Letters: We must run rings round plans for Olympic symbol

WHILE I am looking forward to the London Olympics in 2012, I am completely opposed to the idea to erect giant Olympic rings on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

Firstly, the Castle is an ancient monument and arguably the most iconic building in Scotland due to its historic and cultural importance.

Secondly, the Castle is the location of Scotland’s National War Memorial, which makes the idea inappropriate and offensive.

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If the London Olympic Committee has a strategy of using iconic buildings as a form of “Disneyland” to advertise the Games, why not use Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle or St Paul’s Cathedral?

I thought not. The idea has as much credibility as putting Julian Clary in charge of a cage fight – it is bonkers and should be rejected out of hand.

Jack McLaren, Northfield Crescent, Edinburgh

Activists behind political backing

YOUR report claims that three of the MSPs with the biggest personal votes are Malcolm Chisholm of Labour and Margaret Smith and Mike Pringle, former Liberal Democrat MSPs (News, November 17).

I would not quibble with the assertion as regards Mr Chisholm. His personal popularity is down to his commitment to principles that cross party lines. This is probably what ensured that he defeated the SNP’s Shirley-Anne Somerville, who is manifestly more able than some of the other SNP candidates who are now MSPs in Edinburgh.

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However, more generally, I question the report’s conclusion, based as it is on comparing the constituency vote for a candidate to the list vote for that candidate’s party in the same constituency.

This strikes me as having rather more to do with how hard a party’s team of activists worked the constituency than with the personal popularity of the MSP or candidate in itself.

There is no doubt that Edinburgh West and Edinburgh Southern saw active campaigns by the Liberal Democrats. It is just that they were not enough to offset the party’s dismal performance both here in Edinburgh and at Westminster.

Gavin Corbett, Briarbank Terrace, Edinburgh

Another blow for council tax payers

Walking into work along Frederick Street it was good to see a display of workmanship at its very best.

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It was windy on Thursday night, but that is not an excuse for a number of the pedestrian crossing lights, only put up in the summer, having already fallen over. I am sure these will be erected again in due course, at considerable expense to the Edinburgh council tax payer.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Portrait Gallery is stuck in the past

THE Out of the Shadow: Women of 19th Century Scotland display is tucked away at the far end of the top floor of the newly renovated Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Meanwhile, almost all the portraits in the ground-floor cafe and shop are of men. Perhaps this is a playfully ironic homage to this otherwise splendid gallery’s original 19th century ambience?

Greg Michaelson, Arden Street, Edinburgh

Labour deserves Muirhouse credit

I WRITE to correct some factual inaccuracies on the part of your correspondent, Maxime Delattre (Interactive, November 17).

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It is true the Labour administration supported the demolition of some of the damp-ridden, hardest-to-let homes in Muirhouse. However, Labour backed this up with a costed programme and budget to replace those homes, coupled with a parallel build programme to ensure the community and its shopping centre remained vibrant.

Labour’s record in Muirhouse should be remembered in the regeneration of central Muirhouse, a new public park, a new library, a new community centre, a new arts centre, hundreds of affordable homes and, of course, a brand new school.

Councillor Cammy Day, Labour group, Forth ward