Letters: Scots’ hatred anthem wrong on many levels

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It was with some dismay that I read that Aberdeen student Chris Cromar is petitioning for Flower of Scotland to be Scotland’s 
official national anthem.

Flower of Scotland is a great song, however, it is wholly inappropriate as our official anthem, as its central theme is racial hatred of the English.

In the wake of all the conflict in the world, a sure way to alienate our English neighbours would be to make Flower of Scotland our official anthem.

At the Commonwealth Games last year, as a Scottish gold medallist was flanked by two English athletes, the entire crowd sang about “Proud Edward’s army, and send him homewards to think again”.

It is wrong on so many levels. It was the athlete’s choice to sing Flower of Scotland and, unbelievably, someone in authority felt it was OK to sanction it for that purpose.

The old Corries song rankles the English at sporting events and may it continue to do so, but to make it our official anthem is potentially very dangerous with far reaching consequences and could be seen as irresponsible.

It is for these reasons, that I wrote A Song for Scotland which is similar in style and lilt to Flower of Scotland but has lyrics that focus only on Scots past present and future and on Scotland.

Ken Morton, Bearsden, Glasgow

Miliband lends weight to failed austerity plan

With Labour leader Ed Milliband announcing that the Labour Party will support the Tories in their deficit reduction programme, it is clear that the forthcoming general election will be a clear battle between pro-austerity and anti-austerity parties.

The deficit reduction programme will result in a further round of austerity, with a Charter for Budget Responsibility being set up to bind the next Westminster government to further cuts.

This round of cuts continues to repeat the failed mistakes of the past by trying to cut the deficit on a fixed time-scale, taking no consideration of shocks which might hit the economy.

George Osborne promised that debt would fall this year and that the economy would be back in the black next year. But we now know none of his targets will be met.

Tory policy of a fixed-term approach to deficit reduction has strangled the recovery and with £75 billion of cuts and tax rises still to come, the inescapable conclusion is that austerity has failed. Further attacks on the welfare budget, balancing the books on the backs of the poor, taking public spending levels back to those of the 1930s is morally reprehensible. Austerity has strangled the recovery and for the Tories and Labour party to continue this failed strategy is utterly nonsensical.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Sad farewell to Danish Cultural Institute

REGARDING your article on the closure of the Danish Cultural Institute (News, January 12), they have been very helpful to me over the years, initially helping me attain an internship with Danish radio in Copenhagen in 1995 while studying at Heriot-Watt for a MSc in cultural policy and management.

It is a really worrying development, as I have always found Danish cultural activity very well funded and the decision is perhaps ironic when there is currently more focus in Scotland on Danish policy (Scottish Parliament, Nordic horizons etc). I do hope the dialogue continues between Denmark and Scotland.

Stuart Wilson, St Leonards Crag, Edinburgh

Council policy shows need for referendums

It is with great interest I read your front page article entitled ‘STOP: Your message to roads chiefs’ (News, 
January 12).

It is good to see that there is much fury over the plans that would designate the vast majority of the road network in the city 20mph zones.

I note that a poll finds 83 per cent of the people who answered were against the plan. I also agree with the vast majority of the Facebook comments and many of the reasons given against the plans on pages 4/5 of the same edition.

In light of the above and the apparent opposition to the 20mph plans, surely it is now time for major decisions such as this to be put to public referendums among Edinburgh citizens.

Although I am not a supporter of Ukip, I know it advocates a similar policy. I think public referendums on such issues would be a sensible idea and would help aid democracy.

Perhaps the council would gain more respect if, by law, it was forced to adhere to the wishes of the citizens.

Under the current system the Evening News can print polls and correspondents such as myself can write letters until we are blue in the face, but the council is under no obligation to listen to our views and is free to carry on with its own agenda as it pleases.

Mr Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Help support greater fan club ownership

I was pleased to see Councillor Gordon Munro describe the growing success of fan ownership as a model to give our much-loved football clubs a more stable future. I hope he will lend his support to my campaign, Fans First, which aims to secure Scottish Government support for fan groups with serious, sustainable business models.

My proposals include establishing a legal right to first refusal for fans trusts’ if a club comes up for sale; a clearer process for fans to organise around and an ‘exit strategy’ for responsible owners who decide, for whatever reason, to call time on their period as a club’s custodian.

I’d encourage interested readers to write to their MSPs to ask them to do more in support of fan ownership.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian