Letters: Pushing gay marriage through may cost votes

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Have your say

Marco Biagi is correct in saying that the “gay marriage” consultation generated a record number of responses (News, November 20). What he conveniently ignores is that two-thirds of the respondents were against a change.

He says that the party leaders support the change. That does not mean that party members support the change.

He quotes some churches as being in favour yet fails to mention that the total membership of all these groups barely matches a medium-sized Church of Scotland and that none are mainstream groups.

I cannot help but feel that this is being pushed through parliament now in the hope that everyone will forget when the next election comes. Some people will forget. Others won’t. Bearing in mind that his majority is only 237, I wonder if Mr Biagi has considered that fact.

Stewart Geddes, Silverknowes, Edinburgh

An ironic example to pick for ‘ugly world’

It is seemingly without irony that Sylvia M De Luca cites well-known gay composer Cole Porter’s song Anything Goes in her blanket condemnation of all things “ugly”, including same-sex marriage (Letters, November 20).

What distinction might the great man himself have made between marriage equality and “the destruction of children’s innocence” and “a broken society”?

Night and Day?

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh

Jobs boost looks a bit like a publicity stunt

YOUR article “Remploy staff given hope with retail jobs in Capital” (News, November 14) states that 25 of the 28 made redundant by DWP (in effect the Government) in 2012 from the South Gyle site have been given positions at Sainsbury’s refurbished store.

Some may have been given positions but I can categorically state that I know of in excess of 14 of the 28 who have not been offered or taken up positions at Sainsbury’s, myself included.

The true fact is that these ‘25’ workers are not ex-Remploy South Gyle factory workers. These people have more than likely come via the Remploy office in Earl Gray Street.

A confusing fact, unknown by many, is that this office assists in placing unemployed people into employment and these people are not/do not have to be disabled.

It is commonly reported how much money the Government has thrown at assistance to have the disabled workers from all the Remploy factories assisted back into employment.

The largest part of this money has been distributed to “companies” who put in bids to win the money, with the aim being to get those made redundant from all Remploy factories back into full time employment. Remploy at Earl Gray Street, Enable and Shaw Trust are a few of these “companies”.

These “companies” do not deal with only disabled and/or ex- Remploy workers.

I am very pleased to hear that 25 disabled workers have gained employment, but are they all disabled, or is this misrepresentation a publicity stunt by Remploy and the SNP to look good?

Name and address supplied

Huge step forward in care for the young

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is a far-reaching and influential Bill and will be an important step forward in improving the lives of Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people.

It is the first legislation updating the support we give vulnerable children for nearly 20 years and has at its heart a vision that we should all share – making Scotland the best place in the world for children to grow up.

The Scottish Parliament was due to have its stage 1 debate on the proposed Bill today. The Bill already represents a major step forward in improving outcomes for young people leaving the care system – but there is still much more that could be done.

Aberlour Child Care Trust, Barnardo’s Scotland and Who Cares? Scotland all work with young people who have left care in Scotland, and far too many of these young people have poor outcomes in terms of education, employment and homelessness.

Our three organisations welcomed the calls from the Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee to enhance support for care leavers in the Bill in its stage 1 report.

We would like to see a series of key changes – more care leavers to stay in care till 18, a right to return to care for care leavers under 18, entitlement to apply for support, aftercare to be extended to more young people leaving care, and greater consistency of support for care leavers.

We recognise that some local authorities are doing really good work to support care leavers – the challenge is to make that support more consistent.

We urge MSPs of all parties to work together to maximise the support the new legislation can give to this particularly vulnerable group of young people.

Steve McCreadie, executive director – Aberlour; Martin Crewe, director – Barnardo’s Scotland; Duncan Dunlop, chief executive – Who Cares? Scotland

Self-service skill is sum achievement

I WAS in M&S at Fort Kinnaird the other day.

Normally I keep well away from the self-service checkouts but I was dragged to them by my six-year-old grandson.

He took just 15 seconds to complete the transaction – slightly longer than his seven-year-old cousin did last week.

Both boys attend St Francis Primary School at Niddrie. Give that school a medal!

Paul Nolan, Niddrie Marischal Crescent, Edinburgh