I HAVE read a daily newspaper every day, virtually, from the time I was first able to read such a thing. In all these years – and I am not a young man – I have never read anything that compares with Ruth Wishart’s article in The National yesterday (Social distancing ... from real people’s lives, March 23).

In a few short paragraphs she has encapsulated what is wrong with the values held by our leaders in society. When the chips are down and when everyone, regardless of so-called status or income, is equally vulnerable to a virus, we have a graphic display of who are our real essential contributors to that society.

READ MORE: Ruth Wishart: The likes of Branson and Rees-Mogg are social distancing from real life

They are not those who have been given some bauble by the palace or those who spend their time trying to hide their wealth and avoid taxation, nor the “captains of industry” who are given excessive publicity and importance by the mainstream media. Instead, the cream rises to the top in the form of nurses, doctors, lorry drivers, cleaners, supermarket staff, care assistants etc who often work for a pittance yet are the ones most exposed to the coronavirus threat. The privileged take their private yachts off to a remote island or head up to their second mansion in the Highlands.

When this dark period in our history is over, let us not allow a return to the worship of the unworthy and instead start to reward the real heroes. Also, have Ruth’s article framed and hung in every school and hospital in the country and let it be a permanent fixture in Holyrood and the Palace of Westminster.

Alasdair Forbes
Farr, Inverness-shire

THANKS Ruth Wishart for mentioning Iain Duncan Smith’s attitude to welfare payments. Any upgrading would only provide a disincentive to work, he claims. Expect Mr Smith, The Quiet Man, to urge the Church of England to reinstate a verse which they deleted after the war from the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful. It went: “The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly and ordered their estate.” Some tunes never change.

Iain R Thomson