At Random with Martin Laing – November 25

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Clean and green

So COP26 is over and a cobbled-together statement was finally agreed, albeit with some disappointment voiced by a number of nations.

At the same time, protests continue by Insulate Britain members, stopping traffic by gluing themselves to roads, with a number of activists subsequently jailed for their actions.

The issue of climate change and renewable energy remains at the top of news agendas, with much attention in recent days on power generation and the best way to produce green energy in future.

Why, then, do the powers that be not look to Argyll and in particular the Cruachan power station near Lochawe?

The Hollow Mountain was visited, as reported in The Oban Times, of course, by former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, while he was in Scotland as part of the COP26 convention.

Cruachan – an amazing feat of engineering by any standards or timescale and well worth a visit – opened in the mid 1960s after construction began in 1959. And ever since, Cruachan has been producing clean, green energy that is endlessly renewable.

The great and the good who are tasked with plotting our future should cast their eyes to Cruachan if they want a solution,

Behave yourselves

I was more than a little disappointed to read of the abuse and anger being targeted at CalMac staff by some passengers.

In my experience – and I have travelled on CalMac vessels many times – the staff have been excellent. They are polite, courteous and professional and go out of their way to be helpful. The Covid pandemic and its impacts are not their fault and neither are the cancellations of services or shortage of ships.

People do not deserve to be abused while carrying out their jobs, in public service or any other field of work. If you have a complaint about CalMac, write to your local politicians. Treat the staff with respect and decency. It is the least they should be able to expect.

What do you think? Send your comments to