Letters: Call a halt to city gesture politics

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So a city councillor wants to rename an Edinburgh city street after a non-existent state and to support a terrorist organisation – Hamas – which is intent on the racist notion of the destruction of the only Jewish state and people.

Can I suggest that this city councillor focus his attentions on the role he was elected to undertake, namely to ensure the services and finances of our great city are administered properly and leave the gesture politics to people with less heady a task than ensuring the good governance of the city. Because for sure we do not have good governance at the moment!

It is becoming extremely boring to see every left winger jump on this Hamas-loving, Jewish state-hating, bandwagon. And it never ceases to amaze me, how so-called democrats would rather support the actions of groups who are extremist, anti-Semitic, who reject secularism, gay rights, women’s rights, social liberalism and democracy.

I have a better suggestion than the good councillor: let’s name an Edinburgh street after a democratic and secular state that does exist – Israel.

And one better, let’s fly the Star of David over the City Chambers and stand with the people of Israel in their battle for the freedom not to have random rockets fall in their gardens while their children play.

Or even better, let’s be done with all this vulgar gesture politics altogether – please.

Gerald Freedman, Graham Street, Edinburgh

Now schools can build on Games legacy

To the young people, parents and teachers of Edinburgh: long may you carry the spirit of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with you!

Over the last year I have visited schools in Edinburgh and across Scotland to inspire young people to harness the power of sport to improve their lives.

In my role as Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport and the Youth Sport Trust I have seen some truly amazing pupils, heroic teachers and really inventive ways of tapping into the power of sport.

After the thrill of Glasgow 2014, I feel more excited than ever as the new school year arrives.

I am proud to have been involved in these Games from the very beginning. From my place on the bid team to present our bid in Sri Lanka, being on the Board for the Games this summer and then watching our stellar team perform, it has been incredible to be part of this journey. But the journey is not over – now is the time to build a lasting legacy of sporting engagement for our young people.

With the glory of Glasgow 2014 fresh in our minds and with so many new role models created, this is a crucial time for schools across Scotland to foster a culture of sporting engagement.

I’m looking forward to helping to ensure our young people feel inspired and supported to use sport to best the best they can be. Roll on September!

Steve Frew, below, Commonwealth gold medal winning gymnast and Athlete Mentor

Let’s take the money and stay in the Union

Claims that Scotland is being subsidised by England encourage me to vote ‘No’ in the independence referendum.

Canny Scots should grab every penny we can. The debate can be re-visited in 20 years or so when the UK is bankrupt or earlier if the English wake up and kick us out of the Union first!

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh

Fracking for shale gas can help cut CO2

Grangemouth plant owner Ineos has bought the majority share of a shale gas exploration licence for Scotland.

Ineos is investing £350 million in new infrastructure facilities to import cheap shale gas from the US.

Ineos believes that using shale gas from Scotland will give it another source.

This will be welcome news for the 1370 workforce.

However enter the fly in the ointment, Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

He says Scotland must “put the brakes on fracking. Exploiting fossil fuels is something we can’t afford to do”.

America is the only country in the world to have reduced its CO2 emissions thanks to shale gas replacing coal.

America is shipping its unwanted coal all over the world to be used to produce cheap electricity and there is not a carbon capture and storage plant in sight.

Can Mr Harvie explain how Scotland, with a minuscule 0.15 per cent of global emissions, can save the planet by not extracting shale gas or exploiting fossil fuels when the rest of the world are doing so to grow their economies?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Independence threat to Scots financial jobs

One in every 12 people in Scotland is employed in the financial services sector, that’s 200,000 people. Yet 90 per cent of its business – pensions, investment bonds, ISAs, savings schemes, insurance policies – is with customers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

How many jobs will disappear after independence? People do not buy pensions or savings plans from another country, one with different tax rules or regulation. Do you have any investments with firms in Dublin for example?

Independence would destroy one of the key industries in Scotland. Vote No to protect Scottish jobs.

Phil Wheeler, Templeland Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh