While there can be no denying the wonderful addition the pandas will be to Edinburgh Zoo and the crowd-puller they should prove to be, what will not be so wonderful is the hefty bill that will be incurred to keep them, a bill which may have to be settled by the Edinburgh taxpayer.
However, to help reduce costs, instead of having a ridiculously expensive Olympic logo made, perhaps rings could be cleverly fashioned out of bamboo and set up adjacent to the zoo.
When the publicity stunt is over the rings could then be recycled and handed over to the pandas for either food or playthings.
Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh
Fitting symbol for our capital city
EDINBURGH Castle, at the centre of Scotland’s capital, would have been an ideal site for the Olympic rings.
The interlocking rings, representing as they do five continents of the world, stand for the essential unity of the peoples of the world and our aspiration for universal peace. At the time of the ancient Olympics violent conflict had to cease and be replaced by athletic competition, with individuals striving to reach and then extend their limits. Their symbolism is important to us to. They represent our core values.
Having the Olympic rings in the centre of Edinburgh would have been a continuing reminder and expression of how Scottish people have reached out and continue to reach out to the whole world and extend a welcome here to citizens of any or no nation.
To reject it or settle for a second-rate, second-choice site would have rightly invited accusations of superficial nationalism or economic insularity.
This is only the second time in a century that Britain is hosting the Games. Scotland has been invited to join in, in many ways other than the Olympic rings.
They should have been welcomed into the heart of our capital city.
Bill MacDonald, Bonnyrigg
SNP not pro-Scots but anti-English
ALEX Orr points out the irony that if Scotland wants to remain in the EU, we may have to leave Britain (Letters, November 23).
He misses the far bigger irony that if membership of the UK with London as its capital is such a bad idea, then membership of the EU with rule from Brussels is a much worse idea.
The SNP would have us believe that even though we share this island, the English language, a common culture and centuries of shared history with our neighbours, the union with England is so bad, it must be ended.
Similarly, they would have us believe that sharing a single country with hundreds of millions of people who speak dozens of languages and share neither our history nor our culture is essential to our future.
On top of this they ignore the fundamentally anti-democratic nature of the EU. Within the last month the democratically elected prime ministers of both Greece and Italy have been removed and replaced by EU lackeys. Also, the disaster that is the euro speaks for itself.
The obvious conclusion is that the SNP is not a pro- Scottish party, but simply an anti-English one.
Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh
Whole new ball game for lawyers
THE Scottish Government’s attempts to legislate against “offensive behaviour” at football matches demonstrates the lack of understanding of what is essentially a working-class sport by middle-class lawyers and self-styled intellectuals.
Intrinsic to soccer is a tribalism which often spills over into ritualised verbal and physical violence off the pitch.
For a significant proportion of match-goers, it provides a weekly safety valve for the pent-up aggression which they are unable to vent in daily life.
The Saturday scrap between opposing supporters is part of the genuine working-0class football experience and is well understood by the real football fans who inhabit the terraces rather than watching on TV.
It is sad to see MSPs buying into the commercialisation of the sport which requires a squeaky clean family image in order to attract major advertisers. They should stick to the violence of rugby with its off-pitch politesse and stop trying to impose their standards on a milieu of which they are totally ignorant.
John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh