TOMORROW the Scottish Socialist Party will be letting people know that we can improve people’s lives and avert climate catastrophe through free public transport.

The Scottish Parliament has the power to take ScotRail, CalMac and all national and local bus companies into public ownership. We should use these powers to provide free public transport for all. This would radically reduce CO2 emissions and congestion, free people from rip-off fares and toxic pollution, end private profiteering in public services, alleviate pressure on the NHS (through reduced road accidents and increased air quality) and give people a sustainable and affordable travel option.

We are all aware of the important issue of the impending climate catastrophe and its causes and impacts. We have inherited this problem from profiteering corporations and short sighted governments – we need innovative and radical solutions if we are to change this narrative.

The ScotRail franchise could be returned to public hands when it comes up for renewal in 2020 – at zero cost. The bus network could be streamlined in areas where multiple bus companies are scrapping it out for busy routes, and expanded in areas where provision is poor to non-existent, thus breathing life back into stranded communities.

The SSP has supported and been campaigning for free public transport for over 12 years, as it is a mitigation to climate change that benefits the lives of working-class people, instead of blaming them for the destructive actions of others.

Dougie Grant
Scottish Socialist Party, Lothians Branch

IN yesterday’s National we have a bed blocking “crisis” with 1366 beds blocked by patients waiting to go home in April (Call for people to work in care to ease pressure on the NHS, June 13).

In the not-too-distant past, East Dunbartonshire could have accommodated the whole of Scotland’s blocked beds in one town.

Successive governments have allowed the sell-off of many hospitals and convalescent homes that would have been invaluable today.

Here in the Kirkintilloch area we had Lennox Castle hospital, Broomhill and Langfine hospitals, Woodilee hospital, Lenzie hospital, and Stoneyetts hospital.

Between these hospitals, ALL patients were catered for. The elderly had a half-way house between hospital and home. Mental health patients in crisis had somewhere to go. Police Scotland say a lot of their time is spent tending to people with mental health issues when these should be handed to professionals to deal with. Also the “care in the community” project has left vulnerable people to fend for themselves.

East Dumbartonshire Council that they were going to rebuild Lenzie hospital, but ALL the hospitals in this area have been sold off and are all now housing projects.

I was hopeful that the rise of the SNP in the Edinburgh parliament would have reversed some of these, but no, we are just willing to turn a blind eye until it is too late.

Jim McGregor

AT 92 years old I remember the bad old days when you had to have two shillings before you could call a doctor. As a young woman I rejoiced in 1947 when the NHS was formed, and I have been grateful to them ever since.

Now, at 92, I thank them with all my heart for the attention I receive and have received all these years.

I am not saying it is perfect. A sister and doctor in my local hospital and one district nurse I would like to give a good telling off.

The practice I am with is wonderful. When moving home a few years ago I was thinking of moving to a new district but it was my doctor’s that changed my mind. I did not want to leave them.

Name and address supplied

AS a reader of The National I am certainly not a Liberal Democrat supporter, but I am concerned by the complete lack of coverage in the mainstream media of their leadership contest.

There is wall-to-wall coverage of the Tory campaign, with every TV political programme stuffed full of Tory politicians, journalists and commentators.

I am assuming that Jo Swinson and Sir Ed Davey are still the only two candidates, so limited has the coverage been. I know little of their policies, apart from their support for a second EU referendum.

The winning LibDem candidate will not be the next PM, but after the next General Election he or she may become a future depute PM, knowing the party’s eagerness to participate in government.

Alan Laing

WELL said Kenneth S Macrae, who hit the nail totally on the head (The Long Letter, June 13). Why can candidates from English political parties stand in Scotland? This definitely needs to stop.

Colleen Anderson
via email