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Readers’ letters: Nicola Sturgeon, NHS being let down by A&E system and the Stone of Destiny

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Sir, – In her column, Donna McLean (Press and Journal, October 13) praises Nicola Sturgeon as a straight-talking politician who was right not to apologise for the comments she made in saying that she “detests the Tories and everything they stand for”.

Many in Scotland were aghast at those comments and they are certainly not justified by the fact some on Twitter decided to agree with the first minister of Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon is leader of the Scottish Government and with that role comes responsibility where you have to be very careful in the language that you use and you certainly cannot pass an opinion on live television in which you state you despise around 25% of the Scottish population who voted Conservative at the last election.

It’s not just Conservatives or those viewed to have right-leaning tendencies who thought these comments were wrong. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition, stated this was not language he would have used and that although he didn’t agree with Conservatives he viewed them as opponents and not people he despised.

Perhaps before Ms McLean praised Nicola Sturgeon for not apologising for those remarks she could have thought about David Amess and Jo Cox. Irresponsible language can lead to tragic outcomes.

Mhairi E Rennie. Finlayson Street, Fraserburgh.

Emergency system holds back NHS

Sir, – The ambulance and A&E delays quoted by Ivan Reid (Letters, October 13) are not new.

In 2016, my late wife was unwell and her GP advised admission to hospital. I rang for an ambulance at noon and it had not arrived by 6pm but the ambulance service had called several times to apologise and say accidents were their priority on a Saturday, so we would have to wait.

Eventually, an operator who clearly felt sorry for us told me to ring them again but to use specific words, which I did. An ambulance arrived in five minutes.

I asked the crew where it had come from and was told that it had been four miles away for most of the afternoon, on standby for any emergency, but none had arisen.

My wife was eventually delivered to the hospital at 11pm that night where she was excellently treated by staff who had been waiting for her arrival.

A year before, I had taken my wife to A&E, where she was refused hospital admission although clearly ill. There was an appeal to a doctor in a room nearby – a retired GP – and he admitted my wife, who was soon diagnosed with the cancer that later killed her.

Like Mr Reid, I am a disabled octogenarian now living on my own and that experience was remembered, so when I felt unwell recently and quite alarmed, I drove myself to A&E. There I was told that they treated accidents only and was assisted back to my car to drive home again.

The problem with NHS treatment is getting to it. Their system seems designed to keep all but the seriously injured out of hospital and I feel NHS staff themselves are unhappy with this.

Name and address supplied.

Tory ideology is despicable

Sir, – Allan Sutherland may say he does not “hate” or “despise” the SNP (Letters, October 13), but the connecting theme in all his letters, where he constantly criticises the Scottish Government while simultaneously supporting all things Westminster suggests the opposite.

At least Nicola is honest about it!

In 1948, Nye Bevan described the Tories as “lower than vermin” on the eve of creating probably our best-loved institution, the NHS. It should be remembered the Tories vehemently opposed its creation then and have chipped away at it at every opportunity since, to the point where their dream of privatising healthcare has never been closer. When that day arrives, God help the poor, disabled and unemployed if they fall sick.

The current Tory ideology – in the way they demonise the weak, vulnerable and voiceless in our society such as immigrants, refugees, benefit claimants and low-paid workers, to name a few, whilst ensuring they look after those whose main driving force is nothing more than greed – can only be described as despicable.

I would suggest any person who willingly and happily votes for or supports current Tory values, and are looking for something to despise, need go no further than the nearest mirror!

Douglas Black. Kingsford, Alford.

Ireland no model for independence

Sir, – Having recently returned from a two-week holiday in the Republic of Ireland, I was somewhat surprised on my return to read the letter from Grant Fraser (October 6) referring to the Irish budget package being funded by thousands of foreign multi-national companies located in Ireland and drawing parallels to promote his desire for an independent Scotland.

Whilst on holiday the TV news channels were reporting daily on the debates in the Irish parliament regarding the fact and the genuine concerns the tax take mainly revolves around only a handful of very large multinationals.

In truth, nearly all the big names in social media have their European headquarters in Dublin. The list includes Facebook, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and TikTok, along with other big names such as Apple, Intel and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Between them, the 10 largest pay net corporation tax of over ¤8 billion (£6.9bn) per annum which is just over half of Ireland’s total corporate tax receipts. In reality, the Irish economy is over-dependent on too few very “big boys” and therefore not a great model for Scotland to pursue.

As a footnote, the prices we had to pay across the Republic were on average 20 to 30% higher than here in the UK which still includes Northern Ireland.

Galen Milne. Ochiltree, Dunblane.

Hamilton seized our stolen Stone

Sir, – In comparison with the recent death of Ian Hamilton this letter is quite trivial, but I do think that the wording of your article headlined “Destiny stone ‘icon’ mourned” (October 13) has need of some amendment.

It states the Stone of Destiny was seized by Edward I and was stolen by Ian Hamilton and his associates. Surely the reverse would be more accurate. This would apply whether it was the real Stone or just an old lump of sandstone, as suggested by your correspondent, Colin D Young.

Donald MacKenzie. Glasdrum Grove, Fort William.

Conservatives deliver for rich

Sir, – Some interesting analysis recently published in the Financial Times demonstrates that far from being a wealthy country in comparison with most of Europe, Britain is a relatively poor society with pockets of very rich people.

With characteristic Tory zeal, Liz Truss has decided that this imbalance is so welcome that it must be enhanced by increasing even further the disposable income of the wealthy few. Sure, poorer people will get a couple of hundred quid extra.

The poorest will get nothing, less than nothing, when the next round of cuts is applied to the public services they may rely on to survive.

Of course, Truss is only our prime minister because of the grotesque parody of democracy currently playing in Westminster. And at the bizarre freak show that was the recent Conservative Party conference, where she blamed the country’s woes on everyone and everything but the party which has been in government for the past 12 years and 30 out of the last 43, commentators seemed impressed Truss managed to deliver a speech at all.

Meanwhile, she continues to give the appearance that she can’t quite believe she really is the prime minister. We have that in common at least.

Graham Davidson. Birse, Aboyne.

Government needs a period of stability

Sir, – What the UK urgently needs is a period of stability without any further changes in Government to convince the markets both in the UK and international money markets that the UK Government are headed in the right direction.

No more changes please Prime Minister Liz Truss, and certainly NO to a general election at this critical point in time.

With a period of stability there is hope that the damage can be repaired so that confidence will return in the UK Government.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Will Budget be terrifying?

Sir, – Last week I wrote about energy companies playing musical money with our grant from the Government. Now the Government have decided to join the “party” atmosphere by playing musical chairs with the position of Chancellor and carry on with the theme by announcing another “mini-Budget” on Halloween.

Will it be a trick or treat? Scary things can happen at Halloween, so their decision to announce their plans on this date should not surprise us.

Don McKay, Torry.