Readers' Letters: Don’t blame government for ‘two-tier’ society

If people choose not to be vaccinated for Covid, should they be allowed in pubs? (Picture: Getty)If people choose not to be vaccinated for Covid, should they be allowed in pubs? (Picture: Getty)
If people choose not to be vaccinated for Covid, should they be allowed in pubs? (Picture: Getty)
On Thursday’s Question Time on BBC1 some of the panel and the audience were trying to accuse the Government of creating a two-tier society with proposals for opening up travel to doubly-jabbed people.

Personally I think this is a good idea, not least for the medical benefits it provably brings, but also as a step back towards a normality. Your article today about countries that want British holidaymakers back therefore makes interesting reading, given that a number of countries are now opening up to “fully vaccinated” holiday makers.

It’s not our Government that is creating a two-tier society, it is individuals who rightly exercise their rights to freedom of choice and who choose to be in one camp or the other. Are they going to accuse the Greek, Cypriot, Moroccan and other governments of creating the same two-tier societies issue or can they admit that there is sense to it?

Ken Currie, Edinburgh

Wave goodbye

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Having read your special report "Wind Energy Scotland" (24 June) I have to question the economic viability and reliability of generating electricity from waves.

As any nature observer will have noticed, waves largely result as a consequence of wind and thus no wind, no waves! So, why are we pouring funds into what is yet another expensive weather dependent and intermittent means of electricity generation when we need a reliable electricity supply?

GM Lindsay, Perth & Kinross

Weighty issues

Perhaps we can all agree that “Freedom Day” cannot come soon enough? Unfortunately for Downing Street it must have registered that Covid Freedom Day is incompatible with the demand for silence about an independence referendum whilst we are “in the midst of a pandemic”. So no surprise that attention has now turned to ways in which an independence referendum can be weighted towards the Union by changing the franchise to include Scots resident in England. No surprise, also, to see another version of a raised threshold for Yes, now proposed at 75 per cent! (Derek Stevenson, Letters, 23 June).I have an alternative proposal which I’ve termed Life Expectancy Consequential Weighting or, more loosely, “skin-in-the-game”. Essentially, more weight is given to the votes of those who would live longest with the consequences, along the lines of: age 16-25 one vote counts as three; 26-45 counts as two; 46-65 counts as one; and the vote of a person over 66 and older would only count as half a vote.As I fall in to the last category, I expect this to be seen as a selfless and objective proposal, rather than a blatant attempt to bring about the result I prefer.

Robert Farquharson, Edinburgh

Bad form

Hauliers were on the radio complaining re: paperwork needed to send goods to Europe. Just imagine how many more forms they will need to complete if the SNP get independence, especially as we will have to pass through a foreign country (England) in order to get to the ports to access the EU. Added to that, we export more to the rest of the UK than the EU, so more paperwork will be needed to comply with their rules.

Elizabeth Hands, Armadale, West Lothian

Train strain

Alastair D alton’s Inside Transport column (Perspective, 25 June) takes a look at the response to easyJet’s announcement of new domestic routes across the UK. While, clearly, we all need to look at our travel and the impact on climate change, we do also need to consider how the alternatives compare. For routes like Edinburgh to Manchester or London, the train, based on my own experience, is clearly a viable alternative and one that is simpler and quicker when you factor all the time either side of a flight.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for other domestic destinations. Alistair mentions routes from Inverness to Newquay and Aberdeen to Bristol. At best, the former will take well over 14 hours by train, with four changes. The latter will be more than eight hours on the train on a good day. You can’t blame people for letting the plane take the strain in that comparison – especially when flights will often be a lot cheaper, too. This highlights the need to invest in improving the speed and efficiency of our rail network across Great Britain to significantly cut journey times and make the train a better alternative for more routes.

J Lewis, Edinburgh

Burnham notice

What a diatribe from Laura Waddell on 24th June! Apparently, Andy Burnham is guilty of all manner of things. First, we get the backhanded compliment that he seemed such a nice chap before he committed his crime; a “natural ally” – though how a devoted unionist would be a devoted ally of a party whose whole aim is to destroy that Union, Ms Waddell keeps to herself.

