Sir, – I wish politicians would stop using the line “we’re all in this together” when it comes to Covid-19.
This is simply not true and is a myth that must be immediately quashed.
Far from being the great leveller, Covid will increase existing inequalities.
Those who suffered from the last crash, the young, the low-paid and those living precarious lifestyles will suffer most again.
While many of us can work from home and self-isolate, it is these individuals who are often in the Covid frontline, be it as hospital porters, care workers, cleaners, supermarket workers or delivery drivers.
This leaves them more exposed to the Covid virus and more vulnerable to being made redundant and not being furloughed.
They rent while the wealthier own their homes, and they spend more of their income on necessities, leaving them vulnerable to sudden income falls.
Middle class children can play in gardens, a luxury not afforded to many living in high-rises, exacerbating mental health problems.
And for those in families where education is maybe not seen as a priority, this further exacerbates already existing inequalities.
The next time therefore a politician says “we are all in this together”, remember that for some Covid is an incredible inconvenience.
But for many it is absolutely disastrous.
2/3 Marchmont Road,
Get PPE right for older people
Sir, – It is a scandal that people who reside in care homes, along with those who care for them, have not been given the proper protection due.
British citizens, and others, have contributed to their working and retirement welfare over many, many years.
Now, in the twilight of those years, they should be treated with respect and consideration.
It is particularly galling that the majority of such residents are paying extortionate amounts for their care.
Lack of proper equipment and testing appears to have been a factor, so shame on those who did not sanction some form of prioritisatation.
Government got it wrong at the time of the Iraq War when Army personnel were sent out short of both personal equipment and deficient war machinery.
So let’s not compound our country’s mistakes.
Please get it right for the elderly and infirm
They deserve it.
East Station Place,
Do we want to go back to normal
Sir, – Before anyone talks about a return to “normal”, perhaps we should look at what normal was pre-Covid 19.
It was rip-off Britain. Do we want that?
Why should an MP get £10,000 for working from home when there are probably thousands doing the same and thousands of others wondering how to keep their head above water.
Why should councils be allowed to defy public opinion and deliberately cause traders financial hardship, like the parking charges in Angus, or blight what could have been an iconic view down Union Street in Dundee?
Do we want to be held to ransom by the likes of fuel companies who are quick to raise prices, but show great lethargy when the price of oil comes down.
Do we want bankers refusing help to those who helped bail them out? Do we want to short change NHS staff who put it on the line for us and deliver the best service on the planet?
Do we need to spend billions saving a few minutes between London and Birmingham when there are people sleeping on the streets and we have carers, many no more than bairns, carrying on unaided? The list is endless. Do we want such an ill divided society?
Who wants normal?
Credit but only where it is due
Sir, – According to Nick Cole (Hubris coming home to roost, Courier, April 14), an independent Scotland, faced with the current crisis, could borrow and “ therefore perform the same tricks, as other sovereign countries.”
That is nonsense.
For the first 10 years, we would have no currency of our own and no means of showing international lenders that we are a country worth lending to.
Potential lenders would therefore look at the size of the GDP, our record of matching income with expenditure, our population structure and natural resources.
In each of these respects we are not an attractive bet.
Our fiscal deficit is, in percentage terms, the biggest in Europe, we have an ageing and near-static population and the “oil-will-make-us-free” mantra is laughable now oil has plummeted from the 2014 levels of $112 a barrel to less than $30.
Mr Cole’s rosy view is in marked contrast to that of Moody’s, one of the world’s “big three” credit rating agencies.
In 2017 they said an independent Scotland’s credit rating would have “junk” status – on a par with Guatemala and Azerbaijan.
St John’s Place,
Praise and pelters for MP
Sir, – Fife MP Douglas Chapman got praise and pelters in roughly equal amount for tweeting “Recorded deaths from #COVID in England are double the rate of Scotland” and pondering whether “NHS Scotland’s vastly superior A&E performance” or “Scotland’s 50 unique coronavirus assessment centres” are the cause.
At the time of writing Scotland, with 8.4% of the UK population, had 962 deaths out of the UK total of 12,868, equating to 7.5%. To be half the UK it would need to be nearer 550.
Surely Education Secretary John Swinney should be having a word about his arithmetic but, more importantly, Nicola Sturgeon should read the riot act for undermining her efforts to support the whole UK strategy.
1 Willow Row,
Leadership in a crisis is strong
Sir, – I must agree with Geoff Moore (Sturgeon is doing her job, Courier, April 15) that oor Nicola is doing a sterling job.
I am not and never have been a fan of Ms Sturgeon, although she did do a good job when she was health minister.
But credit where it is due, she’s put party politics aside and dealt with the immediate problem. When she isn’t trying to make a case for independence she shows good leadership qualities.
I know I will never live this down, having called her many names over the years, but I feel it’s only fair to register my appreciation of her current stand.
55 Callander Drive,
Lack of business acumen
Sir, – In their desperation to show that Scotland is different from England, the SNP has been making serious misjudgments.
Insisting on using the Chancellor’s gift of £2.2 billion for relief for small businesses differently in Scotland compared with England, the Scottish Government drew protests from those discriminated against.
It seems there is now to be a climbdown, with ‘small chains’ of a business now being eligible for 75% of the small business grant, whereas originally in Scotland it was restricted to one grant per business, regardless of the number of outlets owned.