Readers' letters: Tory tough guys are not helping Ulster

Did Boris Johnson not promise there would be no restrictions to trade with Northern Ireland?

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 7:00 am
A combination of file pictures created in London on October 17, 2019 shows Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster (L) speaking to the media outside Stormont House, Belfast on July 31, 2019, and Conservative MP and leadership contender Boris Johnson addressing the final Conservative Party leadership election hustings in London, on July 17, 2019. - Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party is holding out in opposition to the Brexit deal struck Thursday, October 17, 2019 between London and Brussels -- a stance which has the potential to sink the agreement. The DUP, which supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government, holds major sway in whether a divorce agreement can get through parliament. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN and Paul FAITH / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN,PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Tory tough guys are not helping Ulster

It is incredible that the popular press can paint the damaging effects of Brexit on Ulster as being caused by EU intransigence.

Did the UK not negotiate a treaty for four years, which was apparently so good it was even oven-ready?

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Did Boris Johnson not promise all concerned that there would be no restrictions to trade with Northern Ireland?

Now we hear that Michael Gove refused to consider a temporary agreement to keep vet standards the same as EU's, which could have cut out most regulatory impediments. Yet the DUP still blames it all on the EU. It is so important to save face, isn't it?

But there is another factor. Tory leaders have to be tough people, strong and stable types! That's in the neo-liberal handbook of Rees Mogg, 'The Sovereign Individual'.

It's why Boris Johnson stood up to the upstart Rashford who insisted that poor children should have meals! It's why Johnson preferred bodies piling up rather than have another lockdown.

Andrew Vass, Corbiehill Place, Edinburgh.

Packed buses add to Covid dangers

On Sunday I was on a busy number 31 bus which was running late. When we reached Cameron Toll the driver told us all to get off and get on the bus behind.

This other bus was already quite ful, so adding the 50 or 60 people from my 31 meant people were standing everywhere, upstairs included.

At this time of Covid I thought this was dangerous and irresponsible as there was no way to socially distance for passengers.

I just hope this doesn't lead to an outbreak or Lothian Buses could be in trouble.

Karen Wilson, Edinburgh.

Cashless drawbacks

As I was about to pay with my debit card in the supermarket, a member of staff apologised that all their card machines were down, so customers would need to pay with cash.

I had cash and was at one of the three self-scan terminals which accepted it, so I was OK.

Shoppers who just had a payment card or their smart phone were not so lucky, nor were those at the seven terminals which didn’t accept cash. Fortunately this problem was limited to one branch of one supermarket, but what happens when something like that happens across the country or even across Europe, as happened to Visa in 2018?

The rush by retailers and banks away from cash is stripping resilience out the system.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.

Breakfast champions

I am writing to ask everybody in Edinburgh to come together between 7-13 June to take part in Magic Breakfast’s Great Big Breakfast to raise funds for hungry children.

The Great Big Breakfast will see people all over the UK joining together to enjoy a breakfast with friends, family, colleagues or by themselves and donating to help put a stop to child morning hunger.

We know that even before the pandemic child hunger was at an all-time high, with 15,295 children (20 per cent of children) in Edinburgh living in poverty.

Magic Breakfast provides healthy breakfasts to around 970 children in nine schools in Edinburgh, ensuring they have the energy and nutrition to make the most of morning lessons.

To take part, sign up, invite your friends, family or colleagues, have a breakfast together and donate £2 each – which is enough for Magic Breakfast to provide a week’s worth of school breakfasts to a hungry child. Visit to sign up.

Katy Ellis, Magic Breakfast fundraising manager