ON Tuesday the UK Government announced that compensation will be paid to the victims of the tainted blood scandal – by the end of the year. Yet PPE Medpro was incorporated in May 2020 and was awarded its first contract, worth £80 million, in June 2020. It was awarded its second contract worth £120m less than a month later. Medpro was not alone in receiving such accelerated payments.

READ MORE: Infected blood victims to get compensation before end of the year, Government says

When the government wants to issue money speedily it does so, and quietly. When it does not want to, there is a lot of verbiage, apologies and hand-wringing but no speedy action.

The fact that the UK Government that has given this undertaking to pay compensation might not also be in power at the end of the year does not really matter. Even if they were, look at the glacial pace at which the Windrush compensation is being paid out to victims.

Gavin Brown

I NOTE from all media that the blood scandal involving people with haemophilia has been called the “worst scandal ever to affect the NHS”. I must point out that it is only the WORST scandal until the next one comes along. The Post Office scandal was the worst scandal, then the blood scandal, which I have know about since the 1970s, and now we have the DWP clawing back the money overpaid to carers. These carers save the NHS and the social services billions of pounds looking after sick and disabled members of our society, yet they are being asked to repay thousands of pounds which they do not have.

As I say, it is the worst scandal until the next one comes along. Don’t worry, we won’t have long to wait, after all we are living in a banana republic.

Margaret Forbes

IT was so unsurprising to read about Sir Keir Starmer’s reticence to respond to Monday’s call by the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants for the Israeli PM Netanyahu and his defence minister. Only two offenders were called out over war crimes in Gaza. There are more than two offenders in my humble opinion!

Meanwhile, PM Sunak calls this ICC request “unhelpful”? What an ill-conceived comment! The man couldn’t be further from the truth on a judgement call that seeks to impose true justice on brutal, callous political criminals who believe they are “above the law” and can’t be touched or challenged by anyone in the international community including the United Nations. Also Sunak’s Foreign Secretary, the unelected David Cameron, stating that he has been “tough on Israel”? Really, Mr Cameron?

READ MORE: Keir Starmer silent as ICC seeks arrest warrant for Israeli leaders

One can clearly see who are the clear allies of the state of Israel and all the “loose baggage” that is attached to it.

The ICC has formally assessed the actions of the Israeli government through its defence forces and matched them up to the specific war crime definitions. Here’s hoping there is a swift turnaround in approving and issuing these arrest warrants – let’s chase down these war criminals and knock them right out of their comfort zone.

Also lets see how Israel’s complicit allies eventually respond. Will they embarrass themselves even further and still attach themselves to the Israeli propaganda bandwagon while ignoring the true facts of why they are being charged by the ICC? One can only hope that common sense will prevail.

Bernie Japs

HOW often have we heard the bitter comment “politicians are all the same, they’re all in it for the money”?

The policy of MSPs and MPs being obliged to live on no more than the average workers’ wage, as espoused by the Scottish Socialist Party (Colin Fox, The National, May 21), is a powerful antidote to the cynicism of working-class people towards what has been dubbed “the political class”.

When Nicola Sturgeon says she’s seen far too many young people entering politics “for all the wrong reasons”, and she certainly has a point. During several decades of campaigning for socialism I’ve encountered legions of blatant careerists, who want to change their own living standards, massively, in one fell swoop, by mopping up the obscenely inflated salaries for MPs (£91,346) and MSPs (£72,196), rather than devote themselves to fighting for decent wages, benefits and pensions for millions of people whose votes they cadge.

READ MORE: Too many young careerists in SNP for 'wrong reasons', Nicola Sturgeon says

When workers put their necks (and sometimes their jobs) on the line to represent fellow-workers as their union rep or convener, they don’t suddenly treble their wages. They remain representative of those who elect them, living on the same income. So why should MSPs or MPs expect to be paid two-and-a-half or three times the average Scottish workers’ wage?

I fondly recall the 1983 General Election, when I was the campaign organiser for principled socialist, Terry Fields, who won the (Tory marginal) Liverpool Broadgreen constituency on the slogan “A Workers’ MP on a Worker’s Wage”. A former firefighter, Terry remained on a firefighter’s wage, confounding the sceptics who couldn’t believe a politician would actually be so principled.

Forty years on, the contempt for careerist politicians has grown immeasurably, as have the salaries of MPs. Voters more than ever need principled representatives willing to live on a worker’s wage and fight selflessly for a genuine living income for all – not a fat salary for themselves.

Richie Venton
via email

SO, the election has been called for July 4. I hope every SNP election leaflet and poster will have "JULY 4 INDEPENDENCE DAY for Scotland" as a headline.

Rishi has shot himself in the foot.

Winifred McCartney