Will Hutton lumps pensioners collectively, equating us all with a rich elite (“Ending pension lock is a start, but there’s no easy fix to the yawning generation gap”, Remark). We aren’t all rich with the perks Hutton units out and lots of are depending on the state pension, one of many lowest in Europe. Saying pensioners are the beneficiaries of cuts in abroad support or lack of refunding of scholars’ charges is tantamount to implying we’re much less worthy of retaining out of poverty.
Hutton writes that “Britain is caught with no income streams to construct a fairer society”, but fails to say the billions of kilos that extraordinarily rich folks have hidden away in tax havens with the intention to keep away from contributing to the group. So who’s responsible for the shortfall? It actually just isn’t us pensioners. Please cease blaming us. We’ve got contributed all our lives and if a few of us have a bit extra, then we pay tax on it. That’s not an excuse to chop the state pension for many who do depend on it.
Terrible plight of these with ME
Because the mother or father of a younger girl who has suffered with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) for 21 years for the reason that age of eight, I used to be deeply moved by your article on lengthy Covid in youngsters (“‘Their childhood has been stolen’: calls for action to tackle long Covid”, Information).
However whereas I used to be relieved that a lot consideration is being paid to a brand new power and horrific situation, I felt like weeping for my daughter and the hundreds like her, who’ve been ignored, disbelieved and vilified for years, not least by many medical professionals who ought to have been there to assist and assist them.
Like lengthy Covid, ME usually follows a viral an infection. Even when such an an infection is straightforward to find (as within the case of the Epstein-Barr virus) and precedes the onset of ME, the shortage of a diagnostic take a look at implies that the signs of victims are sometimes misunderstood as psychological, with the end result that the necessity for very important biomedical analysis into ME has been persistently dismissed by successive governments. It could appear that it all the time takes a tragedy for motion to be taken; maybe the tragedy of lengthy Covid will deliver motion for the determined plight of these with ME.
St Albans, Hertfordshire
Boris Johnson, faux fan
Andrew Rawnsley reminded us that Boris Johnson, not often called a soccer fan, donned a “Boris No 10” England shirt to display his assist for the nationwide aspect at Euro 2020 (“This England team aren’t playing for the Tories’ version of the country”, Remark).
This was a show of shameless opportunism by our cynical and hypocritical prime minister who, in response to the England squad taking the knee in assist of anti-racism, mentioned that he believed in motion, not gestures. I do hope his concept of motion is extra substantial than mealy-mouthed phrases of assist whereas taking part in the clown wearing a duplicate soccer shirt.
Public well being should come first
Whereas the roadmap is coming to an finish, Covid-19 stays a menace to public well being. Nobody desires limitless cycles of authorized restrictions and lockdowns, however the concept we must be relaxed about rising instances is improper and damaging to public well being. The vaccination rollout is a large success and allows us to maneuver nearer to the normality we crave. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands have but to obtain the total safety of two jabs.
Our members, public well being and environmental well being professionals, alongside colleagues in native authorities, social care and the NHS are going through rising pressures and seeing the stark penalties of a 3rd wave: sickness, issues, hospitalisations and deaths. The human and financial value of lengthy Covid is barely partially understood.
The federal government should promote efficient public well being measures as a result of private accountability is not going to be sufficient.
First, we should do not forget that public well being is an enabler of restoration. As we glance past 19 July, we must be guided by a easy actuality: there isn’t any well being with out wealth and no wealth with out well being. Public well being interventions, designed and carried out with companies, can enhance public confidence and create secure environments. Some companies have already requested prospects to proceed to put on face coverings.
Second, we all know what works in limiting the unfold of Covid – washing fingers, sporting face coverings in crowded indoor locations, socialising open air, working from dwelling if potential, opening home windows and good air flow methods, isolating folks with the virus and offering monetary assist. Let’s maintain doing it. Lastly, a way of collective spirit is the unsung hero of the pandemic and can proceed to be very important. Dwelling with Covid just isn’t the identical factor as letting it rip. We should always proceed fastidiously, not recklessly.
Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of Affiliation of Administrators of Public Well being; Christina Marriott, chief govt, Royal Society for Public Well being; Professor Maggie Rae, president of the UK School of Public Well being; Julie Barratt, president of Chartered Institute of Environmental Well being
Legalising medicine saves lives
A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry mentioned: “Individuals who take a capsule or sniff coke at weekends are partly accountable for retaining criminals in enterprise”, however that is lower than half the reality (“The top journalist, the mafia boss and the gunman: Dutch fear the rise of ‘narco crime’”, World information). Prohibition retains criminals within the medicine enterprise because it did within the alcohol enterprise within the US within the Nineteen Twenties. Below prohibition, competitors is performed by gangs that present careers to younger males keen to take dangers and use weapons.
Alcohol is liquid and has a low ratio of efficiency to quantity and due to this fact must be delivered to prospects in massive autos purchased and pushed by adults. Powders and capsules, having a excessive efficiency ratio, are very mild and might be distributed in small packets by youngsters on bikes or on public transport, which is why the victims of knife crime within the UK are so younger.
Though Covid-19 has triggered extra deaths within the UK in two years than medicine have within the final 50, our new well being secretary has recommended our method to the virus must be based mostly now not on guidelines, however on tasks, so the query arises: why shouldn’t the identical apply to medicine? Why shouldn’t even the toughest medicine be legalised and Boris Johnson’s “free-born Englishmen” be made individually accountable for their use in order that youngsters don’t should go on being stabbed?
Labour’s Brexit blunder
William Keegan is right in saying that Keir Starmer was proper to be a Remainer and that Brexit is a catastrophe, however improper to say Starmer was proper to name for a second referendum (“The PM is no Machiavelli: his ruthless streak serves only himself”, Enterprise). As soon as the referendum was agreed, Labour needed to abide by its end result. Had the end result gone the opposite means, would Remainers have agreed a second referendum?
I can not comprehend why Labour, and different events didn’t insist on a threshold to be handed for the end result to be binding. Labour ought to have accepted the end result and acknowledged categorically that it could negotiate one thing akin to the EEA deal, defending jobs, rights at work and free motion. Had that been the case, maybe we wouldn’t be within the mess we’re, led by liars and mediocrities.
Greed has no place right here
Not all Oxbridge schools have succumbed to greed (“The real rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge is how low they can go for money”, Remark). At Oxford College, the everlasting personal halls normally, and my very own Regent’s Park Faculty particularly, have by no means accepted donations from Center Jap potentates, Russian oligarchs or those that oppress the poor. We most popular to ship our graduates to Africa, the Caribbean and India to evangelise, train and heal. We’re poor however unsullied and intention to remain that means.
Malcolm Bishop, honorary fellow, Regent’s Park Faculty, Oxford