Letters: Let’s hope traffic control proves to be watertight

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The Champions’ tennis promoters promised to show us something we had never seen before (News, June 25). And what did we see? The uselessness of an umbrella in gusty weather!

OK, it was a really huge umbrella, but it was still ineffective when the rain went sideways.

No, if you want to see something totally unprecedented at Raeburn Place you will have to wait until the Accies get their new stadium built.

Then you will see up to 5000 sports fans regularly descending upon Stockbridge without causing any traffic problems – or at least that is what council officials are predicting.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

Lamont fails her first major test as leader

Martin Hannan makes some interesting points about the result of last week’s Holyrood by-election when the SNP held off Labour to hold the Aberdeen seat (News, June 25).

However, the real lesson is that this was Johann Lamont’s first big test as Scottish Labour Leader and she failed it. After the result came through, I was surprised to hear Lothians List MSP Kezia Dugdale on the TV panel excitedly claiming that such a swing in the next Scottish Parliament Election would “take out” Nicola Sturgeon, Kenny MacAskill and result in other unlikely Labour victories.

I have bad news for Kezia. It is a little known fact that since the advent of devolution in 1999, the SNP have not lost a single first past the post seat that they either held initially or won at a subsequent election.

This underlines the task facing Johann Lamont if she is to become Scotland’s next First Minister, a possibility that after last Thursday seems increasingly unlikely.

Gavin Fleming, Websters Land, Grassmarket, Edinburgh

Policies geared for the south

Chas Dennis (letters, June 25) is completely wrong about youth employment. Under the SNP Scottish Government youth unemployment has fallen for each of the last six months and is now much better (15.2 per cent) than the UK (19.5 per cent).

Things could be better but as a result of decisions taken by the UK Government, the Scottish Budget is being reduced by over 11 per cent in real terms over four years.

Within that, our capital budget is being reduced by one third.

That is the reality of the devolution straitjacket and if there is a “No” Scotland vote next September we will face years of UK austerity and cuts to universal services no matter which party is elected at Westminster as these measures are also backed by Labour.

By contrast a “Yes” vote would allow a Scottish government to utilise our vast resources as Scotland accounts for 64 per cent of European Union oil production and 36 per cent of EU total hydrocarbon production plus 25 per cent of Europe’s total offshore renewable capacity.

Westminster’s policies are geared towards London and the south of England but aren’t working for Scotland, which is one of the wealthiest nations on the planet.

That is why we need to be independent so that we can grow our economy and tackle poverty.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

Futile efforts to cut greenhouse gases

A NEW report says the UK faces missing key targets to cut greenhouse gases through the 2020s. (News, June 26)

The whole point of cutting such emissions was that it would reduce global warming, now conveniently renamed “climate change” since the world has not warmed for 16 years.

The UK only has 1.5 per cent of emissions and Scotland 0.15 per cent.

Surely a more meaningful exercise to report would be to see how much world emissions have dropped since this whole expensive charade started.

Two reasons it is not done is that world emissions continue to increase as China and India open a new coal-fired power plant every day and Europe imports coal from America since wind electricity is too expensive as well as unreliable. In addition 87.3 per cent of the world refuse to curb their emissions.

Puts the futile efforts of the UK and Scotland into perspective.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Every human being is seen as a child of God

Neil Barber (Letters, June 26) insists “today we see institutional gay-hatred by the modern church being indulged as Christian conscience”.

However, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2358) is very clear on this issue when it says “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination should be avoided.”

The Church teaches that every single human being is a child of God and should be respected no matter what colour, creed or sexuality they are.

Martin Conroy, Oldhamstocks, East Lothian

Put the brakes on these selfish cyclists

I HAVE cycled around the streets of Edinburgh for the last 70-odd years, but there are some cyclists who are becoming a menace by their behaviour.

They seem to think that stopping at a “stop” sign and giving way at a “give way” sign are an infringement on their freedom.

The streets of our city are not race tracks but are full of unexpected hazards, including people of all ages who like to take life at a steady pace.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh