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The Scotsman article: "Putting games to the sword"

Paul Stollard, HSE Director Scotland, responds

The Editor
The Scotsman
108 Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8AS

Friday 13 June 2008

Dear Sir,

I was depressed by your leader column ("Putting games to the sword") which suggested that somehow the "relentless tide of health and safety" was stopping sword dancing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is no health and safety reason to stop the sword dancing and or their carrying in the opening parade. This is another health and safety myth.

Your own article "Sword ban is unkindest cut for Highland dancers" (11 June p2) correctly referred to new forthcoming Scottish Government legislation designed to control the hire, lending or giving of swords and bladed weapons, but also stated this is not yet in force and will anyway have exemptions to permit activities such as this.

I really enjoyed the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games last year and am looking forward to being there again this July, hopefully to watch the sword dancing again.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Stollard
HSE Director Scotland

Updated 2010-05-10