LETTERS: ‘Rant’ at protesters is defamatory

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I refer to Andrew Wilson’s letter (The Galloway Gazette, November 2) about the anti-turbine protest in Perth.

It’s quite an achievement to libel 300 people in one rant. His comments are defamatory and untrue.

Mr Wilson admits he was not even in Perth but goes on to claim: “I have seen the way the protesters conduct themselves.” Does he have visions?

It was more like a day out for loyal Saga customers. His claim that we were “arrogant, rude, aggressive and would intimidate all but the bravest” is ludicrous. We ranged from small children with painted faces, up to a 92-year-old.

Sure, we made a lot of noise – there were a lot of us. On the march we had jovial chats with the police from the start. There was an on-going discussion with the chief inspector in charge throughout the day. He had no problems with us. His report will show Mr Wilson’s claims are false and malicious.

As for “never having been involved in the local community”, I don’t have to turn up to unproductive meetings to prove myself. I have many certificates of thanks for years of helping in an area which I prefer not to talk about. My wife was pictured as a Perth protester in the Gazette and, therefore, identified as being included in Mr Wilson’s rant. She was a GP in Wigtown for several years. Mr Wilson probably won’t count that as being “involved in the community”.

The only public meeting I have been to was one held in Wigtown. It was an open meeting and I was there, with one other person. We were not “a group”, we did not “barge in”, and we “attacked” no-one.

Mr Wilson has chosen to name me – and my wife, Dr Angela Armstrong – by association. Mr Wilson claims to have “seen drunks spilling out onto the street behaving with more courtesy” than us. I can’t remember the last time either of us was close to being drunk, let alone “spill out onto a street and cause trouble”.

Andrew Shiells,

Barrachan Home Farm, Newton Stewart.

It is worthy of note that those who dislike wind turbines shout long and loud, while those who don’t mind them tend to remain silent. They have other concerns.

So, while those who have come to Galloway in recent years feel that wind turbines spoil a landscape that has always existed, I, as a born and bred Gallovidian, have watched in horror as the agricultural patchwork quilt, whitewashed farmhouses and the heather covering the hills have been swept away in the name of progress.

The Forestry Commission has covered millions of acres of hillsides with alien conifers and huge ditches disgorging water into our rivers, and now enormous sheds are springing up all over the countryside to house cattle .

The landscape of Galloway which I have known and loved has lost so much of its charm that I hardly notice the lesser evil of wind turbines, which can bring us much needed energy, and are comparatively harmless to the environment. Would the turbine haters prefer a nuclear power station in their backyard?

Name and address supplied.

I love windmills! These small, eco-friendly structures have little impact on the environment and seem to do no harm to people or animals.

Their erection has minimal disruption and, at the end of their life, they can easily be dismantled. They provide locally produced power, used locally. You can’t get greener than that.

But I loath industrial turbine sites. They are harmful to animals and humans. These massive structures are being built in Galloway at an alarming rate. The energy is not used locally and they cannot be easily dismantled. They are a permanent scar in the landscape. The impact on our economy will be catastrophic when the tourists go elsewhere. Dumfries & Galloway Coun­cil refused permission for some sites yet the government overruled these decisions.

A F Raw,

Drumneil Cottage, Mochrum.