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CHARLIE WHELAN: Roll-out of Covid and winter flu jags has been chaotic

By Gavin Musgrove

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Part of the recent queue on the first day of the Covid-19 booster and flu jags clinic organised by NHS Highland in Grantown.
Part of the recent queue on the first day of the Covid-19 booster and flu jags clinic organised by NHS Highland in Grantown.

I queued recently for an hour in the cold outside Inverallan Church Hall in Grantown with fellow elderly citizens waiting for my Covid booster jab.

Most of us had every right to be angry at the abject incompetence of those responsible for this farce but we all stoically waited our turn.

Inside the hall we were met by the magnificent NHS staff and a couple of army cadets helping out. We were politely informed we could have the Covid booster but they had run out of flu jabs!

As this was so close to Armistice Day only one phrase came to mind. Lions led by donkeys!

At the very same time our First Minister, who has spent the past year boasting about about what a much better job she had done during the pandemic than the English, was at the COP summit.

And what was she actually doing there?

As far as we could tell her sole role for a fortnight was taking selfies with world leaders and promoting an unhealthy and to me unpalatable Scottish drink that hardly sells a can outside Scotland. In between she was doing photo shoots for Vogue fashion magazine!

Here in the Highlands we have been bombarded with adverts telling us how easy it is to get the booster jabs only to be told by the NHS Highlands that this doesn’t apply to us. We would be sent a letter instead.

Well I’m still waiting for mine and the only reason I knew about the Grantown hall gig was because the town’s medical practice told us on Facebook!

We can only conclude that the Nationalists obsession with centralising everything including our NHS has resulted in the jabs fiasco throughout the strath and the surge in positive Covid cases and resultant closure of schools.

When our local medical practices were in charge of the initial inoculations everything went like clockwork. This time round I know friends kids in London who have had the booster jags before us in the Highlands.

Reading local MSP Kate Forbes telling us how the elderly shouldn’t have to queue in the cold for their jabs makes my blood boil.

You are a minister in the ruling SNP government. It’s your responsibility! Do something about it instead of blaming others.

Next time you see Nicola Sturgeon telling us how much better off we would be divorced from the United Kingdom just remember her responsibility for the incompetence of the booster jab roll-out.

• It’s good to see that the Spey Fishery Board has launched a campaign to ‘Release The Spey’ in reaction to the growing abstraction of water from this iconic river.

The easiest and most effective way to restore the flow of the river would be to bust open the Spey dam.

This is now owned by metal magnate Sanjeev Gupta and helps power his Fort William Aluminium smelter. Most people won’t realise that the SNP Government gave him a £586m guarantee to buy his electricity in a deal shrouded in secrecy.

The truth may come out one day but it’s pretty obvious that the aluminium smelter does not need the water from the dam to generate all the electricity needed to keep the plant going.

None of the water stolen from the Spey catchment is returned so in no way can this be regarded as ‘sustainable green energy’.

Hopefully the Greens in the government will soon realise that the Nationalists aren’t green at all and will give support to those who think it’s time to bust the dam (the Spey Dam).

Charlie Whelan is former spokesman for Gordon Brown.

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