Opinion: Martin Laing says the Trump rally was fully justified

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There was a huge response on The Oban Times Facebook page following a post last Thursday informing readers there was to be an Argyll Against Trump rally in Stafford Street, Oban, that evening.
A small number of hardy souls – probably between 20 and 30 – gathered on a cold, dreich evening to vent their spleens at the new United States president.
A large number of those who commented on our social media platform were incensed that people would demonstrate against Mr Trump, ranting on that those at the rally would be better served protesting about more important issues such as the failing waste collection system in Argyll and Bute.
I have been a vociferous critic of the three-weekly bins schedule but would defend absolutely the right of the protesters to demonstrate against the US head of state.
People can feel strongly about more than one issue and it is quite correct for them to air those opinions in public.
As for those who berated the protesters, we live in a democracy in which people are perfectly entitled to speak out on what they consider to be important issues.
Perhaps instead of chiding them, they should be organising their own rallies on the topics they believe to be more important.
No, I don’t suppose for a minute that the new administration will alter one iota of its governmental programme, but hats off to those who turned out last week for having the courage of their convictions and making them known.

Former Argyll Hotel site is a real eyesore
What is happening with the old Argyll Hotel site?
The fenced-off derelict area is in a key part of the town, right behind the Oban Inn and before the Regent Hotel on the Esplanade.
The old Argyll Hotel was demolished at the end of December 2011 and the plot has been sadly abandoned since.
But the security fencing around the vacant lot has become damaged and the site is litter-strewn.
Now we are into February and looking forward to spring, the tourist season is imminent.
It would do Oban’s reputation no good at all for the Argyll Hotel site to remain an eyesore.
It would be great if an entrepreneur came up with a plan to build there but, at the very least, whoever is responsible for the site should tidy it up and make it secure again.

Oban Times team steps out for charity
As we reported last week, 10 of my colleagues – no, I am not one of charity fundraising team – are walking one million steps this month to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.
The fundraising challenge was the idea of the company’s production manager Andy Bruce, who many people will know as the frontman of local band The Signal Fires.
It’s an excellent challenge and I wish them all well.
Why not get behind the walkers and help them smash their target of £1,000.
To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/OTmillionsteps.

What do you think?
Write to The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB, or by email to mlaing@obantimes.co.uk.