FOOTBALL fans are once again hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons (Helen Martin, January 25).In my opinion, one way to counter this is to insist that all clubs have photographic evidence of all fans who buy tickets and go to home and away games.
The clubs would then know who was sitting where at games, and could identify troublemakers more easily.
Clubs would also have to keep a note of who bought which tickets for away games, and where they are sitting. I’m sure taking a photograph and putting it on a season ticket, would only add £5 to the cost. A small price to pay.
I would also stop fans being able to just turn up on the day and purchase a ticket at the turnstiles, as I believe this would discourage people looking to cause trouble.
Finally, police need to take action. Many Hibs fans were complaining again about trouble at Ibrox, with missiles being thrown, and the usual bigoted chants and singing of banned songs. Fans who did complain to the police say they were told to sit down and shut up or they would be arrested for a breach of the peace!
I know it is difficult for police to go into a large crowd to pick out individuals, but surely they could report the trouble, so that their CCTV operators could gather evidence? And by knowing who is sitting in row F seat 23, the police could arrange a 6am knock on the door of the guilty party, during the following week. It’s only by showing fans that some actions won’t be tolerated that the problem will reduce.
Too many clubs just wring their hands and say, “But it is only a minority of fans who cause trouble” – sadly it’s not! It’s good to see Ann Budge, at Hearts, isn’t afraid to tackle the problem head on, but all clubs need to follow her lead.
• Alun Thomas, Sinclair Close, Edinburgh
Renewables can’t do all generating work
As an SNP candidate, Toni Giugliano should know that it is not SNP policy to “generate all our electricity from renewable sources by 2020” (Platform, 26 January). The policy is to generate the equivalent of at least 100 per cent of gross electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020. Even the SNP realises that all our electricity cannot come from renewables.
Indeed, it has declared that renewable generation will be supported by a minimum of 2.5GW of thermal generation, presumably gas-fired, progressively fitted with carbon capture and storage. Further, it proposes to reduce demand by 12 per cent, but with no target date for that or any idea of how it could be done. Whether or not all this is practical is another matter. Personally, I doubt it. More likely, the SNP’s policy will, at times, lead to huge imports of electricity from England and/or power failures.
• Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh
Raising the roof to defend against rocks
A possible answer to the rock falls on the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful would be to erect an avalanche cover similar to those used in Canada, the USA and Switzerland – a “roof” over the relevant section but open sided and strong enough to effectively protect from any snow or rock fall.
• CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens Edinburgh
Time for Lib Dems to cough up
I refer to the article about the Lib Dem “plan” to tackle pollution on St John’s Road, Corstorphine (“Lib Dem hands out safety mask on polluted street”, January 20). Firstly, the “plan” is a plagiarism of an SNP leaflet I received through the door some weeks ago – with one exception – the Lib Dems completely fail to address the elephant in the room, commuting traffic from Fife and West Lothian. When the Forth Bridge was closed in December there was a notable difference in both Queensferry Road and St John’s Road – Edinburgh’s two most polluted streets. But as SNP candidate Toni Giugliano has stated, in order to persuade Fifers to leave their cars behind we need to dramatically transform the Fife circle service, which leaves much to be desired.
As for the Lib Dems, they ran Edinburgh Council for five years – what did they do to address pollution and congestion to the west of the city? And, why don’t either of their remaining councillors sit on the planning committee to argue against new housing on the Green Belt? This is opportunism at its best from a dying party.
• Lorna Telford, Corstorphine Bank Terrace, Edinburgh
Strike action isn’t an easy option
Jimmy Haddow got himself in a bit of a muddle (“No need for politicians to set budget”, Letters, 26 January). Initially disagreeing with my suggestion that Holyrood and the SNP and Labour councils could refuse to set Tory austerity budgets, he went on to say, “Collectively, the Scottish Parliament and the SNP and Labour Councils have real financial powers to begin a campaign of defiance”. Sounds very like my thoughts, but on reading between the lines, Jimmy’s campaign of defiance calls for strike action by public and private sector workers. It’s all very well for Jimmy, who won’t have to strike, making this noble call for others to make the sacrifice, but as a socialist, he should know that the material conditions for strike action are wanting, due to the emasculation of the unions by successive Tory and New Labour administrations.
Instead of attacking anti-austerity people, Jimmy should be trying to unite the left to get progressives elected in the coming election for the Scottish Parliament. Sadly, because of internal squabbling, Scotland’s left is divided, making it extremely difficult to have socialists elected who could challenge Tory austerity.
• Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh