Letters: Politicians using slavery to make a point is offensive

Gone: David Berry has quit the Scottish Nationalists
Gone: David Berry has quit the Scottish Nationalists
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Councillor David Berry’s comments regarding Scots as slaves (Evening News, March 6) were more than offensive because they insulted the memory of millions of black people who were designated chattel and enslaved for hundreds of years by Scots and other British-European people.

It is to this slavery that Cllr Berry referred, to exaggerate the alleged present day treatment of Scots by other members of the United Kingdom.

Sadly, this is evident from his racist “plantation” and “Massah” comments.

There are those who have tried to moderate the councillor’s comments by stating that Scots were also “slaves”.

Historically, some British people were indentured but Scots were never branded as chattel under British law.

Under this law, a chattel slave had no right to life.

I am a descendant of black British chattel slaves and I strongly object to the councillor using my ancestors’ ill-treatment to make selfish, untrue and prejudicial political points.

In addition, I find it frightening that a politician that has held such high office in Scotland could be so ignorant of his own history that he could apply it so wrongly in such a disgraceful way.

Professor Geoff Palmer, Waulkmill Drive, Penicuik

The First Minister should have acted

The decision of SNP councillor David Berry to resign from his party over his depiction of Scotland’s place in the UK as akin to slavery is to be welcomed.

But surely he should have taken the further step and resigned from the council – the good people of North Berwick do not need such a hothead as a public representative.

However, there is a more fundamental point at stake here.

Mr Berry has made it clear that the SNP leadership made no approach to him over his slavery comments.

Mr Salmond should have stepped in and said this language was unacceptable, but he never said anything earlier this year when fellow nationalists attacked colonists taking arts jobs in Scotland so perhaps that is no surprise.

The First Minister should take off his SNP party badge and start acting like a First Minister.

M Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh

Not all in union with separation

To factually correct Fraser Grant’s letter (March 6), I wish to make it clear that only one Communication Workers Union postal branch in Edinburgh has voted to take part supporting the Yes campaign for Scottish separation.

I would also wish to add my support to Ian Murray MP’s campaign supporting Royal Mail members to keep the Strathearn Road mail depot open.

Bill Cunningham, CWU member, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh

It’s all over for the smaller shops

WHAT an introduction to the capital city – streets full of supermarkets.

The next thing we will see will be Asda or Tesco in Princes Street. What are these supermarkets being offered to open in the West End, I would like to know.

The small shops at Shandwick Place and the West End may as well close their doors. When the “big boys” come in, they have had it.

J Clark, Manse Street, Edinburgh

Trams won’t help improve habits

Richard Williams’ description of Edinburgh as a dystopian wasteland (News, February 18) cannot be denied.

Our city, which used to be so beautiful and ranked alongside so many other great capital cities of the world, can no longer be described in such complimentary terms.

Unfortunately, the tram project has been blamed for everything that’s wrong, but when the trams are up and running we will still be left with dog fouled pavements, cigarette butts and discarded chewing gum everywhere.

That’s not to mention the pools of vomit colouring our streets along with evidence of spitting.

The environment will benefit from the trams, but what do we do with the dirty, disrespectful citizens of Edinburgh who don’t care about the effect their disgusting habits have on our city?

Hazel Lightbody, Corstorphine

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