Letters: Edinburgh’s Christmas is not music to the ears

Christmas entertainment, Edinburgh city centre.  Pic: Ian Rutherford

Christmas entertainment, Edinburgh city centre. Pic: Ian Rutherford

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WHAT has happened to Edinburgh’s Christmas? There is not much in the way of rides for children. A carousel, big wheel which is double the cost for adults compared to last year, and the star flyer which costs £7.50 for four minutes – I timed it. Daylight robbery as far as I’m concerned.

My son and I always loved going to the German Market, but some of the old stalls are no longer there and the rides are in Princes Street Gardens.

Ecurei Ecosse Jaguar. Pic: Comp

Ecurei Ecosse Jaguar. Pic: Comp

But the biggest disappointment is there is no festive music of the kind that made Christmas in the Gardens – Slade, Wizzard, Wham and so on. What have they done? It’s boring now, they should have left it as it has been for years.

Whoever organised this seems to have mislaid their Christmas spirit.

Norma Arthur, Moredunvale Loan, Edinburgh

Trams cannot steer away from trouble

I REFER to your juxtaposition of two stories – the trial running of trams to Haymarket and an unfortunate pedestrian whose foot got trapped under a bus wheel (News, December 3).

Luckily this happened in Shandwick Place and before the trams are running services.

Has any consideration been given to physically separating the various modes of transport at critical points, say Maitland Street?

If a pedestrian was to fall under a bus at this point where the buses, trams, taxis and cyclists all use the same road space, no doubt the buses could be diverted to bypass the accident and so deliver passengers to the airport in time for their flights. But the trams would be backed up as they could not divert.

Bruce Collie, Drum Brae Park, Edinburgh

We should have made vroom for these cars

SHAME on the Scottish Government for failing to fund the purchase of even the cheapest of the Ecurie Ecosse vehicles which were sold in London (News, December 2).

Scottish national prestige around the globe was greatly enhanced by the numerous victories of the amateur motor racing team, most notably at Le Mans in 1956 and 1957.

The team’s iconic transporter was designed and built by Alexanders of Falkirk in 1959-60. It ought to be in a Scottish museum, along with some of the dark blue cars with saltire badges it used to carry. But now we will have to be content with some photographs and toy models in a display case.

This does not bode well for independence.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

Sadly, football does not stop for tragedy

The helicopter tragedy in Glasgow moved us all, and I can’t begin to imagine what the families of the victims are going through. Even the media were saying that it devastated the UK and shook the whole of 
Glasgow.

I am just saddened that it didn’t appear to shake Glasgow football, as although there was a minute’s silence, they still played on, and their supporters filled the stands on the same day as they heard about the disaster.

Elaine Pomeransky, Restalrig Gardens, Edinburgh

Secularists do not worship tolerance

I THINK readers will be getting the picture clearly of where tolerance for Neil Barber (Letters, November 30), and his small band of secular activists, begins and ends.

He does not want acts of Christian worship to be seen in state schools. He does not want God to be mentioned in the Scout or Guide oath.

He does not wish religious representatives to be on education committees.

He does not want Gideon Bibles to be distributed in schools. He thinks that religion unfairly dominates Armistice parades each November.

He wants the Church of England disestablished and bishops out of the House of Lords. Yet apart from, as he would claim, his purely secularist agenda, we know that Mr Barber does not really like Christian belief very much. He regards Christianity as “irrational”, “superstitious” and as an incongruity in the modern world.

I suspect that readers will make their own deductions as to the level of tolerance likely if secularists such as Mr Barber ever were to have their way.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick

A grandiose gesture with public money?

For years the public have objected to the high levels of foreign aid being sent to countries where corruption is a way of life.

Palaces were built, Mercedes and private jets were bought with UK taxpayers’ earnings.

India and Nigeria are planning space exploration.

A multi-million pound corruption scandal in Malawi has prompted western donors to freeze aid.

It is thought that, over the years, £155 million has been “redistributed”.

Malawi’s leading donors, who provide 40 per cent of the country’s budget, halted the aid they pay direct to the government.

Last year the UK spent £117 million and was due to spend £92 million this year.

Scotland already contributes to the UK overall aid programme, including Malawi, so why did Alex Salmond promise Mrs Banda, Malawi’s president, another £4.9 million when she visited Scotland this year?

Another grandiose gesture with our money?

He no longer dares mention the words “Arc of Prosperity” or “Celtic Tiger” since they crashed.

I assume that “Malawi” will no longer be in his vocabulary.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow