepted the PPC's admonition not to publish the letter the Herald sent them in their defence but you can see my astonishment at a claim they have made. Should it turn out to be truthful I will certainly say so.
Thank you for your reply. I have read the Herald's letter with interest. While I entirely agree that both sides are entitled to their say, though I would submit that letters from people paid by the state to push a particular view are not the same as independent readers' letters and should be unidentified as such, I would point out that my letter was a response to claims by Scottish Renewables and that a similar letter was used to give the final and counterfactual word. Giving one side both opening and closing shots is clearly unbalanced. I grant that if the paper in question makes no claim to being balanced there can be no complaint about such lack of balance - I am not aware whether the Herald claims to be balanced.
More directly I should point out that I was specifically challenged in the concluding letter & yet not allowed to answer the challenge - as I have pointed out the PCC have previously specifically ruled that this is improper.
Had I been aware of the Herald's claim "in the past two years, we have published 20 letters from Mr Craig, the vast majority of which have been about renewables and other energy-related subjects" this would certainly have heartened me. As far as I was aware they had only published these 4 others in that period http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2010/03/space-exploration-can-transform.html, http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/02/2-different-nuclear-letters-scotsman.html, http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/02/trams-another-case-of-our-costs-being.html, http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/05/herald-pro-nuclear-anti-greenery-letter.html, 2 of them being about the related subject of nuclear power.
By comparison here is a list of 31 letters sent and not published, only 2 of which can be considered related to Scottish Renewables & 2 more to the energy question http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2010/11/letters-to-herald-unpublished.html . Years ago when I first started sending letters to the Herald and others I found the majority were published. This would seem to suggest either that my literary skills have sharply declined with experience or that my choice of subjects have more heavily intruded on positions our media prefer to censor.
In any case since I have written far fewer than 20 letters to the Herald on this particular subject I would be remarkably interested to see the nearly 20 they have published. Since Mr McBain has already traced them it should be the work of moments for him to email them, with links, to you.
A search of the Herald's website for "neil craig" http://www.heraldscotland.com/search-7.548 yields only one letter from me in 2009 though there are many more earlier ones.
As regards how this be resolved:
Were the Herald to prove its "its 20 letters, mainly about renewables" publication claim truthful I would accept that, whatever the merits of this case I had been, overall, given a fair crack of the whip and withdraw my complaint. I trust that would be satisfactory, though I also fear it may be impossible.
A 2nd alternative would be to publish the letter with an editorial comment referring to the date of the letter it is replying to and acknowledging it is not my fault it was delayed.
A 3rd alternative would be to allow me an op-ed article (also Mr McBain's remit) of 500 words on the range of government funded charities (known on the blogsphere as "fakecharities") whose claims form such a massive part of "news" & increasingly letter columns to the detriment of those not being covertly paid by the state to produce opinions. Obviously any alterations could only be with my approval.
4thly I could write such an article on the media's censorship of massacres, genocide, the sexual enslavement and the vivisection of innocent people to steal their body organs carried out by our "police" but suspect this is something the paper, or any other British paper but the Morning Star, would absolutely refuse to report.