Readers' Letters: Sussexes should put money where mouth is on racism

The Harry and Meghan Netflix show may be out but I won’t be watching them and adding to the couple's enormous wealth.

We all know that racism is endemic throughout the globe in many forms so we don't need a couple of self-important individuals to take to the media and tell us about their “revelations”. If they were sincere in their crusade to root out racism in all levels of society and benefit the underprivileged, I am sure the millions of dollars they will be making could be put to good use saving the children of Africa and elsewhere who desperately need food and water to ensure their survival.

I hope that King Charles will have the courage to initiate action to remove both Harry's dukedom and his entitlement to be fifth in line to the throne. This would allow the deluded Harry and his self-obsessed wife the opportunity to achieve the privacy they reportedly crave. I am ambivalent towards the monarchy but I feel that the Royal Family are at last taking steps to improve their image and bring about greater transparency to an institution which has hitherto been somewhat obscure and impersonal.

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Bob MacDougall, Oxhill, Kippen, Stirlingshire

Netflix documentary series 'Harry and Meghan' was released yesterday (Picture: Daniel Leal/AFP/Getty)

No colonies

The creation of the SNP in 1934 and its predecessors was predicated onthe idea that Scotland is a British colony (some adherents still referto it that way). Colonies can choose to be independent of their imperialmasters, so it suited the SNP to portray Scotland that way.

That was a deliberate misconception then, as it is now. It doesn't suit the SNP to explain the more shocking result that independence for Scotland would bring: the break up of Great Britain and hence the end of the UK itself. That would undo the Treaty of Union and be a major constitutional step that could only be decided by all the people of the UK.Scotland became an integral part of Great Britain when the latter was created in 1707 with the Treaty of Union. It was then as much part of the new unified state as England, sharing equally in the life and society of GB. That Union remained when the UK was formed in 1800 with the incorporation of Ireland, later just Northern Ireland.

No part of the UK is a colony, although some islands are crown dependencies; all parts, however you describe them, constitute the whole unified state and no unified state can tolerate the secession of any part. It was a mistake for the UK Government even to consider allowed secession.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Poor show

Some folks have funny ideas and Leah Gunn Barrett demonstrates that hers are just hilarious (Letters, 8 December). She seems to think that Westminster should “let Scotland go if we are such a financial burden”. Aye, that'll be right!

If Ms Gunn Barrett believes that countries divest themselves of their sovereign territory because they cost money, why doesn’t she go to a few other countries and suggest that they do the same thing? How about the USA, for instance? There are plenty of US states that are dirt poor. Kentucky comes to mind. Others include Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and West Virginia. I have friends in West Virginia who would not welcome being told that the rest of the USA didn't want them. They are Americans.

Perhaps she should remember that we have voted to remain British by a big majority? Maybe she wasn't here at the time, though.

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Ms Barrett loves the numbers generated by Shetland’s oil, which she calls “Scotland's oil”. Wrong. I expect that she will remember a good ol’ boy named Mark Twain when she spouts forth her self-justifying numbers. Twain talked about “lies, damned lies and statistics”. Which category do her numbers fall under?

Dave Anderson, Aberdeen

To Eire is human

Let’s once again set the record straight for Mary Thomas and others who see the Irish Republic as a Utopian model for separatist Scotland (Letters, 7 December).Ms Thomas is correct in stating that Ireland’s state pension is more generous than it is in the UK.

This is just as well, since the cost of living in Eire is 14 per cent higher than here, and even most elderly people must pay for healthcare through VHI (Voluntary Health Insurance).

Also mentioned are “lower income inequalities” in Ireland. Also true, although the country ranks second (just behind Britain) in the European unequal wealth distribution table.

Ms Thomas points to GDP in the 26 counties being higher than ours. This is due to a miracle called “leprechaun economics”, where multinationals register themselves in Dublin for tax evasion purposes and thus artificially inflate GDP figures.

Not so surprising, then, that “1,200 financial services jobs have moved from London to Dublin”.

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News has clearly not reached Ms Thomas that the Celtic Tiger phenomenon ended in 2008 when Ireland went bankrupt and consequently was for many years obliged to have its budgets approved by the European Central Bank.

She also tells us that the Emerald Isle has “the highest life expectancy at birth in Europe”. Sadly untrue: this honour goes to Switzerland (83.83 years) whereas that of the United Kingdom stands at 83, with Ireland at 82.6.

Martin O’Gorman, Edinburgh

Shun Iran

Iran hangs a man after convicting him of “enmity against God” because of his involvement in the current protests. We need to stop pretending that Iran has a civilised government and judiciary in the face of such brazen savagery.

I doubt even their own “God” would sanction this obscenity. Rest in peace, Mohsen Shekari.

Steve Hayes, Leven, Fife

Balance risks

Dr Richard Dixon talks about a proposed nuclear reactor at Grangemouth as though these things exploded on a regular basis (Sustainable Scotland, 8 December). In fact, more people are killed by cars and aeroplanes than have ever been hurt by nuclear power.

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When two aircraft collided on the runway at Tenerife in 1977, killing 583 people, we did not stop flying because it was too dangerous.

Risk is an element of life, so – as a self-described consultant – Dr Dixon should be presenting balanced views instead of his endless one-sided praise of all things green.

Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Perth & Kinross

Energy hypocrisy

Britain and the US have agreed that the US will aim to export at least nine to 10 billion cubic metres of liquified natural gas to UK terminals in 2023. (your report, 7 December). It is said that this will reduce winter blackouts. Note “reduce” – not stop.

Also note that the majority of this US gas will come from US fracking. That rather makes a mockery of those politicians who stopped fracking in the UK after being misled by Friends of the Earth, which said that fracking would cause earthquakes, cancer, increase radioactivity, poison underground water and that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would destroy those who dared to frack.

Strange that the Horsemen never visited America.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Stay in bed?

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As ambulance workers walk out, offering only “life and limb” cover, for many, 21 December will feel like the longest day of the year, when in reality, being the Winter Solstice, it should be the shortest. Ambulance response will only be given to those with life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

For the elderly and disabled who have had a fall and a 999-call made, ambulance support is unlikely on strike days.

Readers should advise family, friends and neighbours who are at risk of slips, trips or falls to take special care. 21 and 28 December are days to avoid anything strenuous. For example, a bath or shower would be better undertaken on another day.

To those “demoralised and downtrodden” striking NHS workers who are “on their knees”, (quote, Rachel Harrison, GMB national secretary), spare a thought for the elderly, who may need emergency help when they fall and are, on their knees.

Gary Freestone, Leicester

NHS abused

The Scottish Tories are complaining about the number of people being seen within target waiting times at A&E (your report, 7 December). The aim of the Scottish Government is for 95 per cent of people to be seen within the four-hour time limit. The statistics reveal why this is an unrealistic goal. If almost 25,000 people attended A&E in the week up to 27 November, the more pertinent question should be why so many people feel the need to attend an emergency department, when they can get medical advice for conditions which are not life-threatening by calling the NHS non-emergency number.

We are fortunate to have a health service which is free at the point of contact, but this can be a double-edged sword, when people without life-threatening issues attend A&E without first seeking advice by calling 111. Perhaps we have become too complacent about this free service, which could buckle under the strain of the sheer numbers of attendees.

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The staff at A&E have to give priority to those who have serious issues. A large number of people with minor problems go to the department because it’s more convenient than waiting for a GP appointment.

This is an abuse of the system and could result in changes to the protocol, which would affect all of us. We should never take our National Health Service for granted, if we want it to continue to protect us from life’s unforeseen accidents.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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