Letters: Tram’s getting near, but there’s little to cheer

Councillor Lesley Hind. ''Pic Neil Hanna
Councillor Lesley Hind. ''Pic Neil Hanna
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Forgive me for not getting too excited about the news that the first tram will take to the tracks on Princes Street before Christmas (News, September 17).

I know it is important to focus on the positive, but unfortunately there is so little to be upbeat about. The project will be delivered nearly three years later than was planned for.

It has cost more than double the original quote, and yet will stretch only as far as the city centre rather than going down to the waterfront as was originally intended.

And it has cost more than just millions of extra pounds, as shopkeepers have had to sacrifice their livelihoods as the construction of the project has meant streets being swallowed up by the tram works, keeping customers from getting to many businesses and spending money there.

And crucially, a minority of the city’s population will not enjoy regular use of it.

I will use it once a year or more if I’m lucky to take me to the airport for my holidays.

Just as I have done for years on the airport bus, which never tore the city centre’s streets apart or cost an extra penny.

Ken Welsh, Easter Road, Edinburgh

Don’t forget, cardinal did much for people

church high officials preach regularly about forgiveness and not judging others. And it says that no-one should be excluded from the church Yet so often the appointed officials of the church break their own rules regularly.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien was a good man who did a vast amount for the people and his church in Scotland.

The new archbishop in my mind has no right to suggest he stays away from Scotland (News, Saptember 16).

True, the cardinal made mistakes – who hasn’t?

He was man enough to openly admit it. If Cardinal O’Brien came to my door, I’d invite him in.

BS Ferguson, Pirniefield Bank, Edinburgh

Scots fed lies over oil wealth

IT has been claimed Scottish oil wealth would run out by 2028. Westminster has been telling fibs about Scottish oil wealth since the 1970s, something confirmed by former Labour Chancellor Denis Healey, pictured above right, who said it was downplayed to stop the Scots voting for independence.

Scotland could and should have been a rich nation, but we were told lies. What’s new?

J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

We don’t seem to be ‘all in this together’

WHILE we are all being battered with spending cuts, in the last year no less than ten Scottish MPs have claimed more than £190,000 in expenses, charged to the taxpayer, on top of their salaries.

This must be what David Cameron meant when he said “we are all in this together”.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar

It’s time to slay this great green monster

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly stated that it was 95 per cent sure that burning fossil fuels is causing our planet to warm.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report is due to be published on September 27, but a leaked copy of the draft will make uncomfortable reading for those who rely on the “Great Global Warming Scam” for their salaries, research projects and renewables subsidies.

The report will admit, providing it is not sanitised, that any temperature rise we can expect from man-made CO2 is lower than the IPCC stated in 2007.

It is now more than 15 years since global average temperature rose and even the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri had to concede this and that their mega-expensive computer models failed to predict this.

Independent scientists are now claiming that the world is heading for a period of cooling. The IPCC no longer has any credibility and is at a loss to explain the ever-widening gap between its doom-laden predictions and reality.

Its flawed green gospel has cost taxpayers billions of dollars/euros/pounds in fossil fuel taxes and renewables subsidies.

Time to cull this green monster.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Salmond a forgotten man at his university

As a graduate of St Andrews University one of the highlights of that august institution is the opening ceremony, welcoming the new intake of students.

Such an event is designed to inspire in the new students a sense of the history, responsibility and privilege that comes with joining an institution that dates back to 1413. This programme includes many a reference to the giants who have studied and served at the institution and in whose footsteps they are about to walk.

The name of one of these was, however, conspicuously missing from the opening ceremony last week: Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland.

What university would not wish to highlight that one of its past students was currently serving as Prime Minister/First Minister/president of the country?

Unquestionably, if a St Andrews graduate were now the Prime Minister or President, his or her name would be at the very top of the list of acclaimed alumni and cited as such at every possible opportunity and in the most reverent of manners.

Why then was at no point attention drawn to the fact that a graduate of St Andrews is the current leader of the country – a leader who is without doubt one of the most successful and significant politicians of our era?

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace,