Sarah Smith’s tweet to Sturgeon over BBC ‘mistake’ a non-apology

She has only been forced to apologise because of the outcry about it, calling it a “mistake” except for the fact she used this piece on the six o’clock news and it was repeated in a different location in the dark on the 10 o’clock news – so in all that time she did not realise her “mistake” or she just went with it anyway and then only after the backlash decided to apologise.

Perhaps Smith should be apologising live on air at the same time as the original broadcast – or is a Twitter apology the easy way out.
Winifred McCartney
Paisley

THE Beeb has done it again, they can’t resist a pop at Nicola. This time via the mouth of Sarah Smith.

Yesterday evening, on the six o’clock news she accused the First Minister of playing politics and using the Scottish people as pawns. Her suggestion that the continuing lockdown is merely to show that Scotland is different from the rest of the UK is outrageous.

The FM has not been drawn into making a Boris Johnson-style, ill-thought-out announcement that has no substance and which creates many more questions that it gives answers, again forcing the whole of the Westminster Cabinet into defending the indefensible.

For instance, Mr Gove stated at the weekend that if problems arise by returning children to school then they will be dealt with. Is this planning or “suck it and see”?
Mike Underwood
Linlithgow

I CANNOT be the only who was disgusted at Boris Johnson’s shameless attempt to switch the blame for the performance of his government during the Covid-19 pandemic to his public servants.

I don’t need to repeat these failings: ignoring the scientific advice given in 2016, and repeated in 2018, that we were ill-prepared for a pandemic; social distancing and lockdown implemented too little and too late; stopping testing and tracing; failure to provide sufficient quality personal protective equipment, especially to the care sector; failure to test at our borders; loading the advisory body Sage with political appointees; and more.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson faces growing Tory backbench rebellion

As an ex-public servant myself, I have always valued the independence of the administration (the public service) from the executive (the government). The role of the civil service is the implement the political will of the government, but also to offer analysis of the consequences of policies. The clear agenda of Dominic Cummings and Johnson is to remove the checks and balances that an independent civil service has delivered, a system which, though not perfect, has worked reasonably well for decades, in favour of a country run by the political elite.

The Tory party have more than four years left of their mandate in which to implement their agenda. I urge my friends south of the Border to oppose the propaganda of the anti-civil service agenda. Scotland has its own way out. We say no to a Westminster-led elected dictatorship.

We will become independent.
Pete Rowberry
Duns

CLEARLY it’s an appalling situation when care home staff are potentially avoiding coronavirus testing because a positive test might result in them having to exist on £96 per week statutory sick pay. What is worse, I understand that some 25% of care home workers are on zero-hour contracts and may receive no payment at all if they have to self-isolate.

I accept that the GMB’s secretary, Gary Smith, should approach the Scottish Government to seek help for the affected workers placed in an invidious financial position. What I wonder is, why is Mr Smith concentrating his considerable ire on the Government and what is he doing to tackle wealthy care home owners who are making a fortune charging residents around £1000 per week while paying their staff a pittance?
Douglas Turner
Edinburgh

ISN’T it typical of the Tories to get wound up by the use of so-called bad language – just to distract everyone from their actions (or more often their inactions).

So what if Ian Blackford shared a funny post on Facebook which had a sweary word in it – so did I and so did probably thousands of ordinary people who have a sense of humour. Yet one Tory MSP is upset about it.

Well what upsets me is the thousands of people dying from coronavirus due to the inaction of the UK Tory Government trying to pursue their herd-immunity policy. Thousands of needless deaths – almost half of them unreported in official UK Government reports while daily we get one Tory minister after another lying to the public in their so-called press briefings.

It must be a strange world to be a Tory where a sweary word can upset you so much but you remain silent in the deaths of thousands.
Cllr Kenny MacLaren
Paisley

IS the potential for creating huge profits for pharmaceutical companies holding back research for a coronavirus cure? There are dozens of research groups working independently all over the world desperately trying to find a reliable vaccine and jealously guarding their data.

Whoever pops out of the box first will stand to gain enormous revenues from a cure. Clearly one thing they do not want to do is share research which you would think would lead to a cure sooner rather than later. I would hope that there are some community-minded research groups that would be more inclined to publish their research for the good of us all.
Mike Herd
Highland



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