Letters: Picture House deserves an encore for music to thrive

Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen of New York Dolls performs on stage at the Picture House , Edinburgh
Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen of New York Dolls performs on stage at the Picture House , Edinburgh
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Have your say

IT will be a real shame and a blow to the live music scene in Edinburgh if HMV decides to sell off the Picture House (News, December 20).

This decent-sized music venue has for the last few years been popular with music fans of all tastes and everything that can be done ought to be done to ensure its continued existence.

Edinburgh, unlike Glasgow, is not exactly blessed with many examples of this type of venue, and to lose it wouldn’t just be bad news for the fans but would also be detrimental to Edinburgh’s image as city of vibrant and varied entertainment.

The Capital might be world famous for its Hogmanay celebrations and its summer festivals but if in the future it wants to be taken seriously as a city of culture which caters for all tastes, it really does need venues like the Picture House.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Funds are placed in amateur hands

IT was galling to read that only “emergency” potholes can be repaired because the council has run out of money (News, December 20). Surely if anything the impact of the severe weather 12 months ago should have taught the council about the impact it can have on the roads and, consequently, the importance of setting aside enough funds to carry out repairs.

Edinburgh cannot be considered as one of the most important places to do business if the administration in charge of the city does not consider its infrastructure an important enough place in which to invest money.

The problem with local authorities such as Edinburgh City Council is that huge sums of money are placed in the hands of amateurs who have not had suitable experience and as a result haven’t the foggiest idea what they are supposed to be doing.

A good example of that is Gordon Mackenzie, a man whose knowledge is in the field of social work, being entrusted to help guide the trams project.

What we need is a system where the council is properly held to account over how it spends public cash.

Kate Colquhoun, Northfield, Edinburgh

Better to act than do nothing at all

LAST Saturday I saw two very contrasting scenes in Edinburgh city centre. First there were the Christmas shopping crowds and people celebrating in bars and restaurants.

Then there were the anti-capitalist protesters in St Andrew Square, with tents and banners referring to the inequalities in people’s lives – the real wealth being held by one per cent of the population, while others survive on very little.

These problems are not new, and cannot be solved overnight, but one protester told me that it was better to do something than to do nothing.

The gulf between rich and poor keeps widening and this is undermining our society. Only compassion for others and the will to share resources more equally can improve the future for us all.

Susan Begley, Elgin Terrace, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Don’t take law into own hands

WITHOUT bothering to ascertain the facts behind a contretemps between a ticket collector and Sam Main, who was an alleged fair dodger, Alan Pollock took it upon himself to throw the accused from a train.

Had Mr Main’s injuries proved fatal Mr Pollock could now be facing a manslaughter charge and the hurt associated with a wrongful response to a situation that should have been sensibly dealt with by a police officer at the next stop.

Our beleaguered justice system must not bow to misguided public pressure to vindicate the vigilante. But it must understand that the vigilante and those who praise him are often products of a lax justice system that is perceived to be less than tough on crime.

If Mr Main is guilty he deserves to be punished, but so does Mr Pollock or indeed anyone else who thinks it is acceptable to take the law into their own hands for an offence that was hardly the ‘Great Train Robbery’.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

Just ignore these millionaires

THE millionaires in the coalition cabinet have never struggled, and never will, to choose between heating and eating.

So the next time they tell you “we are all in this together”, do the right thing and let it go in one ear and out the other.

Alan Lough, Dunbar