Readers' letters: Twinning cities is about people, not politics

Where Art I? Monday September 5, 2022Where Art I? Monday September 5, 2022
Where Art I? Monday September 5, 2022
Several days before the proposal to twin Edinburgh with Gaza came to the Policy Committee I was one of five people invited to present a deputation for up to ten minutes; the day before the meeting we received a request to cut it to five. At the last minute it was decided not to hear any of us – very poor public relations for the city of Edinburgh and particularly rude to the Mayor of Gaza himself (News, 1 September).

Gaza has existed since at least the 15th century BC. Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century AD. Two proud seaside cities with populations of rather over half a million.

Gaza is known for too many negative things; I hope its future relationship with Edinburgh will help it be famous for its hand-woven carpets, wicker furniture, pottery and fresh seafood. Gaza has a very young population, with 75 per cet under the age of 25; these well-educated English-speaking young people have turned to IT as a way to beat the siege, making Gaza one of the cheapest places in the world to have a professional website built.

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Some of your readers may be thinking “Of course we should support Palestine but now isn’t the right time for twinning with Gaza”; now is always the right time to make new friends. Britain keeps talking of a Two State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, but only recognises one of those states. Twinning is a way of beginning to put that right.

Gaza, like Edinburgh, is a seaside city with a portGaza, like Edinburgh, is a seaside city with a port
Gaza, like Edinburgh, is a seaside city with a port

Twinning is never between politicians (of any party in either city); it is between two places and their peoples. When we in Derby travel to Hebron, and when we host visitors from our twin city, we do so in solidarity with those whose freedom has been denied by war, occupation and despair; but also in penitence for Britain’s broken promises and historic responsibility for injustice. We in Hebron and Derby commend this initiative.

Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall, Derby & Derbyshire Friends of Hebron, Derby

Scottish soul was sadly lacking

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo this year was a truly magnificent performance, but it has lost its Scottish soul.

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What was previously so exceptional, so different and so memorable were the friendly welcome to all our overseas visitors, the wonderful introduction to our performers as they came on to the esplanade, the emotional ending with Auld Lang Syne and last of all that feeling of deep pride in Scotland as we listened to “Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, this is my land, my native land… Scotland”.

The fireworks display was also disappointing this year and care must be taken that the military remains fundamental to the Tattoo and does not become marginalised.

This is the first year without the personal touch, after another similar year it will hardly be missed and thereafter it will be lost in the mists of time – and that would indeed be an immense shame.

Deirdre Kinloch Anderson, Longniddry


Tattoo failed to hit the mark this year

The Director of this year’s Edinburgh Military tattoo should hang his head in shame.

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There was no narrator. There was no evening hymn. There was no Auld Lang Syne.

What is the world coming to ?

Also, when we have an American forces band in town why is it that we always have to listen to the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, which is excruciating. Is there nothing else that they can play?

Iain Munro, Wirral, Merseyside

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