Jim Sillars may be right to say that immigration brings added demands on housing and other services (News, May 29). The question is what we do about it? Scapegoat immigrants (as throughout history)?
Or provide services to meet demand, safe in the knowledge that immigrants are net contributors to the nation’s balance books – ie each new arrival contributes more in tax than he or she secures in services?
But Mr Sillars is surely wrong to equate a rising Ukip vote to real fears about immigration. In Scotland, the Ukip vote was highest in places like Moray, Aberdeenshire, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, hardly hotspots of immigration. Meanwhile in our more ethnically diverse cities – Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh – the Ukip vote was lowest. In other words, places with actual experience of immigration and ethnic diversity are less likely to vote Ukip.
What Ukip seems to be doing is tapping into fear of change and a sense of (justified) anger about political elitism. As time goes by and Ukip’s elected representatives prove to be utterly useless at doing anything practical, the vital task of restoring public confidence in good government will fall on others, both in and out of formal politics.
Gavin Corbett, Green councillor for Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart
Butcher uses ‘archaic style’ of football
I strongly disagree with the headline in Anthony Brown’s article “Butcher needs to create a side to fit his own style” (News, May 27).
We heard from the man himself when he joined Hibs that “he wants the team to get the ball forward as quickly as possible”. In reality this meant aimlessly lumping it forward at every opportunity.
To quote Michael Stewart in a recent TV programme “this is an archaic style of football” which almost no professional team, apart from the current Hibs team employ.
Hamilton Accies showed us how the modern game should be played.
Terry Butcher should go now as his style of football is out of date, painful to watch and so unsuccessful that his record at Hibs must go down as one of the worst records of any manager in any league in the world.
Vincent McCann, Ferniehill Gardens, Edinburgh
Use of mobile should incur a driving ban
Why do we watch the news when so much of it is bad? Does it make us miserable and depressed? Does it compromise our ability to communicate with one another in a polite and friendly manner? Does it lead to bad manners (road rage) on the road?
Sky News reported on a lorry driver using Skype on his laptop. Will those who heard the report now be looking out for dangerous lorry drivers rather than watching the road ahead?
Given that the reaction times of drivers using a mobile phone has been shown (by the Transport Research Laboratory) to be far slower than some drink-drivers and the DfT saying that you are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving, shouldn’t we pressure the government into making mobile-phone and computer use at the wheel, a driving-ban offence – the same as for drink-driving? Hasn’t mobile phone use become seriously antisocial? Shouldn’t we be better protected from stupidity?
Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe
Miliband offers puny devolution proposals
WE have had months of fear-spreading concerning Scottish independence, demonising Alex Salmond. Now we are experiencing a Labour party bearing gifts in a charm offensive led by Ed Miliband, offering beads to the natives in the form of a contract with the people of Scotland.
Miliband vows to give Scotland more power if he is elected. In his contract are income tax, housing benefits and the works programme. In reality, under Labour there would be puny devolution proposals.
Westminster would still be collecting 80p from every pound of Scottish taxes. As for nuclear subs, they would stay at Faslane. It’s all another public relations soundbite. Scotland can’t thrive under the union.
J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh
Council should get back to grass roots
FOR many years Edinburgh council has had to juggle it’s budgets between all departments. The city’s finances are, let’s be honest, in a parlous state.
The SNP Government’s eagerly given and received vote-winner, the freezing of council tax, was always going to have a downside. Now it’s being considered to have 20mph speed limits on certain streets, at a cost of circa £2.5m.
Please, please could the money be spent on shoring up some existing department budgets. I’m thinking of the year on year cutbacks for funding grass cutting. It’s not critical and it’s not sexy.
What it is, though, is a very obvious expression of the level of pride we have for our city.
Graham Davidson, Edinburgh
Children’s safety at school must come first
It is very concerning that children will face crossing one of the Capital’s most congested roads to reach their playground under plans to create desperately needed outdoor space at an overcrowded primary school (News, May 24).
Education bosses want to use a bowling green as an off-site play area for kids at Broughton Primary but this plan is dangerous. Though these new plans are essential for the overcrowded school surely the children’s safety must come first.
June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh