That report states that between 2012 and 2017 some 335,000 people suffered untimely deaths directly related to the amoral austerity policies of the then Cameron/Osborne government, which until 2015 was backed by Nick Clegg and her LibDem coalition partners and The people of Britain were forced to pay the price, some literally with their lives, by bailing out predatory bankers and failed politicians in what combined to create the worst financial crisis in living memory.
And yet this staggering and largely preventable number of premature deaths in a state whose primary responsibility is the well-being of its constituents has received little coverage in the mainstream UK media; If more than 300,000 people had died in a natural disaster at home or abroad, the press would have reported on it, just as it did when “only” 50,000 people died in the most recent earthquake in Turkey.
Taking into account the additional estimated number of premature excess deaths in the UK reported by US-based Johns Hopkins University up to March this year, totaling 220,721 (325.13 deaths per 100,000), it becomes crystal clear when considering the Comparing British figures with those from France (166,176 / 254.68), South Africa (102,595 / 172.98) or South Korea (34,093 / 66.50), that the British government bloodshed due to a combination of social engineering, financial mismanagement and incompetence has her hands.
Yet despite well over half a million premature deaths, this Conservative Government still has the gall to constantly denounce the Scottish Government for the admittedly unacceptable number of drug-related deaths in Scotland, shameful and shameless as ever; But with the toleration of largely compliant right-wing newspapers, a timid BBC fearing for their lives, and a semi-detached, largely disinterested populace, there is absolutely no chance they will ever be held accountable.
mike wilson, Longniddry.
Lack of realism regarding substance abuse
There is a utter lack of realism, steeped in subjective morality, in how the establishment perceives the problem of alcohol- and drug-related deaths and what attempts are being made to improve the situation. The reality is that humans have always used these substances, or similar substances, and their use is not exclusive to any particular group in society. History also proves that the ban does nothing to prevent those who wish to participate, but merely to criminalize the manufacture and consumption of the product, to the detriment of everyone involved: it does no good.
Although the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs is widespread throughout the social pyramid, the authorities and media target a narrow group at the bottom end of the scale without attempting to address the root causes that drive these unfortunates into substance abuse have driven. The establishment refuses to accept or improve the lack of quality of life that drives these unfortunates to abuse alcohol and drugs, which negatively affects their health. The establishment obviously doesn’t care about the circumstances faced by people at the bottom of society. It tends to stigmatize them and make it harder for these people to get hold of the drinks and drugs that give them a temporary respite from reality.
As long as the wheels of society continue to turn to their satisfaction, the establishment doesn’t really care how many at the bottom lead meaningless lives and die before they should, or the problem wouldn’t exist after years of our vaunted democracy.
David J Crawford, Glasgow.
Read more: SNP made fatal missteps in the fight against alcohol-related deaths
We have to think outside the box
Recent correspondence on immigration reminded me of Gaia Vince’s book, Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval, from which I quote: “…migration must be celebrated” as it is “a fundamental part of our species’ remarkable success story.” was the diversity and complexity of our cultures.
“Migrations, whether in search of exploration and adventure, from disaster to safety, to a new land of opportunity, for god and soul, for commerce or the arts, by coercion and by kidnapping, have transformed our globe and our species is globalizing.” Human migration essentially created the human system that we are all a part of today.”
I suspect that most of your readers will find Vince’s first claim above particularly challenging, but I suggest that we must develop radically different mindsets if we are to be able to meet the unimaginable challenges that lie ahead. For example, is neoliberalism the most appropriate form of capitalism for us? Or maybe the worst? Will nationalism be the most suitable basis for building the necessary international relations?
We really need to start thinking outside the box, and do it now.
john milne, Uddingston.
A new format for Indyref2
BOB Hamilton’s letter (August 28) raises an important question and seeks an answer: “How do we establish a fair and decisive split of the independence referendum vote?” shared with others in the community?
When the momentous decision to unite with England was made 300 years ago, only our ‘betters’ were directly involved: it was assumed (rightly or wrongly) that the views of the general population agreed with their decision. In order for any meaningful referendum to be recognized today – particularly the referendum now being proposed by the SNP – the goal must be to determine as precisely as possible the preference of the entire nation: either “remain in the Union – In” or ” exit”. and become an independent state – Out”. A simple decision, but one that, based on past experience, could lead to another indecisive outcome.
In concrete terms, only people whose names are entered in the then current electoral rolls should be entitled to vote. If not, they cannot vote. Eligible participants have only one choice: in or out. But what if some voters, although eligible, choose not to vote? Their non-participation could potentially (again) render the resulting count unfair and indecisive – the silence of this minority could undermine and muddle the whole process.
While voters cannot be coerced into voting, they remain part of the nation and the electoral process. A civic responsibility. In order to make their non-participation more understandable for them and all concerned, and given that there is only one choice on the ballot paper, the general public should be given a clear warning well in advance of election day that voters who did not vote will be taken into account You are satisfied with the status quo and are accordingly counted as “in” voters. The final figure is calculated by subtracting the actual number of votes cast from the total number of names on the electoral rolls – less than about 5% to exclude those who have a real reason not to vote.
Whilst this rough approach can be seen as stubborn, the result would give a reasonably clear and decisive picture of what the Scottish electorate wanted on the day. Should further clarification be deemed necessary, the requirement that at least 60% of the vote had “voted” before the truly life-changing institutional consequences would materialize would be required.
But that’s another argument for another day.
JW Napier, Alva.
READ ALSO: Stop Blaming Politicians For The Bad Choices We Make In Our Lives
Memories of 1970 and such
I was not present when your photo ‘Remember when… Labor and SNP raised the roof at Auchinleck’ was taken (The Herald 1 September) but it brought back many fond memories of that election campaign, including the fact that I was egged Cumnock and spit on Drongan; I had just turned 16 and thought I would see life. Sam Purdie was an excellent SNP candidate but Labor and Jim Sillars rushed to victory and Westminster and there he could have stayed comfortably; But while I often disagree with Mr Sillars these days, I commend him for leaving the Labor Party and putting the interests of Scotland first. If only all other Labor MPs had shown the same honesty and commitment.
The day after the South Ayrshire by-election, the tasteful tabloid Daily Record announced the result, featuring a noose in the shape of the SNP symbol on the front page. Today in Ayrshire there are SNP MPs and MSPs; In 1970 no one could reasonably have predicted that Mr Sillars would join the SNP and win another by-election, or that the SNP would now be sitting in their fourth consecutive term in a Scottish Parliament.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.