We get the new week off to a topical start with letters taking on the topics of minimum pricing for alcohol in Dundee, the UK’s contribution to the EU, the culling of two piglets at Edinburgh Zoo and a flashback to the Thatcher years?
Little hope of local minimum alcohol pricing Sir,-I was interested to read (October 19) that Councillor Rod Wallace, chairman of Dundee’s licensing board, has asked officials to investigate the possibility of the council introducing minimum pricing for alcohol sold in the city.
It’s only half a dozen years since Dundee City Council abandoned such measures after a disgruntled licensee mounted a legal challenge.
The Court of Session said the legislation “did not give licensing boards the power to regulate, either directly or indirectly, the minimum prices below which alcohol may not be sold.”
The more recent Licensing Act is similarly lacking in such powers but your report suggests that the Scottish Parliament could amend the legislation to allow councils to make bye-laws with regard to minimum pricing.
But if MSPs won’t enact legislation to introduce the policy, what is there to suggest they would consider provisions allowing councils to do this?
Also, as a Tory councillor, surely Mr Wallace should be aware that his party has consistently questioned the legality of minimum pricing under EU law.
As for his comments linking excessive alcohol consumption to anti-social behaviour, it should be recalled that it’s not that long since licensing councillors effectively introduced all-night drinking in Dundee in the form of a casino adjacent to the main nightclubs.
An attempt by a nightclub to extend its hours to match this due to a loss of trade was rejected after the police objected because of the problems that would be caused. So why give the casino an extended licence in the first place?
Make cuts in Euro budget
Sir,-As Chancellor George Osborne has reduced Britain to the status of a defenceless fiscal legume in his attempts to recoup Labour’s 13-year spending spree, it was interesting that our huge and now unaffordable contribution to the European Union was never even mentioned.
Malcolm Parkin,15 Gamekeepers Road,KinnesswoodKinross.
Shameful way to treat piglets
Sir,-If you thought a zoo was a safe place for a healthy animal to be, you would be utterly wrong.
The revelation (October 21) that Edinburgh Zoo put to sleep two little piglets that were born in the zoo for no other reason but to comply with the rules of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) is staggering.
Its spokesman was quoted as saying, “It is very difficult for the public to understand the reasoning behind this decision but the piglets were considered to be not genetically useful.”
In this he is absolutely right for I am sure that the public certainly do not understand why this cruel act was carried out. At other times, Edinburgh Zoo have sought the opinion of the public regarding suggestions for names of new arrivals in their care but no opinion was sought in this instance regarding possible rehoming.
Perhaps they were afraid of the public’s indignation and disgust at their preferred solution. The fact also that the piglets were an endangered species makes the decision taken all the more insane.
Robert Finlay,6 Greenmount Drive,Burntisland.
Zoo loses credibility
Sir,-The admission by staff that two rare piglets had been culled at Edinburgh Zoo in order to comply with some disgusting European Union rule beggars belief. Is this why we are part of Europe?
In a recent Radio 4 programme, scientists from London Zoological Society reported that the survival of the human race is under threat because we treat lower animals with contempt. They concluded that we need them more than the animals, insects, bees and birds need us.
Yet this barbaric European organisation have nothing more important to get on with than enforcing inhumane, ridiculous rules that resulted in these two rare piglets being destroyed. What a misguided, heartless bunch.
Perhaps getting a real job in the real world would bring these ignorant people to their senses.
And as for Edinburgh Zoo, it is disgraceful that this establishment had to stoop so low and kill these animals. I thought zoos were all about animal preservation but now all credibility has been lost forever.
Bob Beveridge,Old Town House,Falkland.
Back to days of Tory cuts
Sir,-Now we see the true colours of this coalition government. In typical Tory style, the rich will be richer and the poor and disabled even worse off.
As usual, Scotland’s military history and bases are under threat of being disbanded. It is now is rumoured that RAF Lossiemouth may also be closed and its functions moved to RAF Marham. Why can these functions not be moved from Marham to Lossiemouth?
I expect this is about securing and protecting votes in England and ensuring that jobs are created and maintained in England at future elections.
Scotland is not important as we only have one Tory MP. This is Scotland’s punishment for not supporting and voting in the Tories.
Remember the Thatcher years and the Poll Tax? Well, here we go again.
Alastair McLean,Ar Tigh Ceithir,4 Fletcher Place,Crieff.
Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL.