Letters: Developers should keep their hands off Canongate

WHILE it was good to read that there were signs of movement on the development of the Caltongate site, I was concerned to read that the possible demolition of the Ark building was back on the table (News, February 11).

Am I mistaken in thinking that when Edinburgh’s Old Town was give the prestigious designation as a World Heritage site the Ark and the adjacent buildings were not included in the Heritage site?

Why do the developers feel it necessary to encroach onto the Canongate? Are they concerned their development will not attract any attention if it doesn’t have some overbearing presence on the High Street?

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If their development is of good quality they should have the confidence in knowing their work on the Caltongate site will stand out on its own merits.

Jeremy Lewis, Durar Drive, Edinburgh

Electric cars are not watt we need

Helen Martin’s article (News, February 11) was spot-on. Electric cars are not the answer and it is a waste of taxpayers’ money to spend £2.6 million on charging points, especially as we are about to see the advent of the Honda Clarity, a fuel cell car, which runs on hydrogen and doesn’t pollute.

The only thing that comes out of the exhaust is water. No doubt the Greens will say that electric cars don’t pollute, easily forgetting the fact that batteries contain vast amounts of pollutants, including lead. If they spent the money on installing hydrogen pumps at filling stations, it would be money well spent.

Mike Sanders, Edinburgh

Scotland is not 
an equal partner

If the UK/British state is legally the same without the Scots in it as the British Government is now claiming, then this proves that Britain has always been a “greater England” and not an equal union.

Jack Straw admitted in an interview with the BBC that: “Historically, England called the shots to achieve a union because the union was seen as a way, among others things, of amplifying England’s power worldwide.”

Unionists say that Scotland and England are equal within the union, but the reality is that we are no more equal than the UK would be if it was attached to a larger nation like China.

Not only has Scotland been effectively internationally invisible within the union, we are now told that every action by the UK Government and every treaty organised by it had nothing to do with us at all!

What this means logically is that Scotland has never been part of any true union, just a convenient fiction which has justified England claiming a larger international profile than it deserves.

Ending the union will mean for the first time that our flag will fly at the United Nations and the Olympic Games. I suspect the European Union will be desperate to keep us within it, but if they do not want us then we could easily join EFTA and have a trading relationship with Europe but without any political interference.

Why should we stay a part of Britain when Westminster officially says we are an irrelevance to its continuing status?

Scotland can do better. Independence is normality for almost every other nation and there is no country that has been unable to negotiate 

Britain seems to officially imagine that Scotland is uniquely incapable of ruling our own affairs. Any Scot who supports such a dismal view of their own country should be ashamed of themselves.

Joe Middleton, Wardieburn Place South, Edinburgh

Government has made scapegoats

THE Tory/Lib Dem government slogans of a “big society” and “we are all in this together” are shown as a complete sham by their deliberate actions against the many.

They are also past masters at diverting attention from the effects of their actions, for example:

• People in work versus the unemployed on benefit;

• People in housing benefit labelled as scroungers and layabouts, ignoring the fact the landlord receives the benefit;

n People on disability benefit made to undergo a further “fit to work” test run by a private company.

Creating scapegoats is deliberate policy. They fear a united people against their policies of destroying universal benefits and replacing them with means-tested benefits based on the lowest level.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh