letters: Witnessing 60 years of city council vandalism

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ICAME to Edinburgh in 1956, married a Scots girls and went to the university. Ever since, I have witnessed the vandalism of successive city councils, with the exception of the brief reign of Alex Wood.

I see the hideous blocks of new buildings being erected, despite the valiant attempts of the Cockburn Association to safeguard our heritage.

We have trashed St Andrew Square and there are many other similar examples of destruction all over the city.

Listed building status is ignored and thus our cityscape is becoming uglier as each day passes.

On the plus side, the council has renovated all the city’s swimming pools and we now have a tram line, though its cost has been astronomical.

However, nothing has changed in Edinburgh concerning the pedestrian and the cyclist. The car still rules and we remain second class citizens.

I deplore the toxic city we have become as a result of the particulates emitted by engine exhausts that are a danger to public health.

Finally I have to curse the council’s decision to grant Edinburgh Academicals permission to build a shopping centre, etc, regardless of Stockbridge’s complaints and fury.

If this is not vandalism, what is?

Michael Foreman, York Place, Edinburgh

Time for Fergus Ewing to make a U-turn

Last month with great fanfare Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, convened an emergency summit in Glasgow to complain about the UK government’s scrapping of renewables subsidies.

More than 200 people attended this meeting, which heard complaints from the renewables industry that their highly profitable subsidised lifestyles were about to end.

It is, therefore, poetic justice that 200 Scottish community groups, businesses and NGOs adversely affected by wind farms, and who warmly welcomed the reductions in subsidies and stricter planning procedures, have now demanded a similar summit.

The SNP government have consistently refused to listen to anti-wind protestors but listened to Scottish renewables, the propaganda machine for the wind industry.

What a quandary for poor Fergus Ewing. Will he meet the anti-turbine protestors or refuse?

Time for a fast U-turn.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Are the Ladyboys a modern freak show?

The Ladyboys of Bangkok show is an Edinburgh Fringe regular and the key attraction of the ‘Ladyboys’ is their ambiguous sexual identity.

There is novelty in seeing men who have undergone surgical procedures to make them resemble women in some ways. Whatever issues and motivations lie behind this surgery, do we not usually find it distasteful, to say the least, that people would find entertainment in seeing the out of the ordinary results of surgery on the human body? We rightly look back with disapproval at the Victorian ‘freak show’, but is the audience attraction not similar here?

Also, there is the issue of non-platonic attractiveness. Usual sexual preferences are distorted as, for example, men find attractive other men because they look like women.

This gender convolution is a factor in the widespread involvement of ‘ladyboys’ in the Thai sex industry.

Of course, anything mixing up sexuality and gender is in vogue in our society, but is it really to anyone’s benefit, in terms of fulfilled loving relationship, to have their sexual orientation temporarily confused in this way? Sexuality, in my view, is too valuable to play games with.

Should it be banned? No, but its moral credentials are dubious.

Richard Lucas, Broomyknowe, Colinton, Edinburgh

Clockwork cars the pollution solution

News that the Scottish Government plans to ban petrol and diesel cars in favour of electric cars, to meet emissions targets, raises some questions.

Perhaps the windmills won’t generate enough electricity to keep all these electric cars charged, which may force the building of a CO2 emitting power station or two, as nuclear is banned.

Surely the best option would be clockwork cars. This would also tackle the obesity problem.

Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross

Meadows are facing destruction by BBQ

WHEN is something going to be done to stop the destruction of the Meadows? I am talking about throw-away barbecues.

Let’s start a campaign to totally ban them all. People ignore the designated areas and they are leaving horrible, burnt rectangles all over the grass.

All this takes months to recover; it is total envirnmental vandalism. They are non-recycleable and give off toxic fumes.

David Howard, Lauriston Terrace, Edinburgh

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