Good, bad and ugly face of the Games

How might the organisation and outcomes of the Commonwealth Games affect the result of the independence referendum? First Minister Alex Salmond has imposed a “self-denying ordnance” on political debate throughout the sporting festival (your report, 23 July). It is to be hoped that this will be emulated by other senior political figures.

It might be useful, however, to consider a parallel universe in which achievements in 2014 by Scottish sportsmen and women were considerable.

Imagine a situation where Scotland had qualified for the World Cup in Brazil and outperformed England and some other European teams to reach at least the last 16 knock-out phase; Andy Murray had won Wimbledon for the second time; Scottish competitors in both the Scottish and British Open golf championships had come out on top; the haul of medals for the host nation in the Commonwealth Games was the highest ever.

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Would the temporary euphoria surrounding all this have benefited the Yes or the No side?

I think the answer to that would have to be that it would have a neutral effect. The sporting prowess would be attributed by both sides to either the supposed strength of the Scottish character or the advantages of being in the Union for training and competition purposes.

Any surge of national pride – in either the Scottish or British sense – is unlikely to have a meaningful impact on voting intentions.

A successfully organised Games, however, might create a different pubic mood. It might add to the reputation of the Holyrood government for competence and, by association, help the view that Scotland can manage its own affairs well enough.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court


Looking forward to the Commonwealth Games. Got my ticket and my instructions. Ye cannae drive to the venues. Ye cannae park at the venues. Ye cannae use the lanes reserved for the big wigs. Ye cannae carry big umbrellas.

Ye cannae pack too much food. Nae big bags. And it’ll tak ye half an hour tae get in while ye’re being frisked. And they call them the friendly games! Who’s organising them, the No campaign?

Ian Richmond


Dumfries and Galloway

Norman Bonney (Letters, 23 July) refers to the shocking reality that 80 per cent of countries participating in the Commonwealth Games criminalise homosexuality.

There is sometimes distaste for what is seen as the hijacking of an international event to showcase a political agenda but we should remember that Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games Federation constitution itself states: “There shall be no discrimination against any country or person on any grounds whatsoever, including race, colour, gender, religion or politics.”

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This is not some issue of fishing territories or the price of oranges, this is about gay people being imprisoned in their own countries for being who they are.

As nations gather in Glasgow to celebrate shared values we rightly draw attention to the values we do not share.

Neil Barber

Saughtonhall Drive