Letters to the editor – 11.6.20

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Columnist’s lockdown easing argument very one sided

I respond to Angus MacDonald and his political article in support of Westminster rule over Scotland. He puts forward a very one-sided argument.

Those people who live in high-rise flats with little opportunity to breath fresh air in gardens and/or parks are really suffering. Many of these people will join others who will be left destitute by adhering to lockdown rules by losing their jobs as a result of the pandemic. There is no doubt there is an economic crisis but it is irresponsible to put lives at risk by encouraging the government in Holyrood to lift the lockdown when they are being advised that they should proceed cautiously to save lives.

Mr MacDonald argues that disease annually kills millions of people worldwide, and all their deaths did not close the world down. He goes on to say that ‘of the 34,500 who have died of the virus across the UK only three have been under 15 years old and up until the start of May only 375 people under the age of 45 died of the virus. The average age of those others who have died is 79.5 years of age and they had health complications’. He also mentions other deaths as if there should be a play-off with the number of deaths we already deal with to back up his reason for breaking the lockdown.

He is of course right to highlight the disruption that this pandemic is having to people’s lives and to the tourist and construction industries. However, he could, of course, have balanced out his views by quoting Unite Union leader Pat Lafferty who said, ‘the last thing we need is a second spike as it would be devastating for the economy and it would cost lives’.
Or he could have quoted the new YouGov poll of 2883 UK adults which asked ‘Which country has handled the virus outbreak better between England and Scotland?’ – 44% of UK citizens believe Nicola Sturgeon’s government has handled the outbreak better while only 17% believed that Westminster has handled the outbreak better than Holyrood. Of those who voted for Scotland, 48% were based in London. That blows the argument in support of Westminster’s handling of the pandemic as opposed to Holyrood’s approach out the water.

The two large construction projects Angus MacDonald is providing are indeed going to be of huge benefit to Lochaber and his efforts should be applauded. He should not waste the goodwill that those builds will provide by bringing his support for Westminster politics into the equation. Many people are already well aware of his extreme unionist views. His attack on

Nicola Sturgeon was simply flying the flag for Westminster. People of all political persuasions believe Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government’s response to COVID-19 has been head and shoulders above the UK Government in dealing with this pandemic. As for his unionist supporting friends in Westminster, their behaviour speaks for itself.
Bill Clark, Banavie

Hong Kong to Killundine

As part of the UK’s obligation under the 1985 Sino-British agreement to allow citizens of Hong Kong holding British National (Overseas) passports to come to this country, perhaps the Westminster government should consider acquiring Killundine estate in Morvern under a compulsory purchase order as part of a resettlement package. Imagine what 20 hard-working, conscientious, Chinese families could achieve on the foothills of Tom Mor. Why they’d be self-sufficient in no time and less of a burden than the proposed local community buyout.
Iain Thornber, Knock House, Morvern.