IT is very difficult to believe that councillors, elected and paid for by the taxpayers, can refuse to divulge details of their contract of employment (Evening News, August 17).
Just who do they think they are? It is well understood by the public that there are a few councillors who leave lots to be desired when it comes to transparency in their dealings with big business, and they don’t come any bigger than SSE.
It has been commented on that city chief executive Sue Bruce has decided to take a board role with SSE. It has also been reported that this may be the precursor of her making a possible career move in the near future.
Scottish and Southern Energy should also take on board that we, the taxpayers, are on to them, and that their dealings with the council will be, from now on, under the greatest of scrutiny.
KJ Wilson, Middle Norton, Edinburgh
Broadcast marred by touch of impartiality
While it is wonderful to see Andrew Marr’s health is recovering, the picture he paints of Scotland is disappointing and indicative of someone who since their move to London has maybe lost touch with their homeland.
In addition, his comments that anti-English sentiment is “entrenched” in the SNP and warning it may become toxic is simply not one I recognise in a party that espouses civic, not ethnic, nationalism and boasts members of all nationalities and ethnic groups.
The treatment of UKIP leader Nigel Farage on his trip to Edinburgh, which Mr Marr cites as an example of anti-English hatred, was not this but an attack on racism. In fact, one of those arrested in the protest, the president of the Edinburgh University Student Association’s Socialist Society, is himself English.
Mr Marr is an excellent commentator but unfortunately these comments mean he is clearly not impartial on the independence issue and can not have any involvement with the BBC on this matter.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
When Edinburgh men set out for battle
In reply to Duncan McAra’s letter about Flodden (August 16), the Blue Blanket is the banner of the Tradesmen and Craftsmen of Edinburgh. It is indeed being exhibited in Flodden and till the end of the month at Ashfield, 61 Melville Street, the headquarters of the Convenery of Trades (Fringe venue 192).
Anything up to about 2000 Edinburgh craftsmen mustered on the Burgh Muir with the Blue Blanket and set out for Flodden with high hopes; but few came back to tell the tale.
The early records of the Incorporation of Hammermen attest to the fact that quite a number of their freemen masters died at Flodden.
As to the whereabouts of James IV’s body, nobody knows. There were several impersonators of the king on the battlefield and none of their bodies was properly accounted for. The head of James is said to have been cut off and used as a football.
We would love to know where the rest of him was laid to rest. The Convenery’s exhibition tells the story of before, during and after the battle in graphic detail, but falls into reverent silence when it comes to the fate of the king.
Henry Steuart Fothringham OBE, historian to the Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh
Take benefits away from fuel protesters
WhilE I am sure there have been genuine protesters at the Balcombe site, in West Sussex, where the energy firm Cuadrilla is drilling, they are far outnumbered by the professional rent-a-mob and anarchist rioters.
Many are professional demonstrators who flock gleefully from demo to demo. It is a safe bet that the majority of those at Balcombe are on welfare benefits. It would be an easy job for the police to obtain names and addresses and for the Department for Works and Pensions to see if they were receiving benefits.
Since recipients have to be available for work, their benefits could be terminated indefinitely. Now that would really hurt their chosen lifestyle and they would slink away.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
A missed chance for Scottish architects
Without taking anything away from David B’s photograph from Ocean Terminal in Friday’s News, it does highlight the two monstrous clumps of architecture that blight what should have been a lovely entrance to Leith Harbour – namely Platinum Point.
Yet another chance – like the Scottish Parliament building – to show just how dazzling modern architecture can be, squandered.
Barry Gardner, Ferry Road, Leith, Edinburgh
Mystery surrounds elegant city archway
I LOVE the “Remember when...” pages of photographs you produce from your archives – it gives me a window on a more measured city, of which I had no practical experience until 1988.
In particular thank you for the photograph of St Andrew Square on a rainy day in 1965 (August 17). Is there a reader out there who can tell me what happened to the elegant, almost triumphal, archway in the middle distance?
I take it that it was removed to give buses full access to the square – at the time of the construction of the architectural masterpiece which is our bus station, perhaps? Was it put into store, re-erected elsewhere (where?) or merely smashed up and carted away in case some silly fellow in the future, like me, thought it should be put back where it started?
David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh