Readers' Letters: We should reject Sturgeon’s 'control freakery'

Your editorial (4 August) leads with "Caution will find favour with many" is, in my opinion, grossly misleading.

Is First Minister Nicola Sturgeon far too cautious on Covid? (Picture: Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images)

As stated, there is no real joy from this latest batch of “freedoms” handed down by HRH Nicola Sturgeon. Thirty-five miles from my front door is the gateway to 56 million mask-free, self-determining people, making decisions on personal risk, distancing and in general living their lives normally.

We, on the other hand, are being controlled further by this all consuming SNP government and, in particular, its power-loving leader.

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So night clubs will open, but no decision yet on mask wearing? Football crowds still limited.

Three weeks behind England, Sturgeon has seen no increase in transmission, deaths or any other negative reaction after the lifting of Covid restrictions there.

This is now pure and unadulterated control freakery on the part of the SNP and Sturgeon for no scientific purpose – it’s all about being seen as different and in command.

This dystopian nonsense must end now, as we are being treated like lab mice – and why? Not one piece of scientific evidence backs these draconian decisions. It is pure and unadulterated grandstanding, to the detriment of health, wealth and mental wellbeing.

If ever there was an argument to get rid of devolved governments, this is surely the prime example – living on an island in a population of 67 million, yet different rules for 56 million living down the road? Come on Sturgeon, explain that as we travel over the Border daily for work and pleasure.

I, for one, will not be staying in my homeland for any further holidays while this nonsense prevails. Maybe it’s time to vote on independence, and let the silent majority roar!

David Millar, Lauder, Scottish Borders

Bad news

It is unsurprising that GB News is struggling to build a significant audience in spite of the prominent involvement of Andrew Neil and an assembly of opinionated “Rule Britannia” hosts.

“News reporting” on both the BBC and Sky is increasingly devoted to stories of “bad events” outside of England, especially those occurring in Scotland, and are now blatantly deflecting from the massive failings of the Prime Minister and his calamitous government (disastrous for most outside the elite Conservative Party bubble).

When coronavirus infection rates reached record numbers in Scotland this was reported as headline news but when infection rates in England later reached even higher numbers, and possibly the highest in the world at the time, this information was effectively buried.

As stocks of certain products have diminished in shops and prices continue to rise, Brexit being the root cause has rarely received a mention. While a record number of drug deaths in Scotland headed news stories throughout the UK, the record number of drug deaths in England was not considered headline news.

When Covid-related daily deaths across the UK returned to a number in excess of 100 for the first time in months, the BBC did not even report the loss of another 168 lives to this still deadly virus in its prime time news programmes.

Having just returned home from a visit down South, it is clear that the suppression of "bad news” relating to the coronavirus pandemic is encouraging many to believe that they can now return to “normality’” such as entering crowded lifts without any thoughts of mask-wearing or physical distancing. With much of the mainstream media effectively broadcasting the Tory Government view devoid of any serious objective analysis, never mind criticism, is it any wonder that GB News is already redundant?

Stan Grodynski, Longniddry, East Lothian

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No apologies

It's interesting that correspondents to The Scotsman who are congenitally uncritical of the UK and lacking in any sense of self-perception or irony, have taken calling people who disagree with them SNP apologists. Andrew Kemp (Letters, 3 August) parrots this mantra in a criticism of an earlier letter of mine on drug deaths, even though it offered no apologies for the tragedy of these deaths and didn't mention the SNP at all.

He also says I cited Westminster as being culpable for “the Scottish Government's dismal drug policy failures”. This is a blatant misrepresentation of what I said; I only mentioned the Westminster resistance to the introduction of safe consumption rooms as one piece of the jigsaw of potential harm reduction measures. Now as recent reports from England and Wales indicate that deaths from drugs have increased for the eighth year in a row to a record level, albeit much lower than Scotland, this clearly shows that this is a problem which the UK as a whole needs to address.

What is unseemly is the use of these tragedies by people who have lately discovered a sense of compassion for addicts and their families as some kind of ghoulish stick to beat the government with, along with the lack of recognition of the measures and finance announced to try to redress an acknowledged national problem.

Gill Turner, Edinburgh

Extend PR

Isn't it time for an English Parliament, elected by proportional representation as is the case in Scotland and Wales? This would surely get the backing of the Electoral Reform Society. Only then would it be possible to set up a truly federal United Kingdom, with Westminster already halfway there.Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains the missing link – he would be forced to choose between leading England or Great Britain, assuming his re-election, of course!

Margot Kerr, Inverness

Sleeping giant

Boris Johnson has avoided meeting Nicola Sturgeon during his Scottish trip for the obvious reason that it is a "trap" set by Ms Sturgeon. This simply demonstrates a fact which is never talked about when Scottish independence is mentioned, that of the English response to such an event. Independence is always couched in terms of “how good” this would be by the nationalists, but discontent between Scotland and England has been relatively low key for 300 years. Independence would awaken this sleeping giant; the last time this happened in history was the US response to the Pearl Harbor attack.

This adds yet another huge problem to the nationalists’ dream, apart from borders, currency, EU membership etc. England as a serious competitor to Scotland.

David might have beaten Goliath last time but, in this case, history will not repeat itself. Independence will be the worst event ever in Scotland's long history. Is this what Scots really want?

(Dr) Gerald Edwards, Glasgow

Dangerous visions

I worked in the offshore oil industry for more than 35 years. I have been retired for a number of years but the very thought of an SNP-Greens agreement or coalition of any kind let loose to run things, even now sends shivers down the spine.

These blinkered fanatics, with no practical know-how, trying to outdo one another in zealotry, will lead to the inevitable and premature shutting down of some of our country’s most precious assets and create a vision that is very scary indeed.

The attitude of the Greens/Nationalists about this and much else seems to be: “who cares?” Indeed. Who cares about damage to the infrastructure of Scotland and the tens of thousands employed in the oil business? It is another to step towards their Valhalla of a destroyed UK.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Bully for Boris

I read with interest in the media speculation that Boris may be planning an imminent Cabinet reshuffle. The simplest plan would be to appoint only colleagues who were previous members of the Bullingdon Club, thus ensuring complete unanimity of thought and policy. Job done! The only drawback might be accusations of sexism and racism.

(Dr) S R Wild, Edinburgh

Silent, witless?

It is incredible that not a single expert has provided an answer to the question of “how do we keep the lights on in Scotland if there is insufficient wind energy to generate the requisite demand for electricity”?

Brian Wilson has pointed out in his Scotsman article that, for an extended period in July, wind turbines were only supplying three per cent of system demand, so why the absence of a plan to cover such situations once the First Minister introduces a ban on gas?

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway

Cancel COP26

China, India and 85 other nations deliberately ignored the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's deadline to submit their “nationally determined contributions” for cutting CO2 emissions as requested for collation and presentation to the upcoming COP26 climate change conference. Hopes of a successful COP26 are fast receding. A Climate Change fund of $100 billion a year was promised to developing countries to curb their escalating emissions. However, developed countries have consistently fallen short of the $100bn promised.

Now South Africa is demanding that this fund is increased to $750bn a year. It was always about money for developing nations, not control of greenhouse gases. There is no chance that China and 196 other nations will deliver pledges that together would see Net Zero by 2050 and global warming kept below 2C.

The UK should immediately tell the delegates that COP26 is cancelled since countries have not produced their “nationally determined contributions" and that the $100bn climate cake is off the table, never mind a $750bn one.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

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