Sir, – In Scotland the BBC has stopped the broadcast of the daily Covid-19 briefings by the Scottish Government despite the fact that between 260,000 and 300,000 tune in to watch it every day, circa 5% of the population.
It is the key source of information for many.
The deaf need the sign language, those without internet access depend on it.
It is also a source of comfort that things are in control. The rest of us watch it frequently as the virus situation is a moving feast. These briefings are 100% non-political although the media at the briefings ask political questions which are continually deflected.
Indeed, our first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has been consistent since this pandemic started in making the pandemic non-political.
This is not the case with the unionist-supporting parties in Scotland.
People in Scotland, not all SNP supporters, find the briefing very good, clear and consistent.
This has, according to the news media, helped to boost support for the Scottish Government and, for some, independence.
For this reason the British nationalist supporters and media who back the union keep stating that the Scottish Covid-19 daily briefings are political despite the fact this is not true.
People in Scotland believe that this removal of the daily briefing has been engineered from Westminster via the new director general.
It is also obvious that many in BBC Scotland are not happy with this decision.
It is a function of the BBC to inform, educate and entertain.
In this instance, for political reasons, it is being political and has stopped the Scottish Government from providing key health information.
The people of Scotland want this decision by the BBC overturned as soon as possible.
It is a disgrace.
Virus briefings are vital
Sir, – I never thought I would live to see the day when the BBC joined the Conservative Party.
I have been around on this planet a long time and ever since childhood have been given to understand that the BBC was entirely impartial.
It is most essential that our first minister, in these dangerous times, gives her daily briefings to the Scottish nation, informing us of the necessary precautions we need to take.
It is absolutely disgraceful that the BBC are allowing themselves to be dictated to by the Tories.
False patriotism and dreams
Sir, – Isn’t it a matter of intrigue to find that so many expat Scots, who left our shores for pastures new, are so keen for those they left behind to suffer in some way.
I refer of course to their pleas for independence, which would hurl Scots into decades of unemployment, austerity and crumbling government services,
Decades to agree the hard border with our biggest customer, the new currency, and banking system etc, etc, and so on and so forth.
Why should Scots have to suffer while they live in comfort, and don’t have to survive under an incompetent government.
Are celebrities part of the SNP inner circle of those who have seen the balance sheet for Scotland’s income, expenditure and debts?
Are celebrities to provide future investment for jobs, or is it all false patriotism and dreams, in accord with nationalism?
Indy vote for expat Scots?
Sir, – Ian Blackford tweeted with glee that Ewan McGregor has changed his mind and now believes that Scotland should vote for independence.
Did he, however, stop to think that this actor is a USA resident and therefore is not entitled to vote?
Or will the SNP now permit Scots living outwith Scotland to vote on our country’s future should there be another referendum?
UK reputation is being destroyed
Sir, – I am deeply concerned by the Westminster Government’s plan to break promises made in the EU Withdrawal Agreement; an international treaty signed by the current prime minister less than a year ago.
The Northern Ireland secretary admitted this would break international law.
The Internal Markets Bill would renege on commitments to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and would set negotiations with Europe back to square one, as well as being a naked power grab designed to undermine the powers of our Scottish Government.
The Conservatives promote themselves as the party of law and order, of economic stability and of the union.
Now the UK Government is openly breaking international law and paving the way to a no-deal economic disaster. How can the Conservative Party put at risk the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland?
The prime minister does not speak for Scotland – we wanted no part in his Brexit and we want no part in his law-breaking.
I also believe this is the view of many English Conservatives. Boris Johnson claimed if he was elected PM he could deliver a comprehensive, ‘oven-ready’ deal with Europe, which would help communities and businesses across the British Isles.
Yet his actions will destroy the global reputation of the UK as a trustworthy nation, reliable ally and honest trading partner – and we will need all the friends we can get in the next few years.
UK’s skulking prime minister
Sir, – In the House of Commons on Monday, Ed Miliband had an easy target and, rightly so, he sure made a meal of it.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson slumping on his bench and then skulking out of the chamber like a child sent to his room is an unforgettable image, displaying the abysmal level to which UK Government has stooped.
Think before you tweet
Sir, – Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University and Scottish Government Covid adviser has caused a storm on Twitter with this comment: “The only certainty about the next 6 months (incl. Christmas) is uncertainty ahead. If you’re struggling with your mental health, know that almost everyone on the planet is in the same basic s**tsoup (various flavours of it). Helps to focus on the day & the week ahead.”
People piled in to condemn what they saw as her callous views.
I don’t think it is an insult to “anyone with mental health issues” as one person said.
It may help some people to know they are not alone and to remind others that there is always someone worse off than you.
We all need reminding of that sometimes.
But her off-hand tone and loose language is surely unbecoming of a government adviser and prominent academic whose remuneration in both jobs comes from my taxes.