Shutting door on right to buy discriminates against tenants

DOESN'T housing minister Alex Neil announcing his proposal to restrict the right to buy for new tenants of social housing (News, 14 January) beg the question whether, as he should have, he considered whether it complies with Human Rights legislation?

Article 14 of the Human Rights Act 1998 clearly prohibits discrimination.

Yet here we have the Scottish Government seemingly proposing to do just that. It will be setting up a privileged group of tenants who will continue to have the right to buy, while removing the entitlement to equality under the law of new tenants by restricting their rights and thereby discriminating against them.

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If housing minister Neil does indeed have this covered, perhaps he would be kind enough to explain it to us.

However, doesn't it seem logical that if the government wishes to restrict the right of tenants to buy, then it should be restricting that right equally to all tenants?

And, if it does that, won't there be hell to pay? Joined-up thinking here?

A vote catcher?

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae, Edinburgh

Legitimate concern from waste staff

I FEEL the need to respond to your article "What a load of rubbish" (News, 8 January). First, the waste truck crews asked for an issue of clothing as issued to night staff who also have to work in sub-zero temperatures. Street cleansing staff also asked for the clothing.

Second, I see no mention of the near misses that various vehicles had been involved in the day before.

Your point about the lack of uplift seemed to point the finger at the weather. This again is wrong. The fact the department was on holiday seems to have been overlooked by the council. Could this be because of the work to rule and the assurance from Mark Turley, director of the services for communities department, that services were back to normal?

Does Mr Turley really think he deserves any help from the work force? After all, he has just told them that they have a choice of losing a third of their wage or facing the sack.

Paul French, Unite shop steward, Russell Road depot

Misinformation on global warming

IN HIS letter on global warming, (13 January) the petition Clark Cross mentions was purposely designed to look like it had a connection to the (US) National Academy Of Science, when in fact it had connections to oil money-backed scientists. This prompted the NAS to say: "The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science."

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The "hockey stick" graph is only one of thousands of pieces of evidence, and has in fact been reproduced many times by independent researchers. Nothing is 100 per cent certain of course, but the consensus is pointing one way.

The World Federation of Scientists statement quoted is actually Antonino Zichichi, who is not a climate change scientist, and has made more than a few baseless claims in his controversial career.

The e-mail controversy is of course disgraceful. But it is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the evidence, and minuscule when placed alongside the documented and massive campaign by the oil-industry to (it would seem successfully) spread misinformation and protect their mind-bogglingly massive profits. They are very good at it, as Mr Cross proves. His spouting of the "solar activity" theory shows he is way behind on current research or perhaps clutching at straws.

Mick Geggus, Dundas Street, Edinburgh

Winter tale could be a cinema epic

MANY years ago, as a teenage film fan, I recall seeing a dramatic one about the hazards faced by a bullfighter in the Spanish bullrings. The hero was the heartthrob Tyrone Power, one of Hollywood's famous actors, and the film was titled Blood and Sand.

Now, in 2010, our citizens are facing a horrendous winter of snow, ice and fog, the worst since records began, and I think a film of it should be made for posterity, to see the hardships of life in the frozen Britain of 2009-10.

The star of such a film might be the TV presenter with the appropriate name, Peter Snow, with the film titled Grit and Sand.

Ronald E Hann, Musselburgh