Letting travellers pour in from India is catastrophic neglect

·4 min read
<p>India was added to the red travel list on 23 April but Pakistan and Bangladesh have been on the list of no-travel destinations since 9 April</p> (Getty/iStock)

India was added to the red travel list on 23 April but Pakistan and Bangladesh have been on the list of no-travel destinations since 9 April

(Getty/iStock)

The Indian variant of coronavirus has swept into Britain unchecked as our borders were not closed – yet again. And so travellers from India have poured in, undoubtedly bringing the new variant with them. This catastrophic neglect of government responsibility towards its people puts the population under serious threat of infection, illness and possibly death, and also ensures further economic devastation.

Stand by for Boris Johnson’s Tory government to have an upwards surge in the opinion polls.

As the country’s collective madness now seems to be “Heigh-ho! What can you do?” it is clear nothing, absolutely nothing, this government does, or fails to do, will harm them.

Penny Little

Oxfordshire

Military environmental impact

The world and its leaders are debating climate change and how to save the world, their representatives flying in their jets to suitably luxurious locations.

Yet the world is allowing the Amazon forest to be cut down in Brazil for farming. The world is allowing immense forests in Borneo, Indonesia, to be cut down for the sake of palm oil production.

The same leaders who discuss our future allow their militaries to expand and to consume vast amounts of fossil fuels to constantly train for how to more efficiently kill each other. Their ships roam the oceans, their fighter jets and bombers endlessly patrol the skies. Their military forces repeatedly fire weapons to either practise their skills or to kill.

Has anybody ever given any thought to how much our recent conflicts have contributed to the world’s pollution and rise in temperature? The pointless Vietnam War. The destruction of Iraq, based on “weapons of mass destruction”. The 20-year war for apparently nothing in Afghanistan. The almost total destruction of Syria without achieving a regime change. The war in Libya? Now the conflict in Israel. And the count continues.

Has anybody ever calculated how much the world’s military contributes to our climate emergency on a daily basis?

Luckily mankind’s ambition to settle on Mars has the great advantage that nothing much can be destroyed there, other than creating mountains of human waste.

I’m sure the future looks bright.

Gunter Straub

London

People of Scotland

I feel I must disagree with Jim Duncan’s letter regarding a proposed Scottish referendum. Firstly, Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly refers to “the people of Scotland”, not “the Scottish people”, as having the right to determine their country’s future.

I was born in southern Ireland but now live in Scotland. If the people of Ireland were to have a referendum on reunification I would not expect to have a vote because I no longer live there.

Surely, the people who have chosen to live and work and pay their taxes in Scotland have more right to have a say in the future of the country than someone who just happened to be born here but now chooses to live somewhere else?

Jean Foster

Selkirk, Scotland

Headlines before science

Surely, it is lunacy to refuse to delay the relaxation of lockdown at a time when infections by the Indian variant are, in some areas, doubling in a week, and large sections of the population remain unvaccinated? To offer, as a sop, an acceleration of vaccinations – which at best will likely take well over two months to have a real impact – is insulting to anyone with intelligence. Common sense would suggest that the acceleration of the vaccine programme should be linked to a delay in the relaxation of regulations, to allow the programme time to respond and vaccines to take effect.

Yet again, Boris Johnson is more driven by the headlines than the science. When the next lockdown comes, people should remember that it could have been avoided if not for Boris Johnson’s fear of making difficult and unpopular decisions.

Arthur Streatfield

Bath

China on Mars

It appears that China has successfully landed a rover on the planet Mars. It’s a great scientific achievement but some might wonder if it is just part of their expansion plans as they do seem to be on the move. At the moment it’s just a few islands in the Pacific, and then maybe Taiwan, and onto Mars, skipping the moon as it’s a bit dusty and boring.

The next thing won’t be Robot Wars on British TV but might be International Robot Wars on Mars. There won’t be any worry about Covid safe distances as the local crowd might be quite small.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne

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