The last one, published in May 2019, showed 87 per cent of the 16,420 respondents wanted a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public. Animal Concern has been asking for this for decades but both Westminster and Holyrood refuse to take action. Instead they hold consultation after consultation then tinker with legislation without making any major difference to the damage and disturbance caused by fireworks.
In 2019 I made a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Government and discovered £38,200 had been spent placing an annual “advertorial piece” on fireworks safety in 107 local papers. Add the cost of police, fire brigade, ambulance and hospital services and I’ve no doubt the Scottish public purse pays out £1 million plus every year because our politicians refuse to ban the retail sale and domestic use of fireworks. The real cost is the stress and injury fireworks inflict on people and animals.
Last Hogmanay several big displays switched from fireworks to LED-illuminated drones flown in formation to great effect. That’s the future. Fireworks are history, politicians must recognise that.
John F Robins, Animal Concern, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh
Lose your shirt
Re: Daniel Gray’s article “Scotland’s debut at the Euros was small – but it was beautiful” (20 June). Gray says he is a researcher; well a tad more wee research would have enlightened him to the fact that shirt numbers at the Euro 92 campaign had already been put into practice at Italia 90 and a million Dads already knew that squad numbers reflected the amount of international caps won. For example: Gough number 4 (Italia 90) but 2 (Euro 92); Mcstay number 5 (Italia 90) but 3 (Euro 92) etc.
Paul Fitzsimmons, Helensburgh
Does anybody still listen to what Nicola Sturgeon says on Covid? There are only so many convoluted permutations of groups of X and bubbles of Y allowed to meet inside in level 2 or outside in level 3, if over 12 with neighbours or under 12 with families but only if there is an R in the month, then take away the number you first thought of, unless you're attending a football match or street protest, but it’s banned if it involves travel to or from England. Simples!
Allan Thompson, Bearsden, Glasgow
Tall Poppy IPA
Your article on the tax status of some Brewdog shareholders, “Revealed: ‘punk’ brand BrewDog’s link to tax haven” (20 June) was misleading. Firstly, this is hardly news. TSG invested in April 2017 and the domicile of their funds was clear then. Secondly, many investment funds are domiciled in places such as Jersey, Guernsey or the Cayman Islands to avoid double taxation and the need for investors to reclaim tax. If I were an investor in a TSG fund I would still need to pay UK taxes on any income or gains. The TSG investment was an important source of growth capital for Brewdog at a crucial stage in their development and will hopefully lead to an outstanding result for their over 100,000 small shareholders. Sadly this feels worryingly like a case of Tall Poppy Syndrome.
Iain Baillie, Cirencester
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