‘A successful protest needs clear objectives’

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WITH temperatures set to drop as low as minus four, the protesters camping out in Princes Street Gardens are certainly hardy souls.

If prizes were handed out for sheer, bloody-minded determination, then they should be at the front of the queue – or at least they should be if they are still there at the end of the week.

What is harder to appreciate is quite what they hope to achieve through their latest Occupy Edinburgh protest.

They do, of course, have every right to make their voices heard – and there is always a place for radical new ideas in a city like Edinburgh.

But, while their online call to action talks about “no more injustice” from “the tyrants” in our Government and banks, there is absolutely nothing when it comes down to specifics. Every successful protest in the past has tended to be clear on its objectives. We would suggest the organisers should give this some thought.

Given the time of year, their camp near the Ross Bandstand will cause nothing like the disruption it would at the height of summer. Any sympathy for the protesters, though, will vanish as soon as there is any repeat of the damage and mess caused in St Andrew Square Gardens by protests under the same banner last year.

Should that happen, there would be full public support for an eviction. However, if the forecasters are to be believed, the weather might do that job first.

Going the extra mile

The customer is always right, or so goes the retail mantra.

And at the Chester Residence, it certainly takes this to the extreme. It has just been named the best small hotel in the UK, down in no small part to its extraordinary service and fulfilling the every need of its guests.

From hiring a Jon Bon Jovi impersonator to sourcing contact lenses at 2am, nothing, it seems, is too much trouble at the New Town business.

You ask for it, and (within reason) the staff do it. At the same time they are, of course, the soul of discretion.

That is perhaps why they will not comment on reports just reaching us. Apparently a Mr A Burns has just booked in a stay with a special request for a quiet room – with a view of a completed a tram line. A Mrs L Hinds, meanwhile, has reportedly inquired whether the staff might help empty a few bins and remove an old Christmas tree or two from the city centre.

There are, of course, some things even the Chester Residence staff can’t help with . . .