THIRTY years ago, the UK was one of the most equal countries in the developed world.

Today it is one of the most unequal. This was no more apparent than in the spectacle witnessed in Linlithgow where the town effectively ground to a standstill to accommodate Chanel, that global icon of little black dresses and fragrance ("King Karl's fashion triumph at Linlithgow Palace", The Herald, December 5).

The build-up to this event has witnessed an excessive amount of security guards around the palace over the last few weeks, roads blocked and a general feeling amongst locals that the town has been invaded since mid-November –and all of this to indulge celebrities flaunting personal wealth. On my way home from the station, I passed countless police officers, security guards and stewards – just to ensure that the 150 limousines passing through the High Street had an easy passage to the palace.

Loading article content

At a time of recession and cuts to public services, when we are all tightening our belts and when those in receipt of benefits are being hit really hard, is this not a tad insensitive and somewhat vulgar?

The Chanel extravaganza coincides with the 28th anniversary of the Bhopal tragedy in India. A gas leak in the Union Carbide pesticide plant caused one the world's greatest industrial disasters.Half a million people were exposed to the highly toxic gases and 25,000 have since died from exposure. The aftermath continues to affect the people of Bhopal with more than 120,00 Bhopalis still suffering from severe health problems. This legacy has resulted in the most awful deformities in new-born babies and continues to cause immense pain and suffering in that city.

A more worthy and appropriate event for Linlithgow might have been to mark this tragedy, which many have forgotten, and remember all those who suffer and continue to suffer from the violation of the environment and human rights.

I am not proud that Linlithgow hosted this event. I am embarrassed.

Maire McCormack,

2 Market Lane, Linlithgow.