Readers' letters: Lessons of Bonfire Night lunacy ignored

Three Bonfire Nights' ago, a horrific story unfolded in Musselburgh. Among the 'accepted norm' of attacks on the police and firefighters, a lit firework was thrown at parents and their young children in their family car.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, initiated consultations that found a large percentage of the Scottish public thought it was time to consider calling a halt to dangerous explosives being sold to anyone.

Three years later and scarcely three miles further along the road from Musselburgh, in the Niddrie area of Edinburgh, police, firefighters and members of the public, some in cars, were again subjected to horrific attacks from fireworks. Similar attacks also happened in the Sighthill and Duddingston areas of the Capital.

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There is now an ever increasing consensus that fireworks should only be displayed by properly licensed and responsible agents.

So, what's the problem? Well, in Scotland, the stumbling block is that the SNP hasn't the power to bring this about and the ruling Conservatives at Westminster are always inclined to put profit before public safety.

We just need to look back at the dreadful Grenfell Tower disaster where lives were lost because unsafe but more profitable cladding was used.

Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg added his tuppence worth into the debate by saying "socialists always want to ban everything and have no fun" adding that a ban on fireworks would make the UK Government "po-faced enders of fun".

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So, there you have it: having fun must come before public safety if you are a Tory and those who favour safety first are socialists who are just too serious.

I believe Mr Rees-Mogg and politicians like him get away with these distasteful and unhelpful remarks because members of the public are so badly divided over party politics that they are prepared to look the other way if 'their guy' makes silly utterances that simply shut-down proper debate.

When electorates worldwide are so badly divided over the issues, standing up for your guys regardless of whether you share their views or not is one of the biggest problems facing modern democracies, in my opinion.

Jack Fraser, Musselburgh.

Diabetes Day

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most serious health conditions we face in the UK, but many cases could be prevented or delayed.

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This year’s World Diabetes Day on 14 November, Diabetes UK and Tesco are launching a campaign to drive a million people to better understand their risk of type 2 diabetes.

We’re encouraging people to use Diabetes UK’s ‘Know Your Risk’ tool, with free advice and information. It is available online or at your local Tesco pharmacy for an assessment in person.

Budget-friendly recipes approved by Diabetes UK are available through the Tesco Real Food website at

With the right support, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes is doable and affordable for many people, and a few simple changes can make a big difference. Checking your risk takes just a few minutes.

Angela Mitchell, Diabetes Scotland.

Coping with CoP27

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Nicola Sturgeon is in Egypt for Cop27. The presidents of China and India - among the world’s worst polluters – will not be there. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada where coal exports are increasing is not attending either. Even Greta Thunberg is giving it a miss.

China and India increase every year by more than four times the population of Scotland; Sturegeon’s presence seems pointless.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

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