NATIONAL columnist Michael Fry can write what he likes but I hope neither The National nor Michael Fry thinks that I, and plenty like me I hope, are going to read the opinions he disseminates and not answer back, and be allowed to answer back.

His latest attack on Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP Government takes the biscuit (SNP attack line doesn’t ring true – Boris Johnson is happy to spend, The National, December 24) and, if I read it right, is commending Johnson for being involved in the battle against bureaucracy. He also says, and I quote, “there is unlikely, as a matter of fact, to be that much austerity under Boris”.

Describing Johnson as “the one dynamic force in English politics” and having earlier included the wording of “doddery old Jeremy Corbyn” in the context of how traditional north-of-England Labour voters could have seen the Labour leader, invites the view that the mannerisms of Boris Johnson are comparable to any of Mr Corbyn’s except they lack the forgivable excuse of age-relatedness and are a direct result of investment in expensive private-school education. The moppy tonsure of Johnson and his dithery diction, his flapping arm movements, his tumbling walking gait, etc, offers far greater scope if that is what any observer is looking for. Given age-relevant features, normality would be more evident in Corbyn than Johnson, though sensibly few bother about such trivia.

As for bureaucracy there has always been this right-wing mantra that it is inbuilt into socialism when there is more than ample evidence that it flourishes under capitalism.

As for Johnson bearing no responsibility for austerity, either past, present or future, I don’t think that view would get much credence in the food banks nor with those other voluntary organisations set up to mitigate the desperate side-effects of Universal Credit, and the legions of homeless individuals and families. Johnson’s claim of taking the country forward is unlikely to deceive any of these people, though it might have deceived far too many former Labour voters in England – but thankfully very few Scottish voters.

The National:

There are words and phrases in common usage today which a modern-day Charles Dickens could have made a library of novels from.

I could take issue with other opinions expressed by Michael Fry, for instance, his veneration of unfettered capitalism, and his denigration of Cuba and Venezuela which he seems to see as failed states under Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Maybe he should research more into what caused the people of these countries to rebel against their governments by adopting a more comprehensive and humanitarian perspective instead of presuming that capitalism is everywhere and always okay and unchallengeable.
Ian Johnstone

Further to the Werritty report publication, I personally feel there is no point for the Scottish Government waiting for the grouse-moor shooting industry to demonstrate a marked improvement in the ecological management of the grouse moors of Scotland, and preventing the persecution and killing of protected and endangered raptor species in Scotland.

Over many years of discussions, And the production of so-called education and training courses for estate operations staff within this industry, we still see the carnage caused by a few for the benefit and pleasure of the few.

READ MORE: Review’s plan to delay grouse-shoot licensing under fire

A government Monitoring and reporting systems are now a basic must for this industry, as it has been found wanting on many occasions.

All other types of Scottish sporting and agricultural businesses have official government department methods of reporting and monitoring to adhere too with corporate responsibility ... so why not the grouse-shooting industry?

To waste half a decade on delaying the start date on this project is just totally unacceptable, as we know what this industry will say and do if felt to there own devices.

That is nothing!
Ian Thomson

IN response to Isobel Gibson’s letter in the Sunday National (December 22) urging readers to watch John Pilger’s documentary, The Dirty War on the NHS, I would like to echo her request to watch this but to also watch Dr Bob Gill and Sarah Gangoli being interviewed by Ross Ashcroft on Renegade Inc two years ago, titled, The Great NHS Heist, named after Dr Gill’s recently produced documentary.

Gangoli’s comment that the Social and Health Care Act 2012 has reduced the NHS to logo only is rather chilling. I don’t need to remind readers who was in coalition in 2012.

Finally, I would also urge readers to watch a more recent episode of Renegade Inc, Privatised Planet, easily accessed via RT. TJ Coles in this episode states: “Any free trade deal necessitates the privatisation of the NHS, that’s how free trade works”!