ON Thursday at FMQs Ruth Davidson had the nerve to query Test and Protect in Scotland over the fact some test results had been described as a 24 hour turnaround when in fact they had been more than that due to a coding error which counted a calendar day rather than the number of hours between test and result. Of course this was wrong, but hardly a major offence.

Is DRoss therefore going to point out the failing statistics/results in the English Test and Trace or are the Tories only interested in Scottish statistics. £11 billion – yes billion – was given to the English system which has on every measure failed and continues to fail.

Not only that, we have a Westminster Government giving contracts for PPE to a pest control company trading as PestFix for £32m for isolation suits.

The Safety watchdog states it felt leant on by the WM Government to make factually incorrect statements about the PPE suits for NHS staff. The product was then renamed not as an isolation gown but a disposable coverall. In the meantime the government paid upfront 75% of contract. This firm then got five more contracts worth £300m.

The majority of these contracts did not go through tendering processes and many were given to friends of Tories or their donors.

I can only assume that Ruth Davidson had nothing else she could find to legitimately ask about in FMQs and indeed neither had Richard Leonard.

Winifred McCartney

WITH more and more news coverage being devoted to the coronavirus vaccine, we cannot be blinded by the light at the end of the tunnel.

We are still in a crisis and need to address the failures of government and bosses, past and present. The most notable to me is the crises in Scotland’s care homes.

Over 2000 people died unnecessarily in privately run care homes from coronavirus because profit seeking companies failed to protect them. They were already ripping residents and their families off and providing inadequate care, then the profiteering bosses failed to put people first when the crises hit.

If we let these private companies away with the crises they caused and race back to normality through blind faith in a vaccine we are doing an injustice to those who died, their families and those who still need care.

The solution to the crises is to create a National Care Service (NCS) that is publicly owned and run, and free at the point of use, just like the NHS. This would put people before profit and allow elderly and disabled people to be properly protected. The Scottish Socialist Party has been campaigning for a NCS for a long time now and have been pressuring the government to take the action necessary to protect those in care.

The SSP is the only party calling for a National Care Service like this;. We will continue to put pressure on those in power to address this injustice so that need can triumph over greed.

Graeme Cullen
Lothians Branch Chair, Scottish Socialist Party

WITH much of the country at level three of the Scottish government’s restrictions, and with the possibility of some areas moving in to level four, I noted with great concern that at no point in the variety of measures which are being engaged are schools required to close.

Here in North Lanarkshire we are at level three and are repeatedly being told that we are on the verge of moving to the next level. As I look around I see that many people are still not wearing face coverings or maintaining social distancing.

A visit to a supermarket on a Friday or Saturday evening will undoubtedly see people clearly dressed for a night out and stocking up on alcoholic drinks, making a mockery of the rules on visiting other people’s houses for socialising.

However, outranking all these concerns is the fact that at all levels of restriction the schools are remaining open.

As a parent I receive almost on a daily basis one or more letters from my child’s school advising me that another pupil or staff member has tested positive, but we should not worry as the virus is not being transmitted in the school.

I find it utterly bizarre that we are meant to believe that all of these affected children and staff are somehow contracting the virus outside of school, coming in to school, but not passing it on in the school! While the letters continue to reassure us, our children do actually talk to each other and what we hear does not match up with the official position.

There is no social distancing (at least in our school), with children sitting two to a desk and the school has no seating plan to assist with effectively tracing those who have been seated next to someone who tests positive. Yesterday around lunchtime we passed by some shops and were horrified to see around 80 children tightly packed around a takeway, making any attempt to track and trace pointless anyway should one test positive.

Pretending that all is well in the schools has to stop, and the Scottish government must immediately call a halt to the school year until such times as social distancing can be effectively introduced, and if it cannot then other methods must be explored.

There needs to be urgent discussion with the teaching unions to bring in measures to reduce class sizes, and if this means staggering classes across seven days instead of five then this needs to be looked at, as should distance learning or the utilisation for education of community centres, town halls and sports centres to give more room for social distancing.

We are hearing that a vaccine is on its way in the immediate future, but in the meantime let us adopt a zero-Covid strategy and ensure that transmission through schools ends now, so that every pupil can continue their schooling only when it is safe to do so – and not a minute before.

