When compared to the NHS in Northern Ireland and Wales, both run by devolved governments, the Scottish NHS is turning into a national embarrassment.
Of course the responsibility for this ongoing fiasco is an SNP/ Green Scottish Government which is simply not fit for purpose. The Scottish people deserve more than a Scottish Government of a First Minister, cabinet secretaries and ministers who are simply not up to the job. The SNP/Green Scottish Government should be temporarily dissolved and a cross party coalition government should be established, bringing in the most competent MSPs in Scotland regardless of their political views.
Forget the obsession with Independence, people are dying unnecessarily due to incompetence at the highest level.
John Smith, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Time to adapt
We seem to have become a nation of whiners and spoilt children. The Furlough Scheme certainly was of huge benefit to many but a side effect is that it has shielded many from facing up to the truth.
The virus has changed many facets of daily living. If we are serious about climate change, we will be flying less, hence a change in the job market in that industry
I suspect car buying has changed for ever with the ability to “buy and try” from one's home, with a decreased need for car showrooms.
If working from home becomes an increasing phenomena this has implications for our public transport system, with fewer buses and trains, fewer cafes, restaurants and small shops in city centres with a lower footfall and a change in household costs, with increased house insurance, but reduced travel costs, plus an increased demand for good quality, reasonably costed internet connection.
Just as the mobile has led to a decrease in landline usage, cameras etc, so we are entering a new age with new demands and new opportunities, such as an increased need for HGV drivers. If we are to move on and take advantage of the changes we will have to adapt in many ways – some of them difficult and not of our first choice. The world of today is vastly different from that of my childhood, but my generation adapted. The world of our grandchildren, I suggest, will also be very different in travel, clothing, work and leisure. The time to adapt and change is now, instead of saying one thing on social media and sticking our head in the sand as to the practical implications for our lives now. The Furlough Scheme provide a great, if expensive, cushion – let's grab the future positively with both hands.
James Watson, Dunbar, East Lothian
The big test
What has become clear to me over the past few years when watching and reading the views of the SNP and their supporters is that they do not understand how unionists view independence. Right now, gaining independence looks to many people like taking control away from one incompetent government, repeatedly accused of cronyism and corruption and handing it to a government just as incompetent with its own allegations of corruption and cronyism. What nationalist need to understand is to people like me, the road to independence is a series of tests that need to be passed.
The Scottish Government is the practical exam, demonstrating competence in running a country with a limited selection of powers to prove that Scotland can indeed work as an independent country. While I understand some problems are going to crop up, a party that thinks it can rule better than the Conservatives in Westminster should not be presiding over several different crises in devolved areas like health, education and the ongoing ferry debacle. Especially if any of those crises are not replicated down south.
By this logic the practicalities of what an independent Scotland will look like is the theory test. Talking about all the countries that have made independence a success and replicating that shows a goal. It is not a roadmap on how to get that goal. Talk about resources is the beginning of this roadmap but further details are needed.
As someone in his twenties, common wisdom tends to dictate I should be an independence supporter. However, I need evidence before I make that leap and my view is not unusual among people my age. It is a bad state of affairs – and the height of irony – when all the people who know how to get independence are unionists.
John Shanks, Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire
Please insult me
I would like to confirm that as someone of a pro-UK disposition, the word “Yoon “ has no effect on me whatsoever (“Nationalists and Unionists: New Ofcom study classifies ‘Nats’ and ‘Yoons’ as offensive terms”, 29 September).
If you want to irritate and annoy “the other side”, the word “Nat” is perfect in that it references a biting and irritating insect that usually operates in swarms. The addition of “cyber” helps reinforce the means in which many independence activists operate. As a mildly derogatory term that stays on the right side of the red line, it is perfect, enough to irritate, but not to cause genuine offence. The word “Nat” also sounds harsh, something you can spit out to reinforce your point. It has an edge to it. It isn’t a consequence of the Yes/ No divide, being present in our political language for many, many decades. Why are we taking offence at it now?
By contrast, “Yoon” is a completely nothing word. It means nothing, there is no underlying nasty tone, and it is not a word you can spit out with any venom. It has no edge to it. It shows no imagination. It has no history or provenance. It simply exists as a poor counterweight to the term “Nat”, with independence activists seeking an equivalent term of abuse, but failing miserably, like they do with everything else.
My attitude to this term has always been, “Is that the best they can do?”. Like their reasons for independence itself, even their terms of abuse are weak and unconvincing.
Victor Clements, Aberfeldy, Perthshire
America is expected to see a compensation settlement for prescribed opioid damage costing a predicted $26 billion or more. How does Nicola Sturgeon's administration respond? The de facto decriminalisation of drugs in drugs in Scotland is a woke or wacky scam and scandal. It's almost as absurd as losing energy, heat and light, while the UK leaves vast oil or coal reserves untapped to keep the Greta Thunberg cult happy. Would Saint Nicola want Scotland returned to the Stone Age? She should set up a new outdoor parliament at the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis.
J T Hardy, Belfast
The UK has not developed its marine energy resources comprehensively, and continues to ignore the economic potential of the sea for providing heat and electricity. Some examples exist of what is possible, including at Glasgow, where a system exists to take 20 per cent of the city’s heating needs from the Clyde Estuary using proven heat pump technology. Why have other estuarine cities, including Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, not done likewise?Similarly, the estimated potential to provide a massive 60 GIgawatts of electricity from the Pentland Firth has not been exploited, still having only one tidal power station. Other untapped marine and tidal resources around our islands could be utilised to provide a sustainable stream of renewable heat and electrical energy. Marine turbines and heat pumps incorporated into flood prevention barrages or bridges for sea defences could also offset the costs of alleviating rising sea levels and storm surge.A major effort to encourage cross sector working across government and industry to plan and implement the UK’s proven energy producing marine technologies is needed to transform our energy security of supply and reduce the long term cost of heat and power for the benefit of all. Why is this not happening?
Elizabeth Marshall, Edinburgh
Mispl aced blame
I see Gill Turner accusing fellow letter writer Andrew H N Gray of singing from the Brexit hymn sheet as he said the shortage of HGV drivers had nothing to do with Brexit (Letters, 29 September).
Sadly I must now accuse her of the same crime except she appears to be using the SNP/anti-Tory hymn sheet, saying that Brexit is the cause of this disaster.
However, my friend in Germany tells me there is a shortage of these drivers all over Europe, especially in Germany, the Netherlands and France, and as he is resident there I have no reason to disbelieve him.
So I would like to know how Brexit has caused this situation in Europe as most of the countries are still members of the EU – or is it just a case that those against Brexit are just bad losers and are in the habit of blaming Westminster for all of Scotland's problems when we all know the causes are much closer to home.
George Storey, Hawick, Scottish Borders
Not a bad speech from Keir Starmer at the Labour Party Conference (pity about the interruptions). He stressed how the Labour Party is the party of labour, ie, the working class.
However, many of the working class in England voted Tory; many of the working class in Scotland voted SNP. The Labour Party in places like London is the party of the middle class metropolitan elite. Boy, does he have his work cut out!
William Ballantine, Bo'ness, West Lothian
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