Letters: Letting 16-year-olds into pubs would solve problem

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While I applaud the initiative in Portobello and Piershill which is tackling underage drinking, I expect it will have limited results.

For every off licence in an area to target known offenders and to contact each other when someone suspicious is trying to buy booze is a good start. However, the very determined won’t be put off by this.

Teenagers always find a way round the rules and the simplest solution here would be to go further afield. I don’t mean to pour cold water on a clever idea, and I do think it will produce some results since if alcohol isn’t immediately available then culprits may well give up and find something else to do.

But perhaps a complete ban is not the answer.

The problem in Portobello and Piershill was not only to do with underage drinkers but also adults who are over 18 who are buying alcohol to give to kids. I suspect that these adults are not much over 18 themselves.

Back in the days when 16-year-olds were allowed in pubs it was rare to find even younger kids drinking on street corners. Now that 16-year-olds can’t get into pubs anymore, they get their 18-year-old friends to buy them booze and then they pass it on to the younger ones.

I personally don’t have a problem with 16-year-olds going to pubs, as long as they behave themselves, but then that is the same with everyone else. Anyone, whatever their age, who doesn’t behave themselves gets kicked out – problem solved!

G Fraser, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Heatwave gives city retailers a boost

It’s great news that soaring temperatures and eager sun worshippers are being credited concerning a boost to the local economy (News, July 18).

Traders have reported sizzling sales figures as electronic fans, sun loungers, picnic hampers and many more items are flying off the shelves due to the recent hot spell of summer weather. Also, famous ice cream firm S Luca, who have outlets in Musselburgh and Morningside, have said they are experiencing their busiest July ever, with customers queuing out the door for frozen snacks. No doubt the ice cream firm sells most delicious flavours of their product.

Of course we all want to make the most of this wonderful summer 
heatwave. Long may it last.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian.

Leith Walk signage is ironically appropriate

The roundabout at the top of Leith Walk, at the junction of Leith Street and York Place, has proudly emblazoned on its surface in huge lettering “City of Edinburgh”.

How appropriate. The roundabout is covered in weeds, the edges are broken and loose bricks scatter the uneven surface. It illustrates Edinburgh perfectly.

The traffic island to the south of this roundabout, just outside John Lewis, is also a disgrace, it even has old sandbags lying around on it!

And as for the Scottish National Gallery on Princes Street, poor old Queen Vic is sitting up there 
surrounded by weeds!

Edinburgh, Athens of the north? I don’t think so!

Margaret Taylor, Meadowbank Crescent, Edinburgh

The big picture shows poverty decreasing

It is right for A Delahoy (Letters, July 19) to be concerned about those in the world who suffer from poverty, poor health and unemployment. There are too many.

The big picture, however, is that the overall situation has improved dramatically in the last 50 years. For example, despite a doubling of the world population in the half century from 1955, the number of people living in absolute poverty fell. People live a third longer and earn about three times as much in real terms. The green revolution in agricultural 
production has been dramatic.

None of this should be taken for granted and there is no law that says we could not fall back. But the desire not to be left behind is one of the great drivers of this remarkable progress – and the benefit of this drive for improvement is clearly being felt across the world.

It is not the case that competing in the “global race” automatically brings losers and disasters.

Cllr Cameron Rose, City Chambers,


We must stand firm on genital mutilation

I am pleased that Ian Stewart has raised the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM), (Letters, July 19).

This abhorrent practice has been allowed to continue unchallenged because of the “It’s their culture and we should not interfere and we must not offend” brigade.

Tell this to the young girls who have been mutilated by their own family.

This vile butchery has been brought to this country by immigrants from specific races.

That there have been no prosecutions in Scotland, and very few in England, speaks volumes for our politically correct politicians and police who are not proactively tackling this issue but prefer to pretend FGM does not happen.

Our well-paid MSPs must immediately act and instruct the police to throw away their multicultural and politically correct handbooks and charge and then prosecute offenders.

The guilty section of our immigrant community should be targeted immediately by introducing medical checks.

If a child is found to have been “cut” then she should be taken into care and her family jailed and then deported back to their country of 


Not when you realise that a child’s life has been ruined by FGM.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road Linlithgow