Readers' letters: Knighthoods are odd appointments

There has been some controversy regarding Tony Blair’s knighthood and his appointment to the Most Noble Order of the Garter, given his involvement in the Iraq war.

What may have been overlooked was the appointment of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Rothesay to the same rarified order.

The reason for this elevation is unknown but we can, I’m sure, be confident it’s because she’s worth it and is maybe lacking sufficient titles to do her job effectively.Whatever the reason, may joy be unconfined

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D Mitchell, Edinburgh.

Are GPs and PCs endangered species?

We all know that dodos are dead and gone and sadly it would appear that we are in the process of losing another couple of endangered species - GPs and PCs.

GPs have almost totally disappeared and are increasingly difficult to find as their surgeries are almost impenetrable and well guarded by receptionists who ensure that you cannot reach them, while PCs seem to no longer exist on the streets where they used to roam regularly and one would be extremely lucky to catch sight of one of these rare creatures.

So what will the next endangered species be? Unfortunately not politicians or so-called medical experts who bombard us with theories which are not backed up with factual evidence.

George Storey, Hawick

Human rights safe in dying with dignity

In his letter Dr Arturo Vilches-Moraga describes the right to life as a basic human right (News, December 31).

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Like many opponents to the right to die with dignity and without suffering he uses arguments and examples which are not relevant to the issue.

No-one is suggesting the involuntary euthanasia of the elderly or the infirm. Indeed, the Bill being debated in the Scottish Parliament is designed to ensure only those competent to decide on whether to end their suffering can make use of any new legislation.

I fully support campaigns to vastly upgrade provision for the elderly and the terminally ill. At the moment much of this care is left to the private and charity sectors instead of being an essential part of the NHS.

What I and many others are asking for is the right to bring our lives to a close rather than endure the last hours, days or weeks when death truly is the better option.

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Dr Vilches-Moraga may not agree with us but he does not have the right to deny us this basic human right.

John F Robins, Dumbarton.

Time Scotland Office was wound down

Les Reid obviously didn’t read the Freedom of Information request published in December that reported the total 2021-22 budget allocated by the Scottish Government on all offices abroad was £6 million and not the fanciful £350m quoted in his Evening News letter (January 1).

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This should be compared to the UK Scotland Office which spent over £9 million in 2021. The Scotland Office should be almost redundant since devolution, yet its staffing levels and spending has escalated year on year since 2014, much of this on attacking the Scottish Government at taxpayers’ expense.

The unelected House of Lords costs us £50 million a year and last year Lord George Foulkes claimed £64,643 and Lord Jack McConnell £62,157. Also, the daily attendance allowance of £323 is tax free.

Scottish taxpayers are also having to fork out for repairs to Westminster which are now estimated at £14 billion, three times the original estimate.When you add the £37 billion the Tories wasted on their failed NHS Test and Trace system plus £1200 per person for Brexit and its related increased prices, this shows that we can’t afford the cost of the Union.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

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