Readers' letters - November 28

Save lives with drug

Monday, 28th November 2016, 5:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:13 pm
Will former PM Tony Blair make a return to British politics after the Brexit vote?

I read with great concern the news that thousands of women are missing out on cheap drugs that could prevent their breast cancer from spreading – when it becomes incurable – because it is unclear which health body should pay for them.

A breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating for patients and their families. If there are drugs out there that can prevent women dying from this dreadful disease, they must be made routinely available.

These drugs – called bisphosphonates – cost on average just 43p per day, and if given to all women who could benefit, one in ten breast cancer deaths could be prevented. It simply doesn’t make sense that lives are being lost over this confusion over funding.

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That’s why I’m backing Breast Cancer Now’s #43paday campaign, calling on my MP to urge the Health Secretary to clarify who is responsible for funding these drugs and ensure clear guidance is issued, as soon as possible. I would encourage others to join me and add their support by visiting:

Sheila Rennox



Real austerity is a rarity

Comparatively few people in this country today are experiencing real austerity despite the opinions of many.

At the risk of boring the young, may I tell people that during my wartime childhood, the word austerity was justified. For example, we did not even see such a thing as a banana, let alone eat one.

Meat was rationed and measured in ounces per person per week. Even bread was rationed for years after the end of the war. And of course, none of today’s electronic wonders even existed. Only the few owned a car or could afford foreign travel even if they were able to obtain the measly amount of foreign currency.

Today, the picture is transformed. The most exotic foods from all over the planet are available on every high street. People in the most humble employment are able to fly off in their millions on worldwide foreign holidays. In short, the benefits once enjoyed only by kings, potentates and the very rich are now enjoyed by the masses.

I don’t doubt that a great many people are in desperate circumstances through no fault of their own and must receive every help a civilised society can provide.

However, one wonders how many others, who claim to be experiencing austerity, are in this state simply because they budget for what they want rather than what they need?

T Crawford

via email


Tony, don’t come back

I read that former Prime Minister Tony Blair is making a return to British politics because he doesn’t agree with the Brexit vote and that he intends to use his influence to try and have Brexit stopped.

Given that Tony Blair walked away from the political arena in 2008, and that, since the outcome of the Chilcot report, he has been branded by some of the media as being the most hated man of all time in British politics, I am curious to know why Tony Blair believes he has any right to appoint himself as some kind of independent political godfather.

He has done enough damage to this country by taking us into an illegal war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction, and for that I feel that he should be barred for life from ever being able to re-enter the political arena.

Derek Baker via email