THE United Kingdom’s horrific death toll of 100,000 from a total population of 67 million (“Deeply sorry: UK death toll passes 100,000”, The , January 27) is far worse than the American death toll of 425,000 from a population of 328m. If the US had a death rate pro rata to the UK its current death toll would be 490,000.
So here we are, a country blessed with one of the best public health services in the developed world, with a far worse Covid-related death record than a country with the worst public health service in the developed world – a country blighted by the most incompetent, deceitful President in its history.
Furthermore, the current English death toll is 88,000 with a population of 56m, which is again far worse on a pro rata basis than the Scottish death toll of 5,796 with a population of 5.5.million. If the English Covid-19 death toll had been in line with Scotland it would have been around 59,000.
England has paid a high price for voting for the old Etonian Boris Johnson as opposed to Scotland voting for the state-educated Nicola Sturgeon.
WR McCrindle, West Kilbride.
* I AM interested in learning how Scotland compares with the rest of the UK when it comes to deaths from Covid per million of population. We are told that in the UK the figure is 1,495, third from the top of the global league (of 152 countries) after Belgium and Slovenia.
My own calculations, for what they are worth, suggest that the comparable Scottish figure is 1,063, 21st in the league table just below, for instance, France, Switzerland and Portugal. England’s rate I understand to be 1,572.
I would ask for your readers’ comments on my figures and what conclusions can be drawn from them. I must stress that I am not at all interested in the observations of either the ultra-nationalist or ultra-unionist camps whose partisan opinions have confounded impartial debate.
John Milne, Uddingston.
APOLOGY DID NOT IMPRESS
TODAY (January 26) we were all addressed by a sombre Boris Johnson flanked by his two medical advisors to give him some support. His apology failed to impress me. This man was elected with the largest majority in my lifetime, to protect the nation and increase the opportunities for everyone going forward. He has failed to grasp the urgency of a critical pandemic identified by the WHO more than a year ago.
His responses have been slow to implement. I believe his priority has been the economy and the impact of the measures on it. Furthermore his reliance on SAGE advice has been selective – it’s been when it suited his economic reasons.
This has been the greatest challenge our leaders have faced since the Second World War. Mr Johnson has surrounded himself with a group of indecisive people who are happiest when they are disingenuous with the truth.
Iain Rowan, Largs.
PM OUGHT TO STAY AT HOME
YOUR front page (January 27) shows the Prime Minister at a podium that quite clearly carries the message “stay home”. Why is he choosing to ignore his own instruction to come to Scotland to rally the troops?
Sadly, he is saying to the country: I will tell you what to do, meanwhile I will go on a jolly whereby I will have an entourage of people and I will meet local MPs, councillors, MSPs, et al in numbers which we are not allowed.
Do as you tell us, Prime Minister: work from home. You have at your disposal the written and broadcast media whereby you could get your message across.
Robert Morris, Irvine.
BEING IN UK HAS COST LIVES
CONTRARY to Bill Eadie’s view (Letters, January 27), being part of the UK has cost many unnecessary Covid deaths. Unlike independent EU countries, devolved Scotland had no powers to close international borders or the financial powers to introduce an earlier or extended lockdown. It was only when we diverged from the UK-wide approach that Scotland got on top of the pandemic. Also, many EU countries are offering much better financial support to those who have lost their jobs or been laid off during the pandemic.
Apart from the horrendous UK death figures which are the worst in Europe, the loss of thousands of businesses and jobs are the fault of Boris Johnson, who ignored medical advice to take early action to control Covid. As part of the UK we are facing years of austerity thanks to the UK Government’s mishandling of Covid, and that’s before Brexit takes its toll on the economy.
Fraser Grant, Edinburgh EH9.
LET’S SET THE DISPUTES ASIDE
COMETH the hour cometh the man, so the saying goes, but with a once-in-a-century pandemic upon us, it is really “cometh the many”. In Scotland’s hour of need this wonderful country is not left wanting, being well served by many stars of office, from some shining lights in politics to all our marvellous NHS staff and key workers supporting us all daily.
History will dictate the greatest Scots but there are many such people among us who deserve to be honoured at this time. However, internal party factions and recurring disputes are causing distraction and wasting time and energy when what is truly needed and important is the health of the nation, an ongoing, drawn-out fight which we are hopefully winning.
Bickering and personal agendas should be put aside.
Stephen Jones, Oban.
WE MUST GO FOR SUPPRESSION
OUR frightening lack of strategy to deal with Covid has now resulted in it being frictionlessly exported across the globe via our highly-infectious Kent variant of the virus.
The result of our reactive approach is the acceleration of the virus globally. Portugal has now surpassed the UK with the highest per capita death toll in the world and this is largely down to our variant.
So it is worth reiterating this is a global pandemic. Our Government’s failures result in avoidable deaths here and overseas. We can only defeat it by imposing a strategy of complete suppression.
Paul Morrison, Glasgow G69.
OUR OVER-80S ARE STILL WAITING
I NOTE that Andrew Robertson in the G46 area of Glasgow (Letters, January 27) is concerned about the roll-out of vaccines for the 70-plus age group in his area. If he lived in G61, as I do, he might be concerned about the over-80s. Not one of my acquaintances even has an appointment yet.
Moira Murray, Bearsden.
WE NEED FACTS ON INDEPENDENCE
HERE we go again: Neil Mackay is banging on about the fact he supports independence because, he states, “Scotland can do better” (“Tragedy of a rotten party at the forefront of the right cause”, The , January 26). Daily we witness separatists pushing their desire for “freedom” and daily we have some factions of the SNP basically threatening civil unrest to achieve their aims, to the extent that Nicola Sturgeon is buckling under the intimidation.
The common denominator? Never any mention of the economics of a successful independent Scotland. “Scotland can do better,” says Mr Mackay, but it really is time to defend his beliefs.
In the absence of any facts to support independence, devotees base their support on nothing more than emotion. What a prospect for Scotland, led by a party “incapable of governing” which should be out on its ear for its failure in power.
I look forward to a series of articles from Mr Mackay on the details of the successful independent Scotland he and the “majority of the population” so desire. Economic details, the social implications, financial and military details. How sad that “the majority of the population” want independence irrespective of and unconcerned by the impact of these aspects on my fellow Scots.
Douglas Cowe, Newmachar.
SELF-IMPOSED EXTRA BURDEN
THE Prime Minister has said that all governments should be focused on “saving lives and livelihoods” and “what people want to see is everyone focusing on beating the pandemic”. If that is the case, why did he press on with such a disruptive departure from the European Union, thereby imposing a great burden on businesses at a time when they least needed it? He ignored many requests for a delay that the EU would surely have agreed to.
Many people are having to focus on how to save their livelihoods in the face of the vast new bureaucracy and significant additional costs that the Prime Minister’s deal has imposed on them, at the same time as coping with the impact of Covid-19.
Gregory Beecroft, Skelmorlie.
Being in the EU would have put our lives at even greater risk