Letters: Royal High School plan is an embarrassment

Artist's impressions of how the former Royal High School site could look under new plans. Picture: Contributed
Artist's impressions of how the former Royal High School site could look under new plans. Picture: Contributed
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The CGI image of the proposed £300 a night hotel at the Royal High School is awful. It looks like a cheap pack of playing cards.

Compare that load of cheap tat to the likes of the Acropolis or even Buckingham Palace and it is an embarrassment beyond belief.

In even 100 years’ time, far less a thousand, this proposed, tatty hotel with be a crumbling pile of wood and glass - just like the farcical seat of government in Holyrood will doubtless be.

Time to bring back old-fashioned, proper buildings that will stand for hundreds or thousands of years, instead of the modern tat that is marrying with the tartan tat shops strewn up and down the Royal Mile.

Alan Hunter, Morningside, Edinburgh

Cameron’s woes show the need for poll enforcement

The challenges created for the Prime Minister by the fact he has a slim parliamentary majority of just 12 are now coming in thick and fast.

Mr Cameron’s latest climb down on the European referendum purdah restrictions is the fourth UK government U-turn on the Euro poll. It demonstrates that he is no longer in control of events, events and parliamentary arithmetic are controlling him.

First Mr Cameron backed down on collective Cabinet responsibility. Then he collapsed on timing in his attempt to hold it on the same day as the Scottish elections when facing parliamentary defeat in June.

He then got turned over by the Electoral Commission on the referendum question and most recently he has retreated on his attempt to rig the campaign by using ministers and civil servants during what should be a strict purdah period.

In the Scottish referendum Mr Cameron agreed to a purdah period, and then blatantly ignored it by producing last-minute new initiatives such as ‘the Vow’ and using the ‘referendum unit’ in the Treasury to orchestrate a scare mongering campaign by pressuring banks and other companies.

Both of these were blatant breaches of purdah. Understandably, MPs on both sides of the argument do not want to see a repeat in the Euro poll, and what is required is an enforcement mechanism against breaches of purdah covering both ministers and civil servants.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Time to clean up the Scott Monument

I have spoken to a number of tourists visiting Edinburgh. When listing the ‘negatives’, many of them comment on the dirty, black buildings.

I understand there are problems in scraping the stone on these dirty buildings. However, surely it must be possible to pulverise the original stone into dust, add glue, and then spray paint the buildings.

Technology will provide the solution.

Once the magic paint is available, I would start with the Scott Monument.

Bill Vivian, Gracefield Court, Musselburgh

Political point scoring over refugee crisis

Politicians often expose their ‘not in my back yard attitude’ when trying to land political point-scoring blows.

Today we have Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham taking every opportunity to play the refugee/immigration asylum card by telling us all we need to move over a bit and make more room in this overpopulated country.

Each of them, with at least two homes, many times the national average wage, even to the extent of not having to pay the congestion charge in London that is in place because of the overcrowded roads, is all indicative of the sheltered lives they live in the Westminster bubble.

Colin Cookson, Stenton, Glenrothes

Salmond’s faith verdict rules out half of Scots

We were concerned to hear that Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond prefers “people of faith to people of no faith or people who have lost their faith”.

What can Mr Salmond possibly mean by this divisive statement which discriminates against half of Scots?

Surely he cannot think that moral integrity, community spirit and faith in humanity are only possible through belief in a supernatural being?

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive