Arran Banner Letters – week 47, 2021

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COP26 protesters


The COP it came to Glesca

And as a Glesca boy

I penned some lines in humour

And many got some joy.


But protesters couldn’t stop themselves

And some were quite demonic

But couldn’t see what they were doing

Was really, quite ironic.


While I defend their right to speak

They have a different view

They march and shout as they will want

But say, that option’s not for you!


What were they doing in Brodick?

Not India or China or Australia

All still coal powered polluters

And other countries inter alia.


With their microphones and YouTube

Nasty geriatric rants and loud

When they later watch the footage back

I hope they all feel proud.


Support and talk for change is cheap

Though rising like a rocket

But support will drop just like a stone

When it’s coming out their pocket.


There’ll be heat pumps and disruption

Ripping floors and walls and pipes and insulation

There are no public funds for that work

Oh! and wiring, floor tiles and then re-decoration.


So, now the COP’s left Glesca

And the invoices have come in

We’ll see the real costs and implications

Who will then actually chip in?


Let us all have our view, whatever that might be

But please do it nicely – before ranting – try a pause

Some humour and civility

Would have surely helped their cause!


I penned some lines, I’d hoped, in humour

Online, they got some Ha Ha Ha

But others chose a bitter protest

All we heard was ‘Blah Blah bloody Blah!’


Neil Arthur,



COP26 promises


At the time of writing this, the news is full of stories from COP26, as leaders make positive promises that they and future politicians will, we hope, respect.

Although many of the promises are about future plans for net zero, it’s clear that work to protect our climate and environment has to start now. As a recent headline in the Arran Banner mentioned, people on Arran seem keen to start.

COP26 is also showcasing Scotland and any delegates that choose to look beyond their hotel room walls, will see a vibrant Glasgow as well as the beauty of the Clyde and the surrounding countryside.

The Scottish Government, will, presumably, be doing its best to ensure that the world sees Scotland and its products in the best possible light.

So it was ironic that a few miles from the COP26 meetings, just over the water on Arran, one of the most beautiful stretches of the Clyde was the subject of an appeal by the Scottish Salmon Company as it tried to get permission to build the fish farm (that was rejected by North Ayrshire Council only a few months ago).

The Scottish Salmon Company may be registered in Scotland, and its branding enjoys its Scottish links, but over the last year the company structure has changed.

There are seven directors, and five live in the Faroe Islands and two in Norway.

However, although none live in Scotland (according to Companies House) they control the Scottish Salmon Company, which has claimed that its salmon farms are not cruel.

Many people will have seen news coverage earlier this year when over a thousand dolphins were herded into a bay in the Faroe Islands and butchered as part of the ‘Grind’.

This has been defended as a Faroese tradition that is culturally important. Some may feel this shows that the Faroese definition of cruelty differs from our own.

It wouldn’t have augured well for the salmon in a Faroe-controlled fish farm at Millstone point had it been allowed to proceed.

International investment in Scotland is great news, and hopefully COP26 will encourage the world to see the opportunities.

But allowing foreign companies to pollute and damage the seas of Scotland using Scottish branded subsidiaries, which provide marginal, if any, economic benefit, and then take the profits off shore seems bad policy at any time.

To allow it when the world is watching, and when our leaders are professing their environmental credentials would have been even more surprising.

The great news is that the appeal has been refused.

There is still the chance of a further appeal by the company on a point of law, but the decision announced on Tuesday November 9 shows that Scotland is leading from front and not allowing animal cruelty and environmental damage at Millstone Point.

Let’s hope the delegates at COP26 hear about this good news and raise a glass with all those people on Arran who worked so hard to campaign and raise awareness of the issues. They should be celebrating tonight.


David Freeman,

Bury St Edmunds.


Forgotten foot passengers


I saw no mention of foot passengers in the report of the discussion
between the Arran Ferry Committee, CalMac and Transport Scotland, in last week’s Banner.

While motorists were advised to head for Claonaig, no transport was laid
on for foot passengers.

According to Traveline Scotland, there is no way of travelling overland on public transport on a Sunday between Ardrossan and Claonaig, even had there not been a rail strike.

It’s bad enough that CalMac could not transport foot passengers over to the smaller ferry but extremely surprising that the Arran Ferry Committee apparently takes no interest in them.

One would have thought,with concerns about increasing traffic on Arran’s roads, as well as theclimate emergency, that they would take an interest in encouraging car-free travel, but it would appear that this is not the case.


Jane Ann Liston,

St Andrews.