Letters: Farcical licensing laws are at heart of alcohol problem

Bulk buying at supermarkets is cheap
Bulk buying at supermarkets is cheap
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Yet again, the power of the supermarkets prevails and the city council bows down to their demands in granting off-sales licences, despite the valid advice of the health experts and their own lip service to tackling the alcohol problems in Scotland (News, November 27).

The new licensing laws continue to prove to be a total farce and have resulted in nothing more than closing pubs, where alcohol sales and consumption are carefully monitored.

Also, the failure to restrict the prices charged in supermarkets means more people are encouraged to purchase in bulk from supermarkets and drink unrestricted at home.

There now needs to be a full review of the licensing laws in Scotland instead of the knee- jerk reactions that we see from time to time from MSPs who clearly have no understanding of the drinking habits in the country and continually make U-turns when they are put under pressure by the supermarkets.

As it stands, the ongoing alcohol problems in Scotland will remain for many decades to come.

Sheila Fraser, Beveridge Close, Dalkeith

Young trees need support to survive

While welcoming the news that many new trees will be planted in our parks (News, November 26), may I urge that there is an adequate maintenance budget to ensure the young trees survive and flourish.

Having reported to the council a young street tree needing re-staked more than three weeks ago, I now fear for its survival in the high winds.

Sadly, its neighbour did not survive.

Moyra Forrest, Starbank Road, Edinburgh

Nativity story is nothing but myth

Helen Martin’s enthusiasm for Nativity scenes and cards (News, November 26) is misplaced.

The gospel birth narratives owe nothing to history and everything to myth and an attempt to give Jesus a background and origin commensurate with his deification.

So not only no animals: no manger, no Nazareth, not even Bethlehem! It’s all invented and primary schools should not be putting on Nativity plays.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Price controls are not the solution

A DELAHOY is right to be concerned about rising prices, which are squeezing us all (Letters, November 26), but price controls are not the answer.

We have inflation because the government is creating more money out of thin air. In the old days this was called printing money, but nowadays entries are just made in computers and it is called quantitative easing. Inflation results because there is more money in the system but not more goods for it to chase.

If you control prices, you are attempting to deal with the symptom rather than the cause. This has been tried many times before all the way back to the Roman Empire and it always fails.

Older people will remember when both Tory and Labour governments tried this in the 1970s with predictable results.

The real solution is for our government to follow a policy of sound money, live within its means and interfere much less in the economy. We will then have the virtuous circle of sound money encouraging investment, leading to economic growth and employment and lower taxes.

As a start the government should end immediately all subsidies to wind farms, as these are forcing up electricity bills, and pushing people into fuel poverty and out of jobs.

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh

Brassed off with reviewer’s verdict

We have just read Josie Balfour’s review of “An Evening of Movies and Musicals at Christmas” (News, November 24), performed at the Usher Hall last Saturday.

Having attended this very successful concert we are surprised at the choice of language and the inaccuracy of her report.

She devotes two-thirds of the article to accusing the brass section of the orchestra of “spectacularly ruining a five star show”. This simply was not true, as evidenced by the enthusiastic reaction of the audience throughout the show, at the end which, as Ms Balfour herself finally acknowledges, “the ensemble received a well deserved standing ovation”.

Russell and Ann Pugh, Edinburgh