LETTERS: Corbyn adds voice of hope for a fairer society

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Much has been said lately about Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for the Labour leadership.

Many politicians of all hues have agreed that, in their opinion, a Labour party under his leadership would be unelectable. I cannot agree.

Surely, if one puts aside one’s allegiances (and I don’t mean only Labour supporters) it is crass in the extreme to make such a statement. I would contend that it is not impossible for the following reason.

Several million potential voters never vote. There is a feeling of distrust or apathy, usually among the less well off, which, if overturned, would set the cat among the political pigeons.

Mr Corbyn offers a new vision, not the same old one the Tory press would have us believe, which people may take to. It would possibly only take as little as five or six hundred thousand people to vote for the first time in a generation for the new Labour party policies proferred for the party to become very electable.

The culture of greed perpetrated by Cameron and his cronies has grown so much that people must eventually say ‘enough’.

We are continually being told that Britain is a wealthy country and it probably is, but its distribution is not fair and the Tories will fight tooth and nail to keep it so.

I say let Jeremy Corbyn stand for the values I and many others hold dear and let the people decide if they are worth fighting for.

The scaremongering will escalate in the press and there will be increasing personal abuse and perhaps it will all end up in vain, but this campaign has proven that if the numbers turn out to vote – see the sell-out meetings everywhere and the unprecedented rise in new members – anything may be possible.

Ian Hunter, Windsor Drive, Penicuik

Let’s not be too hasty in holding inquiries

It is easy to be sage after the facts, but those of us who feel that campaigning lawyers too often demand early fatal accident or judicial inquiries precipitately might feel vindicated in our general view.

This can often lead to inquiries being fixed before careful consideration is given to other matters, eg whether criminal proceedings should be taken against any party.

Sceptics about excessively early inquiry dates being allocated might feel their views are borne out by the George Square bin lorry turn of events. This rushing into inquiries too quickly is just as unwise a policy as leaving the holding of inquiries for too long.

Personally I do hope that clarion calls for immediate inquiries will be looked at long and hard in future and that we will learn from this most unfortunate example.

Angus Logan, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Call to get vaccinated against shingles

I would urge people aged 70 to make an appointment with their GP to get the shingles vaccination.

It’s an infection which affects a nerve and the skin around it. It affects a specific area of the body and is usually a painful, debilitating condition which gets worse with age.

The aim of the universal vaccination programme is to reduce the incidence and severity of shingles disease in older people. However, up until the end of June uptake levels were only at 53.2 per cent, so it’s important that more people get vaccinated.

Without vaccination, long-standing nerve pain can persist for extended periods, even when the symptoms have passed. It’s important that everyone eligible gets the vaccination to not only lessen the chance of getting shingles, but also to diminish the severity of the symptoms if they do get infected.

The main symptom is a rash of fluid-filled blisters commonly occurring on one side of the face or body. The rash often causes pain, itching or a tingling sensation and can cause complications. Around one in 1000 cases in adults over 70 can be fatal.

Since September 2013, the shingles vaccine has routinely been offered nationally to everyone aged 70 in a bid to boost immunity against the disease and provide protection against it in later years.

Dr Emilia Crighton, Head of Health Services, Public Health Directorate

Double standards over fracking appeal

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced that bids to drill for shale gas could be taken over by UK ministers and fast-tracked to stop delays by councils’ planning departments where applications were being dragged out for months or years.

This does not affect Scotland since SNP MSPs are fence-sitting until after 2016 elections.

Quick as a flash Naomi Luhde-Thompson of Friends of Earth said: “Bulldozing fracking applications through the planning system against the wishes of local people and councils will simply fan the flames of mistrust and opposition”.

Where was she when wind turbines applications were bulldozed through by the SNP-dominated Scottish Government against the wishes of local people and councils?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

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