Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: War dead are dishonoured by today’s governments

I was amongst 50 or so from the Borders marching with thousands of other protesters from all over Scotland at the climate justice march in Edinburgh on Saturday, November 12.

Similar events were happening around the UK and worldwide – a globally connected voice for the damaged planet and its people during the multinational government talks at COP27 in Egypt.

Messages on placards and banners in Edinburgh were direct, to the point, humorous, creative and often angry, but the march had a festive atmosphere, the low key police presence was smiling and reassuring – it was a family friendly event with babes in pushchairs, grandparents, youngsters and couples.

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There was chanting too from the thousands of marchers, connected to create a force for demanding achievable actions instead of 27 COPs-worth of blah-blah-blah.

Veterans, members of the military and the Royal family led by King Charles III line Whitehall during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph on November 13, 2022 in London (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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There was no soup thrown at protected art work, no glueing of persons to buildings, no perching on gantries so, not surprisingly, media coverage that followed in the press and TV if any, was low key, not front page news.

This perhaps explains and underlines the importance of occasional actions from Just Stop Oil, XR and the like, to gain media attention.

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Compared to the severity of disruptions climate chaos is set to cause everyone in the next nine years and beyond, because of more than three decades of lack of government attention to and action on the climate crisis, these recent delays on motorways are a picnic!

Finally, it was notable that the global protest weekend coincided not only with COP27 but also with remembrance of the war dead. For over 100 years solemn ceremonies attended by political leaders and dignitaries, have been held at this time, to mark the sacrifice of the fallen.

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There’s an irony and further tragedy in this. The war dead gave their todays for our tomorrows. They are shamefully dishonoured by governments who continue to support ecocidal corporations that trash our planet for extraction and profit and are set to rob humanity of a future that the war dead sacrificed their lives for.

F Hardwick, Melrose

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Fire power

I agree totally with Dennis Forbes Grattan of Bucksburn (Scotland on Sunday letters, November 13). The public sale and use of fireworks should be banned. However, Scotland cannot take the lead on this as we do not have the power to ban fireworks.

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In a knee jerk reaction to serious misuse of fireworks in her constituency, the First Minister announced she would do something about it and held a lengthy and no doubt expensive consultation which resulted in yet more tinkering with existing legislation.

This has left Scotland with a mess of rules, regulations and restrictions which are, at best, extremely difficult for our overstretched police force to apply.

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Animal Concern has urged the Scottish Government and all MPs for Scotland to lobby Westminster for a UK-wide ban or to devolve the power to ban the public sale and use of fireworks. Until that happens the annual terrorising of animals and vulnerable people and the weaponising of fireworks by thugs will continue.

For those who still want displays we can have licensed, organised events using either silent fireworks or multi-colour synchronised drones accompanied by music.

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John F Robins, Animal Concern

Misquoted

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I was a bit concerned to have been entirely misquoted and misrepresented by Sandra Busell (letters, November 13). In her rather facile letter defending the reputation of both asses and pigs in the face of their use as icons of stupidity and dirtiness respectively she claims that I said, “a law which condemns religious homophobic hate is an ass”.

Here, in fact, was the original line, stating the exact opposite, to which I lent the Dickensian reference: “a law which condemns homophobic hate and yet champions it at public events when it is religious homophobic hate is an ass.”

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Thank you for your clarification of this.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh

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Good value

It's always good value for readers when the letter column's resident obsessive-compulsives cross swords, but one puzzles over Sandra Busell, our resident animal rights apologist, taking to task Neil Barber for use of the cliche "the law is an ass", extrapolating that Barber "regards the ass as a dumb, stupid animal," and complaining animal names should not be used as insults. On such matters, civilisations have fallen.Except that Henry Glapthorne's famous line from "The Parricide" refers to the inflexibility of the law (objective), not its sensibility (subjective).Mark Boyle, Johnstone

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