I WRITE to comment on two letters covering gloom and the Russian report (Times & Star letters, July 24).

I too wonder why, if there was no ‘smoking gun’: the Prime Minister held back the Intelligence & Security Committee’s Russia report prior to the December election. It is amusing, however, to see that Chris Grayling can’t even win a rigged election for the committee chair.

We hear a lot from the Brexiteers about British sovereignty but they are remarkably silent when presented with evidence that a foreign power has interfered in our democratic process on several occasions and see no need for any further inquiry into something they never even looked into! Incredible.

Last week our West Cumbrian MPs ended the Parliamentary session on a distinct low with their voting. They voted:

1. Against an amendment to protect NHS staff from future wage cuts;

2. Against protecting the NHS being subject to foreign interference;

3. Against medicine price regulation;

4. Against protecting patient data from being sold off.

They also voted against protecting food standards and animal welfare and last but by no means least, against Parliament having a vote on any post-Brexit trade deal. So, to regular correspondent Raymond Hall, pick the good bits out of that lot!



Do your job as an MP

MP Mark Jenkinson didn’t do his job last week – voting in Parliament. He then complained (Times & Star, July 23) that we in the Labour Party were doing ours, protecting our NHS from Donald Trump!

We are Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. The clue is in the job title. So of course because the Tories’ Trade Bill will put our precious health services, health care workers and British citizens at the mercy of US corporations Labour tried to amend it in Parliament last week.

The poor, unfortunate Americans don’t have an NHS. They are burdened with a terrible healthcare system designed to make a lot of money for big companies. which want to make even more money by expanding their markets abroad. They are lining up, with Trump’s help, to milk the NHS’s budget for their profits – getting contracts for services, driving down employees’ wages, increasing the cost of equipment and medicines to the NHS and using British patients’ data to grow their businesses.

West Cumberland Hospital was the first district hospital built in England after Labour created the NHS in 1946. For that reason alone, we in West Cumbria are proud that our party is doing everything it can in Parliament to stop Mr Johnson and Mr Jenkinson giving Donald Trump and his health companies what they are determined to get in a UK-US trade deal – a NHS that can make them even richer.


Chair, Workington Constituency Labour Party

Face facts – wear a mask

Since the requirement to wear mask/covering in shops came in, news reports seem to suggest that most people are complying, and from what I’ve seen that’s the case.

However I also see many people driving and walking about with a mask round their chin ready for the shop. I’m sure not everyone is cleaning their hands after touching their mask and before the enter every shop. And this is where it all falls down, as to move the mask onto your face you have the touch the outer side, so if it

is contaminated, you then get virus on your hand which will transfer to the shop door as you go in.

If you intend to enter multiple shops, really you need to keep the mask on from the first to the last otherwise you may as well not bother.

The other day at Seaton, I watched a man walk out of a shop, take off his mask and hand it to a teenage boy who put it on and went in. So many people seem to think that just wearing a face covering keeps everyone safe.



Vital service of independent pharmacies

AT A time when many local services are coming under threat, can I once again raise the issue of the independent pharmacy?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, with face-to-face appointments being difficult to arrange with doctors’ surgeries, more and more of us have been consulting our high street pharmacist for advice on a whole range of minor illnesses and effective ‘over the counter’ medicines.

The continuation of this service to all of us, is vital and is at risk by the increased risk of prescriptions by post.

Yes, we can have online doctor consultations on a range of ailments, and pay for the privilege, but these can never replace a face to face discussion with your GP or pharmacist where our medical history is well understood.

I have a long-term condition that I am able to manage well with my brilliant GP and our local pharmacist.

Aspatria Medical Group and the pharmacist that shares the building are very professional in delivering their services alongside a warm and friendly welcome.

Where possible, we should all use every opportunity to use these vital local services as to not do so could put at risk their very existence.