ACCORDING to Alexander McKay (Letters, January 29) and others of his ilk, if it were not for the beneficence of the UK Government, Scotland would have sunk in the Covid quagmire.
Can I ask Mr McKay and those who blindly believe we survive on UK handouts, have they never paid taxes in their lives? Do they look around them and not see millions of Scots paying their taxes?
Where do they believe these taxes go? Does the vast majority of the tax raised not go to the UK Government? And are we not entitled to receive our share of that tax revenue back?
I am flabbergasted by the implication that we have made no contribution to and, by extension have no call on, the money being spent by the UK Government to fight Covid.
Why should we doff our caps and be grateful for being handed back our own money?
The views of Mr McKay and others are insulting to all of us Scottish taxpayers. We are not parasites and should not be treated like some sort of Oliver Twist. We are simply getting back the tax revenue we have generated.
William Thomson, Denny.
WHERE HAS THE CASH BEEN SPENT?
ALEXANDER McKay asks where would an independent Scotland have got the money to pay for furlough and vaccines? I am happy to inform him it would also have borrowed the money as the UK and many other countries have done. The question which he should be asking is, how is it going to be repaid, and the answer is of course by taxpayers – no free lunch for Scotland or anywhere else.
The BBC website informs us the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said last November the Chancellor will have borrowed £394 billion in the current financial year to deal with the pandemic and furlough. We are also informed, as Mr McKay correctly observes, that Scotland has received billions – £8.2bn according to the figures. Assuming Northern Ireland and Wales received the same as Scotland, although they are usually proportionately less, it is fair to say that excluding England the other three countries of the UK will have received a rounded up £25bn, a not-inconsequential sum of money and again I agree with Mr McKay. As to the remaining borrowings of £369bn, where was that spent and more importantly, will the repayment thereof be equally proportionate to its disbursement?
My figures are of course open to challenge but any such challenge should compare the four countries of the UK.
Alan M Morris, Blanefield.
I AM EMBARRASSED BY THE FM
I AM not Boris Johnson’s biggest fan but I am deeply embarrassed by and ashamed of Nicola Sturgeon’s petty and churlish behaviour towards his visit to Scotland. Whether we like it or not, he is our Prime Minister and should be treated with courtesy and respect. She uses a platform, which is supposed to convey Covid information to the Scottish public, to question his visit and give her opinion as to why it should not happen.
I am surely not the only person who is finding Ms Sturgeon’s hectoring rhetoric both very annoying and very divisive. Scotland is better than the small-mindedness displayed by its First Minister.
Maureen Henry, Glasgow G12.
* BORIS Johnson chose to comment unfavourably on the Scottish Government’s performance during his visit to Scotland yesterday. Its alleged failures were a good reason not to support Scottish independence, he said.
Another example of how he just doesn’t “get it”. A vote for independence is not a vote for SNP.
Craig Sanderson, Edinburgh EH12.
UNION HAS BENEFITED US ALL
LEAVING the EU enabled the UK Government to pursue its own strategy on vaccine procurement free from EU rules – a strategy which will save thousands of lives. As of January 27 the UK had vaccinated 7.6 million people, Germany two million, and France 1.4 million. Britain is vaccinating 2.5 million people every week. The facts speak for themselves.
SNP zealots should note that it was thanks to the UK Government supporting the boffins at Oxford University nearly a year ago that AstraZeneca was able to scale up production and give millions of Scots protection against the deadly virus. Another example of how the Union is beneficial to us all.
William Loneskie, Lauder.
SHAMEFUL ACT BY STURGEON
NICOLA Sturgeon has the undeserved reputation of handling this crisis well. Somehow, using her daily party political broadcast with the connivance of the BBC, she has convinced people to believe her propaganda. This despite a catastrophic care home policy. This despite one of the worst mortality rates in Europe. This despite not having proper checks of temperature and Covid documentation at airports throughout this pandemic. This despite the fallacious claim (without a vaccine) that she had all but eliminated the virus in the middle of last year. This despite lagging significantly behind in the programme of vaccination and using less than half of the supply whilst refusing extra help from the Army.
But she’s is outdoing herself by promising to publish the UK supply of vaccinations, which will assist the EU in blocking supply to Britain (“Sturgeon to publish vaccine supply figures – against wishes of Westminster”, The , January 29). She’s willing to sacrifice her own and the other UK countries’ citizens’ lives for political ends. She is a disgrace and brings shame to Scotland.
