Theresa May already had a chance to bring 'world class care' to the NHS – she failed

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Sunday 06 January 2019 15:05
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Theresa May addresses the NHS 'long term plan'

Forgive me if I don’t put much stead in Theresa May’s promise to build a world class health service.

Firstly, she’s broken so many other promises, and secondly, it’s exactly what any politician in her position would say.

I want her, or some politician with some spine, to say what most of us realise. The NHS needs a lot more money and that means one of two things: we either start paying for it at the point of service – something I did for the over 30 years I lived in the US and would not recommend – or we have to raise taxes.

I live in hope, but see no signs that any politician will have the required courage to state what to me is glaringly obvious about her latest empty promise. And these are the people who are going to lead us into a brave new world after Brexit.

Steve Mumby
Bournemouth

Fracking out

Well done Greater Manchester, now let’s hope the government doesn’t overrule this very sensible and much needed ban on fracking.

The technology and operation of fracking is inherently flawed and until more serious, safe development is achieved, banning it is the only sensible solution.

Additionally, like electricity produced by the use of nuclear energy, fracking leaves a disastrous legacy on our land and water infrastructure.

Much wiser (and safer) to invest the money wasted on fracking in more and different forms of renewable energy solutions.

We are already reducing our coal-powered electricity production, albeit by only four days last year, but it’s a start. Germany has had one day of non-coal electricity production and no doubt other countries can achieve success.

So, come councils of Britain, show us your mettle, follow Greater Manchester’s example and get fracking out!

Keith Poole
Basingstoke

Let’s not take Trump’s lead on immigration

The island of Sicily has given refuge to a number of refugees fleeing from war and famine in north Africa.

Greece and her islands have to given refuge to thousands of refugees fleeing from devastated regions around the world.

But Italy and Greece have limited financial resources with which to provide safe havens for these people.

Ironically, it is the UK that played a significant role in destabilising many of the nations from which these refugees are now fleeing.

But we’ve done nothing to assist Italy or Greece. Indeed the UK is walking away from its neighbours and is leaving them to deal with this problem, even going as far as threatening to refuse to pay the EU the outstanding and historic debts and commitments entered into by our governments.

In recent weeks a few small boats carrying 200 refugees have landed on the south coast of England.

This was declared a national crisis worth deploying the Royal Navy to stop these “illegals” coming to our country.

What sort of nation have we become?

Are we now just an annexe of Trumpland, with identical leaders who incite fear and hatred of the foreigner and the refugee?

Can we not see that we people of Brexitland, and the people of Trumpland, are all foreigners and all the children of immigrants and refugees?

Martin Deighton
Address supplied

Madonna and the ‘matriarchy’

I totally agree with Harriet Hall that Madonna’s bum is no one’s business but hers, and that the misogynists should butt out of her bum so to speak, but I wonder how many of them are women, not men, which seems to be the inference in all of Hall’s articles?

There never seems to be a criticism of the women who base their careers on bashing women in the magazines they edit. Magazines that are mainly purchased and read by women. It would be nice if she occasionally acknowledged that the matriarchy can be as bad as the patriarchy she so casually blames for all that ails society.

Ken Twiss
Yarm

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The fantasy of Brexit

In her article (Saturday 5 January) Sandi Dunn says that as a result of what she has learnt about the EU since the Referendum she has changed from a Remain voter to a “Lexiteer”. Her conclusions, however, are false.

She repeats the infamous £350m “saving” on the side of the bus and says that a net figure of £170m would be available to spend on infrastructure and the NHS.

She has failed to learn, however, how much the prospect of Brexit has already damaged the UK economy.

On the second anniversary of the Referendum in June 2018 the Financial Times reported on various economic models that had looked at the impact of the vote on the UK economy and found that “an average of several models suggests that by the end of the first quarter of this year (2018), the economy was 1.2 per cent smaller than it would have been without the Brexit vote. That represents a £24bn hit to the economy, amounting to a cost of £450m a week”.

So the cost to the economy is already over two and a half times an alleged saving which has yet to happen. This means considerably less money available to the beleaguered NHS, not more.

It is no surprise that the British Medical Association is opposed to Brexit and that both it and the Royal College of Nursing support a People’s Vote.

There are other errors in her article. She alleges that the EU Services Directive “helped force the privatisation of the Royal Mail” but all that directive does is set out the core principles governing the single market in services.

It was a decision by the UK government to carry out that privatisation and nothing to do with the EU.

There is nothing in EU legislation to prevent the UK renationalising the railways, as even Jeremy Corbyn has now admitted.

In short, all the advantages that Dunn thinks will result from Brexit are fantasies. Brexit is already causing huge damage to this country and it will get much worse. It’s time for Dunn to have another rethink and consider voting Remain again, should there be a People’s Vote later this year.

Peter Coggins
Oxford

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