Letters: Nation’s people deserve a more fruitful future

Dancer in a club
Dancer in a club
Have your say

Margo MacDonald shows an awareness of the need for Scotland to have a population policy (We’d have the best of order with our border, News, August 14).

For too long the SNP, Labour and Tories in Scotland have welcomed mass immigration without any thought as to the pressures being put on competition for jobs, social housing, schools, NHS and the 

Strawberries being picked

Strawberries being picked

As to fruit farmers stating that they need workers from Eastern Europe to pick the berries – what farmers really mean is that they want the cheapest labour possible.

For more than a century the berries in Scotland were picked by locals from towns such as Perth, Blairgowrie and Dundee. If farmers paid a decent wage then plenty of locals would pick the berries.

Scotland needs a population policy and with the referendum in 2014 it is time for the Better Together and Yes Scotland campaigns to tell the Scots what their population policies are.

What do they want the population of Scotland to be? How many immigrants do they want in Scotland?

Where will they live, what housing, schools and other public services will be provided and what will it cost?

Immigration and population will be a major issue during the referendum and Scots demand the facts.

Margo shows her complacency and lack of ambition when she states that Scotland’s population could increase by 50 per cent and still maintain the quality of life and services we enjoy.

Vast numbers of Scots have a poor quality of life, public services are being slashed, squalor and rubbish are everywhere, food banks proliferate, illiteracy is widespread and yet Margo just wants to maintain the inadequate status quo!

Where is her ambition for the best quality of life possible for all the people living in Scotland?

Jim Stewart, Oxgangs Avenue, Edinburgh

Cheap and nasty not just in the city centre

THREE cheers to James Naughtie who referred to the “cheap and nasty” heart of the Capital (News, August 13). I think many residents would agree with him.

I think it should be extended to the beautiful New Town where streets are dirty and ridden with weeds, litter and dog fouling.

Top of the list is St Stephen Street. Sad, dirty, with disgusting litter and weeds that are two feet tall. Most dangerous of all are missing railings, ideal for toddlers to fall into basements.

Visitors are being invited to view the street, as it won an accolade for being one of the best streets.

Has anyone visited the Stockbridge Market archway? Always filthy and a haven for dogs. It’s all so unnecessary.

M Chaplin, Edinburgh

17th century puritans ought to get a life

HOW sad that some people think we should shut down saunas and lap dancing bars as “right-minded” people think they are disgusting (Letters, August 6).

How come other EU countries can handle an adult entertainment industry in their capital cities and it enhances tourism, but not in Scotland? When we become independent, I look forward to Scotland being brought up to the same level of civilisation as countries such as Denmark and Sweden, who can trounce our country at anything now.

This is thanks to the 17th century puritan witch burners. Get a life.

Colin Smail, Viewforth Gardens, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh

Travelling blind to flaws of rail service

RobERt Drysdale pleads for the monolithic East Coast franchise to remain with the Department of Transport (News, August 13).

How blind can some travellers be? Does he really believe that its passengers receive courteous service? Waiting on a cold Waverley platform with the train already in position but nobody to let one board?

In East Coast franchise time, how many additional services has it operated to Dundee/Aberdeen or Perth/Inverness?

Indeed fewer, as it’s easy to cancel, at a whim, the onward Scottish leg and concentrate on the core Kings Cross/Newcastle sector.

In the same period, compare the extra capacity provided by Trans Pennine and ScotRail both privatised. The additional services to Wester Hailes and West Calder, Musselburgh and Dunbar, the list is endless.

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh

Where are the bones of King James buried?

During August at the Trades Maiden Hospital, Melville Street, an exhibition commemorates the Battle of Flodden Field on September 9, 1513. Legend has it that the Blue Blanket, the affectionate name for the Standard of the Crafts within the Burgh of Edinburgh, was carried into battle and after the disastrous outcome was retrieved and brought back to the Capital by Randolph Murray, Captain of the City Band.

The iconic Standard on display is a 17th-century replica. Also included is the rarely shown life-size painting by William Brassey Hole depicting a weary Murray on horseback.

But what of King James IV, the last monarch in the British Isles to be killed in combat? James’s severed head was reputed to have been hastily buried at St Michael’s Wood Street in Cripplegate, within the City of London. Legends have grown as to the location of his corpse. These have ranged from Hume Castle and Roxburgh Castle to Holyrood Abbey and Berry Moss, near Kelso.

Perhaps after the recent publicity surrounding the finding of King Richard III’s remains in a nondescript parking lot in Leicester, the Flodden and the Blue Blanket exhibition in Edinburgh might stimulate renewed research into the site of James IV’s bones.

Duncan McAra, Beresford Gardens, Edinburgh