Letters: Strike has helped shake off our apathy about politics

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EDINBURGH, like other towns and cities around the country, saw scenes on Wedenesday not witnessed by the current generation as thousands took to the streets to protest about cutbacks in the public sector.

And it looks like there could be more to come if the Government does not back down over pensions (News, December 1).

At first I had little sympathy for the strikers’ cause. Working in the private sector, I am not particularly well paid, and face pension worries in years to come. And I must admit I bought into the “us and them” situation which seemed to pose private sector workers against their public sector counterparts.

But the only winners in dividing the lower-paid workers (the majority of us, remember) are wealthy bankers and politicians who will never have to worry about their future comforts.

Perhaps one benefit that could come out of the economic recession is raised political awareness.

If people are roused out of their apathy and voice their unhappiness, perhaps the politicians can be made to do what they are paid to from our taxes, and represent us.

Randall McLean, Portobello

One day off is not doom and gloom

CAN someone explain why a national day’s holiday for the royal wedding did no apparent damage to the economy, whereas Wednesday’s national day of strike action by public sector workers prompted dire warnings of doom and gloom by the Government and spokesmen from employers’ associations, as to the billions of pounds to be lost as a result?

Gavin Fleming, Websters Land, Grassmarket

Lack of humour could prove fatal

THERE is only one thing to be done with the people who have complained to the BBC about Jeremy Clarkson’s clearly humorous remarks anent strikers: they should all be taken outside and executed in front of their families.

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh

Selfish parking must be curbed

YOUR article “Pavements cost city £40m in five years” (News, November 30) highlights the massive financial cost to us all from thoughtless parking and how important the legislation on obstructive parking proposed by Joe Fitzpatrick MSP will be.

Vehicles parked on pavements or across dropped kerbs are forcing people with pushchairs or children to walk unsafely in the road.

And older people and those in wheelchairs can feel worried about leaving their homes as they feel unsafe walking down their own street.

We want to see legislation introduced as soon as possible to stop damage happening in the first place. Not only will it reduce the cost to all of us from damage to pavements caused, but it will also prevent costly compensation claims from falls on damaged pavements.

Edinburgh City Council is taking good steps on prioritising investment in the pavements and lighting we depend on to get around and we applaud this and Mr Fitzpatrick’s efforts to legislate.

Keith Irving, manager, Living Streets Scotland, Rose Street, Edinburgh

Help us identify offending drivers

WITH regard to Kevin Rafferty’s letter (November 25) regarding his daughter’s difficulties in hiring a taxi on Picardy Place, I would like to place on record our regret that she suffered these problems and remind taxi drivers of their licensing conditions.

No licensed taxi driver has the right to refuse a fare if their “for-hire” light is lit no matter how short the journey, particularly in cases of lone females.

There are certain conditions that allow a taxi driver the right to refuse a job but in this case none of these conditions applied. This is contained within the Licensed Conditions, Section Fulfilment of Hire, Rule 100 that every taxi driver must work to. It is regrettable that in this instance these licensed taxi drivers failed these duties.

If any member of the public has reason to complain regarding the service they receive from the taxi trade we would urge them to simply take the number of the licence plate on the vehicle. That way we can identify the offending driver.

Les McVay, chair, Edinburgh Licensed Taxi Partnership