Rename David Hume Tower after Africanus Horton - your views

"To choose him would greatly enhance Edinburgh University's international profile”

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 7:00 am
Africanus Horton was the first African student at Edinburgh University in the 19th century

Rename David Hume Tower after Horton

As readers will know, Edinburgh University's David Hume Tower is to be renamed following the exposure of Hume's unsavoury views on race.

Under the guidance of Sir Geoff Palmer, the university's only black professor it is to canvass opinion on a suitable new name.

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While I was an undergraduate at the university I noticed a blue plaque (since removed) on the wall of the Adam Ferguson Building, commemorating Africanus Horton, the first African student at the university.

I found that Horton had come from Sierra Leone to study medicine, graduating in 1859. He then went on to become a surgeon, a writer and a political thinker, widely credited with being the father of African nationalism 100 years before the independence movements emerged.

For all these reasons Horton seems to me to be the obvious choice. To choose him would greatly enhance Edinburgh University's international profile, putting the university on the right side of history, and helping to expunge the stain of our colonial past, just as Glasgow University did in acknowledging its links to the slave trade.

Douglas Currie, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh.

SNP backing is kiss of death for BiFab

Fiona Hyslop said the Scottish government will work with the new owners of BiFab to help forge a "new future" for the two yards bought over. That is the kiss of death, since everything that the SNP-dominated government has been involved in over the last 10 years has been an unmitigated disaster.

Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty and GMB Scotland secretary Gary Smith summed it up admirably when their joint statement said, "The story so far has been one of government failure - thousands of jobs and billions of pounds have been outsourced around the world when Scottish communities should have been benefiting from these contracts."

Whatever happened to the boast that Scotland would become the "Saudi Arabia of renewable energy" and create 28,000 jobs?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Vaccine centre works like clockwork

A big thank you to everyone involved in the delivery of the Covid vaccine at the Queen Margaret University.

My wife and I attended our appointment on Saturday and we have to praise all aspects of our visit. Everything from traffic logistics, reception, introduction, pre-injection briefing, actual injection and post injection care was first class, not forgetting the St Andrew’s first aider in the rest area and everyone with a smile.

Eric Anderson, Duddingston, Edinburgh.

Nicola still has much to learn on education

Curiously, the Curriculum for Excellence report on Scottish education will not be published until after the May election. Remember Nicola Sturgeon said at the last election that we should judge her government on education? Well I have and it has failed miserably.

Then there is the farce that is the inquiry into the Salmond affair, not to mention all the SNP MSPs still collecting salaries and expenses even though they have not set foot in the parliament for months, waiting on their £50,000 payoff come the election.

Disbanding the Scottish parliament, would save the country billions that I am sure can be better spent.

Michael Rogers, Henderson Court, East Calder.