Letters: Leith deserves a tram line after enduring disruption

Have your say

I am writing in support of the tram extension down to Newhaven.

At the recent Leith Conference held at Leith Academy I attended the transport sub-group and a show-of-hands poll showed unanimous support for the tram extension. As a local councillor for the Leith Walk ward I have received only positive correspondence from my constituents for the tram extension. This is because they understand that everyone who lives and works along the proposed extension will benefit. There will be improvements to people’s journeys, new businesses and housing development will be attracted along the line, there will inevitably be new training and employment opportunities, improvements to existing housing stock and investment in the public realm, educational and leisure facilities.

This extension will improve the quality of life for those living beside it and if we hadn’t taken the decision to extend the line now it would have held back regeneration in this area for at least a decade as legislatively the Scottish Parliament would have had to adopt a further bill at some point in the future which would certainly take a lot more time.

My constituents have put up with a lot of disruption from the tram works for nothing so far and they deserve to see the investment they have been promised.

Bailie Angela Blacklock, Labour councillor for Leith Walk Ward, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh

Smith Agreement lets us enhance benefits

I am pleased to note that Fraser Grant (Letters, November 12), now agrees that the Scottish Parliament will have the powers to compensate for the payment of tax credits. It is not clear, however, why he objects to the method being made available in the Scotland Bill. Surely the crucial point is that the poor in Scotland will not need to suffer financially.

It should be noted that the Smith Agreement, which all political parties signed, was to keep the social security system a shared system, where the Scottish Parliament could top up benefits from the UK baseline or introduce new benefits. This arrangement enables Scotland to have the security of benefits, such as the state pension, while having the ability to enhance welfare benefits.

He quite rightly queries whether or not we can afford such compensation. This has been shown by Scottish Labour, which has a fully costed plan that is deliverable using the current powers in the Scotland Bill.

We should therefore use our additional powers to ensure that the poor in Scotland do not become even poorer. The choice is ours.

John Higinbotham, Bruntsfield Gardens, Edinburgh

Poor opposition is behind SNP’s success

Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet re-Shuffle doesn’t seem to have brought any aces to the top of the pack, with health and education in particular, struggling, and the questions remain over Michelle Thomson and Sandra White’s Tweet.

Despite this, the polls, if anything, reflect a gathering in strength of SNP support. However, this is perhaps best accounted for in the collapse of opposition parties, notably with the Lib/Dems teetering on four per cent, the brink of oblivion.

Alistair Carmichael’s slippery evasions are made so much worse by the unwholesome endorsements of what is left of his party’s hierarchy. Willie Rennie and Tavish Scott have leapt to his defence, whilst Malcolm Bruce went further, firing a broadside at every politician in the land, by branding all of them liars. Apparently none of those gentlemen think Carmichael’s actions merit an apology.

Bruce should remember that he, himself, is a politician and a Lib/Dem politician at that, and the callous abandonment of an election pledge, by Nick Clegg, made it all too plain to the public that George Washington could never have joined the Lib/Dem party!

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

Bombing Middle East is attacking ourselves

Einstein said that to repeat an action in the hope of a different outcome is insane. After 9/11 we reacted by bombing the Middle East and attacking our own liberties. After Paris there are calls to repeat this response. Why do we expect a different outcome this time?

The fainthearts are calling for the snoopers charter. France has a snoopers charter. Will we copy them? Spying on everybody dilutes our intelligence and allows criminals and terrorists to sneak through in the crowd. The answer is targeted survellance, not blanket snooping. France tried blanket snooping and look where it got them.

Calling for a snoopers charter really is insane.

Name & address supplied

ISIS discredits religion more than any atheist

The clerical fascists of Islamic State, whose bombs and bullets have murdered thousands of people in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and now France, have done more to undermine and discredit their religion than any amount of atheist propaganda could ever do.

Ian Stewart, Convener, Atheist Scotland

Bus fares should fall along with fuel prices

With regards to your story on potentially raising the price of bus fares to pay for the tram line extension (News, November 11), for months fuel costs have fallen – fares should be falling too.

D R Watt, Bellevue Place, Edinburgh