Readers' letters: Powers not equal to deal with Covid

"An independent Scotland would have locked down earlier, closed its borders and provided financial support, saving thousands of lives”

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 7:00 am
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Colchester hospital in Colchester, eastern England on May 27, 2021. - Britain's government "disastrously" failed the public by mishandling its coronavirus pandemic response, former top adviser Dominic Cummings told lawmakers yesterday, calling Prime Minister Boris Johnson "unfit for the job". (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Colchester hospital in Colchester, eastern England on May 27, 2021. - Britain's government "disastrously" failed the public by mishandling its coronavirus pandemic response, former top adviser Dominic Cummings told lawmakers yesterday, calling Prime Minister Boris Johnson "unfit for the job". (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Powers not equal to deal with Covid

Ian Murray tries to assign equal blame for the UK’s catastrophic Covid deaths on Holyrood, knowing full well that the Scottish government did not have lockdown powers until the end of March 2020, but Westminster did (News, May 27).

Let’s suppose Holyrood did have lockdown powers. Because it doesn’t have the power of the purse it would not have been able to offer furlough and other financial support which would have made a lockdown declaration a political and economic nonstarter. Again, those powers are held by Westminster.

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The February 2020 Nike conference did not bring Covid to Scotland Our first confirmed case was March 1 in Tayside.

It was the UK’s late lockdown that allowed thousands of people from northern Italy into UK airports during February and March, igniting the deadly epidemic throughout the UK.

Ian seems unaware that the BBC’s head of statistics concluded that care homes receiving hospital discharge patients had a lower rate of Covid infections.

The highest death rate occurred in larger, privately owned homes that maintained maximum capacity, skimped on PPE, failed inspections and employed minimal, poorly paid staff who were forced to work even if they had symptoms.

The Care Inspectorate figures reveal there were 2.1 Covid deaths per 100 care home places with up to 20 beds, but 12.6 deaths in homes with more than 80 beds.

England’s Covid death rate, 40 per cent higher than Scotland’s, shows the Scottish government mitigated Tory mistakes.

An independent Scotland would have locked down earlier, closed its borders, and provided financial support, saving thousands of lives.

If Scottish Labour wants to survive, it must acknowledge Scotland’s democratic right to choose to leave a Union that has utterly failed us.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

Inquiry needed into Kids Company case

Kid’s Company, the successful charity created by psychotherapist Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE in 1996, which looked after over 30,000 children a year, was brought down by concerted media and political attack and misinformation six years ago, aided and abetted by the silence of professional groups.

After a three-and-a-half-year legal case, she and her trustees were totally exonerated in February. Indeed, the presiding judge, Mrs Justice Falk, praised Batmanghelidjh for the “enormous dedication she showed to vulnerable young people over many years”.

It was found that there had been no dishonesty, bad faith or personal gain on the part of Batmanghelidjh or the trustees, nor any inappropriate expenditure on children assisted by the charity.

Batmanghelidjh’s wonderful service was destroyed because it drew attention to a terrible truth about our society. A truth the more unwelcome because of the government’s commitment to austerity as the only solution to the financial destruction created by the financial world, was supported by a lie that there was no serious suffering.

Kids Company shone a light on the unbearable reality of the plight of so many children. This light had to be turned off.

Batmanghelidjh has spoken about the shocking way she and her board had been treated,

There should now be an urgent inquiry into how this happened and, particularly, what was and is being done now for the children that Kids Company so assiduously cared for.

David Morgan, Public Interest Psychology, London NW3