Readers' letters: Labour needs to rethink its strategy, Ian

Does Ian Murray ever wonder why he’s Scotland’s lone Labour MP (News, October 7)?

Monday, 11th October 2021, 7:00 am
Boris Johnson delivering his keynote speech at the Tory Party Conference (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

It is because of Labour’s craven capitulation to a Tory ideology that imposes austerity on its population in the middle of a Covid crisis, rising unemployment and inequality, extreme poverty, an NHS on its knees, food and energy price rises, regressive tax hikes, labour shortages, the Brexit fiasco and climate change?

If Labour’s leadership were competent, they should be trouncing the Tories. That they aren’t shows they don’t understand the role of government to provide its citizens decent jobs, housing, heating, health care, education, transport and clean air and water.

Governments are not like households. Their purpose is to create the resources needed for their populations to thrive, not starve them while the elite squirrel away riches in offshore accounts.

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When a government spends money on productive purposes, like investing in sustainable energy, transport, housing, health and social care, all of which will create millions of good well-paying jobs, the whole nation benefits.

Yet we have Sir Keir claiming he will balance the budget and improve people’s lives. That’s just not possible, something Scots understand, and is why Labour will continue to wander in the political wilderness.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Salmon farming needs high standards

I note with interest that the salmon farm proposed for Skye by company Sea Harvest has lost its appeal for planning permission on the basis of adverse loss of seascape and landscape of a wild area and potential foul smell associated with salmon fish farming.

It is interesting to note that most salmon farms in Scotland are operated by Norwegian companies keen to expand fish farming in Scotland, as the stricter conditions required in Norway make the operational costs of fish farming much higher.

The policing of the fish farming industry is the responsibility of SEPA and the Scottish government should be asking questions of the standards being applied to the industry and why they are much lower than Norwegian standards.

D Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.

Cancer awareness to help fight loneliness

As a clinical nurse specialist on Breast Cancer Now’s helpline, I’m acutely aware of the shattering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the emotional wellbeing of people with breast cancer.

News of a diagnosis can be a lonely experience and the pandemic has at times exacerbated this, denying people the chance to be with loved ones.

We’ve seen a sharp rise in calls to our helpline and emails to our Ask Our Nurses service from people struggling emotionally – many say the loneliness they’ve felt living with breast cancer during the pandemic has been the hardest emotional impact to cope with, and that it’s negatively impacted their mental health.

This Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want to remind everyone affected by breast cancer that we’re always with you, in every way we can.

Whether you’re a younger woman, adjusting to life after treatment, or living with incurable secondary breast cancer, our tailored support provides a confidential, safe space to connect with others and access specialist information.

Find out more about Younger Women Together, Moving Forward, Someone Like Me, and Living With Secondary Breast Cancer at: breastcancernow.org/online-services.

Jane Murphy, Breast Cancer Now