Readers' letters: Scottish Tories have nothing to offer

I was bewildered at the alarmist nonsense of Tory MSP Murdo Fraser and his panic that, as he put it, "Scotland is turning into Northern Ireland without the killings"!

Now most people would put that down to more Project Fear from the Tories and an attempt by them to get people talking about something other than Tory politicians attending parties and breaking lockdown rules.

However, we now have Tory Adam Tomkins calling for Scotland to become Northern Ireland without the killings.

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Mr Tomkins wants a political system where voters have a choice only between Unionist candidates and Nationalist candidates.

If anyone was ever in doubt that Scottish Tories are only interested in the constitution and have nothing to offer on everyday issues, then they need look no further than Mr Fraser and Mr Tomkins and their obsession with Northern Ireland.

Alex Lunn, Edinburgh.

Swinney's call should help English health

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Deputy First Minister John Swinney warns against Scots travelling across the jurisdictional border to see in New Year.

Covid infection rates in West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, West Lothian and Edinburgh are significantly higher than in all northerly English counties.

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Swinney is keen to suggest that celebrating Scots will bring back infection from England to their home towns and cities.

But surely the reality is that Scots will take the virus to England, and so should stay home to protect the English?

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Martin Redfern, Melrose.

The right to life is a basic human right

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In response to John F Robins (Letters, December 23 ‘Church is misleading on assisted dying’) as a geriatrician I have the privilege to look after and learn from our oldest old every day for many years.

I am all too aware of the importance of living with quality of life. I have seen how a desire to live readily fluctuates from one moment to the next, dependent on personal circumstances, and how easily people are demoralised and transiently wish for death.

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Assessing capacity for decision-making can be extremely difficult; it is influenced by factors as diverse as cognition, mood, social interaction, level of dependence, physical discomfort, and medication.

Two of the greatest advances in our civilisation include the abolition of the death penalty and the acknowledgment of the right to life as a basic human right. Let's move forward by ensuring adequate care for those in anguish, not backwards by tolerating deficiencies.

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As an individual I feel for those who see no alternative but to kill themselves or ask someone to kill them, but as a society we cannot afford to legislate for all from looking at a few.

The choice for the few will bring misery for the many, particularly those I work for.

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Dr Arturo Vilches-Moraga, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Ageing and Complex Medicine Directorate.

Fire safety law start should be delayed

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Miles Briggs MSP of the Conservatives has called for a delay in implementing the interlinked fire alarm scheme due to start in February, as the time scale looks unfeasible, with many homes not done fitted.

It looks like another typical SNP scheme, ie, a good idea, with no one having thought through the implications!

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William Ballantine, Bo'ness.