Opening spectacle did Scotland proud

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The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, although not in the same league as the Olympics, was a colourful and magnificently understated spectacle, underlined by the friendliness and unique Glasgow humour and beamed to a TV audience of one billion worldwide.

With the proud words of Billy Connolly along with dancing teacakes, sonsie Scottie dogs and great musical contributions, it could not fail to bring a smile to a world beset with turmoil and tragedy.

Sadly, just ahead of the opening ceremony the Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of “flying the flag for Britain” throughout the Games, adding that his job was to “sell the UK”.

However, the excitement of 5,000 athletes, all 
coming together from 71 
nations and territories of the Commonwealth, being
welcomed by their Queen had a special poignancy.

The Queen’s Baton had travelled around 120,000 miles worldwide spreading delight with an open and friendly welcome to visit a vibrant Scotland soon to be an independent part of her Commonwealth.

With the backdrop of
humanity, equality and destiny, the taking of the
athletes’ oath to strive and compete with honour was both moving and impressive.

Above all, the wonderful and unparalleled idea of the Unicef Commonwealth Charity Appeal to put children of the world first was outstanding and warmed the heart. Well done, Glasgow and
Scotland.

Finally, irrespective of medals won, this is a triumph worthy of a nation issuing a warm and friendly message of welcome to the world.

Grant Frazer

Newtonmore

My sense of humour almost abandoned me as I watched the near farce over the baton opening towards the end of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Prince Imran of Malaysia may have had a good chuckle in hindsight over what happened (your report, 25 July).

At one point, however, it threatened to reduce the entire organisation of the sporting carnival, and the host nation, to ridicule.

Hundreds of millions of television viewers across the globe must have been aghast at the incompetence.

The efforts of thousands of volunteers, police and security officers throughout the world had ensured the safe passage of the baton through many of the competing countries. Many prominent
individuals had basked in the publicity afforded by
holding it aloft.

Complacency in rehearsal and lack of foresight nearly caused all that idealism to flounder, so to speak, at the last hurdle.

This final symbolic act of the entire ceremony should have been practised far more than appears to be the case.

As it happens it appeared to me that the Queen was prepared for any eventuality. She had a copy of the message on the podium
before her. So even if the baton had not been opened at least her words of greeting and encouragement would have been heard.

It just seems a pity that such a fun-filled and friendly evening was nearly spoiled by cackhandedness and oversight.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court

Glenrothes

I may be a confirmed No voter but I can still support Team Scotland. Thursday was a great day.

Ken Currie

Liberton Drive

Edinburgh

From Joyce McMillan’s 
liberal establishment
perspective, John Barrowman “struck a blow for gay 
rights across the Commonwealth by planting a kiss 
full on the lips of a young male dancer” (Perspective, 25 July).

Anyone sharing the
perspective of mainstream churches in Britain will
disagree, and see it instead as a shameful national endorsement of sexual immorality.

Leaving the homosexuality aside, what is the relationship between Mr Barrowman and the “young” dancer?

Did he just pick one at
random? Would it be acceptable for a male performer to similarly kiss an anonymous dancing girl?

That would hardly seem to “strike a blow” for Ms McMillan’s beloved feminism?

Mr Barrowman struck a blow for the trivialisation 
of sexual relations and
further eroded our society’s crumbling foundation of sexual fidelity, commitment, marriage, child rearing by parents, and the complementary roles of mother and 
father.

Liberals such as Ms McMillan wish to see their agenda pursued overseas with
missionary zeal, but I hope that leaders in Commonwealth nations look closely at the problems in Scottish society before accepting the 
imperialistic exhortations of those who have been ushering in the decline of
Western civilisation for the last 50 years.

Richard Lucas

Broomyknowe

Edinburgh

Every time a Scot wins a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games do we have to have that dreadful anti-English dirge Flower of Scotland played?

In addition to the dreary tune the words are totally inappropriate for an event promoted as “The Friendly Games”.

It would be infinitely more appropriate to play Highland Cathedral, a fine piece of music of which every Scot could feel proud.

J E D Cormie

Craiglea Road

Perth

Thanks to John B 
Gorrie (Letters, 25 July) for his stentorian correction of my droll commentary on the Commonwealth Games “welcome”. I see you’re frae Embra.

Ian Richmond

Springfield

Dumfries and Galloway