IT seems only days ago that the SNP were being attacked over missing the 95% target for A&E treatment under four hours. They did achieve just over 90%, however.

The Prime Minister even threatened to take control of the NHS out of the hands of the Scottish Government.

This week’s news is nothing to gloat over. English NHS A&E figures reveal that they only achieved a mid-80s percentage. There is no suggestion that the Scottish Government should take control of the underperforming English NHS.

READ MORE: It’s time for Scotland to take control of its budget

In fact the BBC have failed to mention the Scottish NHS figures, or indeed those in Northern Ireland or Wales. There is no direct comparison. No discussion about the service received in the context of how well any does with respect to the others.

95% is a very simple line, which actually means nothing. Patients are treated on a triage system that means a serious road traffic accident could push back waiting times for non-critical patients, and that is entirely correct.

Real meaning arrives when performance is compared to other NHS services. But only if the data is collected in the same way.

If A&E performance statistics are to be anything other than a way to attack the (Scottish) government then surely all data should be standardised, collected and published together? The state broadcaster should be using comparative data in their examination of performance. Discussing one without referencing the others is almost meaningless.

Brian Kelly

I READ your article on Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (November 14) with interest.

The Highland LibDems are often underestimated by folk from further south and will do better than your correspondent thinks.

The reason is that the Tory vote, much of which went “home” at the last General Election, will revert to voting LibDem, especially as the Brexit Party is standing and the Tories have no chance of winning.

READ MORE: General Election analysis: SNP has hold of Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

The SNP, my party, will also lose strong indy Leavers who may abstain or vote Brexit Party as we seem to have abandoned them. A nod towards the “Norway” model as a halfway house and a future Scottish EU referendum would help keep them on board. This would also help in the north-east, but no-one seems to be listening.

The upshot will be a strong LibDem challenge, and we will need the indy supporters who didn’t come out in 2017 to hold them off!

So, get out there, as I am today, and get indy support motivated as this is not going to be an easy fight.

Dave Thompson

REGARDING your story “BBC policy guide tells voters in Scotland the wrong party leaders” (, November 14). The BBC has taken the names of the leaders from the Electoral Commission’s register of political parties, which does not contain information on branch leaders.

The mistake is in the “Choose a party” box, as there is no Scottish Conservative Party. That is a description registered with the Electoral Commission by the Conservative Party for use in Scotland. The same applies to Scottish Labour and Scottish Liberal Democrats – only the SNP and Scottish Green Party are registered political parties.

It appears that whoever compiled the BBC list of parties was mislead by the description into thinking that they were autonomous Scottish Unionist parties. How many voters have also been misled, unaware that their Scottish party does not exist? The Scottish branch has had to have the approval of its London headquarters before it could publish its own Scottish manifesto.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I SEE that the BBC is replacing Jackie Bird with Susan Calman as presenter of BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay programme, so we can expect the same cringe-making content. I am sure this is a deliberate ploy by the BBC to make Scots feel ashamed and embarrassed about themselves and give the English viewers a good laugh. But it does not need to be like this.

The panel on the Cardiff Singer of the World competition voted a Scots Lass the winner, indeed the top three in the competition were all trained at the Conservatoire in Glasgow. Could we not have her sing for us on Hogmany?

Also, the world-famous conductor Donald Runicles, who is from Edinburgh, could be invited to conduct the Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a programme of music by Scottish composers, of whom there are many. Both of the above are currently based in Germany, where Catrina Morrison sings opera for many of the 90 opera companies they have, and Donald Runicles is director of music at the Deutsche Oper Berlin after 17 years as chief conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

The programme could conclude with some traditional Jimmy Shand music. That would make you proud to be a Scot.

Ronald Livingstone McNeill