Letters: Personal political attacks do not help democracy

Have your say

How sad it has been to see the barrage of insults from senior UK politicians, aimed at Scottish voters exercising their democratic right to vote for whoever they wish to represent them in the UK parliament. Much of it has been directed at Scotland’s First Minister.

Now we have Brian Montieth joining in with his condemnation of Nicola Sturgeon (‘Sturgeon’s EU stance is pure nonsense on stilts’, Evening News, 24 April) in which he manages to link her with the Irish Republican Sinn Fein party.

I wonder why such an avid follower of politics failed to mention that the SNP policy he is referring to is also shared by the Green Party and Plaid Cymru?

We can be sure that Brian’s ‘mischief making’ Nicola will have read the all the polling figures on the European Union which he refers to, but some may question if Brian has noticed the astonishing position in the polls which she has achieved as a political leader and that of her party in voting intentions? Or, is that what has prompted his choice of words?

I for one am not misled. Attack the policies by all means but joining in the personal attack business, which has plumbed the depths of silliness in recent weeks, does absolutely nothing for the advancement of democracy.

Angus Stewart, Echline Drive, South Queensferry

Rethink over public toilet closure plan

I WAS shocked by the appalling news that ten public conveniences in the city are earmarked for closure (News, April 14).

It is an absolute disgrace; we need more public toilets, not fewer, and some of the existing ones upgraded, as they are a mess.

The people of Edinburgh don’t deserve this and neither do the thousands of visitors we have every year - it beggars belief.

Councillors, get a grip!

Mrs S Sanderson, Royston Mains Place, Edinburgh

Gordon Brown’s jibe ignores his own record

Gordon Brown, wheeled out from retirement to reprise his referendum ‘save the country from the SNP’ act, accuses the nationalists of purposely failing the poor in Scotland - hilarious!

This from the chancellor who made everyone in Britain steadily poorer with his infamous stealth taxes.

These included a savage grab on pension funds, yet he had the nerve during the referendum to promote the deliberate lie that independence would mean that Scots would lose their state pensions altogether.

He further impoverished the country by his bungling car boot sale of half our gold reserves at tinpot prices.

There is a clear movement for political change: the public at large is fed up with Labour and Tories taking turns in imposing their respective extremisms on the country, and from what I read in English papers, a growing number of people down south appreciate Nicola Sturgeon’s approach of sharing common ground with them.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Greyfriars Bobby was Willie Merrilees’ pet

ALTHOUGH there now appears to be some doubt among the local tour guides that the Greyfriars Bobby of the 1961 Walt Disney film belonged to a policeman, I can offer the following evidence which might help support the claim.

Children growing up in the Calton Hill area back then were allowed to play in Regent’s Terrace Gardens. During his dinner break, Chief Constable Willie Merrilees of the Lothians and Peebles Constabulary would regularly leave his desk at police headquarters and come into the gardens with his dog to stretch his legs.

The Skye terrier which starred in the film Greyfriars Bobby, had been gifted to the policeman by Walt Disney.

Duncan Macrae, who played Constable Maclean in the film, and Alex McKenzie, who played Auld Jock, the farm labourer, also lived in the Calton Hill area in the Sixties.

Stewart Wilson, Abbeyhill Crescent, Edinburgh

Don’t let our love of country blind us

How important is democracy to the Scots? Are we in danger of letting our love of country blind us to what it means?

That includes the right to think for yourself; not to be thought a traitor because you disagree with the dogma of any political party; for your right to be a free-thinking Scot.

Think before you put your cross on the ballot paper on May 7.

From one of the ‘auld yins’ who can still remember her name.

June Clarke, Mortonhall Park Crescent, Edinburgh

Facing the music at polling stations

HAVING voted on more occasions than I care to count, I have noted the general lack of ambience that prevails at many polling stations.

Perhaps piped music, similar to that played in supermarkets as Christmas time may help to improve the atmosphere.

In particular, may I recommend ‘Making Your Mind Up’, a hit from 1981 by Bucks Fizz.

It may be of assistance to many people who are wondering what they are doing in a church hall or school in daylight hours during the week.

Nigel Nisbet, Moat Drive, Edinburgh