I MUST have saved a wee bit on the electricity bill in the past few days. I have greatly reduced my TV viewing time to minimise exposure to the royal funeral. I bear no ill will to the late Queen. She did the very best anyone could over the 70 years of her reign. Not many of us will still be working in our 96th year and practically up to the hour of our death.

People grieve in their own ways. I had no desire to travel to London to camp out overnight in the rain on the banks of the Thames in order to glimpse a flag-draped coffin, but if others feel the need that is perfectly fine with me.

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I can live with the fact that some major stores and businesses have decided to close for the day of the funeral. However I have just received a text from my GP surgery to say: “We apologise for the short notice, however, we have just been informed by the Scottish Government that due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II the surgery will be closed on Monday 19th of September.”

There are more than 5000 GPs in Scotland, on average they each apparently interact with around 40 patients a day. In these post-Covid times it has become much harder to have a face-to-face consultation, and telephone consultations unfortunately seem to be becoming the norm. In any case, simple arithmetic will see that possibly up to 200,000 patient appointments will be lost as a result of this closure. Many appointments already arranged will presumably have to be cancelled and rescheduled.

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I fail to see the fundamental connection between the funeral of the monarch and the loss of a day’s work from a major part of the Scottish NHS. No doubt my failure will be seen by some as disrespecting the memory and legacy of the Queen. I do wonder what the Queen herself would think of this decision. I would like to think she would disapprove.

I assume, perhaps wrongly, that this decision has been taken by the Health Secretary or perhaps by the First Minister herself. I would really like to hear from Mr Yousaf and perhaps even understand the logic behind it. I have no doubt it will result in increased pressure on our already overstretched A&E departments. I sincerely hope that it is not just a case of just following the lead of the English health service. If devolution is actually to mean something it should mean, at least some of the time, doing things differently – and better.

Brian Lawson

I AM appalled at the wall-to-wall, 24/7 media coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth, as a humanist and republican who sees no purpose in believing that people can be bred from an elite stock to become our wise leaders.

I values freedom of thought and speech as a core element of our democracy, so I have no wish to stop the millions of people who are joining the near hysterical public involvement in viewing the Queen lying in state. However I think this is total overkill by the BBC, most of the papers, radio and television programmers, profiting from thinking that the majority of the public want all this hysteria rammed down their throats.

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Why are we being denied viewing or listening to our choices of programmes? It could also be argued that, as with the Diana coverage 30 years ago, the world media is fanning the flames of public hysteria for vast profits.

All this at a time of horrendous floods in Afghanistan, Putin’s horror story in Ukraine and our new PM already hoodwinking us by slipping through new laws on fracking that will not deliver one unit of power for years. Talk of the NHS cancelling essential surgery when the waiting lists are an obscenity. Why on earth should Center Parcs have thought it was acceptable to send holidaymakers home for a day of their holidays, at their own expense, to be seen to be respecting the deceased Queen? I am absolutely sure that Queen Elizabeth would have been the last person to have thought that was an acceptable gesture of respect.

I have always been a big supporter of the BBC as a public service but this time they got it monumentally wrong. The BBC should get back to doing what licence fee payers are paying for: balanced broadcasting, public service information and top-quality entertainment.

Max Cruickshank

EDINBURGH Leisure, the arm’s-length charity charged with managing City of Edinburgh Council’s leisure assets, has taken the arbitrary political decision to close facilities on Monday to mark the Queen’s funeral.

What gives Edinburgh Leisure the right to make such a political decision that rides roughshod over the rights of members and fundamentally breaches members’ right to choose whether to observe the event or not?

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What gives them the right to force such opinion and denial of their right to choose on members?

Doesn’t the mantra seem that we must all do what we’re dictated to by bureaucrats getting too big for their own boots?

Jim Taylor

WHAT a bitter and angry front page The National displayed on Tuesday (“Has the UK gone mad?”) So according to your editorial staff, you query the sanity of those like me who express regret at the death of the late Queen. That’s a fine way to attract such people to the independence cause which you claim to espouse.

Or is it that you are only interested in achieving independence if it is of the narrow republican persuasion? It certainly reads like that, given your recent editorial support for such an outcome, even though republicanism has never had a majority in Scotland.

If The National is to have a future, it has to understand that the majority of independence supporters, like me and my wife, expect a balanced and unbiased National. For the first time I am querying my subscription, which I have had since your first issue.

James Duncan