From our postbag

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When ‘No’ really does mean ‘No’!

Sir, –In last week’s edition there was a comment about the result of the referendum.

Like many commentators, the writer has separated fact from supposition. The fact is that more people voted No than Yes, nothing more or less.

The conclusion and it is the only conclusion which can be drawn from this, is that the majority of the voters expressed their wish to remain part of the United Kingdom.

As for the electorate being “fooled by last minute promises”, we are in danger of forgetting that even before these promises were given, the opinion polls were showing a majority in favour of a No vote.

Fifty-five percent of the voters voted against the breakup of the UK. It obviously wasn’t the outcome which the Yes campaign were wanting but I’m afraid that’s democracy in action.

In a civilised, democratic society the decision of the majority is the one which prevails.

On a more important note, I’m sure the picture of the Rose players with a cup wasn’t taken as early as 1961. Cowie, Veitch, Gardner, Grant, Henderson, Fordyce and Reston are wearing the Rose strip which didn’t appear until the ‘64- ‘65 season when the Rose won the Scottish Junior cup for the first time.

In addition, the Rose’s first choice keeper McGlynn (extreme right facing the camera) was injured late in ‘65 and his place was taken by committee member Fowler who is seen behind Jock Grant. Isn’t it amazing how much useless information the brain keeps hold of!

Alastair Gentleman

Greencloaks Cottage


March against ivory trade

Sir, –Every year more than 35,000 elephants and at least 1000 rhinos are poached for their tusks and horns.

In China there are around 37 ivory carving factories, which flourish from the trade in elephant ivory, as well as 147 licensed shops, which sell ivory trinkets and products. And so, on the 4th of October 2014, World Animal Day, citizens from 115 cities worldwide, including Edinburgh, will gather to march against the senseless slaughter of rhinos and elephants.

The aim of this global march, which was founded by The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (GMFER) initiative, is to raise awareness of the plight of rhinos and elephants.

The march calls for governments around the world to apply political power to end wildlife trafficking as well as for all countries to implement a ban on the trade of endangered wildlife parts.

We at Scotland for Elephants and Rhinos are marching because these animals have no voice, and they need us like never before if they are to survive…We march so the world can know the reality of their lives as defenceless targets of a military-style onslaught…In China alone, dozens of ivory-carving factories enjoy a robust trade in mass-producing objects from elephant tusks for the affluent middle class – while the true cost is paid back in Africa, where poached carcasses litter the land, surviving elephants grieve for their dead, and both rhino and elephant orphans refuse to leave their mothers’ disfigured corpses.

The orphaned young are then left to an agonizing and prolonged death themselves without food or protection from their family groups.

We ask the people of West Lothian to come and help be their voice. The march will leave Parliament Square, Edinburgh, at 11am on Saturday, October 4.


Scotland for Elephants

Restoration of glen’s woods

Sir, - I would like to ask readers to help protect and restore a magnificent Highland glen and its wildlife by supporting Trees for Life in an easy and free online vote before October 6.

We are the UK’s only shortlisted entry in the prestigious European Outdoor Conservation Association’s Outdoor awards category. At stake is £20,000 of funding for our Glen Affric Forest Landscape Project, which will safeguard threatened wildlife habitats and transform this stunning glen including the planting of 20,000 native trees.

Glen Affric’s native pinewoods are one of the last remaining fragments of the Caledonian Forest. - Yours etc.,



Trees for Life

Forres, Moray, IV36 3TZ

Racehorse death pics defended

Sir, – There has been an outraged response from the racing industry over the Daily Mirror article (September 20) about the death of racehorse Wigmore Hall. It was a piece that featured Animal Aid’s photographs of the horse being shot in the head.

Our key motivation was to trigger a debate about equine deaths on British racecourses and the lengths to which the racing authorities go to conceal the reality.

Around 200 horses die on courses every year and yet the industry’s self-governing regulatory body refuses to publish clear facts about how many horses die.

Instead, it talks of ‘deaths per runners’. Under this deceitful formulation, if two horses have 10 races each, and one dies, the fatality rate is logged as one death per 20 runners. This creates the impression that one out of 20 horses has died, when in fact one out of two horses has died.

Let’s have a debate on the basis of the facts, putting the interests of race horses at the heart of the matter.

Andrew Tyler

Animal Aid