Letters: Police should be more streetwise over holidays

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I WRITE in the spirit of dismay regarding your story “Yobs torch two police cars” (News, July 9). Niddrie seemed to have an improved reputation compared to some past years.

I have lived nearby for a few decades. Now, as I occasionally walk or cycle around Niddrie and nearby, I see improvements in the area.

However, for two police cars to arrive in Niddrie and all officers to leave them empty for an intended short time should have seemed unwise, especially in the late afternoon of a hot day at the beginning of the school holidays.

I am minded of a quotation from the Book of Matthew: “Be as harmless as doves, as wise as serpents.”

John Rostron, Durham Road South, Edinburgh

Unionists acting like playground bullies

The recent revelation that the UK Government is now threatening that if Scotland votes for independence Westminster could annexe the Faslane and Coulport bases on the Clyde should come as no surprise to anyone (News, July 11).

MoD proposals to desginate Faslane and Coulport as sovereign territory, legally outwith Scotland, not subject to Scots Law and under the direct administration of Whitehall is the latest anti-independence weapon in the “Project Fear” armoury to bully Scotland into submision.

The Westminster Government proposes using the enormous costs of decommissioning Faslane and building a replacement base as a bargaining counter in future independence negotiations, in a bid to persuade an independent Scotland to agree to cede the bases.

It has, however, neglected to mention that it is against international law for one sovereign nation to pay towards the costs of another sovereign nation’s nuclear weaponry.

Neither the people nor parliament of Scotland want nuclear weapons dumped here, and last October, Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee report said that Trident “could be disarmed within days and removed within months”.

It is testament to the weakness of the Unionist case they are now resorting to the behaviour of the playground bully.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

If only Andy played bowls and not tennis

Well done Andy Murray. With his win at Wimbledon he has managed to persuade the Scottish Government to invest £6 million pounds into tennis.

I just wish my game of bowls could persuade Edinburgh Leisure into investing even £1 into our game.

Despite Scotland producing seven of the last ten world singles champions and winning the world pairs for the last three years, their answer is to close the only indoor pay as you play bowling centre in Edinburgh and provide even more soft play, even although they have just sold Leith Waterworld to a soft play company.

You couldn’t make it up.

Tony McLaren, Stevenson Lane, Newtongrange

Flying the flag should not be an unusual act

Alan Weatherhead criticises Alex Salmond for waving a Saltire whilst celebrating Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory (Letters, July 10) .

I can’t help remembering that around a year ago, the letters pages of newspapers were filled with Unionist letter writers gushing over Team GB and the numerous Union Jacks on show.

It seems to me to be double standards to bask in the waving of one flag to celebrate sporting success and criticise a politician for doing the same thing a year later, just because the flag is of a different colour.

Had a Swedish or Norwegian tennis player won Wimbledon and their Prime Minister produced their country’s flag, no-one would have found it remarkable.

Only in Scotland, it seems, is waving our national flag something to complain about.

It would appear that the Scottish cringe still lives on in the minds of some parochial Unionists.

Gavin Fleming, Websters Land, Grassmarket, Edinburgh

Parades a reminder of a despot’s demise

For many of us, Orange Order parades are unsympathetic festivals. On the other hand, rather like Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night, they remind us of something about our constitutional culture and the reasons for it.

Norman Bonney, as a secularist, seems rather selective in his history of the overthrow of James VII/II in the 17th century (Letters, July 10). James was a despot who believed in the Divine Right of Kings to govern.

As a result of the coup against him, legislation was enacted which provided that a freely elected Parliament should meet regularly .

For the first time, that Parliament was to have a right of free-speech and debate for MPs and without interference from the Crown or the courts.

These in fact were the major and lasting positive effects for us all of the overthrow of James, the last of the Stuart absolutist monarchs.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick

Union members are minority of workers

David Fiddimore is misleading when he claims most “of the majority of employed adults” belong to trade unions (Party from unions could overtake Labour, Letters, July 9).

Around 26 per cent of UK employees are trade union members – amounting to around 6.5 million.

Cllr Cameron Rose, City Chambers, Edinburgh

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