THE headline of Martin Redfern’s letter (January 2) was “Stop Chasing Dividing in 2022”. He may want to think for a moment and wonder who is creating the division; where does his âanti-UK rhetoricâ come from? The answers belong to No 10 and the UK government.
Take the situation we find ourselves in when it comes to managing the pandemic. Here in Scotland, there is a clear message, clear action, support in place and the fastest deployment of boosters. Compare that without a clear message, restrictions and support for nationwide business through the reintroduction of the leave, all of it adds to the division and confusion.
The global focus was on Glasgow in 2021 for COP26 and the Westminster government has done everything in its power to exclude the Prime Minister from attending the event. What kind of unity does it create?
Anti-UK rhetoric is once again peddled from No 10 as the Scottish government is forced to take mitigating action to protect vulnerable citizens from the Westminster government’s withdrawal of the Â£ 20 hike per week of universal credit, the last and largest reduction in social assistance since World War II.
The Westminster government’s ‘leveling’ program, which is supposed to be rolled out across the UK, bypasses Holyrood and other decentralized governments. Before the Scottish government can work constructively with Westminster, there is the little Westminster question showing respect to decentralized nations, to this day a scarce commodity.
But I’m sure that at the root of Mr Redfern’s feelings in his letter is a denial of the outcome of the Holyrood election in 2021, which cannot be ignored.
Catriona C Clark, Falkirk.
THE DIFFERENCE HAS MADE US GOOD
MARTIN Redfern insists the Prime Minister should ‘stop spinning anti-UK rhetoric and try to act constructively with Westminster – including on Covid – rather than usually pursuing division’.
I suggest we take Mr Redfern’s advice when Westminster’s policy on Covid is reasonable. It is, however, difficult to come to this conclusion when in England people are allowed to do whatever they want, but at the same time Nightingale rooms are being built on an urgent basis. Or as of this writing, daily cases in Scotland are lower than in England as well as hospitalizations. At the same time, however, the Prime Minister is berated as a killjoy. Asked by a TV interviewer about what Edinburgh would be missing with the cancellation of Hogmanay, comedian Vladimir McTavish replied “a fourth wave of Covid”.
Mr Redfern would do better to understand that the philosophies, opinions and even the goals of the governments elected in London and Edinburgh are fundamentally different. The division is there, Mr Redfern, and rather than trying to avoid debate by indiscriminately ‘in step’ with London (Alister Jack), the Scottish government has followed its own advice and I would suggest that in terms of public health at least, we took advantage of that.
Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.
NOW IS THE TIME FOR DIVORCE
Mark Smith’s big read last week (“Is Britain Destined to Move Further Further in 2022?”, January 2) estimated that the UK’s fault lines were widening. I wonder if the gap is already irreparable.
I observe that people in the UK are now divided between two radically different concepts of the type of state they want to live in. These do not necessarily follow national borders and certainly not political parties.
The different states can only be distinguished by, say, 20 basic principles: written constitution versus unwritten constitution; proportional representation v first past the post system; favorable to immigration v hostile to immigration; NHS versus private health care; international v isolationist; soft capitalism versus hard capitalism; society versus individual; dove v militarist, and more.
Like two people in a marriage who have developed irreconcilable differences, the only solution, unfortunately, is divorce.
Stuart MacDonald, Newton Mearns.
WORK SHOULD COOPERATE WITH CONSERVATIVES
MY fervent wish for 2022 is for Labor in Scotland to realize that the Tories are not their greatest enemy. They may disagree with basic principles and economic plans and the different accents of the Conservative Party, that’s normal and understandable; almost all countries have a right-left divide. But the Tories are not the real enemy of Labor and those who think so are wrong.
When Scottish Labor understands the basic truth that Scottish nationalism is the enemy, not the Tories, and that for many years it has fallen into the nationalist trap and continues to do so while they rub their hands in joy, only then did his recovery and healing process begin. The SNP is the one-issue obsessed party that has dragged the workers of this country down, the people that Labor generally claims to represent. There should be no more curling up. No more fear of being labeled ‘anti-Scottish’. Then a central Phoenix Labor Party can rise again.
So, Labor, step back and start co-operating where possible with all the other willing partners to rid Scotland of a threat far greater than any Conservative government.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.
LET’S FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF SINGAPORE
JOHN V Lloyd (Letters, January 2) brings up an interesting point for consideration. If people in Singapore choose not to be vaccinated against Covid but end up in hospital, they are billed for their treatment. We should adopt the same rule in the UK. To discuss.
Kath Hay, Edinburgh.
* JOHN V Lloyd applauds Singapore billing unvaccinated Covid patients for their inpatient treatment. Presumably, he also thinks obese patients, smokers, and heavy drinkers should be charged as well.
Geoff Moore, Alness.
WHY ENGLAND WANTS INDEPENDENCE
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford constantly complains to the UK government about charges charged by the National Grid for transporting electricity generated by wind turbines to where it is consumed. He wants it reduced. Why?
Those who built the turbines – all foreign companies – knew National Grid’s tariffs before they asked for the planning. They are already paid to generate electricity and paid not to generate electricity. Since 2010, these companies have received over Â£ 1 billion in duress payments which have been added to all UK electricity bills. If the English ever find out they are subsidizing Scotland’s electricity bills, they will be the ones to demand Scottish independence.
Clark Cross, Linlithgow.
BISHOPS SHOULD FOLLOW TUTU ON ABORTION
SARAH Weddington (1945-2021), the lawyer in the 1973 Roe vs Wade case, died on Boxing Day 2021. Later in her life she commented: “I think of Roe vs Wade as a house located on the edge of a beach, where the water comes underneath and removes the sand. ”
Tricky questions abound. Late abortion and infanticide are close cousins. The NHS dating scan is a personal photographic record, arguably akin to a passport or driver’s license. Viable life and pregnancy are present when a human embryo implants in the uterus. The head and torso are seen on a CT scan at 12 weeks.
Deceived Anglican bishops, failing to sound the alarm about abortion in the UK, may need the moral equivalent of an emergency forceps delivery. About one in four pregnancies in the UK ends. The late Desmond Tutu said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.
CBR UK (the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform) lifts the veil on our abortion scandal in the UK: “Abortion happens when you see it”. But is CBRUK filling a void created by the cynical silence and moral cowardice of “The Lords Spiritual” – the Anglican Bishops of the House of Lords?
JT Hardy, Belfast.
ANOTHER NUCLEAR VETERANS SNUB
I AM WRITING regarding the disappointment felt by the UK’s nuclear veterans, the military personnel involved in the UK’s nuclear weapons testing program during the 1950s and 1960s, after they left be once again denied the award of a medal by the so-called Independent Military Advisory Subcommittee (AMSC).
The AMSC recommended that a medal not be awarded three times, in 2013, again in December 2020 and the most recent was around December 2021. Each time, she said there was not enough of ârisk and rigorâ. If standing near a nuclear explosion doesn’t meet his criteria, then I don’t know what would.
While 2021 was another disappointing year for British nuclear veterans, French and American nuclear veterans received medals from their governments, the French in January 2021 and the United States in December 2021. Once again, the UK and North Koreans are the only nuclear powers that do not recognize their nuclear veterans in any way.
On November 17, 2021, during questioning from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in response to a question, he said: âI will definitely make sure that we have an appropriate meeting with the representatives of the nuclear veterans.
This meeting has yet to take place, but when it does, I hope the Prime Minister will do the honorable thing and finally award Britain’s nuclear veterans the medal they truly deserve.
Colin Moir, Peterhead.