While half a million people have been to gawk at Yang Guang and Tian Tian, our captive pandas, I wonder what the bears make of us.
Given the choice, would they be in a far off alien land, sitting in cages eating “take away” bamboo with a mate not of their own choosing or roaming their own land eating fresh shoots and choosing a mate of their own liking?
It seems to me that if the world cares about endangered species surely we have the resources and intelligence to realise that animals should live in an environment that is conducive to their well being.
Whilst the Edinburgh Zoo has seen a massive increase in visitor numbers and some VIPs, Princess Anne and Nicole Kidman among them, it is my concern that the finance needed for the projected ten-year sentence these pandas have received will not be sustainable by the zoo themselves and that unless a baby panda is born, that visitor numbers will drop off alarmingly leading to the zoo applying to the Scottish Government to bail them out with money from the public purse.
This financial gamble I believe is simply another part of the panda project that is frankly wrong.
Do Sunshine and Sweetie have to serve their full ten years for the crime of being cuddly?
John Allan, Kingsknowe Road North, Edinburgh
Sillars makes case for secularism
In the course of his survey of the persecution of Christians in parts of the Middle East Jim Sillars makes an excellent case for secularism. It respects all religions and provides protection for religious minorities and religious freedom but requires that no religion dominates the public realm.
Jim Sillars, however, neglects to extend the case for secularism closer to home. A secular Scotland would not require Christian religious observance in schools nor require Christian religious representatives on local authority education committees. Nor would it impose religious divisions between our state funded schools.
We still have a long way to go in Scotland to remove religious privileges and to promote equality between all types of religious and other belief in our own society. I look forward to Jim Sillars promoting the cause of secularism in Scotland as well.
Norman Bonney, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh
Hot air is spoken about wind farms
John Mason has angered Helen Jackson, an anti-wind farm protestor who had written to him of her concerns, by mocking her and saying he admires wind farms and would love to have one sited near his home.
This is the typical SNP mantra chanted that wind turbines are the solution for all our woes.
Mr Mason should get out more and listen to people not the SNP propaganda.
I challenge this politician to go and try to sleep for 14 nights in a house near a wind farm.
There are many angry people who would be willing to give him a free room “with a turbine view”.
The TV cameras and media would record a zombie like politician emerge renouncing the SNP and that he will support the destruction of these heavily subsidised and useless triffids which do absolutely nothing to reduce CO2 levels.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
Transfer embargo hindering Hearts
I WRITE in connection with the transfer embargo placed on Hearts.
I am one of 4000 who have financially supported the club through the share offer.
The club made us aware of the financial predicament we are in and what we have to possibly do, in the short term to resolve this, part of this was through the said share offer.
Another part of the strategy was to reduce the current wage cost through possible sales of some of our higher earners, replacing them with lower paid players.
The transfer embargo placed by the SPL is obstructing the club from taking these measures to move the club to a sounder financial position. The transfer window is a crucial part of moving the club forward financially and on the playing front. as we try and get increased revenue through supporters attending games.
I believe without this embargo the Club will move to a sounder financial base, on the short term at least.
Ken Scott, Speedwell Avenue, Danderhall, Midlothian