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Happy writing!

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I TRIED for ages to download the NHS Protect Scotland app on my phone this week.

I searched the Play Store but the app was not listed. Eventually I found out that my ‘device is not compatible’ – seemingly as it’s too old.

I have been told that the app only works on Android 6.0 and above. TV advertising for the app does not seem to include this guidance.

I think it is worth drawing your readers’ attention to the age/type of phone required to download the app.

I wonder how many local older people and others like myself will miss out if we don’t have the correct phone?

Christine Woods

Victoria Crescent, Helensburgh

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: September 10, 2020

IN the past week Helensburgh MSP Jackie Baillie has denied that she lobbied the BBC to stop the daily broadcasts of the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefings.

Ms Baillie did state that she recently met with the BBC “to ask about the criteria surrounding daily briefings as much of the recent coverage was moving away from public health messages”.

However she also retweeted a Tweet from Labour peer George Foulkes which stated: “BBC Scotland stopping daily live coverage of Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus briefings. Good to see BBC Scotland have taken account of representations from @jackiebmsp and me!”

As one of the people hoping to secure the support of local SNP members to become the party’s candidate in the Dumbarton constituency at next May’s Scottish Parliament election, I believe that Jackie Baillie needs to explain why she acted to deprive people of vital public health information in the middle of a pandemic.

We need to all work together to give communities clarity and the most up to date information – that’s the only way we will suppress this virus.

It’s clear that Jackie Baillie’s hatred for the SNP has become so toxic that it is affecting her judgement and ability to act in the interests of her constituents.

The Dumbarton constituency needs an experienced new voice and a fresh start.

Toni Giugliano

Via email

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READ MORE: Helensburgh's MSP denies urging BBC to axe TV coverage of daily coronavirus briefings

SOME people are outraged that Boris Johnson should disregard international law with his cavalier attitude to the Withdrawal Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement.

But why be upset? The UK has been flouting international law for decades. Every one of the Vanguard submarines based in the Gare Loch is an ongoing war crime.

The means and methods whereby a state may defend itself are not unlimited. Limitations arise from the principles of natural justice, and are codified in International Law. Thus, one may not rape, torture, execute prisoners of war, or deliberately target civilians even if such actions seem to bring victory nearer (the ‘Hiroshima fallacy’).

The development of industrialised killing in the last century compelled the international community to impose agreed limits on warring states, hence the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles etc.

The first rules out the legality of nuclear weapons by specifying that new armaments must conform to “the usages established among civilised peoples, the laws of humanity, and the dictates of public conscience”.

The 1945 London Agreement on war crimes, which led to the prosecution and conviction of the Nazis, enshrined the principle that no-one, of whatever office or rank, is above the jurisdiction of international law.

All individuals are deemed to be personally responsible for their actions. You cannot plead in your defence that you are merely obeying orders - a ruling all workers at the naval base, and police, should ponder deeply.

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law at Princeton, wrote “Everyone has the right and duty to say no to illegal State policy..... It is not disobedience but the enforcement of the law to refuse to be an accomplice to the preparation of nuclear war”.

ICJ Judge Christopher Weeramantry said in 2009: “International law condemns the threat or use of nuclear weapons. Anti-nuclear civil resistance is the right of every citizen, for the nuclear threat, attacking as it does every core concept of human rights, calls for urgent and universal action for its prevention”.

The alleged misdeeds of peace activists – blockades at Faslane and Coulport, stopping the nuclear convoys, cutting the fence etc – must be viewed as efforts to uphold that same international law which British governments have been defying for years.

Our faux moral indignation at Boris Johnson’s breaking of international law is hypocritical in a society that has been flouting international law for half a century.

Brian Quail

2 Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow

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READ MORE: Your letters to the Advertiser: September 3, 2020

THE SNP needs to come clean to the Alex Salmond inquiry. Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans said it was ‘not possible’ to say how much money was wasted by the SNP Government in its failed legal battle with Alex Salmond.

Repeatedly, Evans has failed to provide answers to the serious questions being asked by the inquiry.

The committee cannot fulfil its function without full transparency.

If it is to only receive part of the evidence, it will only be able to produce part of an inquiry report.

The Scottish public want the truth, not more secrecy.

Councillor Alastair Redman

Conservative, Kintyre and the Islands

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WELL, I never thought I would live to see the day when the BBC joined the Conservative Party.

I have been around on this planet a long time and ever since childhood have been given to understand that the BBC was entirely impartial.

It is most essential that our First Minister, in these dangerous times, gives her daily briefings to Scotland, informing us of the necessary precautions we need to take.

It is absolutely disgraceful that the BBC are allowing themselves to be dictated to by the Tories.

Susan Swain

Innerwick, Dunbar

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READ MORE: Opinion: Being scared is natural, but we'll get through it

IT is estimated that there could now be as many as 1.1 million people in Scotland caring unpaid for a loved one who is older, disabled, or seriously ill during the coronavirus pandemic.

We know that it has been an especially difficult time for family carers, with the majority having to provide more care during the pandemic - on average 10 additional hours a week. With many face-to-face day services still closed or limited because of Covid, some families are caring round the clock without a break.

It’s thanks to carers telling Carers Scotland about their personal experiences that we are able to explain to politicians and policy makers the challenges they are facing six months on from the coronavirus outbreak, as we head into winter.

By filling in our survey ‘Caring Behind Closed Doors: 6 months on’ (on the Carers UK website) unpaid carers in Scotland can help inform the UK’s most comprehensive study into experiences of looking after a loved one during the coronavirus crisis.

With a Scottish Government plan for social care reform currently in the making, it has never been more important for unpaid carers to share their experiences.

Fill in the survey at:

Simon Hodgson

Director, Carers Scotland

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I AM writing to ask your readers to join Breast Cancer Now on October 23 and take part in the UK’s biggest and boldest pink fund-raiser – Wear It Pink

Right now, we don’t know what the world will look like in October, what we’ll be able to do or who we’ll be able to see. But we do know that breast cancer doesn’t stop for anything.

As one of Breast Cancer Now’s clinical nurse specialists, I know that people affected by breast cancer, our nurses and scientists urgently need people’s help – now more than ever before.

The coronavirus outbreak has been an unprecedented situation for us all. Speaking to people affected by breast cancer, I know it continues to be an extremely difficult and uncertain time for so many affected by the disease.

While the NHS has taken extensive steps to minimise the impact on cancer services, many people have seen their treatment paused or delayed either to help reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19 or as the NHS has tried to cope with the demands during the outbreak.

I’ve spoken to people with incurable secondary breast cancer, who had anxious months without treatments that had been helping to keep their disease stable. During this time, Breast Cancer Now’s support services are even more important.

The coronavirus pandemic is also having a significant impact on our ability to raise funds for research and support at a time when people have never needed it more.

Wear It Pink day helps us continue to make world-class breast cancer research and life-changing care happen through the vital funds that are raised by people across Scotland each year.

Without this fund-raising, we simply cannot continue to be here for people affected by breast cancer, now and in the future.

So, if there was ever a time to find that pink top, grab that pink tie or dig out that pink tutu, that time is now. Fund-raisers can register to claim a free fundraising pack at Whether your Wear It Pink day is held online, an event with your household or a socially-distanced event, we hope you can join us in helping to fund life-saving breast cancer research and life-changing care for those affected by breast cancer.

Find out more at

Addie Mitchell

Breast Cancer Now

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