IT is heart-breaking to know that not only have more than 10,000 people died after a positive Covid test, but that so many people have been, and will continue to be, grieving from those deaths (Slow down in cases is ‘cause for optimism’, Jan 15).

Throughout the pandemic, the number of people also dying from a terminal illness such as heart failure, dementia, cancer and many other conditions has continued as it has done in previous years, but there has been a 40% increase in the number of people dying at home during Covid-19. Despite the best efforts of health and social care teams, we are concerned that many terminally ill people and family carers may not have received some or all of the care and support they needed in their final months, days or hours. This is extremely worrying.

READ MORE: Scottish ministers ‘looking carefully’ at allowing more workers back to office

The Scottish Government’s commitment to investigating end-of-life care in its public Covid-19 inquiry is welcome, and necessary, so lessons can be learned for future palliative and end-of-life care provision, including bereavement support. This is especially given 10,000 more people are projected to be dying with palliative care needs by 2040, with two-thirds of all deaths expected to be in community settings in 20 years’ time as well.

For many, the deep trauma of losing loved ones during the pandemic is still very real. On March 23, we will be coming together for a National Day of Reflection, and are encouraging communities to come together on this day at 12 noon for a one-minute silence to remember the people we have lost.

Ellie Wagstaff
Policy Manager, Marie Curie

DEPLOYING British troops and “hi-tech” weapons in Ukraine is the most dangerous “deflection tactic” so far played to cover up the empty wine bottle disgrace. China is alarmed, and turning off Europe’s gas taps may be the least of Russia’s response. Biden appears to be standing back, but are they pulling strings in Tory headquarters? Many countries should be concerned, including Scotland. We could be in the line of fire of any major escalation.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson interrogated by Line of Duty's AC12 in brilliant Led By Donkeys clip

“Forward men, I’m right behind you,” and “send in the Jocks” are two sayings well remembered by soldiers being sent “over the top” whilst their general was safely behind the front line enjoying a cocktail. In maintaining their grip on power there is no depth to which the Rees-Mogg style of public school politician and the “money boys” will not descend. Putin is determined to add Ukraine to his empire. Kazakhstan, with its vast deposits of uranium, may be next. Could Westminster be hoping to strengthen its position if Europe and Nato enter into negotiations before Russian tanks cross the Ukrainian border?

It’s a risky tactic. Scotland’s safety may yet prove to be UDI followed by ridding our nation of nuclear weapons, fast. Football linesmen and world dictators would scream foul. Sane nations would applaud, and help.

Iain R Thomson

JIM Taylor’s letter in Tuesday’s paper raises pertinent points for those seeking an independent Scotland which the main party promoting that cause fails to address.

The way things are going, Scotland will be in the same position in 20 years’ time, if not in a worse situation. The lack of progress and recurrent back tracking by the so-called leadership does not inspire hope for the future.

The diversion of effort in the last few years to the “gender issues” and denigration of those who questioned this turn of direction makes suspicion rear its head regarding motives behind these moves.

Maybe to dishearten campaigners and collapse the movement? Who knows, but I’d be more worried about London meddling in Scottish politics than Chinese alleged interference in Westminster’s.

Time to stop playing the Westminster game indefinitely and prioritise independence, or move over and let those less easily distracted take charge.

Drew Reid

UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries’s cynical attempt to deflect attention from the ongoing “partygate” scandal by freezing and then possibly abolishing the BBC licence fee is doomed to failure.

The CONservative government has been described in the Daily Record as “desperate” and their vengeful attack on the BBC as an attack on journalism. Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell said the government is “punishing” the BBC for its reporting of non-Covid-compliant parties at No10.

However, this latest sleight of hand by the embattled and internecine Conservative government has to reckon with the implacable and relentless Dominic Cummings.

Currently feasting joyously on a dish best served cold, Cummings is prepared to swear on oath to back up his assertions. Even more alarmingly for the Conservative government, Cummings has hinted at revealing further embarrassing information.

Right now, the lot of a Conservative politician is not a happy one.

Sandy Gordon