Mr Burnham’s crime, it seems, is to have the unutterable gall to complain about the bad manners – no, that’s too mild a term – the contempt with which he, his city and the north of England have been treated by the leader of Scotland’s party of division, the SNP. Ms Waddell talks about a “bad tempered fight” with Nicola Sturgeon. I think all the latter’s fights are bad tempered, usually confected on her part, but that is her aim, of course. She loves playing to the gallery with that approach.

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Ms Waddell can’t resist a swipe at Mr Burnham’s status – “a city mayor demanding to be treated like a national statesman”. I am sure that Mr Burnham, who is a very level-headed, measured speaker, would have spoken about the disgraceful treatment meted out to his city with a pithy epithet or two, but probably quite appropriately. Had he been dealing with a statesman, or someone of real status, I dare say that he might have moderated his tone, but that was not merited in this case.

The SNP do not seek to prevent Scots from travelling to places in Scotland with higher rates of Covid, like Dundee, but they do single out Manchester, despite having no power to do so. Why? Well, obviously there is political capital to be made attacking the English. We all know that. Yet Nicola Sturgeon said he tweeted his response “four hours after she said that he was welcome to pick up the phone”. How nice of her! How odd that she did not feel the need to pick up the phone herself in the first place and show some manners, but he is English after all, so manners don’t matter.

Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh

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Pundit wars

Kenny MacAskill suggests that there should be a greater Scottish involvement in TV coverage of international football (Perspective, 24 June). Clearly, unlike me, he could tolerate the over-hyped statements of the obvious that characterised the STV commentary on the Croatia match. In contrast, the following evening on the BBC for the France vs Portugal game, Guy Mowbray and Jermaine Jenas provided a knowledgeable masterclass in description and analysis. At this time, the comparison in quality brought to mind the watchability contrast between the Scotland team containing Billy Gilmour and the one in which, unfortunately, he was absent.

Jim Douglas, Penicuik, Midlothian


As a British subject born in England who regularly visit his partner in Scotland, I find it hard to believe the amount of pressure and control the SNP has over the media and the public in Scotland. When I read the daily news it seems that Nicola Surgeon or another SNP member always has to try to bring England down. Yet when I read the UK news, nothing much is said of Scotland except for the real news.

Almost daily we read of threats etc made by Sturgeon, not just aimed at the English, but at the Scottish public. She has imposed a ban on travel to certain parts of England but has lifted restrictions in parts of Scotland with rising Covid cases. When questioned, Sturgeon now likes to say that the amount of cases do not matter in Scotland, but they matter in England. When the Brexit saga was on going, in which the UK wanted its independence back, Sturgeon was opposed to it, Now she wants Scottish independence and when the UK return her favour by opposing it, she immediately puts the UK down and says the English disrespect Scotland. Boris Johnston is respecting the wishes of the majority of Scotland who voted to remain in the UK.

Mark Leeming, Leeds

Deadhead vandals

The selfish people who have treated Scotland’s beauty spots with utter disrespect through their acts of vandalism are not the kind of people who usually frequent our wild spaces. Those who are well acquainted with the request to "leave no trace” know how to behave in the hills, but these opportunistic newcomers are totally indifferent to their impact on the environment (your report, 25 June). No-one who loves our hills and glens would ever treat them with such disrespect. It’s extremely concerning to learn that their dogs are as undisciplined as their owners, and are left to attack wildlife and livestock.

Perhaps it’s time for the authorities to be less polite towards the most destructive culprits, and leave them in no doubt about how reckless and selfish they are.

Carolyn Taylor, Dundee

Blooming glorious

A little flag-waving is in order. This month's Which? magazine lists the 70 best gardens in the UK, as rated by their readers; and four of the top 10 are in Scotland. What is more, all four are RBGE gardens, with Logan rated as the finest garden in Britain. Dawyck comes joint second and Benmore is in joint third place. Edinburgh’s Botanic Garden is rated 10th. This is an extraordinary achievement and the RBGE staff deserve our heartiest congratulations.

Barry Hughes, Edinburgh

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