Letters: Confusion reigns over Porty land deal plans

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I refer you to the May issue of Portobello Direct and in particular to the article on page 20.

“Aldi Supermarket and Cruden Property developments recently bought the former Scottish Power site at Baileyfield that had been discussed as an alternative site for the new Portobello High School. The city council had planned to buy the site should their bid to build on protected land in the park be unsuccessful.”

A report in the press states that a decision had been made and that the new school WOULD be built on the “common good” land within Portobello Park.

Could someone explain to me how the council waived their right to purchase the “Baileyfield triangle” at least a month before the Holyrood ruling was made?

Dennis Anderson, Vandeleur Avenue, Edinburgh

Right royal rumpus over Sillars’ claims

Jim Sillars thinks that the UK is a fiction and that our country is England with a Scottish add-on (“Scots’ future in English hands”, News, May 21).

He overlooks the fact that the kingdoms of England and Scotland vanished in 1707, being replaced by a new kingdom (Great Britain) of which James (VI of Scotland) was the first monarch (it was also referred to sometimes as the ‘United Kingdom’).

Later, when the kingdom of Ireland was incorporated (1800), the United Kingdom was formally established, with Queen Anne as its first monarch.

The present Queen is the inheritor of this ‘United Kingdom’ and is the first monarch of it called ‘Elizabeth’. There were never any solid grounds for naming her ‘Elizabeth the Second’; the first Elizabeth of England was monarch of a different kingdom.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Levein is the wrong choice for Hearts

What a sad day for Heart of Midlothian Football Club – not going down but going down with the wrong people.

Gary Locke was the young players’ champion and there is no-one better to bring them back up.

Remember that players have been lost to Rangers and they may have kept us up.

This policy of losing players to Rangers and Celtic must stop but Craig Levein is not the one for Hearts. Has he been waiting like a vulture to pounce? What has he done? We got a look at his Scotland endeavour and his record is not enough for the Hearts job.

The fans are supposed to be in a strong position now. Well they should do something and support Gary. This will definitely keep me away from Tynecastle now.

How come Levein never got a chance with anyone else? Because he’s not good enough.

Bob Anderson, Carnethie Street, Rosewell, Midlothian

Yes campaign must find currency plan B

I refer to Alex Orr’s letter of May 21 (“Scottish banknotes represent our assets”).

At a select Scottish Affairs Committee on independence on May 14, televised on BBC Parliament, Chancellor George Osborne, below, and the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury were questioned on Scotland’s currency position in an independent country. It was made absolutely clear, “no ifs and no buts”, that there would no sharing of the pound in a currency union and that Scotland just using the pound was an unsustainable option for a nation of Scotland’s size and financial sophistication.

The Scottish Government must come up with a plan B so that people know in what currency their wages and pensions will be paid in and companies know what currency and at what rates of exchange they would be trading in with other countries.

It took the euro nine years to be issued from the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 to its issue in 2001 so a new Scottish currency is hardly on the horizon.

Alex Orr chunters on about the Banking Act 2009, which is all very well whilst Scotland is part of the UK but on the day of separation all bets will be off and the Bank of England will no longer stand behind Scottish banks and will not be the lender of last resort.

Scotland as a new exposed member state will suffer lower credit ratings and higher interest rates on borrowings than it currently enjoys within the UK and this will affect businesses’ ability to borrow, expand, take on more staff and be competitive in the market place.

Donald Lewis, Beech Hill, Gifford, East Lothian

Religious influence in schools must end

Speaking to the Free Church of Scotland at its annual General Assembly, Roseanna Cunningham has given no guarantee about their place in any future constitution.

Any future constitution must enshrine the freedom of religion. The right to private religious belief and practice must be protected.

What must end, however, is the religious assumption that they speak for all and have the right to impose their beliefs in schools and in local government.

That is not “freedom” it is privilege.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive

Commie deserves to make the world stage

I WAS delighted to read that the Royal Commonwealth Pool has been recognised as one of the top ten public baths in the world (“Commie makes a splash on the world stage”, News, May 22).

It’s a facility we should all be proud of and I look forward to seeing it in the spotlight during Glasgow 2014.

Allan Davidson, Gogarloch Haugh, Edinburgh