Sir, – It was striking to note the restrictions between Scotland and England over the festive season, and to highlight that it was almost 70 years ago to the day that the border between the two nations was closed for the first time in 400 years.
That of course was due to the return of the Stone of Destiny to Scotland, when four student nationalists removed the ancient artefact from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day in 1950.
The incident happened nearly seven centuries after the stone was taken from Scone by King Edward I during the Scottish Wars of Independence and placed under the monarch’s chair in the abbey.
When news of the stone’s removal broke, the authorities closed the border between Scotland and England. It was ultimately recovered from Arbroath Abbey, where Scottish nationhood had been asserted with the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, 700 years ago this year. It was returned to Westminster Abbey in 1952.
This coincided with attacks on postboxes in Scotland in a dispute over the title of the new British monarch, Elizabeth II, there being no Elizabeth I of Scotland.
Interestingly, it has recently been revealed that James Stuart, Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland, recommended in 1953 that the stone be returned to Scotland, but Churchill’s government vetoed this seeing it as rewarding a small minority of hardline nationalists.
Little point in testing in large households
Sir, – What is the point of spending taxpayer money on Covid tests if the result of any positive test is to tell people to go home and self isolate and presumably pass on the virus to anyone else in the household.
It is no coincidence that statistics show very low levels of Covid amongst people living on their own.
Not everyone has money to give
Sir, – Every year during the run-up to Christmas we are inundated with requests from big, well known charities, as if they are all on the brink.
Don’t get me wrong, the smaller and local charities, especially the food-supplying ones most certainly are in trouble, I believe that.
But all the big, well known charities, who receive billions year after year, are they on the brink?
It is easy enough to make adverts and tell heartbreaking stories in leaflets, to make people feel guilty, and urge them to give.
Do those charities not realise that millions of people are not able to give money, due to the fact they have lost jobs and livelihoods due to the current situation?
That people simply cannot afford giving right now?
What have these big charities done with the fortunes they have got?
Did they spend it all in 10 months?
If that were the case, then something is clearly wrong with how they run their business.
I help if I know someone needs help, I like to support small, local charities that do a world of good and where I know the money is watched and well spent.
Boris’s nightmares before Christmas
Sir, – I imagine our PM lying awake in bed of a night, sweating, tossing and turning, counting his children in an effort to get to sleep.
“Why did I give up my lovely job writing rubbish about the EU on a huge salary, with not a care in the world? What a jape!
“Why did I ever lust after this awful job, my life’s ambition, fulfilling my destiny, and now it is a nightmare? I didn’t sign up for this.
“And now… Covid! Brexit! Christmas! Jocks!
“I spend most of my time sneaking about in the shadows, avoiding contact with my ungrateful subjects and dodging the opposition.
“Tory MPs are the worst, constantly preaching, do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that, doom, gloom, constantly being nagged at by everybody.
“Oh no, that’s wee Wilf awake again… “
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