Readers' Letters: Taylor Swift rooms price hike shows hotels hypocrisy

There were suggestions recently that Edinburgh should follow the normal practice of most European cities by charging hotel guests a modest amount per night as a contribution towards the environment of the city.

This was greeted with cries of horror by Edinburgh hotel owners, who predicted that the capital would become a ghost town and that many hotels would simply have to close their doors.The upcoming Taylor Swift concert at Murrayfield has shown this to be utter self-serving hypocrisy as, without exception, they have all raised their room rates by staggering and unprecedented amounts for that period.

Some city centre hotels which would normally charge around £200 per night are now quoting £1,200 and the average rise seems to be about 300 per cent. If the proposed environment tax was going to be disastrous, can we expect to see the imminent collapse of the hotel industry?

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I doubt it, but look out for the screams of rage if a £10 per night visitors tax is implemented.

Pop queen Taylor Swift is coming to Edinburgh and hoteliers are rubbing their hands with glee (Picture: David Gray/AFP via Getty Images)Pop queen Taylor Swift is coming to Edinburgh and hoteliers are rubbing their hands with glee (Picture: David Gray/AFP via Getty Images)
Pop queen Taylor Swift is coming to Edinburgh and hoteliers are rubbing their hands with glee (Picture: David Gray/AFP via Getty Images)

James Duncan, Edinburgh

Out of touch

Your lead report, “Sunak in warning of extremist forces ‘trying to tear us apart’ ” (2 March), has Rishi Sunak again proving how out of touch he is by stating that success depends on hard work, not by “the God you believe in”. For many, particularly in ethnic minorities, it’s faith that defines them and fosters the “empathy and compassion” Sunak requested in Friday’s speech. Our late queen said that religion and culture can be “sources of difference and conflict but the irony is that every religion has something to say about tolerance and respecting others”. Perhaps Sunak had the 9 million economically inactive in mind amidst record levels of immigration. Unlike Elizabeth, however, it’s not faith that drives his call to service, cynics may say it is the accumulation of wealth.

Sunak’s party is much to blame for polarisation in politics, with Suella Braverman and Lee Anderson stoking the very extremism Sunak said is “trying to tear us apart”. Moreover, by disengaging with the electorate in places like Rochdale the major parties neglect a moral obligation to uphold democracy. Increasingly nasty threats to MPs have brought the issue of racial discord home, with extremist reaction to the Gaza conflict symptomatic of failing multiculturalism. Black Lives Matter has done little to bring ethnic minorities together and many feel increasingly marginalised, particularly with the major political parties’ alienating much of public opinion on Gaza.

This leaves the door open for extremists like George Galloway, in a trilby more Boy George than George Foreman, but victory in Rochdale proves his streetfighting years are not over. Galloway’s success, rather than being “beyond alarming”, as Sunak sees it, is a consequence of Labour and the Tories taking the electorate for granted and failing to address the malaise in multicultural Britain.

Neil Anderson, Edinburgh

Misplaced apology

Thoughtful though it may have been for Humza Yousaf to say he is deeply sorry that the people of Gaza have been let down, he really cannot apologise for what has been done by others. He cannot apologise on behalf of “those in power” or “multinational institutions that were meant to protect [Gaza]”.

Many Scots have done what we can, either through our elected representatives (noting especially the SNP ceasefire motion calling out Israel's action as collective punishment that was blocked at Westminster) or by protesting on the streets, or in other ways in the face of opposition from the British state, while others have been bravely active in trying to bring aid to Gaza. The First Minister is not in a position to exert any substantial influence on the Middle East.

If he is truly sorry he must get Scotland out of the corrupted toxic union that calls Israel’s attempted genocide “self defence”. Only then can Scots make a more meaningful stand against the criminal actions of the state of Israel.

Ni Holmes, St Andrews, Fife

Wrong term

I wish that political pundits, newspapers and Scotsman correspondents would get it through their heads that references to anti-Semitism include dislike of Arabs, Assyrians and many other Middle Eastern peoples as well as Jews, although the term appears to have been hijacked by the last of these. It can have no practical meaning in the context of a confrontation between one Semitic group and another in Gaza.

James Scott, Edinburgh

Stark difference

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Ian Moir (Letters, 1 March) is misleading regarding renewable vs fossil fuels for electricity generation. Wind is not the only renewable. He ignores hydro, solar and biomass. These in combination, plus long-range transmission, and energy storage (which is advancing rapidly), mitigate the (diminishing) need for back-up generation.

Neither is it appropriate to add the cost of back-up generation when that back-up is not being used, as is increasingly the case. Nor is it appropriate to refer to standing charges when these are paid regardless of how the power is generated.

Mr Moir is obfuscating and if one includes the hidden costs of fossil fuels, the cost disparity between these and benign renewables is stark. Can he tell us the costs stemming from air pollution, asthma, cancers, mining accidents, sea level rise and extreme weather events?

(Dr) Stephen Moreton, Great Sankey, Cheshire

Food for thought

Given the resounding by-election success of George Galloway with the voters, will we see Humza Yousaf canvassing down on all fours meowing like a cat to boost support?

Fraser MacGregor, Edinburgh

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