EAGLE-EYED Edinburgh citizens will have observed that Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) members have been out campaigning on Princes Street this month in favour of public ownership not privatisation.

We have been drawing attention to the fact that Edinburgh’s two flagship hospitals are not in fact owned by the NHS.

The Royal Infirmary is owned by Consort Healthcare Ltd and the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People belongs to Macquarie Capital of Sydney, Australia.

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This means that hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money that should be devoted to patient care is in fact ending up in the pockets of private companies at home and abroad.

Yet a recent YouGov poll found 84% of people in Britain want our hospitals to be owned by the NHS, not private companies out to make a fast buck at our expense.

I’m sure that figure is accurate because the proportion of the people we meet at our stall who sign our petition is easily as high as 84%.

Professor Allyson Pollock, the country’s leading authority on Private Finance Initiatives, believes they represent bad value for money as much as anything, pointing out that the £300 million hospital Consort built will recoup £1.2bn (that’s £1200m) for them by the time the contract ends!

SSP activists are also obliged to point out that it was Labour that privatised the Royal Infirmary and the SNP who sold off the “Sick Kids”. We insist that the Royal Infirmary should be returned to the NHS in 2028 when the current PFI contract ends.

Colin Fox
Scottish Socialist Party

FOR once Patrick Harvie is right (Time to rethink our place in system of heredity power, April 21). However, it’s not just the institution of the monarchy that we should question. Shouldn’t it be the entire system of privilege and power, of which monarch sits at the pinnacle, that we need question?

Shouldn’t we consider that what keeps the monarchy in situ are the interests of the power brokers whose societal stature depends on its existence, the very reason why they support it with such zeal, and need us to?

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From the vested-interest mainstream media promoting the political establishment, the politicians playing the “game”, the system of doling out “honours” to those who buy into the system, the captains of industry and commerce and public servants recognised and additionally rewarded for just doing their jobs, the influencer celebrities and sports stars chucked the plaudits they repay with their slavish support – they all depend on the monarchy to pull it all together.

This fundamental snout-in-the-trough mantra is what perpetrates the gross inequalities and injustices that permeate our society.

Heads bowing in deference to the monarchical grand master is the proof that the bewildered herd buy into the inequality, the system is winning for the select few. Privilege reigns supreme, not merit.

Let’s ask the question; if we were to design a sensible and fair system of society structure reflecting equality in the interests of all, would we possibly create one based on the monarchy tosh we are subjected to now?

Jim Taylor

UNELECTED Tory Peer “Lord” David Frost has indicated that devolution will be rolled back if the Tory Westminster colonial regime is reimposed on Scotland.

Frost, along with the clown Boris Johnson, was the architect of the Brexit “deal” that now sees inflation in Britain running at 10% (the highest in the G7). The Tories wish to reduce the government at Holyrood to a Vichy-style rump that is nothing more than the equivalent of an English county council.

The Tories and their deranged membership think it is they and not the people who should decide Scotland’s status.

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All of the Tory lies about independence have been parroted ad nauseam by the BBC. The corporation is a mouthpiece for Tory ideology.

The BBC has been turned into the propaganda arm for Unionist, Tory neoliberal ideology.

BBC Director General is currently Tim Davie. He stood for election as a Tory candidate in council elections. He was also deputy chairman of his local Tory association.

Robbie Gibb, who was chief spin doctor for Theresa May, is another member of the BBC board. Allegations were made by Emily Maitlis about his influence over BBC coverage of Brexit.

Millionaire Tory donor Richard Sharp is the BBC board chairman. He has donated £400,000 to the Tories. He also helped facilitate an £800,000 loan for Boris Johnson while the latter was prime minister.

The presenter of the agenda-setting Today programme on Radio 4, Nick Robinson, is a former chair of the Young Conservatives.

To combat Tory Unionist colonial exploitation, a new cross-party movement for Scottish independence needs to be launched. This needs to be beyond parties. It cannot be controlled by an unimaginative claque beholden to identity politics.

Alan Hinnrichs