By embarking on a royal train tour, Prince William has undermined the sacrifices of ordinary people

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Wednesday 09 December 2020 15:36
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Scottish Ambulance Service at Newbridge near Edinburgh
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Scottish Ambulance Service at Newbridge near Edinburgh

A “morale boost” is what we all need after coping with and surviving the past nine months. However, to control the spread of the virus we have tiers and rules. We can argue that there are too many rules and that they are unnecessarily complicated. However, when I last checked, they applied to everyone. There are no exceptions.

This means that my son, who is just a bit older than the Duke of Cambridge, cannot travel from Yorkshire to see us in Lancashire to give us “a morale boost”, much as he would want to see us and we would want to see him and his family ('Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to take royal train tour to thank key workers for help during pandemic’, 7 December).

The journey of the Duke and his entourage (how many people?) feels like a Dominic Cummings incident. It is on a bigger scale but because our English culture is more deferential it is not being condemned in the terms that it deserves.

This “morale-boosting” safari has been a potential Covid spreader, and like the Cummings journey to Durham and Barnard Castle, it undermines what ordinary folk have been doing; that is, abiding by the rules.

John E Harrison

Chorley, Lancashire

Has the royal family lost any competent PR advisor? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour in a luxury train around the UK is so ill-timed and self-serving. Prince William described his trip as “work”. Nice work if you can get it.

Peter Smith-Cullen


We only have ourselves to blame for Brexit

It will be a matter of great concern if the prime minister fails to get a “deal” with the EU. However, this was always a possibility after the vote to leave.  

Whether or not we get an agreement, the British people, having made their bed, will now have to lie in it. This is probably not going to be very comfortable, especially with the pandemic still raging.

The whole wretched Brexit saga gives abundant proof that you can fool quite a lot of the people a lot of the time.

The Rev Andrew McLuskey

Ashford, Middlesex

Any UK voters who, a year ago, “bought” Boris’s “oven-ready deal” are obviously equally prepared to “micro-wave goodbye” to any assurances on any meaningful, beneficial consequences of leaving the EU.

Even if the small print on the package previously contained the ubiquitous “normal T&Cs apply”, it is likely now to be replaced by, “This product is subject to an unprecedented number of disclaimers”.

Nigel Plevin  

Ilminster, Somerset

In today’s edition, concern is expressed that there may be delays in importing drugs after Brexit (‘NHS could face supply shortages during winter peak even with a deal’, 9 December).

If this is so, and especially if this includes vaccines during a pandemic, everyone involved in the negotiations should hang their heads in shame.

Dr Anthony Ingleton


Grade A disaster

I noticed today that the Scottish government has cancelled next year's Highers and Advanced Highers ('Scotland cancels all exams next year’, 8 December). What do they propose to produce as a measure of attainment for school children to inform industry what they are capable of?

This now means that the further educational establishments have no means to measure the level of knowledge and learning. How are these pupils able to progress without finding out what they do and do not know?

Do universities just accept these children with no qualifications at all? Because that is what will happen if there are no certificates of achievements produced. Do we go from year to year with no examinations whatsoever and just guess? Or do we give someone a job if they look as if they might be clever?

Valerie Stewart

East Kilbride

Vegan opportunities

Matilda Martin is wrong to accuse the vegan movement either of aggression or hypocrisy (Voices, 7 December).

Vast numbers of people are making an informed choice to shun meat and dairy. The vegan diet is proving to be very healthy and an increasing number of sportsmen and women are eschewing meat and dairy. Among other things, those in aggressive sports have found that a vegan diet helps to recover more quickly from injuries.

Regarding sustainability, it is the meat industry that has an insatiable demand for soy to feed billions of animals. Almost 40 per cent of all soy produced are fed to animals.

Regarding job losses in the meat and dairy industry, huge opportunities await those farmers who can switch to growing fruits, pulses and a host of other products. For the dairy industry, a switch to growing soy and oats to produce plant based milk offers a huge opportunity to meet the demands of an increasingly vegan population.  

Martin is suggesting a gradual move away from meat and dairy but the urgency is now, if we are to save the planet from a catastrophe.

Nitin Mehta


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