Letters: Trump revelation puts doubt on all policy endorsements

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According to Trump Minor, his billionaire Dad’s cosy relationship with the Dear Leader ended the day that Donald Trump refused to sign an unsolicited press release, drafted by Alex Salmond’s spin doctor, no less, endorsing the SNP’s early release from prison of the convicted terrorist al-Megrahi.

Why should we, ever again, believe that statements in support of SNP policies by academics, businessmen or celebrities were not dreamed up, in the first place, by the First Minister’s press office?... a case of lies, damned lies and statements by third-parties in support of the SNP perhaps?

A few FOI requests for press office material around dates associated with so called “independent” endorsements of SNP policies might throw up some interesting facts... I can hear the delete buttons clicking, and shredders humming already!

It’s time the opposition parties at Holyrood did something useful and launched a joint inquiry into the extent, and methods used by, the Dear Leader’s press office to improperly influence the voting intentions of the Scottish elector.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Rubbish apathy 
is spreading

I have been a resident and business owner for eight years in the Grassmarket area, a “cosmopolitan” area of the Capital that the council has a policy of cleaning and sanitising before 11am every day, according to the environmental department.

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve telephoned the department regarding the rubbish, urine, broken glass, beer bottles, household items, takeaway food wrapping etc that gets missed and left for days sometimes.

Last Monday the refuse collection missed one black bag, days went by and so by Saturday 5pm this had turned into several black bags, broken 
bottles, chip paper and was stinking of urine and we still had Saturday night to come.

On fixing the gates onto the shop window (a necessity to avoid them being smashed) I witnessed two environmental wardens walking past this rubbish and taking no notice.

My apathy is increasing like the rubbish left by the council.

Gary Mckenzie, Grassmarket, Edinburgh

Castlebrae could be Porty’s answer

I was of course sad to see the news of the closure of 
Castlebrae school.

But as I believe that most of the pupils have been moved to other schools, it seems to me to be too good an opportunity to miss – or two opportunities.

Number one, move all the pupils from Portobello secondary into the empty Castlebrae, with extra portacabins if necessary. Then build the new Portobello school on its original site.

Option number two, build the new Portobello school on the Castlebrae site. Yes it’s a bit out of the area for a “Portobello” school, but what reasonable and possible other options are there? It could get a new name that included Portobello.

B.S.Ferguson, Pirniefield Bank, Edinburgh

Labour already lost debate on services

Johann Lamont has upset not just Martin Hannan 
(Walter Kazmierczak, Letters, October 8), but many Labour supporters I know, who are disgusted by her Tory “something for nothing” comments and her plans to introduce costly means testing for services we have already paid for through taxation.

Despite having our London Allowance slashed by successive Labour and Tory UK governments, John Swinney has balanced the Scottish Government’s budget every year and has protected the hard won gains in public services made by the Scottish Parliament.

We already had a debate in 2011 on council tax, tuition fees, care for the elderly, bus passes and prescription charges and Labour lost the argument.

If Johann Lamont was “honest” she would bring forward Labour’s budget for 2012-13 and tell us now which services she thinks should be cut.

Janice Thompson, Walter Scott Avenue, Edinburgh

Walkers with packs of dogs are nuisance

My husband and I walk our dog up Corstorphine Hill or Cammo Woods. We regularly encounter dog walkers with ten or more dogs all running about loose, which is very intimidating.

The other day a dog walker had 13 dogs all running loose, also these dogs came out of a small van with no windows.

We have never ever seen any of them carrying poo bags.

H Porter, Edinburgh