Readers' letters: Drugs deaths still a cause for concern


Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 7:00 am
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces Scotland's latest drugs policy
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces Scotland's latest drugs policy

Drugs deaths still a cause for concern

Scotland suffered ignominy and our people tragedy with the highest recorded drug-related deaths in 2019, in the whole of Europe, three times that of England.

Figures for 2020 are due to be published on 30 July, they are awaited with some trepidation by many.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

When FM Nicola Sturgeon came to Holyrood following the release of the 2019 figures she said she was taking full and unequivocal responsibility.

She did not mention that every year since the SNP governed in Scotland, including those of her entire premiership, the figures (deaths, real people) had increased year on year. She candidly admitted she had "taken her eye off the ball". She could not surely have protested otherwise.

Recent figures now show Scotland has the most drug-related hospital admissions in recent times; we have yet to hear Ms Sturgeon's further shameful response to that. "Sorry, I took my eye off the ball"? Meantime, the News reports (3 July) the WHO highlighting Scotland with the highest rate (of population) Covid virus infections in Europe. Ms Sturgeon herself, of course, broke Covid rules at a funeral. Fact. What is that one about one rule for some and another for the rest of us?

Even a reduced number of deaths from Covid and otherwise drugs related deaths is too many.

Douglas McBean, West Pilton Way, Edinburgh.

Covid rules have lessons for Scotland

Christine Graham writes in detail about the Covid rule-breaking by Dominic Cummings and Matt Hancock (News, July 2). The hypocrisy is breathtaking when you recall Catherine Calderwood travelling between her two houses and Nicola Sturgeon trying to downplay it at first, till the strong public reaction changed matters and then Calderwood resigned.

Also Margaret Ferrier, the positive Covid traveller from Glasgow to London who is only suspended from the SNP and representing as an independent, still on full salary. Why didn't she resign and then kick off a by-election in her seat?

Yes, there should not have been any travelling between India and UK, but would that then mean there shouldn't have been any travelling for the Scotland fans who went to London, a huge majority of whom now has the virus? Nicola Sturgeon hardly issued warnings not to go.

Christine Grahame doesn’t understand how Boris is still PM after his errors. That’s fair comment, but then surely it must be the same for Sturgeon – they have made the same mistakes throughout.

Craig Naysmith, Mountcastle Crescent, Edinburgh.

E-scooter trials

Two more e-scooter riders have died, bringing the number of fatalities to six since an e-scooter trial was started in 30 cities and towns. Many others have been injured, some seriously.

The riders of e-scooters regularly break the law by riding on pavements or shopping malls and injuring pedestrians.

The e-scooter trial was proposed by people who said it would save emissions. However, their zeal has led to a needless loss of lives and serious injuries.

The trial must be stopped immediately and e-scooters banned from our roads and pavements.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow.

Covid cases

For weeks it has been clear Scotland's Covid cases are out of control but the Scottish government refused to move areas to Tier 3. Now Edinburgh faces 2000 cases per 100,000 people, which will cause havoc to the NHS with staff off sick.

David Watson, Leith.