Readers' letters: Drugs death figures are a national disgrace

“Regrettably this loss of life is from a domestic policy that is entirely the responsibility of the Scottish government”

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 8:00 am
Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled drugs deaths strategy

Drugs death figures are a national disgrace

The latest announcement of 1339 deaths in 2020 due to drugs is nothing short of embarrassing and is a national disgrace.

The First Minister has the gall to say that the government “does not shirk the responsibility”, which is precisely what she and her government have done over the last 14 years.

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In a derisory attempt to justify any defence she goes on to say “the figures predate the actions it had taken at the start of the year”!

This pathetic comment will provide no succour to those families bearing the loss of a loved one due to the shocking policies of this government.

To read that drug deaths in Scotland are the highest in Europe and three and a half times higher than that of England and Wales is humiliating and shameful.

Regrettably this loss of life for a domestic policy that is entirely the responsibility of the Scottish government sits uncomfortably alongside their litany of domestic policy failures now becoming too long to list.

It is perhaps but wishful thinking that this appalling announcement might just focus this single issue government to broaden their horizons and improve the health and daily lives of those they purportedly represent. However, I fear I and my fellow Scots will be disappointed.

Richard Allison, Braehead Loan, Edinburgh.

Ian’s not funny

Ian Murray is again donning his Union suit, exhorting Scots to ‘have fun’ as part of team GB (News, July 29).

That will divert our attention from the cratering of our exports, empty shop shelves, price increases and job losses due to Brexit.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s idea of “pooling and sharing resources’” is to allocate a mere one per cent of the £1 billion Future Fund to Scottish firms and just four per cent of the £2 billion temporary job Kickstart Scheme for young Scots on Universal Credit, while cutting the £20 weekly UC uplift that is keeping so many families from despair.

Westminster continues to strip power from Holyrood and to plunder our resources, ignoring our MPs, including Ian.

As for keeping Scots healthy, what does Ian say about the recently passed NHS Health and Care Bill that will accelerate NHS privatisation? Sir Keir didn’t say much because he’s taken money from Martin Taylor who masterminded the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and the selling off of NHS public assets. Today 49 per cent of English hospitals are owned by international investment funds.

Now the Tories, aping the US model, are carving England into 42 Integrated Care Systems where private companies will have seats on the boards to decide where NHS money is spent.

So we’ll get even more fiascos like the £37.5 billion Serco Test and Trace system. Scotland’s Health Service is next in line. But Ian’s OK with this because we will all be having fun.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

Democratic voice

Jill Stephenson has got her backside mixed up with her elbow (Letters, July 30). Why would the SNP party not tweet about Scottish government info when it is the party of virtual power? People voted, do you not believe in democracy Jill?

Roddy Watson, Edinburgh.

Primary concern

The new Canaan Lane Primary School has no provision for car-parking and drop-off points, but lots of places for people with bikes and scooters.

How many parents take little Johnnie to school by bike? Probably only one or two. Some children walk, but many parents will still take them by car and drop them off in Woodburn Terrace, whether the council like it or not.

Peter Hopkins, Edinburgh.