Festivals and sightseeing are good for Edinburgh – Readers’ Letters

Festive events like Military Tattoo make a positive contribution to Edinburgh, says writer Donald Anderson

However, the other part of this argument is that being pro-development and supporting festivals doesn’t make you a Philistine who doesn’t care about the city or its built heritage. It also doesn’t mean that you are in favor of rolling Airbnb unhindered throughout the city center.

Sadly, it is increasingly difficult to conduct healthy public debate in the Internet age. Too often there are screaming matches that generate a lot of heat but very little light.

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The low point of Edinburgh’s built heritage was in the 20th, not the 21st century. Like many cities, Edinburgh city center has suffered a population exodus and severe physical decline, ably described by AJ Youngson in The Making of Classical Edinburgh.

The 21st century has seen huge improvements in the built fabric of the city and a repopulated downtown area. This has been stimulated among other things by tourism and festivals in the city.

To give just one small example, prior to Covid-19, the Scottish government awarded £ 38.4million in grants to Historic Environment Scotland (HES). It was less than 40%. 100 of its budget. Most of the rest were from Edinburgh Castle and the Tattoo. This year, the HES scholarship had to be doubled in an attempt to fill the huge funding gap caused by the lack of tourists.

Festivals and tourism helped HES take care of the 300 properties it looked after and much more. We need a healthy debate that recognizes the positive contribution of tourism to our fantastic built heritage.

Donald Anderson, Edinburgh

What a great article by Cliff Hague of the Cockburn Society, putting to bed the ridiculous idea that the society is somehow anti-Festival. He is, as he says, against the festivization of Edinburgh and I completely agree.

I’ve been attending Festival (not Festivals – an unnecessary new nickname) for decades now, and I’ve actually appeared in a lot, and love this time of year.

However, the marketing of spaces around the Festival must be stopped. I would much prefer the council to develop these spaces better.

I realize that they are continually looking to save and earn money, but the goal should be to preserve the quality of our city for the benefit of visitors, artists and residents. Short-term gain is never a good strategy for anything.

Brian Bannatyne Scott, Edinburgh

Maybe I can help Murdo Fraser with his question (Scotsman, August 4): “Why does the SNP show such hostility towards the Rangers and their fans?”

As a lifelong Celtic fan, I can’t wait to see the next Old Firm game at Ibrox.

For the very first time, I will stand alongside my enemies in Govan and heartily sing “Three cheers for the red white and blue”, then enthusiastically join them in a performance of Rule Britannia, and finally I go with full strong God Save The Queen belt.

I think it’s fair to say that the Rangers songbook sticks down the throats of the Prime Minister and her merry gang.

Following Murdo Fraser’s claims that the SNP has a problem with Rangers, he forgot to mention that of the £ 25million in Scottish government loans to SPFL clubs, Rangers received the highest amount. to £ 3,200,000 while Hibs received £ 2,882,000 to help them. Celtic were the only top team not to apply for a loan and Hearts, like other Championship clubs, received a grant of £ 500,000.

As reported by The Scotsman, the Scottish Rugby Union received a £ 13.5million grant rather than a loan, so it looks like the SNP is just not doing pork barrel politics the way conservatives by granting contracts to its donors or favors to its natural supporters.

It is significant that Keir Starmer, during his visit to Scotland this week, reiterated Labor opposition to a third runway at Heathrow (Scottish, 5 August); especially since the environmental aspirations underlying its political position seem to correspond to those expressed by the Scottish government.

While this appears to be the only plausible conclusion for those serious about decarbonization, especially since the UK government’s climate change committee has indicated that there is no place in the targets for carbon for a net increase in UK aviation capacity, there seem to be some who are more happy to be equivocal on the issue – led by vested aviation interests seeking a reprieve for their industry.

In this year of COP26, the Scottish government is doing the right thing with its goals of decarbonizing aviation and its goal of reaching net zero by 2045. But in this important year, when this important conference is being held in Glasgow, would it not be helpful for the Scottish government to state that it too had come to the only plausible conclusion about Heathrow expansion, especially since any increase in aviation capacity in the south of the UK might require counterbalance restrictions in Scotland itself?

Paul McGuinness. Chairman, No 3rd Runway Coalition, Middlesex

Boris Johnson is wrongly castigated for wanting to keep all options open, including the new oil field off the coast of Shetlands (Scottish, August 6) until sustainable renewable energy savings are guaranteed.

There is a global shortage accompanied by an insatiable demand for rare metals on which information technology and renewable energy depend, such as lithium for batteries in cellphones, electric cars and wind turbines.

The extraction of rare metals is creating ecological devastation, as is now seen in many parts of China where drinking water and soil are totally contaminated. In the United States, the estimate for cleaning up existing rare metal mines exceeds $ 50 billion and increases as mining continues.

Less than ten percent of the rare metals used can be reprocessed, leaving a mountain of toxic waste that has been exported to Asia and Africa from the United States and European countries.

Unless new, sustainable, non-toxic materials are identified and used, the rare metals that are now relied on will not only be depleted, but many parts of our Earth will be irreparably contaminated.

One of the priorities of COP26 should be how to develop truly green sustainable renewable energy, and whether hydrogen cars are preferable to electric and what new materials and technologies can be developed for a truly green and sustainable global economy. .

Clearly, we are not there yet.

Elizabeth Marshall, Edinburgh

Stan Grodynski should try watching GB News (Letters, August 5) and then he would realize that it is a channel which is excellent for giving air time to differing opinions on the topics it covers.

He clearly lacks knowledge of the channel as Andrew Neil has not broadcast on GB News for many weeks.

They had and still have some technical issues that no doubt caused some viewers to lose interest, but the content and commentators are worth watching.

If they were redundant, they would no longer be on the air now.

I was delighted to read Katharine Hay’s article denouncing the current tendency to form a firm opinion on a subject without considering all the relevant aspects, and then fervently promote that position without considering other points of view (Scotsman , August 6). It had to be said.

On the other hand, as Hamlet realized, too picky a weighing of pros and cons can mean that “the native hue of resolution is disgusting with the pale reflection of thought” and thus “companies of.” great moment loses the name of action ”.

Your columnist Joyce McMillan, an extraordinary art critic, once again pontificates on subjects she knows nothing about (Scotsman, August 6).

She mocks Boris Johnson for his comments on the “upgrade” and seems to be totally unable to understand any element of humor.

She complains about the regional disparity between the south of England and other parts of the UK, failing to mention that the regional economic strength of the south of England has long been based on the exceptional success of the UK services market. financiers, headquartered in London.

There was a replica of this, based in Edinburgh, but the threat of SNP independence caused a decline in the financial services industry in Edinburgh.

She also fails to comment on the value chain and supply chain network in the UK, where small businesses provide goods and services from regions to market participants in London.

With the advent of new digital FinTechs we will likely see a gradual decentralization of financial services away from central London, but Ms McMillan chooses not to see it and is content to deal another blow to a British Conservative government.

Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

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