Letters - Tuesday, July 13, 2021
So-called ‘Freedom day’ is just madness
Given the dramatic increase in infections it is sheer madness to remove most restrictions on July 19. No wonder the medical profession is alarmed.
What is driving the government’s policy is not economics , it is political considerations - removal will undoubtedly bring widespread popularity.
The increase in hospital admissions and death rates will be overlooked. Our wonderful NHS will again have to bear the brunt of a dreadful and ill-considered policy decision.
There are far too many unknowns at the moment. For example: For how long does the vaccine provide limited immunity? How effective will the vaccines be when another mutation arrives, and it will given the nature of viruses?
Once schools, colleges and universities close for the summer and all sporting events, cinemas and hospitality venues allow full attendance we can expect, as the Health Secretary has admitted, a dramatic surge in the daily infection rate.
To put the onus on individuals ‘behaving sensibly’ demonstrates an abysmal lack of knowledge about people’s behaviour particularly when July 19 is being heralded by silly terms such as ‘freedom day’ and a day when our liberty is restored. Anyone using such terms clearly knows no history.
Sadly, it seems some people have to experience personal tragedy before they realise what is at stake.
Dr Barry Clayton
Could NHS unite us all?
Kash Singh was recently vilified for trying to encourage social cohesion through a National Day for the whole United Kingdom.
Even a ‘national song’ written by primary school children was the subject of ridicule and abuse from leading politicians and commentators.
So why is it that many people are resistant to official displays of patriotism?
Firstly, of course, patriotism is associated with its ugly sister fascist nationalism, which lingers on in right-wing groups today.
Then there is the current disillusion with Empire and its legacy.
There is antipathy on the part of internationalist-minded left-wingers and many members of our liberal elite and intelligentsia.
There is even the view that, if you are the best, you don’t need to brag about it.
So what hope for a United Kingdom National Day in these contentious times of devolution, Brexit, Irish nationalism, Scottish Independence and our ethnically plural society?
Could it be that the National Health Service is emerging as a surrogate for the unifying force of patriotism?
The NHS embodied post-war national ideals for society.
We contribute through taxation, we value those who work tirelessly in it, we augment its services through voluntary effort.
We may justifiably criticise its workings but it commands widespread support and affection. Today it is seen by many as the best representation of our shared human values of fairness and care for each other.
People have even begun to celebrate it officially on July 5, the date of its foundation.
Incident was an act of stupidity
On June 23 a British warship entered into Russian territorial waters, 12 miles off Crimea.
Whether the disputed waters are Russian or not, it was the height of gross stupidity to send a British warship into a disputed warzone.
The Russians say warning shots were fired at the ship.
The BBC reporter on HMS Defender said a Russian ship attempted to block HMS Defender’s route and that all HMS Defender’s weapon systems were activated.
Game of Thrones. Kings and Pawns. We are all brothers and sisters on this beautiful planet Earth, no matter what race, nationality or religion we are. No cause is worth insulting or killing our fellow world citizens for.
Okay, our forebears made tragic mistakes but we, the decent ordinary people, must work to try halting the cycles of mistrust and the insane drive towards a nuclear war.
Good people should support leaders that fight for peace, not war. There are too many warmongers leading people, who are decent at heart, to war. We must leave the increasingly aggressive Nato, cancel Trident, fund the NHS and education and use the peace dividend to help repair the economic damage that the Covid pandemic has caused.
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