Readers' Letters: Wise men and women listen to First Minister

I listened to Nicola Sturgeon and I thought that she spoke sense with compassion so I cancelled our family Christmas party. I asked my children who live in England not to come up to see us this Christmas and I am going to indulge in a Christmas lunch with my husband that contains only the things we like best. We will enjoy that a great deal, knowing we are not at risk of Covid or putting anyone else at risk.

Does Santa Nicola Sturgeon, pictured in 2019, deserve a plate of milk and biccies, or a lump of coal? (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Does Santa Nicola Sturgeon, pictured in 2019, deserve a plate of milk and biccies, or a lump of coal? (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

I will spend the money that I would have spent on a family meal on items for a food bank and that will make me feel even happier.

I heard Boris Johnson and despaired. Does he even look at the numbers of new cases in England? Four of my grandchildren living in England have had Covid-19 but only one so far in Scotland and as he works in hospitality, that might have been caught from visitors to his hotel. I do not need to listen to grannies dredged up by the BBC to whinge “I need to see my children. I must see my grandchildren at Christmas”. There is the whole of the rest of the year to catch up with their families. Skype, Zoom, meetings with just a few of them, can happen at any time and summer is a great deal more comfortable for us old folk to walk or even sit and eat together outside.

Make your Christmas one to remember with pleasure instead of one to feel guilty about.

Elizabeth Buchan-Hepburn, Edinburgh

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The gift of panic

The Office of National Statistics estimates that as of mid-November 95 per cent of the adult population of Scotland and England would have tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies. Put another way, at that time at least 95 per cent of the population had had the disease, or been vaccinated against it, or both. The percentage with antibodies can only have gone up since then.

According to all medical reports the symptoms of the now-dominant Omicron variant are mild and more typical of the common cold. Also, there are now a number of anti-viral and other medications for Covid-19.

Why, then, are government ministers and their medical advisers behaving as if we are still dealing with a virally naive population facing a virus with a significant infection fatality rate for which there is no effective treatment?

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Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife

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Sports personality awards shows the need for devolved BBC - Kenny MacAskill

Own goal

My heart fails to bleed at the plight of football fans being denied their entertainment despite Alexander McKay’s curious claim they are “sacrificial lambs” singled out for harsh treatment (Letters 23 December). I don’t know which team he follows but I have attended every home game at Tynecastle this season since supporters were allowed back and can assure him that fans at this ground are certainly not “assiduously following the rules” – I would estimate, generously, that around 20 per cent wear masks in the social areas inside the stands. Hibee friends tell me it is the same at Easter Road.Like many others I will miss attending games over the next few weeks but am not at all surprised at the decisions made regarding protection of the public from the new variant. If many football fans had been less arrogant about their own and other people’s safety I’d have had a little more sympathy.

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D Mitchell, Edinburgh

Britain, be proud

Alex Orr’s letter “Scotland was built on the backs of slaves” (23 December) is clearly aligned with an attempt to belittle the country I have lived in as a foreigner for over 50 years. I was two days old when my country of birth was invaded and I still remember 5 May 1945 when the British landed in the local airport and imprisoned the invaders.

Since then I have been a big admirer of the UK which, in the overall scheme of things, has done much more good than bad for the world. Picking events that happened two centuries ago to lower morale, and out of context with what good the country has done, is not only counterproductive but unpatriotic. Let’s talk up the country and work on a better future instead of deprecating what the country has achieved.

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John Peter, Airdrie

Rich pickings

In Gill Turner's letter yesterday she is on her usual hobby horse of berating Westminster and criticising anyone who dares to disagree and she talks of an unequal partnership with which I agree – but from a totally different perspective.

Is she aware that for years we have been spending at a much higher rate than England and to deny the figures would be the equivalent of living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. England actually spends 0.3 per cent on herself more than her taxes generate, Scotland 7 per cent. Put in simple terms, anyone doing that is bankrupt, but the strength of the Union covers the shortfall so far.

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In England each citizen benefits from public spending by £91 higher than the taxes that each pays. In Scotland the figure is £2,543, equivalent to 28 times the England figure. To make up for this unhealthy situation taxes would have to be raised dramatically and every public service would be slashed to the bone.

There are many more financial problems than this for Scotland but no one in the SNP or the Green Party seems prepared to divulge how they would sort this extremely worrying financial situation out and survive if we were self governing. Perhaps Gill Turner could enlighten us.

George Storey, Hawick, Scottish Borders

Down for count

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While broadly sharing Kenny MacAskill's sentiments on BBC's Sports Personality of the Year programme (Perspective, 23 December), his criticism would carry more impact if wholly accurate – Josh Taylor, Scotland's multiple world champion boxer, did actually receive a mention, albeit a brief one.

Jack Davidson, Edinburgh

Season’s greetings

Certain phrases associated with Christmas have different meanings for different people. To Boris Johnson “Season's Greetings” probably means “I'm not really having a party, but you're invited.”

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To the Queen – “Best wishes to you all this Christmas.”

To the First Minister – “I want more money. It's Westminster's fault. I can't remember.”

To all the Scotsman's staff, readers and contributors, I wish you Season's Greetings. May it mean what you want it to mean. May we all have a healthier and happier 2022.

Fraser MacGregor, Edinburgh

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Write to The Scotsman

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