Sir, – It is said we do not miss things until they have gone.
For the past year Prime Minister Johnson has been in trade negotiations with the US.
He has refused time and again to place protections for the NHS on the negotiations.
Donald Trump has insisted that “everything is on the table”. We know the US want access to the NHS both to sell drugs and provide services.
It seems the NHS is being put up for privatisation. It is not likely to go all at once but softly, softly, a bit here and bit there. Then one day it will be gone, sold off to big companies.
We know from down south that handing the track and trace system to Serco was a disaster.
And recently I have had cause to have a conversation with my dentist.
Certain procedures are currently, due to the pandemic, not available on the NHS so we discussed me “going private”.
There were several options, but all had a price tag attached.
This was an unpleasant experience as I felt a price was being put on my health and wellbeing.
My health had become a commodity to be bought and sold.
I feel that I have had a glimpse of a possible future with no NHS where we would have to make decisions about whether we could afford treatments for ourselves and our loved ones.
Let’s keep the NHS in public hands.
Don’t let us miss it once it is gone.
Nelson’s purpose was to inspire unity
Sir, – Again I protest at the misleading use of quotations to score political points.
In response to Alex Orr’s summary of the important Scottish contribution to Trafalgar, Iain MacEchern quotes Nelson’s signal “England expects…” (Nelson wouldn’t turn a blind eye to Scots, Courier, October 26) but fails to point out that the signal was originally drafted as “Nelson confides that every man will do his duty”.
The number of flags needed could be reduced if the signal was changed to “England expects…” and Nelson, with an entire battle looming, agreed.
We have been exaggerating the significance ever since.
Exactly this difficulty arose in 1988 when we commissioned the first introductory film for visitors to HMS Unicorn and the scriptwriter proposed to include “England expects…”
The saddest aspect is that Nelson himself would have been appalled had he anticipated how later generations would misuse his signal, which was meant to inspire unity.
It is worth recording that the very first monument in the world to Nelson was erected in Scotland, when the ironworkers at Bonawe Foundry set up the massive stone which still stands by the schoolhouse at Taynuilt.
Oral cancer checks are a real lifesaver
Sir, – Your article by Scott Milne (Is this the end of six month dental checks, Courier, October 24) appears to have a glaring and potentially dangerous omission – oral cancer.
Every six month dental check has a check for mouth cancer.
And everyone knows the sooner any cancer is detected and treated,the better the chance of a full recovery.
Imagine if a cancer lay undetected for two or four years.
I find it surprising that these experts could have omitted this from their research.
Worth defining the message on masks?
Sir, – When are the authorities going to change the wording from “it is mandatory to wear a face covering unless you are exempt with underlying health issues” to the more defined “it is compulsory”?
A fair amount of Dundee citizens obviously do not understand the fact that both these words mean exactly the same.
In the case of students who have had a higher education well I would have thought that they would not require an explanation.
Or is that wishful thinking on my part?
Mrs June Reid.