As the rest of the NHS crumbles under pressure from Covid, GP staff live Riley’s life: with full pay thanks to the taxpayer but with little to do thanks to Covid-19’s restrictions on patient capacity to access services, and repeat prescription users forced to allow their local pharmacists to manage their medications. Unsurprisingly, some have attempted to exploit this situation by trying to shift users to ‘equivalent’ (i.e. more profitable for the pharmacy) drugs, blaming ‘supply issues’ which, remarkably, disappear when challenged. GP offices don’t even provide flu shots, forcing asthmatics like me and others with health problems to pay £ 14 to a local pharmacy for the privilege of what our taxes are supposed to provide each year . Covid 19 has been a dripping roast for street pharmacists. 2022 must see a reassessment and wholesale redeployment of our health service resources – we simply cannot afford for this farrago to continue.
Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire
It is Boxing Day as I write, a day before the UK Government’s consideration of what will happen next in terms of preventive measures against the spread of Covid – note that it is ” preventive measures ”as opposed to“ restrictions ”used by others.
The powerful Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, expressed his opinion: “As we look forward to the New Year, it is time to step out of the lazy assumption that government has the right to control our lives; we should take responsibility for our own lives once again.
The anti-democratic group within the Conservative and Unionist Party, previously known as the European Research Group, has morphed into the Covid Recovery Group. This is the same group that lobbied for Brexit, and we have proof of their work in fisheries, agriculture, health and hospitality. Members make statements like, “If No 10 comes up with tighter post-Christmas restrictions, these freedom-loving ministers must speak out.”
Potential candidates for prime minister, if Boris Johnson steps down, are told their positions on this issue will not be forgotten.
A year after Brexit, the evidence is starting to be visible. Food left to rot in the fields. The fish does not reach the market on time. The reception is understaffed.
The latest outcome of the Brexit debacle is that Home Secretary Priti Patel has relaxed the rules for foreign nationals entering the care sector to fill vacancies left when foreign workers returned home and did not have not returned.
So this Covid Recovery Group will now try to set the direction of government policy that affects us all. A group of 80 to 100 deputies can change the leadership of a Parliament of 650 deputies. It is British democracy.
Alistair Ballantyne, Birkhill, Angus
While serious decarbonization pleas from the UK and other countries must be respected, new scientific findings have shifted the main “blame” for the planetary overheating of carbon dioxide to the sun as the main influence.
The views of the United Nations Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change now focus on the sun, cosmic rays and water vapor as the primary controllers of temperature changes on the planet.
Water vapor comprises 95 percent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has a CO2 proportion of 3.8 percent. The impacts of cosmic rays on the atmosphere, forming clouds, increase with the reduction in the activity of the sun – at present it is in decline.
Reports from Canadian colleagues Professor Gerald Ratzer and Douglas Lightfoot show that CO2, although not a “totally innocent bystander”, has been mistakenly viewed as the main influence on Earth’s temperature. The varying impact of the sun on water vapor as well as cosmic rays are the main drivers. Previously, the influence of our sun was very poorly understood and its effects largely omitted from relevant calculations.
These findings mean that decarbonizers are on the wrong scientific path in attributing rising atmospheric CO2 levels to global warming.
Once this shift of responsibility from CO2 to the sun is more widely recognized and accepted, the huge costs and societal upheavals of decarbonization will, logically, be avoidable.
While they do not want to upset those who currently trust and seek decarbonization, I am sure they will agree that our scarce resources should not be wasted.
(Dr) Charles Wardrop, Perth
Fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed for Scots
As the year draws to a close, think about this: Everyone working directly or indirectly in the Scottish crown jewels of our industry, oil and gas exploration, now faces a very uncertain future to say the least. . Those who are making decisions in this country now are showing a laissez-faire attitude at best; at worst, outright antagonism with industry, which in total employs tens of thousands of people. It’s a ruthless, Margaret Thatcher-style approach other than the name.
For the SNP / Greens coalition now in the driver’s seat, signaling virtue and masochistic and masochistic policies are far more important than serious and concerted thinking and planning for the future. Fortune had brought this energy wealth to Scotland, the SNP is removing them prematurely for decades. No one is suggesting that these industries could go on forever. Petroleum, like coal, is a finite substance. But the strategy and methods used and, more importantly, the timing involved in the gradual depletion of old fossil fuels as new sources and safe methods to keep people alive and healthy are found, are essential.
And, of course, to complete the picture of gross incompetence and irony to end all ironies, we will have to import the oil and gas necessary to survive at grossly inflated prices.
Rushing into the ban and signaling virtue is catastrophically the wrong thing to do and using this looming crisis as political football is criminal and our children and grandchildren will be the only ones to pay.
Alexander McKay, Edinburgh
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