Letters: Gaelic language is a force of good rather than a farce

I READ Helen Martin's item "It's time we spoke out against this Gael farce" (News, 19 April). The Gaelic language is far from a farce. More a force. A force for good in Scottish society. Gaelic lives, despite the many attempts of to kill it off.

Scots appreciate education. Some choose to send their kids to Gaelic medium primary schools. There, they are taught to learn what they need to know about the world. And they acquire another language. Their own.

Tollcross Primary is a fine example of a success story. It is bursting at the seams. It doesn't cost a lot, and Scottish parents are delighted that their children go on to achieve excellent results in their schooling.

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I don't get the suggestion that Scottish Gaelic was once our national language was a "con". Read a good history book.

Gaelic is part of our culture. True Scots are happy with that.

Alasdair H Macinnes, Granton Road, Edinburgh

Think of blood sports at the polls

REGARDING the forthcoming General Election, David Cameron, if elected to power, would allow a free vote which could mean that blood sports could be made legal again.

The vile "sport" of hare coursing would again be able to be participated in openly. There are enough problems of animal cruelty with illegal coursing, dog-fighting and the like, don't let's allow hunting with dogs inside the law again.

Apart from the animal cruelty issues, Labour, for all their faults, have been more generous to pensioners than ever the Tories were in their terms of office in the past. I would not expect them to be any different in the future.

(Mrs) Hazel Fraser, Tarbrax, West Calder

SNP could be the surprise winners

I DISAGREE with your editorial view that the SNP are likely to be 'squeezed' in the current General Election campaign (News, 17 April).

In last week's debate many voters in Scotland would have felt alienated by the fact that the issues discussed had no bearing on Scotland, and the sterile debate would have benefited from the presence of Alex Salmond, whether you like him or not.

In the Lothians, the Nationalists have a strong chance of taking Edinburgh East.

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Looking around Scotland as a whole the SNP could yet be the surprise winners from a political system in which many voters have otherwise lost faith.

Sophie L Anderson, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh

Bad reputation of our public toilets

I WRITE in response to Simon Musgrove's letter (News, 20 April) and whilst I agree with his concerns, I feel there is an underlying problem with public toilets.

These facilities have for too long had a reputation for being frequented by drug users as well as being regular meeting haunts for gay men. Do the public really want to visit such sites?

James Anderson, Lady Nairne, Edinburgh

Bus shelters leave ours in the shade

NEXT time our councillors decide to go on a "fact finding" mission to some far flung foreign city, why don't they just go around the UK?

On a recent day trip to Dundee I discovered that the bus shelters there are amazing.

They are totally filled in with glass, mounted on stone bases, with seats and electronic timetables, all combined in one smart piece of street furniture.

Not like our hotchpotch of different types of shelter, some with no ends making them cold wind tunnels, with red ticket machines in the way of seeing which bus is coming!

Even the smaller shelters in Dundee on the side streets have closed-in sides and electronic signs and, when they are out of use, this is displayed on the electronic sign.

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It even tells you where the next nearest suitable stop is, not like in Edinburgh, where the only way you know a bus stop is not being used is when there is a black bag over the sign and, sometimes, a rusty pole as a temporary bus stop further up the road!

Mrs S F Wilson, Maxwell Street, Edinburgh