Bill Adair, Bishopton.
WHY THE FUSS FROM THE EU?
WHY is there all this fuss and rancour from the EU about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine (“Vaccine factory inspected in Belgium amid EU’S dispute with AstraZeneca”, The , January 29)? If the EU, and Germany in particular, doesn’t believe that this valuable vaccine works in the over-65s (the most vulnerable group) why are they demanding faster and increased delivery of their supplies? Perhaps they should be seeking ways of cancelling their contract with AstraZeneca, not enforcing it.
Because of the embarrassingly poor response of the EU to the vaccination of its citizens, they have turned the vaccine debate into a vitriolic political football in which no-one will win. Poorer countries around the world cannot afford a debate into the scientific intricacies about which vaccine is the most effective, when in reality they are all beneficial to mankind.
Ian Forbes, Glasgow G41.
* LET’S hope for the sake of our friends in Europe that the paperwork required to export Covid vaccines from the UK is less complicated than that required for a box of fish. The bureaucrats in the EU should take a long hard look at themselves.
Eric R Gardner, Glasgow G41.
TIME TO MOVE ON FROM BREXIT
PERHAPS someone should tell Ian McConnell that Brexit has indeed been done and will not be undone (“Experts will tell truth of Brexit while Tories indulge fantasies”, The , January 29). We are where we are and should move on. I am old enough to remember the decimalisation of the our currency and the UK joining the Common Market. There were many opposed to both and doom and gloom merchants like Mr McConnell who said they would not work.
There were teething problems on both occasions, but they were slowly ironed out and the same will happen here. Give it time, Mr McConnell, and stop flogging a dead horse.
JS Morrison, Kirkintilloch.
WHY DOES RUGBY GET SPECIAL TREATMENT?
CONCERN has been expressed in some quarters about footballers over-celebrating when a goal has been scored – lots of shaking hands and hugging the scorer.
Given the times we are living in, this concern is fully understood. The football authorities and the Government are carefully monitoring the situation and will no doubt intervene if they feel that further guidance is required.
What puzzles me is why there is not a similar focus on what goes on in rugby union, where the game is a series of rucks, mauls and scrums. In the latter case, we have eight players in one team tightly bound together and locking together with another eight players from the opposing team; the rucks and mauls have similar contact but on a smaller scale.
Have any of your readers any explanation for this disparity of treatment?
During this pandemic, we have all struggled to play our part in observing the various social protocols that have interfered in many aspects of how we previously lived our lives. It would be a great pity if we dropped our guard when it comes to one particular sport.
Bill Stewart, Dunning.
Celtic v Rangers, 1960
ROLL ON THE RETURN OF FANS
WHAT a wonderfully nostalgic photograph of the Old Firm game of 1960 (“Remember when … Evasive action at Old Firm derby”, The , January 29). Gazing into the background reminded me of people actually attending sporting events rather than listening to simulated crowd sound effects on televised games. Moreover, careful scrutiny of the crowd shows a standard of sartorial respectability that is unknown today.
Looking at the collars and ties and suits was reminiscent of a crowd at a wedding. Of course, this was the old Parkhead Enclosure just below the old stand, populated by a higher class of supporter, the habitat of clerical collar and bowler hat.
I attended that game as a 10-year-old (in the Enclosure naturally) and can remember a warm late summer afternoon and a fantastic Rangers performance. Roll on the return of attended sporting events.
Alan McKenzie, Glasgow G12.
MARGARET THATCHER ON THE BOOS
IAN Thomson’s letter (January 29), which mentions Margaret Thatcher’s attendance at the 1988 Scottish Cup Final, reminded me of a story which I heard Michael Forsyth relate (I think to Kirsty Wark).
Apparently, as Mrs Thatcher appeared from the tunnel with Michael Forsyth in tow, to the sort of booing that Hampden could specialise in, she turned to Mr Forsyth and said: “Oh dear, Michael, it sounds as if the referee isn’t too popular”.
As the old saying goes, “there are none so deaf as those who will not hear”. While I fully agree with Mr Thomson in his negative judgment on Boris Johnson, Mr Johnson could attend this year’s Final with one advantage – it is unlikely there will be any fans there to boo him.
Alasdair Galloway, Dumbarton.
Johnson may come to rue following in Thatcher’s footsteps