Letters: Don't privatise the Hogmanay celebration .. scrap it instead

SO, PRESSURE is growing on the city council to "privatise" the Hogmanay party after it showed a loss for the third year in a row (News, 18 January).

Why not just scrap the whole thing? It appears to me that over the years it has been nothing more than an opportunity for the city to separate tourists and Hooray Henrys from their cash.

The idea of paying over the odds to stand outside in the cold getting frozen to bits while you wait to be entertained by acts whose best work was a decade or two ago doesn't fill me with warmth.

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That's why every year I pack my stuff and stay with friends of mine in the country.

How many Edinburgh folk take part in the celebrations anyway? Damn few, I'd bet.

Fireworks and loud music are not a way of celebrating with a flavour particular to Scotland – the same things happen in countless cities across the globe.

Scotland does have some particular traditions for seeing out the old year and bringing in the new one, such as first-footing. Another one I remember, especially among older folk, was making sure their debts were paid so they started the New Year on a clean footing.

That would be an example to follow, rather than expecting amateurs to successfully run a party and make a profit from it.

Jim Conway, Slateford Road, Edinburgh

Mind goose laying those golden eggs

IN YOUR article (News, 15 January), you mention that the Gold brothers are dubbed Edinburgh's "kings of tartan tat".

It irritates me that people should be mocked for trying to make a living out of selling goods to tourists.

Edinburgh makes a great deal of money out of tourism, and people should remember not to bite the hand that feeds them, rather than snootily looking down their noses at hard-working folk who will have the last laugh anyway .. all the way to the bank.

A Morris, St Leonard's Lane, Edinburgh

Scottish Labour's stance a Gray area

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HOW does Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray feel now that the Government in Westminster are interested in a minimum price on alcohol?

Scottish Labour's decision to oppose it was a disgrace. The SNP said it did not have a magic wand, but it is the first step.

J Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Tories aren't quite getting devolution

I HAVE been mailed a "survey" from the Conservative Westminster candidate for Edinburgh South. It asked my opinion on policing.

If the Tories have not yet realised, after ten years, that Scottish policing has been devolved to Holyrood, what hope has Scotland of proper representation by Conservative MPs at Westminster?

They just don't get it.

Mike McGregor, Greenpark, Edinburgh

Housing not given necessary funding

ALL councils in the UK know of the shortage of council-built homes, their waiting lists are long and very substantial.

Whenever a question of housing provision is raised, the council says that central government will not give then the amounts of funding required to address the urgent need for housing to be built.

Even cheaper alternatives such as Norwegian timber frame houses are ignored, yet there is no shortage of public money for useless projects (that benefit only arms dealers) such as war.

How much, collectively, is wasted on the machinery of destruction? Answer: billions. Proving that many leaders prefer to demolish rather than create.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

School error over riding cleared up

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THE Drum Riding School for the Disabled would like to correct an error in the article "Raghav goes riding with Ginger" (News, 30 December). We should have said that the riding therapy had improved his sitting posture and not that he was unable to walk upright.

We would like to apologise to the Sandeep family for any distress caused.

Ena Gaffney, manager, Drum RDA