Readers' Letters: No masking motives for Covid ‘guidance’
I sympathise with Peter McGlashan (Letters, 31 March) over the senseless SNP face mask policy, if one can dignify political manipulation with that name. Anyone would think there was an election coming.
As Nicola Sturgeon knows well, but refuses to acknowledge, Scotland has a far higher incidence of Covid despite the wearing of face masks than England, which doesn't. So, she appears in a bar in Glasgow without one; but we must wear one. She appears at Westminster for the thanksgiving service for the Duke of Edinburgh and doesn't wear one, despite insisting that they be worn in Scotland. Is it only in Scotland that face masks are supposed to protect us? Dignitaries who were at Westminster surely deserve an answer, as do the people of Scotland.So, where are we now? We “must wear a face-covering” due to “Scottish Government advice” when sitting on Edinburgh buses, but that doesn't sound like advice to me. That sounds obligatory, so why not say so? If we sit in a pub, however, we don't have to wear a mask. Scottish schoolchildren now do not need to wear masks when in class, but do when moving about in school. They then leave school and congregate without masks, so clearly, swarms of Covid bugs do not hover in in pubs, or in churches, but they do in shops, school corridors and buses.So, you can say farewell to Auntie Gladys without a mask, but you can't buy a poke of chips without wearing one. Only in Scotland.
Only in Scotland.
Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh
Tories will pay
The Scots Tories' confected outrage about face masks will surely come back to haunt them at election time.
We won't easily forget that in an ongoing global pandemic with an NHS under intolerable pressures, Douglas Ross and his Tory cohort wanted us to be fully exposed to the deadly mutating virus at its epicentre, with no sensible public health precautions in place.
Alistair McBay, Methven, Perth
So Nanny Sturgeon goes down to England where she avails herself of the freedom not to wear a mask at an indoor gathering , while at the same time subjecting the Scottish people to a legal requirement to keep wearing masks on public transport, at indoor venues and in places of worship.What hypocrisy! But it gets worse.She then comes back north of the Border and decrees that Scots must continue to wear face-masks for some weeks to come.The sooner this egocentric megalomaniac is removed from the office of First Minister, the better. (Remember how she told Donald Trump, the elected President of the USA, that he wasn’t wanted in Scotland; said that Boris Johnson, the elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, no less, shouldn’t come to Scotland either; and that Scots living in England should not visit family in Scotland, as Scotland’s Covid rules were stricter. How’s that for delusions of grandeur!)And then she also pontificates that Nato should daily be considering imposing a no-fly zone in Ukraine. Something that could trigger World War Three!
J Moir, Aberdeen
Now that the Metropolitan Police have issued fines relating to “Partygate” when can we in Scotland expect to see the result of the investigation by Police Scotland into the £600,000 that apparently has gone missing from the SNP funds. This was instigated in June/July last year after the resignation of four members from the SNP Board.Perhaps this report has been issued to the SNP but as with all other reports that show the SNP in bad light it is currently being redacted by them before being issued to the Scottish public.
William Hope, Longniddry, East Lothian
Close to home
The First Minister is correct in saying that our political culture is more toxic now. I would also agree about the role of social media, which is akin to an unconstructive digital chasm.However, surely some blame for this must lie at her own partys’ door. Before 2014 I was largely comfortable in my identity; I was Scottish and British. I expect many felt the same, moving along a continuum. In 2014 it was open to attack for the first time. Was I Scottish enough? How Scottish did I need to be? Was I a “quisling” for wanting to vote No?The SNP has used every election, local and national, to campaign for another independence referendum where not only your political views are questioned, but your sense of identity as well. The opposition parties dutifully and necessarily have to follow suit with this.Sturgeon has the power to put the clock back to the post-2014 world, yet obviously chooses to exist in this “polarised and toxic” Scotland that she bemoans.
David Bone, Girvan, South Ayrshire
I am at a loss to know why the Scottish minister tasked with explaining and defending the SNP ferries fiasco – to Holyrood and to journalists – has been Kate Forbes. By her own admission, she was not in office at the time that the crucial decisions were taken.
But plenty of other ministers were – Keith Brown, John Swinney, Humza Yousaf, to name a few. Why did Nicola Sturgeon not instruct one of them – preferably Keith Brown, who was Transport Minister, who presumably knew the detail of the contract – to give a full explanation?
Ms Sturgeon has not been surefooted in her contributions on this subject, and perhaps felt that she could not trust relevant ministers to do any better.
I guess that is why she handed the innocently ignorant Ms Forbes a hospital pass.Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh
Sign of old times
Alex Salmond is fighting a one-man battle against his local council over “a great piece of work” by a local craftsman (your report, 31 March). Said great piece of work is a large, wooden sign saying “Yes”, a single-word slogan which may be familiar to readers from a failed political campaign led none other than Alex Salmond.
Mr Salmond says that “it is difficult not to see a political motivation behind this”, but he doesn't explain whether he is referring to the blatant political sign he is displaying, or the Council's response to “an election-related advertising sign”.
Aberdeenshire Council says that Mr Salmond needs consent to display the sign.
Much the same as he needed consent to drag Scotland out of the UK. Now what was the outcome of that?
Peter Hopkins, Edinburgh
I was dismayed to learn that Edinburgh City Council have decided to cancel discussion on a proposal seeking to twin the city with the city of Gaza.
It appears the item was pulled to “give full consideration to legal matters raised since publication of the agenda”, since "the Israeli authorities have challenged any consideration of the matter, even to negatively consider, as unlawful, on grounds it ‘could’ support Hamas – a listed terrorist organisation”.
This is despite claims by the Gaza Council Media department that their municipal officials are appointed by Ejtimaa’ meeting, a process similar to how tribal elders in a Jirga group appoint leaders in Afghanistan, and their denial of Hamas involvement in Gazan local elections.
The city council move follows an earlier warning from the UK Lawyers for Israel group that individual councillors could face up to 14 years in prison if the proposal to twin with Gaza went ahead.
It seems strange at a time when we are all being asked to respect and support the rights of a sovereign country, and after years of being warned about another state’s interference in our own and US democracy, that the agents of another state can openly and successfully threaten the elected officials of the people of Edinburgh and determine for themselves who we can or cannot develop friendly relations with.
Strange times indeed.
MJ Hauxwell, Galashiels, Scottish Borders
Cap on fairness
This April, every household in the Irish Republic will receive £150 automatically credited to their domestic electricity accounts while businesses and domestic consumers in Scotland will be suffering even higher bills than their English counterparts thanks to the United Kingdom’s energy policies.
The daily standing charge set by the UK government-influenced body Ofgem is going up by 100 per cent in Scotland, to 47p or 48p, while in London consumers will pay just 31p per day.
Part of the hike will go to fill the hole left by the collapse of energy firms and taxpayers are already on the hook for the £2 billion bail out of Bulb energy.
Scotland’s consumers also suffer from the discriminatory National Grid charges set by Ofgem whereby our renewable industries pay the highest connection charges in Europe at £7.36 per megawatt hour, which is more than double than our nearest competitors in Yorkshire and Humberside that have attracted most of recent investment
Astonishingly, Norway can feed energy into our National Grid at a cost of £1.36 per megawatt hour.
France pays 17p per megawatt hour while Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg pay nothing to feed into our grid.
To make matters worse the National Grid sold a 60 per cent stake in Britain’s gas pipeline infrastructure to Australian investment firms for more than £4bn and will be looking to increase profits from UK consumers.
As energy is reserved to Westminster, there is little chance of things improving prior to Scotland gaining independence.
Fraser Grant, Edinburgh
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