Letters: No grotto at Christmas time? Sleigh it ain’t so, Jenners

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I READ with interest that the “grand old lady” of Princes Street will not have a Santa this season due to a lack of space (News, October 17).

This store has had a Santa for as long as I can remember.

I mind going to see Santa myself some 50 years ago with no grotto, nor a gift from the great man himself.

All Jenners has to do is set him up on his throne so the kids can have a wee chat, and Santa could give each child a Santa sweet free. Jenners has plenty of room to site him somewhere in the vast store.

Don’t let the tradition go unanswered – think of future customers.

Norman Taylor, former House of Fraser display manager, Montague Street, Edinburgh

Let’s have debate without insults

I WATCHED Sunday night’s screening of “You have been Trumped” with a mixture of horror, anger and fear.

The planning application for the Trump golf course was denied by the local council then overturned by the Scottish Government for the sake of a handful of permanent jobs in Alex Salmond’s constituency. In the process, an ancient eco-system has been destroyed forever.

By coincidence, at the SNP conference a motion was passed by only 49 votes for a future independent Scotland to remain in Nato.

Is this the future of democracy in Scotland?

The referendum may also be decided by as little as 49 votes.

I am Scottish and love my country, but would prefer we remain in Great Britain. I resent when these views are described as unpatriotic, anti-Scottish and even Tory.

I am very concerned we are making decisions about our future but are not able to have a proper debate without being insulted.

Jenny Graham, Ferry Road, Edinburgh

Drinks firms to blame for delay

Sheila Fraser asks why minimum pricing for alcohol has been postponed (letters, October 22). This is down to vested interests in the drinks industry taking legal action in an attempt to stop the introduction of this health initiative.

Far from having a fear of supermarkets, the SNP Scottish government has introduced a tax levy on the largest supermarkets and helped well over 5,000 small businesses in Edinburgh through the small business bonus scheme.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

No way to make figures add up

I AGREED with a 14-year-old boy who said his vote in two years’ time is more important than mine at the age of 72.

He asked me: “If only 50 per cent of the Scottish people turned out to vote and the end result was 60 per cent ‘yes’, would we have an independent Scotland even though only one person in three are in favour?

I couldn’t give him a satisfactory answer.

James Mitchell, Corstorphine, Edinburgh

Finance would be grand on our own

In response to James Mitchell’s questions on independence (Letters, October 22), the latest independent Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures published in March show that, even after paying our share of the UK’s national debt, for every £96 Scotland contributes in taxes to the UK government we only get £93 back. That means each household could be £1000 a year better off with independence.

Every analysis of pensions and benefits shows Scotland is marginally better placed than the UK to meet these obligations which in the long term will be a challenge for all countries but many of the pensions he refers to are already paid for by the Scottish Government. Mr Mitchell raises doubts about North Sea Oil.

The facts are that Scotland’s share is around 90 per cent, based on the Continental Shelf (Jurisdiction) Order 1968 which laid down the legal extent of Scottish ownership.

Also, untapped reserves in this area are worth £1,500 billion and enough oil to keep us going for another 40 years.

Getting rid of nuclear weapons will save £250 million a year and in 2016 you will get a chance to choose the first independent government which I hope will not copy Tory moves towards a privatised NHS or Labour’s introduction of means testing of welfare benefits we already pay for through taxes.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh