Letters: Time to display common sense on use of fireworks

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Have your say

I fully agree with Steve Cardownie calling for tighter controls on fireworks after the sickening attack on the home of an innocent family (News, October 18).

Although in general I am not in favour of banning things, when it comes to fireworks I would support a full ban on the sale of fireworks to the public.

Fireworks are explosive devices and if I was to walk the streets with any other kind of explosive I would be arrested as a terrorist. Perhaps it is time that those found in possession of fireworks by the police were treated in the same manner that one would be if they were carrying any other explosive.

In a time when councils are struggling for cash, perhaps this incident could be used to their advantage by bringing in new laws. Any member of the public wishing to use fireworks should have to pay to go on a course to learn about safe use and what to do in an emergency.

This is also an opportunity for councils to charge for organised displays. I would be willing to pay up to about £10 to attend a safe and well organised display.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Death letters are a sign of failure

When Lothian and Borders Police have sent out 36 “Osman” letters warning people that they are at risk of being murdered in the last three years (News, October 19), it is clear that the world has gone mad.

The letters are a symptom of the failure of our police forces. Under the Peelian principles that once made our forces the envy of the world, the proper test of the efficiency of the police was the absence of crime and disorder. In other words, if they were doing their job properly, there would be no need to issue “Osman” letters.

Indeed, if we had a halfway proper criminal justice system, the letters would be sent out to those contemplating murder to deter them. It is a measure of the system’s failure that letters are instead sent to potential victims begging them to run and hide.

But, of course, there is a reason why police don’t send letters to these hard men. The police know that the criminal justice system has no penalty likely to frighten professional criminals.

It would be different if we had the death penalty and the willingness to use it.

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh

Labour turns its back on principles

New Labour marked the emergence of the “Tory Party Mark II”, but Johann Lamont’s pronouncements have sunk the Scottish Labour Party, (if there is such a thing), to a new low.

Her attack on free bus travel for the over-60s, free care for the elderly, free university education and the continued freeze on the council tax is completely contrary to the principles of Labour’s founding fathers.

To describe them as “something for nothing” is an insult to the staunch, prudent and tax paying people who have survived the last world war and its aftermath of consistent government mismanagement, from Westminster, on a grand scale.

We now see the emergence of a party which has not only aligned itself firmly with a coalition Government determined to destroy the progress made at Holyrood, but is prepared to attack its own working class supporters.

Apparently we have missed an operation, by a skilled plastic surgeon, which has resulted in the transformation of Ms Lamont into Maggie Thatcher, and her colleagues into true Tartan Tories!

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Saving energy is an easy switch

It was great to see you draw attention to Big Energy Saving Week yesterday (“Energy week aims to help cut fuel bills,” (News, October 22).

A new survey by the Energy Saving Trust has found that a third of Scots are struggling to pay their utility bills.

Surprisingly, while one in seven (13 per cent) would take a second job or do overtime to fuel their home, only three per cent would look for sources of help like an energy advice helpline.

Yet we can help householders to save £280 on average by taking simple energy efficiency measures.

Readers are welcome to call us at Energy Saving Scotland for impartial advice, including information about free home insulation schemes.

Chris Morris, centre manager, Energy Saving Scotland advice centre South East, Newhaven Road, Edinburgh