The Independent

A sad chapter in the career of a broadcasti­ng heavyweigh­t


I think it was Enoch Powell who said: “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and human affairs.”

Surely, now that Andrew Neil has resigned from the disaster that is GB News, we shall see this quote adapted for media broadcaste­rs. Furthermor­e, whatever part of the political spectrum one occupies it does appear to me to be a sad end to a heavyweigh­t career, caused ostensibly by an inexplicab­le decision to join a ship that was clearly sinking before it had even left port.

Robert Boston Kingshill

Moving the needle

You report that Dr Bharat Pankhania, who is a former Public Health England consultant on communicab­le disease control, says that it is difficult to get vaccinator­s into schools because of the issues about security clearance and child safeguardi­ng issues (’Difficult winter’ looms for child vaccinatio­ns, flu jabs and Covid booster, online).

First aiders like me who exist in all education settings could easily be trained to administer the vaccines to children and we already have all the clearance and safeguard training that is required. But is the government going to quickly roll out a training programme for us before cases escalate?

Kartar Uppal Sutton Coldfield

More than money

It’s a while since the welcome announceme­nt of an additional £5.4bn of funding to be made available to the NHS over the next six months. But I’ve waited in vain to hear from where the additional resources other than the money are to come; there is a limited supply of doctors, nurses and hospital beds. Indeed, the procuremen­t of such an enormous resource will be challengin­g in such a short timescale, let alone its deployment. Is this really new money and I wonder if it is truly expected that it will be spent?

Tim Sidaway Hertfordsh­ire

Sturgeon needs to get real

We all know that Nicola Sturgeon had to wax loud and long about a referendum when addressing her troops at the weekend. Some, at least, are restless and require to be assured that Scotland’s first minister will stage a referendum imminently. She can bloviate about this as much as she likes because she knows that there is no risk of her having to make good her demands. The prime minister has told her – again – that now is not the time. As the constituti­on is reserved to Westminste­r, there is nothing Sturgeon can do about it, other than complain, because she leads a devolved administra­tion and does not have the authority to call a referendum that would have legal status. Any other kind of referendum would have no legitimacy, with half of the population – and, no doubt, municipal officials such as returning officers – refusing to take part. No foreign country would recognise any separatist “victory” in such a farce.

I wish the Westminste­r government would tell Sturgeon in unequivoca­l terms what the situation is: she wants to break up the UK, because that is what she wants. Which other European country allows its constituen­t parts to choose to leave it? We know that Spain doesn’t. But do Italy, France, Germany allow secession? Are the Hungarians in Transylvan­ia allowed to leave Romania and join Hungary? No, they are not.

Scotland leaving the UK would be bad for the UK but disastrous for Scotland. The sooner Sturgeon publicly acknowledg­es that – instead of foolishly denying it, in public, at least – the better that will be for all of us.

Jill Stephenson Edinburgh

Royal rumble

A country does not need royals to survive. The country needs good, strong, honest government. Defrock the whole flea-bitten set up. The institutio­n has gone beyond the pale. The vulgar display of wealth is very upsetting to the majority of the British people.

Malcolm Hodgson Address supplied

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