LETTERS: Lord Advocate has a big question to answer

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In the controversy over the Glasgow bin lorry driver, I find it hard to understand why Scotland’s Lord Advocate set the bar for prosecution so high.

According to a BBC report of August 28, he said the Crown would have to prove ‘foreseeability’, but the driver could not reasonably be expected to know he was unfit to drive on that day (and would end up killing people).

If the same logic was applied in other cases, it is hard to see how drivers who cause fatalities under the influence of drink and drugs could be prosecuted. They too will not know in advance that they are going to kill people that day.

They are charged essentially because they elected to drive when unfit to do so and thereby put others at serious risk.

Why was it decided not to charge the bin lorry driver on this basis? The Lord Advocate should explain this specific point clearly.

Dr Bill McKinlay, Cockburn Crescent, Balerno

SNP Government rivals Tories on Reaganomics

The proposed £550 million cuts to council services by the SNP Government is truly shocking.

Instead of funding care services, bin collections, schools and roads, Finance Minister John Swinney continues to campaign for corporation tax cuts, airline tax cuts and now allowing councils to cut business rates but not raise them.

This kind of right-wing economics you expect from the Tories, but the SNP are giving them a good run for their money in Reagonomics.

Michelle Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh

Closing museums will help to deter tourists

In the seventies the council gave firms in and around the city centre an incentive to relocate to the outskirts of Edinburgh, to make the city more attractive to tourists.

They got their wish and Edinburgh is almost totally dependent on tourism. So why do they think it’s a brainwave to close museums and turn the clock back to a time when nothing was open at the weekend, a time when there were no place for tourist to go?

But wait; if there are no tourists there will be no rubbish in the bins, no takeaway boxes and we will be able to cut back on street cleaning.

Yes, that’s our council for you, it all fits in with the look they are creating - no public toilets, bins left full, street lighting so poor you can’t see anyone in front of you.

Edinburgh is starting to resemble those tumbleweed towns you used to see in old western movies.

Raymond Ross, Hutchinson Avenue, Edinburgh

Paris climate talks will end as meaningless

The Paris climate conference was always going to be about money. Rich countries had pledged in 2009 to set up a Green Climate Fund to mobilise $100 billion a year starting in 2020 and thereafter annually to help developing countries tackle climate change.

This was ostensibly to compensate developing countries for the damage caused by Western nations’ years of industrialisation.

In 1992 the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was established, distinguishing between the obligations of the rich countries, based on their responsibility in causing climate change, and the less onerous obligations of the developing world.

Fast forward 23 years and it was expected that this principle would apply in Paris but the developed countries are now saying that emerging economies should also contribute to these climate funds.

This has obviously upset China, India, Malaysia and others who saw this yearly $100 billion fund as a ‘nice little earner’. No money no agreement.

The widely predicted face-saving agreement in Paris will be meaningless and toothless yet hailed a resounding success.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Thanks for helping our vital work at RVS

Older people’s charity, Royal Voluntary Service would like to say a huge thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery in Scotland for funds raised to help tackle loneliness and isolation among older people this year.

Thanks to players, our volunteers have been able to help hundreds of older people across Scotland.

The funds raised mean that more volunteers can be there for older people who might feel lonely or isolated, more older people can be helped to get to shops and medical appointments and there are more activities in the community where older people can get together. So, from everyone at Royal Voluntary Service, thank you and merry Christmas.

David McCullough, chief executive, Royal Voluntary Service

Council should get more control over tax

Raymond Ross makes a good point about the relationship between council tax and council services (Letters, December 5). However, it’s perhaps not the point he intended to make.

Rather than cutting council tax if the council is providing fewer services, the Scottish Government should be unshackling our local authorities and allowing them to once again raise the council tax.

A small rise would allow Edinburgh council to plug some of its funding black hole and retain some of the services which it is being forced to cut.

Retained services and fewer redundancies would be far better for Edinburgh’s economy than yet another cut in council tax.

John Nichol, Marmion Crescent, Edinburgh