BY now, I should be settling down in my comfy theatre seat to enjoy what will undoubtedly be a delightful performance of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. So why am I not there? Ticket mis-selling.

And it is for this reason that I am delighted to read that, at last, some event organisers are shunning companies that allow touts – secondary ticket sellers – to use their websites to resell tickets at inflated prices. I would like to commend the organisers of the forthcoming Metallica concert at the Hydro in Glasgow, who insist that fans must show ID that matches the name on the ticket.

I have had to spend the last three weeks acquainting myself with the ins and outs of consumer protection laws to try to get my money back. ID checks are certainly in the public interest. However, there is another reason as to why event organisers may insist on checks, and that is to protect themselves in law in case of major incidents, such as fire or terrorist attack. So why are more of them not doing door checks?

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The system is supposed to work like this: organisers of events who employ more than five employees must formulate a health and safety policy. As part of this, they need to produce risk assessments and make appropriate safety arrangements depending on who’s attending.

So, if the secondary ticket sellers buy large blocks of tickets to sell on at extortionate mark-ups as they do, then the profile of the real audience cannot be known and consequently the level of risk in event of a serious fire or bombing, may be significantly raised and the arrangements for the actual audience, not the one which was expected when the risk assessments were done, are rendered ineffective and lives are put at higher risk than previously assessed.

As if this weren’t enough, where the risk level is raised, by incorrect audience profiling, the public liability insurance company will withdraw cover and the organisers will have to provide compensation to the families of those killed or maimed – money which would at the very least bankrupt them. Makes you wonder about the licensing rules too, doesn’t it?

Regarding my own situation, I am being told I will be admitted to the theatre on these tickets in someone else’s name, with a face value of £64 for the two, when I was charged £142.09, despite the fact that an existing pattern of breaches of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and contracts law was made at the time of the purchase.

But the question is whether my safety can be guaranteed in an auditorium where audience safety has been compromised and there may be no valid Public Liability in place. All I have asked for from the outset is a refund. Instead it seems I have bought a very costly can of worms. Do double check if buying event tickets. Those who say they are an “official site” for ticket sales are very often not and it is a lottery whether you will even receive any tickets, as often the companies do not even possess the tickets they say they are selling you.
Ann Williamson
via email

THE letter from Derrick McClure (The National, October 4) asking for a Minister for the indigenous languages of Scotland is a suggestion that should be given immediate attention by the Scottish Government.

It comes from one of the best-informed experts on the Scots language at this current time.

The increase in the knowledge and use of Gaelic and Scots is the most certain way of convincing citizens of the country of their separate identity and interests, which in turn makes clear to other peoples the different political approach needed.

By chance, I obtained yesterday an anthology, produced under the aegis of Derrick McClure, of Scots poetry from the last century, entitled A Kist O Skinklan Things”. I immediately came on a poem by Sydney Goodsir Smith, In Granada – a lament on the execution during the Spanish Civil War of the poet Federico Garcia Lorca. This is exceedingly topical given the current Catalonian situation.

“Ay, he wes Spain, anither Burns/ In Granada, in Granada/ O wae for thae when the tide turns/ That strak doun Garcia Lorca.”

The report, in same issue of The National, about Scots books by Stuart McHardy which assail the “British Empire mindset” underlines the value of our own tongues in achieving independence of mind and eventually also of government.
Iain WD Forde
Address supplied