It is ridiculous that the Department of Health states that there is no evidence using a patient's information to aid immigration enforcement deters people accessing healthcare (Public Health England warns of 'serious risk' over Home Office data sharing, 29 April). Anyone with any common sense can see that they are clearly linked. Healthcare staff should be allowed to focus on their core function as sharing data undermines the ethos of our health service.
A millennial party is not the solution
I feel the term “millennial” is both intrinsically false, demeaning and a lazy grouping of a “demographic” (Millenials are being forgotten in this general election – so it's time we had our own political party, 29 April).
This disparate batch have little in common with each other except for certain unfortunate circumstances that we all know and despair at. It is true though that MPs are so hopelessly out of touch that time and again they have this need to be seen as "with it" when more often than not, it's nothing more than a cringeworthy exercise to garner votes.
Whether a new political party is the answer I'm not sure as there will always be a great deal of scepticism over what the party stands for and, of course, the accusations of this millennial generation will come to the fore again. My feeling is that they should work from within a certain party (of their choice) and bring change that way, no matter how slowly that may be. But with voter apathy as it is to the point of social disconnect between themselves and their perception of society, perhaps there should be new alternatives, new voices towards growing concerns. But it will take a great sustained effort from all involved and a lot of repetition (just ask Theresa).
By all means, let us have new political parties, but don't demean anyone by setting it towards the “millennial” demographic. Such a focus is too narrow in its scope to be truly worthwhile.
A list of achievements
Why would anyone not vote for the Tories with their magnificent performance in power?
The list of achievements is impressive:
Pensions way down at the bottom levels of Europe, but nevertheless under threat
Students again facing increases to their fees, a useful device aiding them to become used to carrying a burden of debt
Failing the National Health Service, junior doctors, and nurses while encouraging further privatisation of the system
The handling of benefits for the disabled and less able members of society
Failing the education system with the introduction of "select" schools thereby failing miserably to embrace the "all" whom they claim to represent
Abandoning their green energy strategy, that I recall was to make them the "greenest" of governments while handing over our nuclear power to China and increasing investment in the oil industry
Having such a clear vision on Brexit, so carefully planned, each sure step along the way
Reducing police spending and watching crime levels rise and solution rates fall
Building an aircraft carrier that when it is finished will have no suitable aircraft to land on it for several years
Forcing through HS2 with no proven economic benefits out with the South, primarily London
Miserably failing to provide any assistance to thousands of refugees
I could continue but it is too painful to continue – and, by the way, where has the real Labour Party been all the while?
Hopefully, here in Scotland, we will continue to abhor this callous, divisive and calculating Tory party who seek always to protect their own.
C A Milne
Strong and stable?
I fear the Conservatives are going to win the forthcoming election on yet another myth, namely that a "strong stable government is the only way to ensure a good deal for Britain". It seems to becoming more and more clear to me, that it doesn't matter which government is in power, the terms on which we leave the EU are not under our control. This election should be fought on domestic issues, on which the current Government has a shockingly poor record on almost all fronts.
A home grown problem
Sean O'Grady's very interesting article deserves respect (Theresa May says the 27 EU countries are 'lining up to oppose' Brexit Britain – has she forgotten that that's how a union works?, 28 April). He is a surprisingly honest Leaver who admits that the UK is going to suffer at least a decade of serious pain before things improve. Despite that, he thinks leaving will be in the UK's long-term good. So it's a case of bread and dripping for everyone for 10 years, after which, jam.
Much as I hope he's right, I think he's mistaken. He bemoans Europe's “relative” decline – but forget that it also includes the UK, as if unshackling from the continent will of itself produce some Great Leap Forward. Europe is still one of the richest parts of the planet and it's “decline” is just a feature of others happily playing catch-up. He sees the EU as hampering progress and development. In my view, brakes on a country's development are usually homemade, which is why some countries have really prospered as EU members while others less so – the fault lies mostly at home.
This is why I am not as optimistic as O'Grady about the UK's long-term prospects. Successive UK governments have either been unwilling or unable to tackle the major structural imbalances in the economy, over which they, not the EU, had control. If past experience is anything to go by, they'll similarly fail in future.
Neither main party in my view has shown joined-up thinking on strategies for education and research, science, health and welfare, industrial and commercial policy, indebtedness, infrastructure, and – horror of horrors – migration. It's all reactive to events, not proactive and the two parties spend more legislative time undoing each other's achievements in turn rather than developing on them.
Maybe leaving the EU will be the catalyst needed for change, but I doubt it. O'Grady needs to take a long hard look at what has proved unreformable in the UK, never mind the EU. If the UK does not tackle what needs to change domestically, I'm afraid the “gains” he sees after 10 years will amount to nothing more than playing catch-up for a decade lost.