The article “Top cyclist’s fears over ‘White Elephant’ track” (News, December 17) track has prompted me to write to the letters page.
On August 2012 I wrote endorsing the article by Martin Hannan “We’ve not got a sporting chance” (August 7, 2012) and calling for Sir Chris Hoy to become involved in a fund raising to refurbish the Meadowbank velodrome.
But from recent articles and published plans to sell and demolish, it seems that the refurbishment of the velodrome will not happen.
To me, seeing this happen is a matter of great regret and disappointment, having spent all my days, nights and weekends training on the track for all competitions leading up to the 1970 Commonwealth Games which culminated in me achieving Scotland’s first ever medal for cycling, a silver.
No doubt new articles on this subject will in fact have no impact on the decision to sell to raise capital for the site development, as I believe the decision was done and dusted years ago and was only shelved due to the drop in land value.
Yours in cycling (still active), Brian Temple, Edinburgh
Festival shows ugly side of Christmas
so Christmas is a rip-off then (Underbelly censorship, News, December 12). Yuletide was hi-jacked by big-business many decades ago – alongside Easter, Mother’s Day and any other celebration you care to mention.
They know a good thing when they see it, – and a captured clientele without the need for marketing costs is a gift. Mainstream society has made Christmas virtually impossible to side-step, especially for those young parents pressurised and coerced into unaffordable debt.
To “enter into the spirit” effectively translates to “here to be taken advantage of” – and big business will surely oblige.
It is the ugly side of Christmas – getting uglier by the year as it becomes more and more fine-tuned.
Simon Cowell ruined the music industry by applying a fast-buck business formula to what was once an art.
Big companies such as Underbelly are doing something similar with festival events.
Take for example the Edinburgh Fringe – Underbelly, alongside others, transformed it from a peripheral platform opportunity for fresh new talent into a massive money-spinning commercial operation, show-casing already hugely successful acts for vast profit. To exploit Christmas in a similar fashion is second nature.
Phil Cowan, Laverockbank Avenue, Edinburgh
Voters can elect party with the best options
In criticising the use of civil servants in the preparation of the White Paper on Scotland’s Future, Norman Bonney (letters, December 18) should know civil servants are employed to implement the political will of the government of the day.
The Scottish Government has released figures on the cost of the White Paper, whereas the UK government refuses to release details of what it’s spending on London’s anti-independence campaign through its numerous highly political reports prepared by civil servants.
In 2010 Alistair Darling attacked the UK government’s OBR, on whose figures much of the No campaign’s attacks are based, saying, “the Tories used the OBR not just as part of the government but as part of the Conservative Party.”
For 30 years the Westminster government concealed the findings of the McCrone Report on oil revenues which predicted an independent Scotland would be among the richest nations, with a budget surplus so large it would be “embarrassing”. Had Scotland voted for independence in 1979 it would be debt free and sitting on an oil fund of at least £68 billion after paying for our share of the UK banking collapse.
After a “Yes” vote in 2014, independence negotiations and constitutional changes will be on an all-party basis and voters will choose the party with the best options for Scotland.
Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh
Scaremongering will not frighten voters
I WAS astounded by the comment by E Billingham which exhorted the Better Together campaign “to put real fear into the Scottish public” (News, December 17). This despite the statement by that organisation the sobriquet “Project Fear” was inaccurate.
Should a campaign of “real fear” be successful the implications in the case of a “No” vote are obvious. The rest of the world will label the Scottish people as cowards who lack the courage to stand up to bully-boy tactics. Is that really what we want?
Although many of the assertions and projections by the “Yes” camp are debatable, the campaign has been largely positive – and that’s how it should be. Surely the “Better Together” campaign and its supporters should be pointing out the benefits of staying together and putting a positive spin on the project?.
I could vote either way next September, but I most certainly won’t be manipulated by fear tactics.
D McBain, Edinburgh
Give a second chance to unwanted pets
In these last few days before Christmas, many people will be considering buying a pet as a gift for a loved-one.
Caring for a cat, dog, rabbit or other animal involves an ongoing commitment of time and money over many years and the decision to get one should never be taken lightly. Every year rescue centres become inundated with abandoned animals soon after the festive season has ended.
Anyone considering adopting an animal should speak to their nearest reputable shelter about giving one of their animals a second chance.
Ben Martin, Animal Aid, Tonbridge