Sir, – Now that the Brexit deal is finally done, can we please go into the new year looking forward with optimism and resolve.
All the predictions of doom and gloom from self-interested pundits, have proved groundless, but nevertheless that doesn’t stop Nicola Sturgeon reminding everyone in her tweets that Scotland had always wanted to remain in the EU.
What a negative and hypocritical person we have as our first minister, who has always, she tells us, wanted Scotland to be an independent country.
What she means, of course, is simply to be outside of the UK, but without explaining where the replacement cash and enterprise would come from that Scotland is entitled to as part of the UK.
What a relief it would be to see an end to the cavilling and wailing and dissemination of falsehoods from the SNP and its uninformed supporters during the coming year.
Diplomats divvying up the herring
Sir, – The beginning of the 21st Century’s third decade has a 1950s feel about it – not just the privations and troubles with international travel but the petty rules which infect every aspect of our lives, private and public.
Yet after a year of Covid and in spite of having the most incompetent political leaders in recent history, we have the world’s fifth largest economy, behind the US, China, Japan and Germany but ahead of India and France.
As for Brexit, it ended like any other human relationship gone sour in absurd haggles over mere trifles: £600m worth of fish versus the £300bn of goods exported to Europe.
On Christmas eve the historic trade deal fell into place with senior diplomats divvying up the herring.
It was all so preposterous, Ursula von der Leyen admitted to a feeling of profound relief – probably shared by all save Neanderthal Tory backwoodsmen.
Dr John Cameron.
Covid is not the only danger that we face
Sir, – With Covid-19 hanging over us like the sword of Damoclese, scientists should not forget the other dangerous health hazards.
Pollution from fossil-fuel motor engines, certain processed foodstuffs and infected drinking water continues to increase.
It may well be that our immune systems have been seriously compromised by toxic emissions over many years.
Despite having been warned over the excessively high rate of toxic emissions, governments seem reluctant, or unable, to take speedy and effective action.
Chasm between rich and poor in the UK
Sir, – Despite promising to reduce numbers in the House of Lords, Prime Minister Johnson has now appointed another 52 peers this year, bringing their number up to over 800, 200 more than the democratically-elected House of Commons and each one paid £325 per day for attending.
This at a time when it is reported that there are more than 2,000 foodbanks in the UK, and rising dramatically; the SMF think tank reports that two million children went short of food in the UK this year; and Unicef, the United Nations agency which provides humanitarian aid to children worldwide in times of emergency, is, for the first time ever, providing food for poor children in London.
This is the UK, one of the richest countries in the world and this is Christmas.
At a loss as to why churches are open
Sir, – We are at a loss to understand why churches and other places of worship are allowed to remain open during level 4 restrictions, especially when typically elderly church goers are most at risk.
Similar demographic minroties such as theatre or café goers could surely make identical claims to community needs.
Edinburgh Secular Society.