Comment: Hope Ferris wheel won’t outstay welcome

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THE Festival is a special time for Edinburgh. The city’s population almost doubles in size, hotel and restaurant bookings are scarce and the Capital becomes a giant poster site for thousands of shows.

But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our festivals bring in millions of pounds of revenue and put Edinburgh on the world map.

So we accept a bit of disruption for the greater good. And this year that disruption includes a giant Ferris wheel on Princes Street. A wheel has been part of the city’s Christmas festival for a number of years but extending it to July and August is clearly a money-making opportunity for the city council. It will also be popular with tourists who want a fresh way to view our beautiful city.

The main concern must be that the Ferris wheel does not outstay its seasonal welcome. Edinburgh is not a fun park. And while we can accept that the city changes during Festival and Christmas seasons, we don’t want our magnificent views of the Castle and the Scott Monument to be spoiled by flashing lights year-round.

No place for abuse

THE personal abuse heaped on JK Rowling after her donation to Better Together has highlighted once again the poisonous undercurrent in some of the debate around the referendum.

It is natural and right that people should feel passionately about where Scotland’s future lies. The decision facing us could hardly be more important. It is not surprising the argument sometimes gets heated and strong words are used, but personal attacks and vilification have no place in this debate.

At Margo MacDonald’s memorial service, her husband, Jim Sillars, relayed her concern about the divisions being created and the need for Scots to work together afterwards. She urged a debate without malice and a refusal to regard opponents as enemies – wise words which should now be heeded.