Letters: MEP Duncan fails to fight trade threat to the NHS

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The People’s NHS is a UK-wide community group campaigning to protect health services and keep our NHS public.

Local activists have been campaigning in Edinburgh to highlight the dangers that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership poses to our NHS.

Hundreds of local people in Edinburgh have signed up to our campaign, calling on polticians and the Prime Minister David Cameron to protect our NHS from the TTIP.

The TTIP agreement between the EU and the US is a major threat to our NHS as it allows corporations to take legal action if national governments pass laws that hurt profits.

Private companies already run a number of health services in Scotland, including unscheduled care and temporary agency nursing.

Under the TTIP the Scottish government would never be allowed to run these services again, because doing so would hurt the profits of the comanies involved. This could mean our government would lose the ability to run our NHS.

The overwhelming and positive support from the people of Edinburgh is unfortunately not matched by support from MEP Ian Duncan, who has so far refused to support the demand for the NHS to be removed from the TTIP agreement.

It is vital that we take action now to protect our most important public service.

We hope that Ian Duncan will listen to the concerns of the people of Edinburgh and that he will act and support our campaign.

William Keith, Colinton Mains Road, Edinburgh

Alan can console himself with Brigadoon

VERY sorry to read about Alan Cumming’s ‘devastated’ state. In a bid to aid his recovery from his ‘post-referendum depression’, I would like to offer a suggestion.

He should get a ‘creative’ to adapt the film Brigadoon for the Broadway stage, perhaps calling it ‘Brigadoon: The New Glasgow’, where the oil price is always high.

I would suggest Pat Kane to do the music and Elaine C Smith to play Widow Kranky. Liz Lochhead could be Mr Cumming’s own personal Makar.

Then, every night in New York, they could inhabit their own fantasy Scotland, where everyone is equal and happy.

That would also make for a fairer society for the rest of us and we could all get some peace.

Neil Brown, Penicuik Road, Straiton

Another side to the wartime Xmas truce

I SEE that the ‘Christmas truce’ in 1914 has been lauded. It is doubtful if my 20-year old uncle buried in France would have approved.

When 3 million Germans invaded Belgium and France, to be met by 3 million French, the British contribution was pathetic - a mere 100,000 men.

The Belgians and French rightly thought they were dubious allies and the ‘football matches’ were fraternisation, cowardice and treason.

It did not really help that the British royal family was perceived as German or that the UK didn’t even introduce call-up until 1916.

Any objective analysis would conclude that mainly the French, with double the casulaties, won the war.

David Wilson, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

Your allotment is not about to go metric

IT has come to our notice that a certain individual is emailing local councils across Britain accusing them of ‘breaking the law’ by using traditional measurements such as rods and poles to describe gardening allotments. More than 150 councils have been contacted so far.

These emails commence under the Freedom of Information Act, asking for allotment prices, but seek to force a change to metric units quoting the Units of Measurement Regulations 1994. Some councils have removed rods and poles as a result.

Please note that renting of allotments does not fall under the category of ‘loose goods’ covered by this legislation, and councils are perfectly able to continue using the traditional means of measurement – such as rods and poles – to describe their allotment land.

Rods, poles, perches, yards and lugs have existed for hundreds of years in Britain and we hope that councils and allotment holders continue to use them for centuries to come.

John Gardner, director British Weights and Measures Association, Croydon

Greyfriars Bobby deserves our tributes

Warrior, the Canadian cavalry horse that served on the western front during the First World War, was posthumously awarded the Dicken Medal for animal bravery last September.

Could I suggest that Greyfriars Bobby be awarded the freedom of the city? Although wee Bobby is no longer with us, his statue and headstone continue to attract visitors from every corner of the globe in increasing numbers.

I’d also like to thank the council for organising the ceremony held every year on January 14.

It’s a heart-warming sight to see the children of class three at Heriot’s laying a floral tribute on the little dog’s grave.

Stewart Wilson, Abbeyhill Crescent, Edinburgh