IN recent weeks the Chief Constable of Police Scotland has said that he has insufficient police to prevent leisure travel across the Scottish Border.

Reporting on the prevalence of the Covid virus indicates that of those tested, 70% who tested positive were asymptomatic. This is worrying! The incidence of the virus will no doubt be further revealed with the increased testing facilities now in place, and we all have a duty to protect each other as best we can.

Whilst the governments of the UK have stressed the need for citizens not to travel beyond their local communities, action is urgently required for those who ignore such travel limits and who decide to “do a Cummings” for selfish, risky reasons.

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As we are told that the police have insufficient resources to control the movements of those making journeys for leisure purposes and such things as visits to second homes, it is time that the borders between Scotland, England and other countries are closed and manned by members of the police and the armed forces. I suggest that it should be a police or border control officer’s duty to interview those who are stopped and where necessary that enforcement action is taken against them.

Presently most journeys are likely to be by road, and a car registration number is easily traced and there to assist law enforcement. The exceptions identified in the proposed gatekeeping process should be few in number and easily dealt with by the police. Public safety is paramount. Hopefully, people acting against regulations will just be turned around at borders and sent away.

Also, to assist the police in their duties a dedicated and promoted telephone number should be put in place so that members of local communities who discover any persons who slip through the net of border controls and/or ignore their governments’ advice regarding being where they shouldn’t be can be reported. Citizens should not be in fear of reprisals for reporting such matters and those who are found to be justifiably reported should dealt with by legal sanctions. Citizens need the help of the government’s duly designated personnel to take action against risky virus-spreaders. To help us all feel safe we need enforcement action taken against anyone who seeks to bend the rules and threaten the welfare of others.

My plea is to protect communities in all UK countries from the spread of Covid infection and to help get us all to a state of new normality.

Anne Thomson

I AM sure the irony of the events of last week is not lost on folk. When we compare the fates of Scotland’s former Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood and Professor Neil Ferguson – a member of the scientific advisory group (SAGE) – with that of Dominic Cummings it is clear that even in an age of a global pandemic, actual doctors are disposable whilst spin doctors are not. Whether this is a legacy of Tony Blair or an aping of Donald Trump’s antipathy towards experts, it really is a worrying place for any democracy to be in.

Henry Malcolm

DOMINIC Cummings’s relationship to and with Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson seems deep and tight. Mr Cummings is the details man behind Mr Johnson’s big-picture visionary strategic directions, some say convulsions.

From a distant observer’s view it appears that all who get between Boris and Dom get short shrift, particularly if they express views which are not on “the” message.

The most recent evidence being the science team of Professors Vallance and Witty being closed down from answering questions. Health Secretary Mr Hancock seems to be set up as the fall guy for Covid, along with the others in the science community.

It’s “their way or the highway”, and that’s quite ironic.

Concerningly, it appears there is no elected official or deputy minister, prime or otherwise, to take the reigns when Boris is out of action. Not that I wish such to occur, but should a repetition event similar to the PM’s covid illness occur – perhaps additional childcare responsibilities – who will take the reigns albeit a temporary step up?

Surely Mr Cummings has been shown to make suspect decisions in these pressured situations, and keeping the PM’s seat warm is probably above his pay grade.

This situation within in the UK Government reminds me of the cuckoo egg that has been laid in a surrogate’s nest. When hatched, the young cuckoo ejects any other eggs out of the nest to ensure the parents feed it alone. The poor parents of this surrogate work their tails off to feed this growing monster, as is their instinct.

The surrogate family will only find relief when the insatiable interloper “flies off”, and they can start again next year in 2021. I leave you to wonder what start again means?

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

REGARDING football commentary gaffes (Letters, May 29). Not quite a gaffe, but my favourite was I believe Fraser Elder, who gave a start to his after-match report by saying the man of the match was the guy who opened the gates to let the fans out at the end.

M Ross