Letters: Puzzling second thoughts over RHS

The old Royal High School. Picture: Angus Blackburn
The old Royal High School. Picture: Angus Blackburn
Have your say

I WRITE regarding the article ‘Heritage group in Royal High ‘mothball’ call’ (News, February 26), in which Cockburn Association director, Marion Williams, strongly condemned plans to convert the former Royal High School.

She says that “Whilst an exclusive hotel could bring economic benefits to Edinburgh, given an understanding of the history of the high school, this is not an appropriate use.”

I found this surprising since only eight weeks ago, Ms Williams expressed very different views in your article ‘Heritage groups back hotel bid for old Royal High’ (News, December 20), when she said “The building and grounds are in a sorry state and we welcome the ambitious plans that will restore and enhance the main building”.

And “that while an ‘uber-exclusive hotel’ might not provide the level of access she would prefer for the public, it was an acceptable compromise to save the old Royal High School building.”

Perhaps Ms Williams and the Cockburn Association could explain why the planned hotel conversion was acceptable two months ago but is inappropriate this week.

W Davies, Penicuik

Machines a welcome boost in survival chain

In response to your story (‘Heart-start machines for every school’, News, February 25), defibrillation, in the event of cardiac arrest, should be used as part of the chain of survival.

This chain includes calling 999 immediately, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and having access to a defibrillator as soon as possible.

When someone has a cardiac arrest their chances of survival decrease with every passing minute. It’s vital that people know what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest, which is why the British Heart Foundation launched its Nation of Lifesavers campaign last year, with the aim of ensuring that all young people and adults learn life-saving CPR skills.

To achieve this, we have a quick-and-simple CPR training programme. It enables schools and workplaces to become completely self-sufficient in teaching the three simple steps that could save a life: Call. Push. Rescue.

We applaud the family and friends of Jamie Skinner for their determination to strengthen the chain of survival. We strongly believe that no young person should leave school without knowing how to save a life.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation, London

Living Streets campaign can improve our lives

I’m sure readers will share my frustration at the issues which blight the quality of life for pedestrians in our city. Vehicles parked on pavements, speeding traffic and crossings which don’t allow sufficient time for people to cross the road can make areas hostile and an unpleasant place to walk. For older people or those with mobility problems, it can be downright dangerous.

Piecemeal and conflicting rules abound on these matters, making it confusing for police, enforcement agencies, councils and road users alike.

As the general election draws nearer, I would encourage readers to urge their local parliamentary candidates to support the charity Living Streets’ campaign for the introduction of an Active Travel Bill.

Such legislation could regularise rules on pavement parking, reduce speed limits on the streets where we live, work and go to school. It would make walking safer and easier

An Active Travel Bill could not only reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads, but create a healthier environment where walking to school, to work or to the shops is a pleasure and not a hazard.

To take action visit livingstreets.co.uk/take-action.

Georgi Ivanov, Granton Terrace, Edinburgh

Labour’s ‘fault’ was to support the Union

My head was reeling after reading Jack Fraser’s diatribe against the Labour Party (Letters, February 26).

According to Mr Fraser, Labour is a co-conspirator in every controversial economic and international event in recent history, even when they were not in power. I was surprised that he did not go further and include the Great Depression and sack of Rome.

The root cause appears to have been Labour’s support for remaining within the UK, which Mr Fraser seems to have forgotten, was also supported by a majority of Scottish voters.

It seems that, as with others of a similar mind, he has difficulty accepting democratic decisions and that Scotland is now moving on.

We can only hope that they can let this go and instead of living in the past and fomenting division, work towards a better Scotland.

Paul Lewis, Guardwell Crescent, Edinburgh

Secular Society should change name to atheist

Atheist campaigner Neil Barber tries to portray Christian hospital chaplains as offering something akin to astrology (Letters, February 26).

The large number of patients and their families who feel they benefit from the interest and concern shown to them by chaplains during hospital stays belies his jaundiced view, however, I would suggest.

Mr Barber seems to have difficulty understanding the very language he employs. For instance, Christianity is not ‘irrational’. You may disagree with it, you may not believe in it, but you cannot say that Christianity does not form a ‘rational’ and thought-out approach to our existence.

Mr Barber also claims to represent ‘secular’ views but in fact is not a secularist but a campaigning atheist. Why does he not level with us readers?

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick