Readers' letters: Labour should focus on the real problems

Ian Murray MP can’t resist slamming the Scottish Government when his day job is to hold the Tory government to account (News, July 28). How’s that going, by the way?
Where Art I? - Edinburgh Sketcher, August 1Where Art I? - Edinburgh Sketcher, August 1
Where Art I? - Edinburgh Sketcher, August 1

Ian lumps the Scottish Government with the Tories on managing their respective health services.

The reason the Scottish health service tops the UK nations is not only due to better resourcing but also because primary and secondary care are integrated in Scotland in the 14 health boards - there are no NHS trusts. And Scotland achieves this despite devolution’s prohibition on borrowing and investment.

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But there’s zero evidence Labour would do better. In Labour-run Wales it is estimated it will take seven years to clear the waiting list backlog.

Meanwhile, Ian’s boss, Sir Keir Starmer, recently dropped a key policy pledge to end private sector outsourcing in the NHS.

He has also dropped Labour’s pledge to “support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water,” calling into question why Labour pretends any material difference from the Tories.

But Scotland’s health service isn’t safe from Westminster meddling. Because health care is devolved, the UK Government can overrule Holyrood anytime.

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Without independence, little can be legally done to protect Scotland’s health service. And that is something Union-jacket Murray and his London bosses will never support.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Ukraine war raises food insecurity fears

Back in February when Russia launched an invasion on Ukraine, news outlets were all bombarding us consumers with the news.

Fast forward to today and though it is certainly not an entirely forgotten topic within the press, the implications of the crisis in Ukraine remain relatively neglected.

Namely how the crisis is exacerbating food insecurity around the world, particularly among the world’s poor, who are already confronting issues of climate change and Covid. Many seem to have forgotten about Ukraine, may the looming food crisis upon us serve as a reminder.

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The Borgen Project, a non-profit organisation, works to make poverty a priority of foreign policy. As a Borgen Project ambassador I became aware of the alarming state of global food insecurity.

The crisis in Ukraine has caused a collapse in Ukraine exports and surging food prices, with the world’s poor bearing the brunt of this. Even here in Britain, an increase in food prices are affecting the general public tremendously.

Some countries in Africa and the Middle East who are heavily dependent on wheat exports from Ukraine are predicted to spiral into a food crisis.

Countries like the US and the UK need to do more to offer humanitarian aid to the world’s poor. After all, as part of a G7 initiative we agreed to commit to protecting the vulnerable from hunger in order to increase global food and nutrition security.

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The signs of a looming food crisis are evident, it is now down to the global leading governments to respond to this efficiently.

Claudia Efemini, University of Edinburgh

Quiet on Eurovision

Should the Eurovision Song Contest be held in Glasgow, I hope any SNP involvement is kept to a minimum.

Not only because of their reputation for messing up anything with which they become involved, but because this is primarily a Ukrainian occasion.

Politicians should maintain a low profile and not mar the enjoyment of the rest of Europe with their posing and photo-ops.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

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