James Cassidy

I HOPE that the “Meeting of Minds” of “leading businesses and organisations” being organised to discuss the “huge growth potential of Scotland’s aquaculture sector” mentioned in the article Aquaculture worth £1.8bn to economy” (November 12) will not just be for big business interests like the Norwegian salmon farm company Mowi, but also include organisations like the Scottish Creel Fisherman’s Federation and and will support their proposal to reinstate the three mile limit to preserve and allow the recovery of natural inshore fisheries and the return of local fishing vessels.

I would also hope they will be true to the words of Tavish Scott, CEO of the Scottish Salmon Producer’s Association and reflect “the importance of our sector being close to local people in the decisions we make that affect them” by including representatives of those who are currently objecting to the increase of salmon farming near Arran.

I also hope that they really mean “sustainable growth” which will not adversely affect the natural environment creel fisherman and inshore fishermen rely on by intending to increase the importing of unsustainably sourced fish food and chemicals which work against the natural environment.

Jim Stamper

MARTIN Hannan’s article “Green to receive damages over trial” (The National, November 12) highlights some what would appear to be very serious issues re the working of our legal system. The fact that Charles Green and others have been subjected to malicious prosecutions is frightening as it could happen to anyone.

READ MORE: Former Rangers chief Charles Green to receive damages over trial

As this is not a party political issue perhaps it is time for all of the political parties in the Scottish Parliament to unite and call for an inquiry into the whole system of “justice” in Scotland and how the legal profession regulates the conduct of its members.

The inquiry should invite members of the public who feel that they have also been the subject of a malicious prosecution to come forward and give evidence. Were the Alex Salmond and the Lockerbie Bombing trials malicious prosecutions? Time to find answers!

If it is to be seen to be impartial then it may be prudent to appoint someone from outside of the UK to chair the inquiry.

The Scottish taxpayer has been landed with a massive bill for compensation and therefore is entitled to answers. In addition those responsible for the malicious prosecutions should be named and prosecuted.

Thomas L Inglis Fintry I WOULD like, if may, to make a reply to the comments on my last letter that were made by Jim Lynch in last weeks’ Sunday National.

Jim seems to want to proceed along the lines adopted by the First Minister, in that they will get independence through a section 30 order. That might be a very laudable strategy since it has been asserted that independence by a Section 30 order is the only “legal” way of obtaining it.

Jim, I have news for you. Boris has said he will not sanction a section 30 during the term of this Conservative government. Numerous Tory Ministers have stated that the referendum was a “once in a generation” event and we must wait for that time period to pass before we are allowed another referendum.

Therefore, I would suggest that those of us who want to consider every alternative means to achieve independence are less likely to “turn the Saltire in to a white flag of surrender” than those of you who will quietly accept that we can’t have independence until Boris, or some other Tory Prime Minister further down the line allows us to have it.

You see, I realise that of the 60-odd countries who used to be part of the British Empire and are now independent, the vast majority didn’t gain that independence by asking politely to have it. They gained it by declaring UDI and asserting their independence. If we are going to get independence, we will have to do something along the same lines.

But we are in a slightly different situation. Those other countries were all colonies. They were taken by force and subsumed into the British Empire. We weren’t. We were an independent nation that entered into a treaty with another independent nation. This was supposed to be for the mutual benefit of both. Instead it has turned out to be for the sole benefit of the larger of the two. They take all our taxes and spend some 85% of it as they see fit and throw us the other 15% as scraps off the master’s table. Where’s the benefit in that?

Now, any country that enters in to a Treaty with another country has the right to withdraw from that Treaty. The Tories have just done it. They did it on the basis of an advisory referendum and not a binding one. I believe we have the right to do the same. Put it in the manifesto of the next Holyrood election that a majority of independence supporting MSPs returned to Holyrood will constitute a mandate to begin independence negotiations NOT a mandate for another referendum. If Boris refuses to negotiate, we declare UDI and become a separate independent country. I don’t think it will come down to the sort of troubles they had in Ireland. I sincerely hope it doesn’t. But if it does, I won’t be waving a white flag.

Charlie Kerr