In 1927 the Scottish National War Memorial was opened at the highest point on Edinburgh Castle Rock. It honoured the approximately 150,000 Scottish dead from the First World War. Entry has always been free – and rightly so. That was no problem when entry to the whole castle complex was free but when an admission charge to castle was introduced things got a little trickier. Visitors to the memorial had to promise that they would not go to any other part of the complex. Until recently, that promise was good enough. Then some clown of a writer for a budget traveller guidebook revealed that it was possible to get into the whole castle complex for free by claiming to want to visit the war memorial. The pathetic people who took advantage of this changed everything. Now visitors to the Royal Mile area who only wish to spend a few minutes at the memorial to remember their dead relatives are made to feel like suspected criminals. They are sent to the visitor centre at which they are required to sign a formal undertaking to go straight to the war memorial and return. Names, addresses and email addresses are requested. The visitor is required to wear a special tag around their neck which must be visible at all times. Their progress to and from the memorial is monitored by castle staff using walkie-talkies. The tag has to be returned to the visitor centre after the visit to the memorial and no doubt the time it has been checked-out for is noted. Now, I don’t blame the staff at the Castle for this sad state of affairs - it would be harder to find a more helpful bunch of people at a major tourist attraction. Their trust was badly abused in past. No, the blame lies with the despicable smart-arses who decided to use the deaths of 150,000 Scots as a way of visiting a major tourist attraction for free. I’m just glad all those deaths were not in vain.