Readers’ letters - February 21

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt
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We’re marching to London to save our health service

Recently, it was revealed that nine out of 10 hospitals faced overcrowding this winter – a sure-fire sign that Government underfunding is beginning to affect patient care.

Waiting times are up.

And there’s a widespread cash shortage forcing difficult decisions on staff around the country.

Meanwhile, the number of applicants for nursing courses has plummeted following the axing of the NHS bursary, storing up further long-term problems and exacerbating an already worrying nursing shortage.

The pressure on the NHS is greater still because social care – which has been cut in real terms by the Government since 2010 – is creaking under the weight of an aging population and a shortage of resources.

That has an impact on the NHS, with more elderly patients stuck on wards because they can’t be cared for elsewhere.

And of course, there’s the pernicious and damaging pay cap that holds health workers’ wages down, damaging morale and recruitment at the same time.

This crisis is a disaster of the Government’s own making.

These are just some of the reasons why UNISON and other trade unions and NHS campaign groups are supporting the NHS National demo on March 4 in London – opposing privatisation and cuts in our health service and fighting to save it for future generations who will need it just as much as we 
do. We will assemble at noon in Tavistock Square, London WC1 and march through London to Parliament. Please join us on the demo.

Tony Wilson

UNISON National Executive Council member, North West Region

Celebs are so boring now

With news that Piers Morgan has pulled out of hosting the Royal Television Society awards, saying he did not want to become a distraction after a social media campaign attacking him, it made me realise what vacuous and one-dimensional nonentities today’s celebrities really are.

What was Morgan’s crime? He failed to fall in line and follow the celebrity and Hollywood bandwagon that Donald Trump is extremist and not deserving of power.

In other words, he deviated from the narrow and rigorously proscribed political path ‘slebs’ are allowed to follow.

Free speech has been sacrificed by the liberal media elite in favour of ‘safe speech’. Leftist and virtue signalling celebrity brands champion all freedoms – except holding an opinion that is different from theirs.

And they are not prepared to debate the issue. A good example of this would be Ewan MacGregor cancelling an interview on Good Morning Britain over Morgan’s comments about “rabid feminists” at the women’s marches. Why didn’t he engage Morgan in argument? How boring...

Richard Tandy

via email

Free tours for D Day veterans

I am head of travel for the travel arm of the Royal British Legion, Remembrance Travel, and I’m on a mission to find every single surviving D Day veteran. The Treasury is enabling a series of free-of-charge tours for D Day veterans to return to Normandy and pay their respects to their fallen comrades. The tours are being funded by the Treasury from LIBOR fines, and will enable a D Day veteran to return with a family member and carer on a six-night tour.

The 2017 tours will take place in March, April, May and September and will give Normandy veterans the chance to revisit the Normandy beaches, cemeteries and memorials. They will be accompanied by a medic and a guide from the Royal British Legion. The tours will depart from London and will include Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais, accommodation and visits.

Normandy veterans wishing to benefit from this tour need to apply to Arena Travel on 01473 660800, or visit

Nichola Rowlands

Head of Travel