Letters: Inequality and poverty make their mark on youth crime

STATISTICS show that poverty and inequality are predominant contributors to crime; this important conclusion did not feature in the article or indeed the comment on youth crime in the News on March 31.

I'm sure most of us can remember Tony Blair's soundbite, "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime". Clever as it was, because the first part appealed to Right Wing voters and the second part to those on the Left, it could be argued that New Labour's Thatcherite policies are largely to blame for an even further increase in crime today from the dark days of Mrs Thatcher when our industrial sector was sold off and workers were tossed on the scrapheap.

Because David Cameron, if elected, will continue with the same Thatcherite/Blairite policies, his "broken society" soundbite while appealing only to those on the Right will be just as meaningless as that of Tony Blair.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When our four main parties are disgracefully committed to rewarding greed while punishing workers in the public sector with a privatisation agenda that will mean more job losses, attacks on pensions and reductions in earnings, can this be good for business and could it bring about an increase in crime and antisocial behaviour like we have never witnessed before?

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

Fitting to mark the sacrifice of sailors

IT IS good news that a Merchant Navy war memorial is to be built as a tribute to the thousands of mariners who were killed in action (News, 31 March).

I have often visited the beautiful Tower Hill memorial in London, and the lists of lives and shipping lost are staggering.

It is fitting that our Scottish memorial will be located next to the old sailors' home at the Shore. This is where Salvesen whaling crews gathered before departing for South Georgia.

The Second World War decimated Salvesen's ships and many brave sailors perished. Sixteen of their 26 ships were lost, including all their factory ships.

Some might think that harking back to the past is regressive, but it really is the key to future understanding.

As the philosopher Edmund Burke said: "We will not look forward to posterity if we do not look backwards to our ancestors."

Ian Lutton, Boswall Road, Edinburgh

No cash penalty from bus revamp

JOHN Leighton is critical of Lothian Buses' new livery (Interactive, 31 March).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He points out that the shares in Lothian Buses are owned by the various Lothians local authorities. He might have gone on to say that this arrangement where the company's shares are owned by the local councils in this area but the business of Lothian Buses is, as the law requires, conducted at "arm's length" from the shareholding councils, has been greatly to the benefit of local people. Our fares and the average age of our buses are among the lowest of any city in the United Kingdom.

We have achieved 100 per cent low floor wheelchair accessibility fully eight years before the Government-mandated deadline.

Together with our local authority partners we provide our passengers with one of the most extensive and technically sophisticated real-time information systems in Europe. All of these aspects of the quality of our network delivered while at the same time paying substantial dividends every year to our local authority shareholders.

Incidentally, since the roll-out of the new livery will take place over a number of years as buses come due for repainting, there will be no financial penalty associated with its introduction.

Ian Craig, managing director, Lothian Buses

Helping more Scots than ever before

FAR from freezing out applicants (Frozen out, News, 30 March), the Scottish Government's Energy Assistance Package is helping more Scots than ever before.

At the end of February nearly 90,000 people in more than 52,000 households had received help through the scheme.

I would urge anyone who is concerned about paying their fuel bill to call for free impartial advice on the free phone number 0800 512 012. Mobile users can call 0300 456 2655 at local network rate.

Alex Neil, Minister for Housing and Communities

Tell us your views by e-mail:

or write to us at:

Evening News, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS