WE were treated on Wednesday morning to a diatribe from Dame Jackie Baillie for nearly nine minutes, complaining about the wrong coding of women who had hysterectomies over the last 30-40 years. Some should have been called for smear tests as not all of the cervix was removed.

Baillie said this emerged in 2021 and there has now been a three-year delay. I wonder, did anything happen during those three years? Covid Covid Covid.

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She claims there has been no apology from the SNP – what about Labour? This happened under Labour’s watch, but Baillie states it is up to the government of the day to sort it. Just like the government of the day has had to sort out Labour Glasgow women’s equal pay – not done until there was an SNP council. Just like the government of the day has had to continue paying the PFI debts visited on us from Labour.

And of course no apology from Labour for any of this, indeed the word Labour was not uttered once. No reference at all to the government of these past years.

Any time a politician is on BBC they are asked about current issues, but not when it is Labour – just given a nine-minute platform uninterrupted to complain about the SNP government.

Labour were “unavailable” to talk about Gaza on The Sunday Show – I wonder why.

Winifred McCartney

I LISTEN to Good Morning Scotland on a Wednesday as I want to know what story they have researched in preparation for the Holyrood opposition parties to use as an attack subject for First Minister’s Questions the next day. This week they chose to provide these parties with a story about cervical cancer which dates back to pre-1997. So, they brought on Jackie Baillie to give her usual anti-Scottish Government tirade and left her to do it unchallenged.

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I used to get really annoyed at BBC Scotland’s anti-SNP/Scottish Government/independence stance but, having watched Reporting Scotland and listened to Good Morning Scotland for some years, I’ve discovered that they have absolutely no shame in presenting the stories they choose to run, the angle they take on each story, the spokespersons they choose so as to be most abusive to the Scottish Government (eg Jackie Baillie, Murdo Fraser, Craig Hoy etc) and the language they employ to give the most negative impression of that government.

Nowadays, I comfort myself in knowing that their lack of balance has gone so far that the Scottish listeners are just hugely amused by them. Whatever happened to subtlety?

Alasdair Forbes
Farr, Inverness-shire

OTHER UK nations recognise the superiority of Scotland’s health and benefits systems compared with their own, yet the Scottish media and Unionist politicians seem to derive great pleasure in criticising both.

Paul Kellagher is a social worker in Northern Ireland who manages several children’s services where the number of referrals to its family services hub has soared by 160%. He praises the Scottish Child Payment and calls for its adoption in Northern Ireland. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation agrees, and has called the Child Payment a “watershed” that shows poverty can be tackled with political will.

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On Tuesday morning on Radio 4, Alison Morton, CEO of the Institute of Health Visiting in England, said that “many children are not receiving the support they need” due to a 40% cut in health visitors over the last nine years. When babies and their families aren’t seen by a health visitor, the early-warning mechanism to identify problems and treat them before they become critical is stripped out. This has knock-on effects on other services such as A&E visits, which in England have risen 42% in the last decade. The under-ones are the highest users of A&E.

Ms Morton noted that “In Scotland they don’t have this problem because they have intensive home visiting by health visitors who support families in the heart of communities.”

On February 5 on Radio 4, Sir Andrew Pollard expressed concern about rising infant mortality rates in England. Of the four nations, Scotland has the lowest infant mortality, 3.1 deaths per 1000 live births, vs 3.8 in England, 4.2 in Wales and 4.5 in NI.

The Scottish Government understands the value of investing in children who are the future, and that independence will enable them to do more. It’s a pity children in other UK nations aren’t as fortunate.

Leah Gunn Barrett

IT is welcoming to read that the cruise company Saga is coming to terms with the inevitable certainty of Scottish independence.

Why have I come to this dramatic conclusion? Well, in its recent cruise brochure it promoted a ten-night cruise that will depart from Dover. It will then travel to the Scilly Isles and onward to Belfast before turning east to dock in Liverpool. After viewing the Liver Birds, it will then turn south for Holyhead and Fishguard before finally returning to Dover.

So why my conclusion? The name that Saga gives to this cruise is the “Great British Explorer”!

Mike Power
Kemnay, Aberdeenshire