The true motives
change of allegiance
I notice that Kenneth Roy (28 April) totally ignores the motivation that Mr Murdoch's papers might have had for their switch. While it is possible that Mr Jay [counsel for the Leveson inquiry] was unaware of the Scottish political situation, Kenneth Roy would assuredly not have been.
In 1992 it looked as if the Conservatives under John Major, whom Murdoch supported, might lose the election. However it was unlikely that the Conservatives would make any inroads into Scotland. Ergo Murdoch supports the SNP, not because he believes in them or supports them, but because he prefers to damage Labour and cut their support. Thus in 1997, with Labour on board, the SNP are dropped.
Fast forward to 2007: the Tories gain his pleasure, so, again, the SNP are supported not because of any belief in them, but because it damages Labour. Later strengthening of support for the SNP might be due to Murdoch's distaste for the British establishment after being disappointed in the BSkyB bid.
Mr Salmond did not need the support of the Sun. He must have been aware of the findings that show that newspapers do not influence political opinion and, in fact, Murdoch, far from being an opinion-former, notoriously follows the trend. But making the switch is a signal of a sort in its own right.
I think there is a perspective missing from Kenneth Roy's piece, because it ignores what he, with his long experience, has seen regarding Scottish politics and Murdoch, and I think he does himself a disservice because of it.
I think that many people in Scotland are in a quandary with regards to how to vote on the matter of independence. Unless some things change, they could very well still be in that quandary in 2014. It's like so many issues nowadays. Despite TV, newspapers, the internet, the Scottish Review and 'social media', the people do not get a clear picture of both sides of an issue and really don't know what the best thing to do is.
If some knowledgeable person, or persons, could provide the people with a completely apolitical, non-biased analysis of the pros and cons of independence, that would be of great help to many and might ensure that the right decision is made. I guess I'm talking about the sort of thing I thought the universities were supposed to do.
With Kenneth Roy's incredible knowledge of Scotland – present and past – I feel he has the capability of producing such an analysis. However, as I read his reports, including that on Thursday, I feel he already has a position on the matter and I don't know if he would be able to keep that sway out of his analysis.
Will the Scottish people ever get straight, unbiased facts regarding the momentous decision they have to make?
Victoria Law's article on the care of the elderly (25 April) simply bowled me over, so much so, that I was applauding it as I read it in a rare example of male multi-tasking. I agree with her every word and, I suppose, it all hits home hardest when it affects someone within your own family, as it does, of course, all families inevitably at one time or another. I should like to add one more dimension, but still very much in the spirit of what she was describing about the NHS.
Well, what about that biggest misnomer of them all, namely care homes? I have had a wide experience of such establishments both as a parish minister, now retired, but also within my own family. I don't have the impressive statistics, which Victoria offers, concerning the ratio of nursing care to patients, but I'm pretty sure that the ratio is even worse within so-called care homes.
For high-class erratic care or rather carelessness, less than nourishing meals, missing clothes sent off to be washed and then misplaced, and even a shared bathroom, frequently required to be used at the same time, the privilege is a payment of £730 per week. The elderly, imprisoned within care homes, seem to me to be the ultimate victims of scam within our society, something which our family reported to the Care Commission with, I'm happy to report, some positive results. Much more, however, needs to be done. The Care Commission needs to be far more care committed.
One thing I would like to emphasise is that at no time did we ever criticise the under-paid, under-numbered staff. In fact, we praised their valiant efforts for working impossible hours and impossible conditions to the Care Commission and they both listened and reported. Meanwhile, however, £730 per week has no doubt increased in line with the everlasting cliche of inflation. Exactly whose inflation does that mean?
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