Scotland on Sunday readers' letters: Just the (three) lions’ share of the licence fee?

Well played England (Men's National Football Team) as runners-up in this year's European Championships, albeit having played all-but-one of their matches at home.

Gareth Southgate on the red carpet prior to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2021. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.
Gareth Southgate on the red carpet prior to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2021. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

While not all of us North of the border may have equally revelled in the team's achievements, the column inches afforded them during and after their performance can hardly be begrudged.

However, for the BBC to award both Gareth Southgate and his players their annual Coach and Team of the Year awards on this basis shows a lack of respect for the other sports and nations which could claim greater achievements. Earlier this year Team GB clinched their first ever Olympic gold in wheelchair rugby before Scottish Curling’s women and men both won their respective European Championships, also on foreign shores, to name but two of many examples more worthy of the accolade. Surely an open goal for a corporation ever struggling with accusations of geographical and gender imbalance, rather lazily rewarding those responsible for its existing viewing figures.

The history books show that an English team has won this award 19 times since one from any of our other home nations in the last ‘30 years of hurt’. In fact, that anomaly, by Scotland' s Rugby Team 1990 remains the only such occasion in the last 50 years, despite Wales having won the Grand Slam no less than seven times during this period, without ever having lifted the coveted silver camera. Is it the winning, the taking part, or just the (three) lions' share of the licence fee?

Blair Hutton, Edinburgh

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Undignified ends

I supported the sadly unsuccessful attempts by Margo MacDonald MSP to legalise assisted dying. I assume Andrew Milligan (letters, December 19) opposed Margo’s Bills just as he opposes the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament.

In May my eldest brother died of bladder cancer. He went through a horrendous last few months. In his last weeks he received the best available palliative care in a charity-run hospice near his home. However many of those close to him have told me they would much prefer the option to avoid those last few days of undignified drugged confusion and suffering. I couldn’t attend my brother’s funeral as I am also being treated for aggressive bladder cancer. When my time to die comes I want the choice to avoid those last days of suffering.

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Currently in this country you can be prosecuted for cruelty for denying a pet a pain-free death, yet to be granted a similar dignified departure you have to be wealthy enough to use a private clinic in a more enlightened country. You must also be fit enough to make the trip meaning you may end your life far from your family and weeks before you want to.

John F. Robins, Cardross

Single seaters

Former Tory MSP, Adam Tomkins, claims that a plan for the three pro-UK parties to field single candidates for Holyrood seats would in time defeat the SNP. The break-up-the-UK side are united; the pro-UK side are not and are riven with the pettiest of ancient rivalries and perceptions. Mr Tomkins claims that it was his party’s refusal to accept this truth that led to his quitting Holyrood. The left-right debates will remain, but first let us rid ourselves of the nationalist menace that is dragging Scotland down.

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Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

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