Readers' letters: Nicola plays spot the difference with truth

Can you see a difference between the following statements?

"There is no statistical evidence that hospital discharges of any kind were associated with care home outbreaks" …

And "The discharges were consistent with a causal relationship between discharges and outbreaks".

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The first, published in a report by Public Health Scotland (PHS), is the one Nicola Sturgeon quoted in parliament last year to try to exonerate herself and the SNP from blame.

The second, issued by the Office for Statistics Regulation after dismissing Ms Sturgeon's statement, is the truth.

PHS were forced by the Regulator's intervention to issue a new report in which they stated that a link "could not be ruled out" - certainly closer to the truth but still phrased euphemistically.

Yet once more Ms Sturgeon quotes the same untruth at First Minister's Questions this week.

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Labour’s Anas Sarwar and Daniel Johnson are making a good fist of taking her to task for her culture of secrecy, but they really should not be allowing her to continue to spread disinformation to the Scottish people.

Indeed, should not the Presiding Officer be intervening in such cases of repeated blatant evasion of the truth? Fat chance!

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Colin Hamilton, Edinburgh.

It’s been a bad week at the office for SNP

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That was the week that was for the SNP government...and what an embarassing week it has been.

After the English High Court decision, there will probably be legal cases against the Scottish government regarding their policy of discharging untested patients into care homes.

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Then government minister Keith Brown hid in the Parliament building from journalists wanting to ask about the ferry fiasco.

Meanwhile, the government has been found in breach of the Freedom of Information legislation for telling porkies about the guarantee for the Lochaber smelter.

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And finally, we hear that over 600,000 Scottish households (around 25 per cent) have not returned their census form (the Scottish census costing £10m more because of the one-year delay).

But SNP Minister Angus Robertson knew the answer to this. He said that Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine is partly to blame for the absent census forms.

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You really could not make this up.

Jim Houston, Edinburgh.

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Churches choose on same-sex weddings

It seems that The Kirk could be set to approve same-sex weddings in its churches after a majority indicated their support.

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The 25 per cent of presbyteries who oppose it include the Reverend Mike Goss of Barry Parish Church, Carnoustie in Angus, who says there are “still folk who stand by the Bible.”

And The Christian Institute’s Scotland Officer Nigel Kenny who said, “This is a very sad development” and is a victory of “Culture rather than Christ.”

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Despite the anachron-istic views of some, we have to applaud the extent to which churches are improving their attitude….if only for the gay people who choose to become/find themselves involved in religion and maybe this is a private matter for them.

There is, however, to be a “conscience clause” in the legislation, exempting disapproving ministers.

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Could it be argued that if churches are licensed to solemnise marriages recognised by the state, all should respect the law of the land and its associated equality legislation?

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society.

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