Readers' letters: Sectarianism is alive and well in football

"Chanting “the famine is over, why don’t you go home” in reference to the Irish famine is clearly beyond the pale”

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:00 am

Sectarianism is alive and well in football

The footage of a group of football fans singing sectarian songs as they marched through the centre of Glasgow on Sunday is utterly appalling and a clear hate crime.

Chanting “the famine is over, why don’t you go home” in reference to the Irish famine is clearly beyond the pale and what is even more staggering is the apparent police escort these people were given.

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I suspect if this had been directed against Indians or Pakistanis, rather than those of Irish extraction, the police would have been less reluctant to get involved and to roll out the red carpet, as they did in this case.

With many of these so-called ‘fans’ clearly identifiable, the failure to take prompt action will clearly raise some rather challenging questions.

Alex Orr, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.

Halt global warming and rising inequality

With the UN Climate Change Conference just two months away, the search for solutions to global warming is increasingly focused on the crucial deliberations in Glasgow.

Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon must recognise that only those measures that make people’s lives better will succeed in counteracting the threat global warming poses.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognised that the gap between the rich and poor is widening, and those inequalities impede attempts to significantly reduce harmful emissions.

Electric cars won’t solve the transport problem when 90 per cent of people cannot afford them. Or that ‘heat pumps’ costing £15,000 can be installed by everyone to replace gas boilers. Or that the 100,000 people employed in the fossil fuel industries in Scotland can be left to fend for themselves just as their forefathers in mining, steel and shipbuilding were.

Yet COP26 president Alok Sharma and his fellow Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, repeatedly insist only ‘free market solutions’ will defeat the threat global warming poses. That approach will leave most of the world’s population at the mercy of those primarily responsible for those widening inequalities.

In wiser quarters there is a clearer understanding that, as with the Covid pandemic, market forces are incapable of solving this problem alone and governments will again have to play the central role.

Two key proposals are the introduction of free public transport and returning oil, gas and electricity industries to public hands. The first gives people a better alternative to using their cars and helps the poorest citizens most. The second ensures the transition to clean energy benefits everyone.

Colin Fox, Scottish Socialist Party, Edinburgh.

Sixty is the magic number for indyref2

Nicola Sturgeon and her party are outraged by the suggestion made by Alistair Jack, the Scottish Secretary, that a referendum might be held if opinion polls consistently showed 60 per cent support for such a thing over a lengthy period.

The SNP has changed its tune. Ms Sturgeon pronounced in 2015 that 60 per cent support would have to be evident for a year before she would call a referendum.

There is nothing outrageous about requiring 60 per cent support for holding a referendum or for that matter, for winning one. The SNP itself requires a more stringent two-thirds majority for any change to its own constitution. Why is what is good enough for the SNP too good for the people of Scotland?

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.