WITH Covid cases rising at rates never seen before, hospitals under intense pressure and some English health boards declaring a crisis, Boris Johnson has decided to continue with Plan B and refuses to impose further restrictions in England.

Almost every country in the world has chosen to take an approach that protects their health service and minimises serious illness and death, but not Boris and his band of stalwarts, who have chosen to stand alone against the virus, and hope they don’t get found out as the failures they are.

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It is a well-known fact that this measure is to appease his backbenchers who claim to be defending “the rights and freedom” of the public. But the real question is, what is their objective? Judging from earlier statements by these “free marketeers”, it has to be considered a distinct possibility that they have seen in the pandemic an opportunity to place such strain on the NHS that the government will feel obliged to turn for assistance to the private sector, with the obvious need, post-Covid, of hiving off parts of the NHS as a reward for them saving the country.

Such a suggestion may provoke ire in the Tory party on both sides of the Border, but I would ask them to examine the track record of Boris and his ministers, eg:

1. During Brexit, awarding shipping contracts to a company with no ships.

2. Placing contracts for PPE with a finance company rather than a provider of the said items.

3. When one of their number is found to have broken parliamentary rules, they attempted to have the rules changed.

4. Imposing restrictions on the public while ignoring the rules themselves and defending their colleagues who have also done so.

Plus, lying to the Queen, parliament, and the public – the list goes on ad nauseam.

The next few months should prove interesting, but probably not edifying.

T J Dowds

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FROM the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Johnson has arrogantly gambled with people’s lives. However, his huge gamble has not saved the economy because not only has the UK suffered among the highest death rates in the world, the UK has suffered among the worst economic effects.

Another big gamble, Brexit, has no doubt significantly contributed to the UK’s economic decline, but this does not excuse his latest selfish gamble in failing to introduce more preventative measures to counter spiralling infection rates.

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Countries around the world, including those with devolved governments but limited powers, are aggressively attempting to inhibit infection rates but the government of the country with the highest rate is not.

While his sycophantic Cabinet ministers continue to boast the qualification of a “world-beating vaccine roll-out” to divert from the Prime Minister’s gross negligence, the UK has fallen behind even many countries in Europe in its roll-out.

How many more lives are to be unnecessarily lost before the excuses of laziness and incompetence are replaced by calls for this highly dangerous gambler to be arrested for genocide of the old, weak and vulnerable?

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

ON December 28 my life was altered, very suddenly, forever, as I had a small stroke. Amidst the terror, trauma and confusion, I was given the most exemplary care from the very first telephone consultation with a doctor at my own surgery, to the communication and prompt appointment offered from the emergency doctor at the same practice. Within 48 hours I was being seen at the TIA clinic at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.

Throughout my several hours there I was treated with deep care, compassion, understanding and respect. The raft of tests were conducted with the utmost professionalism and I will never forget the small acts of humanity and kindness that made a terrifying nightmare more bearable. The young nurse, in particular, who I asked for help when I needed to go to the toilet, who gave it willingly and patiently and, having met me only that morning, a few hours earlier, and in a totally different part of the hospital, called me by my name. She will never know how much that meant.

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I am writing because I feel we pay lip service to what NHS Scotland does, and perhaps do not always truly appreciate how precious and invaluable what they give us is. The Scottish Government has fought to help it survive, even before the pandemic, and I do not think they are given the credit that they deserve having managed to protect it, despite the real and constant threat it is under.

If I could, I would like to scream this at Westminster, in the chamber at Holyrood, and actually from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle! Please do not take NHS Scotland for granted, as – like I discovered only too graphically this week – it is only when its gone that we realise what we had.

I wish all the readers of The National a peaceful and, most of all, a healthy 2022, and I live in hope that the independence movement will learn very soon how to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Jenny Pearson