Why extend Covid restrictions when the vast majority are now safe?


SIR – The letter (11 June) from Adrian O’Neill, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom, is one of the most hostile communications I have ever read from someone whose tenure should include the promotion of better relations between our two countries.

If it represents the agreed position of the Dublin government – and its policy is indeed to insist that the Northern Ireland Protocol be implemented immediately and in its entirety – then it is clear that our neighbors have no willingness to negotiate or compromise on this tangled issue.

I suspect that what lies behind their attitude, including the imposition of a hard border for drugs at the request of the EU (quickly reversed) and the difficulty in making trade as difficult as possible between the Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is the idea that if they persist they can succeed in a referendum to detach Northern Ireland from the UK and achieve a united Ireland.

The EU (and therefore Dublin) wants to prevent goods from entering the EU from the UK through a form of ‘back door’. Then let them put customs checks on the land border it belongs to, as hard or soft as they want.

This will not endanger the Good Friday deal, which guarantees Northern Ireland’s status in the UK for as long as the majority wants. This will serve to lower the political temperature here, and show the world that those who wish to inflict violence on these islands are not its allies.

Bob parke
Eglinton, County Londonderry

SIR – Whenever questions have been raised about Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit status, clear assurances have been given that ‘modern technology’ will solve all problems. However, no details have emerged on how exactly this could be achieved. The chickens inevitably came home to roost.

Patrick miller
Hartlepool, County Durham

Choice of resuscitation

SIR – Camilla Tominey (Commentary, June 11) is right to castigate doctors for issuing orders not to resuscitate patients with mental illness or learning disabilities when there were no other medical problems important.

These decisions are rarely simple or taken lightly, and in the vast majority of situations, doctors try to discuss them with patients or families.

Less than one in ten hospital resuscitation attempts are successful. In addition, they offer little dignity, with survivors often having broken ribs and / or brain damage. Many die within a month of resuscitation. I wouldn’t want to be resuscitated if I was seriously ill and had serious health problems.

At the worst of the pandemic, I remember times when it was difficult, if not impossible, to contact relatives of elderly patients who were rapidly deteriorating and unable to understand the complex discussions surrounding resuscitation. In these cases, we have issued do not resuscitate orders, as is permitted. But that was not the norm, and I believe healthcare professionals and hospitals recognize the need to make these decisions with the knowledge of patients and families when possible.

Dr David Chadwick
Hutton Rudby, North Yorkshire

String theory

SIR – At school, I learned – rather unsuccessfully – to play the violin.

We had a cat (Letters, June 13). I just had to pick up the violin case so she could get out of the room as fast as she could. I often wondered if she had heard that the strings were gut.

Shirley collins
Eastbourne, East Sussex

The Oxford Boycott

SIR – In the academic world, it is seldom accidental that people are working on what they are doing. Personal enthusiasm can lead to vigorous, if not always completely objective research, as demonstrated by the long and distinguished career of Professor Kate Tunstall.

In connection with his prominent role in the recent boycott of Oriel College, Oxford (report, 11 June), it is perhaps not inconsiderable to note that his scholarly efforts have mainly focused on the writings by Denis Diderot (1713-1784), the “French Philosopher of the Enlightenment”, better known for his conviction (as paraphrased in his poem “Les Éleuthéromanes”) that “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest ”.

So maybe we can see where these problems are coming from and what we are facing.

Richard sharp
Principal investigator, Worcester College, Oxford, 1995-2002
Glanton, Northumberland

Give scooters a chance

SIR – Am I the only one among Telegraph readers who thinks electric scooters (Letters, June 11) are a good idea? There are zero emissions (in use), they have a low carbon footprint and they don’t need expensive parking lots.

Of course, we need regulations to prevent their use on sidewalks, but many of the issues raised by readers apply to other modes of transportation. Many pedestrians and cyclists wear headphones and they are not butchered. Cities aren’t full of abandoned rental electric bikes.

There are hundreds of cities around the world with electric scooter programs. Are they all a disaster? They seem to be working well in Barcelona.

Scooters are ideal for daily trips over short distances or for the departure and arrival stages if you are traveling by train or bus. I would go beyond testing and allow private scooters. One of the major problems with public transport is the first and last mile.

No doubt lanes reserved for scooters / bicycles would be useful. Motorists (I am one of them) will scream at the loss of road space, but if enough road users abandon cars in cities, traffic will also decrease.

Kerry Attwell Thomas
Salisbury, Wiltshire

SIR – I wonder if the safety feasibility studies for electric scooters and smart highways were done by the same people.

Susan sang
Petersfield, Hampshire

Calling into question Handel’s links with the slave trade


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