Readers' Letters: New donor questions too bleeding political

I visited Blood Transfusion recently to make my regular donation in a good cause. However, the normal donor form now asks what my ethnicity is.

The choices offered were rather limited. I could choose “White Scots”, “White British”, “White Irish”; even “White Gypsy/Traveller” and “White Polish”. I asked how to answer both “White Scots” and “White British”, as I am both, as (I expect) were more than 50 per cent of those donating. However, speaking to someone else who was there for the session, it was pointed out to me that there is no “White English”, or “White Welsh”. Why not?Among those who donate, I have often noted several English accents and I would regard such a deliberate omission as politically motivated and an insult. Scots, moreover, are British, in case someone hadn’t noticed.

However, the icing on the cake came when I was told I had to answer a question asking if I was pregnant. There was no choice.People give blood out of the goodness of their hearts. I, however, being quite obviously a man, object to being treated like an idiot and being made to answer damn fool, politically inspired questions. It really makes me wonder if I should bother giving blood in Scotland in future, despite having given 92 times so far. I am sure that Northumberland could use it just as well.

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Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh

The Scottish NHS relies on the goodwill of its regular blood donors (Picture: Bill Henry)

No to nationalism

In gloating over the rise of nationalism across the UK, Les Mackay (Letters, 14 May) should note that Sinn Fein only gained a small additional share of the vote from more moderate nationalist parties. They are the largest party at Stormont because the main unionist party, the DUP, lost seats to the non-sectarian Alliance party. It seems that the “unionists” in Northern Ireland are rejecting sectarianism and moving to a modern, moderate democracy while the nationalists have become more entrenched.

In Scotland, nationalist/unionist voting was always hidden under the normal left/right/centre split until the return of the Scottish Parliament, which allowed nationalism and bigotry to make an unwelcome return under the SNP. The majority remain non-nationalist, as has been proven in the 2014 referendum and every election since, including the recent council elections, in which the SNP took 453 seats compared to the 583 split between Labour/Conservatives/Lib Dems.

(Dr) SJ Clark, Edinburgh

How long?

How long has the Union got, asks reader Les Mackay, citing the electoral success of pro-Independence parties in the local elections.Well, I guess it will last as long as the combined votes of pro-Union parties in all elections continue to outweigh those of their opponents, thus making referendum defeat for separatists inevitable.I suggest Les has a read of Murdo Fraser’s article (Perspective, 11 May) which explains all this better than I can. Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t need to bother, she already knows she’d lose. Again.

Andrew Kemp, Rosyth, Fife

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Alba fantasy

In which alternate dimension does former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond believe the second disastrous set of results for his Alba Party are in any way “gains”? His long overdue post-election postmortem claim, “in some areas we achieved results at the levels which would see candidates elected in the Scottish Parliament” in particular is pure fantasy.

Alba's “best” result in Fraserburgh saw councillor for 38 years Brian Topping's vote crash from 652 votes (12.8 per cent) to 274 (5.8 per cent). Only a few of the party's candidates scraped a hundred each – that included 12 other sitting councillors, all wiped out.

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Either Alba and the rest of the dwarf stars of Scottish nationalism's anti-Sturgeon factions put pragmatics before their egos and unite, or from now until doomsday all they'd achieve is enriching local printing firms at elections as the vainglorious throw good money after bad.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

One or the other

An excellent article from John McLellan in your 14 May Perspective (“SNP needs to come clean on IndyRef2”) requires a follow-up review of the problem for the Scottish Green Party. In fact, it is surprising that Scottish Labour has failed to challenge Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater over which policy will take priority for Green MSPs at Holyrood. Is it to help the SNP deliver on Indyref2 or will it be a campaign to Save the Planet by the implemention of COP26 ?

The statement in the current version of the SNP Growth Report indicates a decade of austerity after a successful referendum, hence adding to the present cost-of-living crisis. The statement by the Green Minister that, due to the state of the Scottish economy, only 5 per cent of the £33 billion cost of a transition from gas boilers to heat pumps can be underwritten by the public purse shows that the economy can only support one of these policies.

Time for the SNP and the Green Party to come clean with the Scottish voters and declare whether COP26 has been ditched for a generation until the economy recovers from the hit arising from Indyref2 or whether, as declared by MP Kenny MacAskill, Saving the Planet always trumps any independence campaign !

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

Destroyer logic

I was amused by the letter headlined “Job well done” (14 May) in which Fraser Grant unconvincingly defends the governmental and managerial chaos behind the Ferguson ferries scandal. Clearly one of the many things the Sturgeon government and her supporters do not understand is “the law of unintended consequences”. In his convoluted argument, Mr Grant points to the similarly, if much more expensively, flawed commissioning process behind the delayed Type 45 destroyers being built further up the Clyde by BAE systems. His point appears to be that this makes the Ferguson debacle acceptable.

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What in fact it does demonstrate is that here is one other area in which the Scottish Government is no better than the one it wants to replace at Westminster. Unconsciously it may also, perhaps, be read as pointing to why all other shipbuilding on the Clyde has been consigned to history.

Kit Fraser, Dunbar, East Lothian

WHO rules UK?

How do you feel about the NHS being totally controlled by the World Health Organisation? Well, that's what's going to happen when the UK, like most governments, signs up very soon to the Global Pandemic Treaty. This will give the WHO power over national governments in a future pandemic to determine travel, trade, lockdowns and health finance. They will decide who gets a vaccine, what that vaccine will be, if it will be compulsory, when lockdowns start, how strict they will be, and more. This will be a disastrous step toward a global authoritarian government.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, the former Ethiopian Foreign Minister, is well know for his praise of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and his dismissal of any evidence that the pandemic originated in a Wuhan biosecurity laboratory.

I don't want a man like that dictating to Professor Sir Chris Whitty or Professor Sir Gregor Smith how the NHS should respond. Do you?

William Loneskie, Oxton, Berwickshire

Lines of enquiry

Brian Wilson argues the case for a Judge-led public enquiry into the ferry fiasco (Perspective, 12 May).If it happens, we can only hope it makes better progress than the Edinburgh Tram enquiry. Has anyone ever seen the results of that one?

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Fiona Garwood, Edinburgh

Police pay-out

I have every sympathy for former police officer Rhona Malone and her award of almost a million pounds in compensation for her shocking treatment while a serving officer.

Is it right, however, that this should be paid by us, the taxpayer? What punishment is given to those who inflicted this maltreatment and the senior officers who should have seen what was going on?

Donald Carmichael, East Linton, East Lothian

Not so normal

The latest “in” phrase, presumably supplied by the SNP’s heavily manned – and paid for by all taxpayers – spin department, is: ‘‘It’s normal”. It is usually made in reference to breaking off Scotland from the rest of the UK and I have heard several of their leading propagandists trot it out whenever what they see as a suitable occasion arises. The dreary, old and completely inappropriate comparisons with small European nations are laid out again and again.

What is never mentioned are the other European and Asian countries that were once separate entities, as was Scotland, and who decided to gain strength and better the lot of their people by joining with other close entities sharing much the same culture and thus providing strength and solidarity for the weakest when facing common human problems. A good example would be Bavaria, now happily part of Germany, or the former separate Italian states, which got together as a unit and formed present-day Italy. The list of these successes is endless.

These examples are perhaps infinitely more “ normal” than breaking up a centuries’ old union of countries occupying a small island. Only in Scotland has there remained rancour and longing by a deluded minority for the fabled and wonderful old days, which in truth never existed. These people prefer dreams of Brigadoon and Braveheart, ignoring the reality of circumstances in the modern world.

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Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

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