NHS attack is unfair
I refer to an article in the most recent edition of the Reformer entitled “Kelly’s eye on election”.
The piece reports some bold statements made by James Kelly MSP.
One in particular was of our “NHS failing to meet its targets”. I feel a great sense of annoyance at the repeated attacks on NHS Scotland’s performance, particularly because of the detrimental effect it must be having on the morale of the tireless health service staff.
One wonders how well a Labour administration would manage our health service. Well actually, one needn’t wonder and need only look at Wales for a comparison.
The last available data on the Scottish SNP-run NHS was for week ending November 15 when 94.4 per cent of A&E patients were seen within four hours (just 0.6 per cent short of the target), whilst 22 patients waited more than 12 hours. In the Labour-run Welsh health service, the latest data available is for the month of October.
Only 83.7 per cent of A&E patients were seen within four hours, but much more shockingly, 2224 patients had to wait more than 12 hours.
Scotland’s health service may not be perfect, and there is always room for improvement, but I’m very grateful it isn’t being run into the ground by Labour, as they are doing in Wales.
Perhaps Mr Kelly should start showing a little more humility, and a great deal more appreciation for our hardworking NHS workforce.
After all, they’ll no doubt be the ones looking after him when he gets treated for that brass neck. Derec Thompson Barony Grove, Cambuslang
In the first instance, legality through the explicit authority of the UN Security Council.
A recent UN Security Council resolution states that members take “all necessary measures” to redouble and co-ordinate their efforts to eradicate the safe haven established by IS in significant parts of Iraq and Syria.
Whether this provides legitimacy for airstrikes is open to question and there have been calls for a UN Chapter VII resolution, explicitly legitimising military action.
Secondly, there must be explicit attainable military and political objectives with a high chance of success, to ensure that our military action doesn’t do more harm than good.
Thirdly, specific measures to minimise civilian casualties, and finally a plausible exit strategy – we must know when and how to stop.
Unless all four conditions are satisfied Parliament should reject the government’s proposed military action.
The conditions which proposed are extremely challenging – as they should be before the civil authority lets loose war, death and destruction in yet another middle eastern country.
Every one of the four conditions is essential if another disaster is to be avoided. Alex Orr address supplied
Political posturing seems to have been the order of the day in the Reformer over the past two weeks, with both our Labour and SNP representatives equally as culpable.
While I have some sympathy for our beleaguered local authority in the face of diminishing budgets, the Labour “protest” at Holyrood comes across as nothing more than a desperate political stunt, aimed at proving the candidates “socially just” credentials.
I’m not sure how the protest went, but I’m fairly sure a much better way for Labour to change things, if they desired, would be to make themselves remotely electable in order to bring in the changes they deem fit.
Of course, that’s extremely difficult when you have the teflon-coated SNP as your opponents. Margaret Ferrier MP has come out against the unpopular wind turbine in Halfway, despite her own party’s commitment to increased green energy.
Could it be there is an election round the corner and she’s trying to cynically win votes for her party? Surely not. John Maxwell Rutherglen
Conditionstobemet Honouringour outstandingwomen
Nominations are now open for the Saltire Society’s ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ 2016 campaign.
A partnership between the Saltire Society and the Glasgow Women’s Library, the awards provide a brilliant opportunity to celebrate everything Scotland’s women have achieved and to recognise their huge contribution to culture and society.
Now in its second year, the campaign will be open for nominations for three months leading up to next year’s International Women’s day on March 8, 2016, when a shortlist will be announced.
From this list, ten women will be chosen in July next year to be inducted into the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community, joining last years’ inductees such as Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, novelist Jackie Kay, and the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Nominations can be made via Twitter using the hashtag #saltirewomen or by completing an online form at the Saltire Society website. Women from any background can be nominated, but they must be living, and contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made an exceptional contribution to culture and society. Sarah Mason, Programme Manager, The Saltire Society Yvonne More, from Rutherglen, said:“I think it’s a bad idea. It makes it cheerful and christmassy. A lot of people like the decorations and it brightens it up for the children. It would be sad to see them go.”