Letters: don’t blame us retirees for the shortfall | Pensions

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Will Hutton puts retirees in the same bag, likening us all to a wealthy elite (“Ending the pension lockdown is a start, but there is no easy fix to the yawning generation gap,” Commentary). We are not all rich with the benefits offered by Hutton and many depend on the state pension, one of the lowest in Europe. To say that retirees are the beneficiaries of cuts in overseas aid or non-reimbursement of student fees is to imply that we are less worthy of escaping poverty.

Hutton writes that “Britain has no source of revenue to build a fairer society,” but fails to mention the billions of pounds extremely wealthy people have hidden in tax havens in order to avoid contributing to the community. So who is responsible for the shortfall? It is certainly not us retirees. Please stop blaming us. We have contributed all of our lives and if some of us have a little more then we pay taxes. This is no excuse to reduce the state pension for those who depend on it.
Carole terry
London SW18

The terrible fate of those who have ME

As a parent of a young woman who has suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) for 21 years since the age of eight, I was deeply moved by your article on the long Covid in children (“‘Their childhood was stolen ‘: calls to action to tackle the long Covid’, News).

But while I was relieved that so much attention was being paid to a new, chronic and horrific disease, I felt like mourning my daughter and the thousands like her, who have been ignored, disbelieved and vilified for years, especially by many health professionals. who should have been there to help and support them.

Like Long Covid, ME usually follows a viral infection. Even when such an infection is easy to discover (as in the case of the Epstein-Barr virus) and precedes the onset of ME, the lack of a diagnostic test means that the symptoms of those affected are often misunderstood. as psychological, with the result that the need for vital biomedical research on ME has been systematically rejected by successive governments. It would seem that it always takes a tragedy for action to be taken; maybe the long Covid tragedy will bring action for the desperate fate of those with ME.
Kathy goodchild
St Albans, Hertfordshire

Boris Johnson, fake fan

Andrew Rawnsley reminded us that Boris Johnson, not known as a football fan, donned an English “Boris No 10” shirt to show his support for the national team at Euro 2020 (“This England team does not play not for the conservative version of the country ”, Commentary).

It was a show of blatant opportunism on the part of our cynical and hypocritical Prime Minister who, in response to the England team taking the knee to support anti-racism, said he believed in l action, not gestures. I hope his idea of ​​the action is more substantial than words of support to the boiled mouth while playing the clown wearing a replica soccer jersey.
Mike Pender
Cardiff

Public health must come first

As the roadmap draws to a close, Covid-19 remains a threat to public health. No one wants endless cycles of legal restrictions and lockdowns, but the idea that we should be relaxed in the face of increasing cases is wrong and damaging to public health. The rollout of vaccination is a huge success and brings us closer to the normality we aspire to. However, millions of people have yet to receive the full protection of two jabs.

Our members, public health and environmental health professionals, alongside colleagues in local government, social services and the NHS are facing increasing pressure and seeing the dramatic consequences of a third wave: illnesses, complications, hospitalizations and death. The human and economic cost of the long Covid is only partially understood.

The government must promote effective public health measures because personal accountability will not suffice.

First, we must remember that public health is a catalyst for recovery. As we look beyond July 19, we should be guided by a simple reality: there is no health without wealth and no wealth without health. Public health interventions, designed and implemented with business, can build public confidence and create safe environments. Some companies have already asked their customers to continue to wear face coverings.

Second, we know what works to limit the spread of Covid – washing hands, wearing face coverings in crowded indoor places, socializing outdoors, working from home if possible, opening windows and good health care systems. ventilation, isolate people with the virus and provide financial support. Let’s keep doing it. Finally, the sense of collective spirit is the unsung hero of the pandemic and will continue to be vital. Living with Covid isn’t the same as letting it rip. We must proceed with caution and not recklessly.

Doctor Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the Association of Public Health Directors; Christina marriott, Director General, Royal Society of Public Health; Professor Maggie Rae, President of the British Faculty of Public Health; Julie barrat, President of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Legalizing drugs saves lives

A spokesperson for the Dutch Justice Ministry said: “People who take a pill or snort coca on weekends are partly responsible for keeping criminals in business”, but that’s less than half of the truth (“Best Journalist, Mafia Boss and Shooter: Dutch Fear Rise of ‘Drug Crime'”, World news). Prohibition keeps criminals in the drug trade as it did in the alcohol trade in the United States in the 1920s. Under prohibition, competition is driven by gangs who offer careers to young men willing to take risks and use weapons.

Alcohol is liquid and has a low power to volume ratio and therefore must be delivered to customers in large vehicles purchased and driven by adults. The powders and pills, having a high potency ratio, are very light and can be distributed in small packets by teenagers on bikes or on public transport, which is why victims of knife crime in the UK are so young.

Although Covid-19 has caused more deaths in the UK in two years than drugs in the past 50 years, our new Health Secretary has suggested that our approach to the virus should no longer be rules-based, but on responsibilities, the question therefore arises: why should it not be the same for drugs? Why shouldn’t even the hardest drugs be legalized and Boris Johnson’s ‘English born free’ individually responsible for their use so children don’t have to be stabbed?
Christophe eddy
Swindon, Wiltshire

The Labor blunder on Brexit

William Keegan is right to say that Keir Starmer was right to be a Remainer and that Brexit is a disaster, but he is wrong to say that Starmer was right to call for a second referendum (“The Prime Minister is not Machiavelli: his ruthless streak only serves himself ”, Affairs). Once the referendum was accepted, Labor had to stick to its result. If the result had been the opposite, would the Remainers have accepted a second referendum?

I do not understand why Labor and other parties did not insist that a threshold be crossed for the result to be binding. Labor should have accepted the result and categorically declared that they would negotiate something akin to the EEA deal, protecting jobs, rights at work and free movement. If that had been the case, we might not be in the mess that we are, led by liars and mediocrities.
Jol miskin
Sheffield

Greed has no place here

Not all of Oxbridge’s colleges have succumbed to greed (“The real rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge is how far they can go for money,” Commentary). At Oxford University, permanent private rooms in general, and my own Regent’s Park College in particular, have never accepted donations from Middle Eastern potentates, Russian oligarchs, or those who oppress the poor. We preferred to send our graduates to Africa, the Caribbean and India to preach, teach and heal. We are poor but not defiled and aim to stay that way.
Malcolm Bishop, Honorary Fellow, Regent’s Park College, Oxford



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