Letters: Strip this blemish from the face of our beautiful city

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I COULD not believe the U-turn performed by the Edinburgh heritage body, the Cockburn Association (Pulling down ‘monstrous’ block might be too brutal, News, April 8).

It adds nothing to the look and feel of the city, and it serves no purpose.

Retaining it would only serve to provide a monstrous memorial to the misguided fads of architects of the past.

We should also remember how dependent Edinburgh is financially on the tourist industry. Does anyone come to Edinburgh to visit Argyle House?

Given the scarcity of development land in our small city, I think it is an obstruction to great potential.

What about launching a competition in which architects could submit forward-looking designs?

The winning entry when built could be an asset to the city rather than the blot on the landscape which is present at the site now.

It is not even a listed building, so what is stopping the city council? It’s time to move the bulldozers in now and rid our beautiful city of this unsightly blemish.

Kenneth Welsh, Easter Road, Edinburgh

Cameron is the greatest danger

David Cameron justifies billions spent on a new round of nuclear weapons by claiming that North Korea has the capacity to hit the UK with nuclear missiles.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a dodgy dossier in his back pocket saying that they could be prepared and fired in 45 minutes.

How dare a Prime Minister think so little of his people that he could imagine we’d fall for the same trick twice!

There is no conceivable circumstance that would induce the UK to explode a nuclear device in another country – even revenge, so the Dear Leader is right, for once, in wanting to kick them out of Scotland . . . but we ought to kick Cameron out of Westminster first; he’s even more dangerous to the country than his missiles are.

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Welfare reforms backed by many

The large number of people who welcome the welfare reforms may surprise Alan Lough (Letters, April 6) who focuses on “angry” people.

Opinion polls consistently confirm that a large number of people recognise the need for the reforms and support them.

I suggest that is for two main reasons. First, across the board, people see the reforms bring a degree of fairness to the complicated and chaotic system which has grown up over recent years.

Secondly, they bring a measure of control to the spending boom on welfare which is funded by borrowing and costs us all dearly. Housing benefit, for example, has doubled in ten years.

There is, however, good reason to be angry.

That is that the unfairness has taken so long to be addressed.

Cllr Cameron Rose, City Chambers, Edinburgh

Don’t gamble with food supply

High food prices are a serious problem across the world. People on lower incomes in the UK are having to cut back their weekly grocery shopping, while in poorer countries high food prices can be a matter of life and death.

The changing climate and the increasing use of food crops for biofuels are part of the problem. But banks are also culpable. Financial speculation by banks and hedge funds is fuelling food price rises, often pushing them much higher than supply and demand can explain.

We need to make sure that the finance sector stops making easy money at the expense of hungry people.

Food is too important to be subject to reckless financial gambling.

Francis Wells, James Lean Avenue, Dalkeith

Punish these vile rock throwers

SHAME on the mindless yobs who hurled rocks at passing cars from a bridge over Scotland’s busiest motorway, the M8 (News, April 5).

Police have launched a bid to track these vile morons down. I hope they will be successful.

It’s a miracle no-one was seriously injured or killed.

These vile offenders responsible for the dangerous offences should be severely prosecuted for endangering the lives of passing drivers.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh