SIR – I was recently speaking to a friend in South Africa, who told me that, every day, the government publishes the recovery rate of Covid patients, alongside the data on cases and deaths. This means that South Africans receive some good news – and are reminded that getting the virus is not a death sentence for most healthy citizens.
Our Government, by contrast, seems intent on delivering only the bad news. It’s time that we were given some perspective and hope.
SIR – At the age of 50 I was forced to close my business, which resulted in 14 employees losing their jobs. The bank repossessed our house, leaving me, my wife and our three children homeless.
Now, aged 80, I am still working so that my wife and I can rent accommodation. I would not wish the stress and anxiety I experienced on anyone, but the same is being inflicted on the British public by a government that is using enforced lockdowns in a bid to control Covid-19.
The harm, deprivation and eventual bankruptcy of the economy will be so catastrophic that history will show these measures were never worth it.
SIR – Why inflict another lockdown on the weary British people while international air travel continues? Indirect flights from South Africa are allowed, despite a ban on direct flights – a risky and bizarre decision, given that country’s Covid mutation.
The influx by air of potential Covid carriers during the first lockdown was a national disgrace and undoubtedly exacerbated the severity of the crisis.
SIR – The NHS and all of its staff are working flat out to help save those affected by the virus. They have risen to the challenge.
We should therefore do all we can to obey the rules. It is up to us to help ourselves, too.
SIR – In the first lockdown, while out on my daily walk, I could hear the birds sing. Now, in the third, all I hear is the drone of car engines. Have we become more complacent?
Our own green food
SIR – The article “Green Agriculture Plan ‘will add to global warming’” (January 2) highlights again how the Government’s agricultural policy will increase Britain’s reliance on imported food.
Public money for public goods is an admirable starting point, but unless it is harnessed with a parallel drive to increase food production in the face of heavily subsidised international competition, the farming industry, the economy and the environment will be the losers.
Importing more food may neatly export carbon emissions from Britain, but it vastly increases the carbon footprint of the food we consume here. Indeed, by reducing the agricultural productivity of British grassland – itself a sequester of carbon – we will likely contribute to the destruction of forests elsewhere. This is a bad outcome for a policy that professes to protect the environment, particularly since the average emissions from UK agriculture are already lower than most countries’.
Beeswax Dyson Farming was the first large-scale commercial farm to become carbon neutral in the UK. We have not achieved this by planting trees or removing cattle, but through innovation and efficiency. The changes now facing agriculture provide an opportunity to innovate on our farms.
Government policy should be aimed at nurturing sustainable and efficient domestic food production, in tandem with a responsible approach to the environment. That is the challenge. Simply displacing the former in blind pursuit of the latter serves no sensible purpose.
Sir James Dyson
SIR – The imposition of bureaucratic barriers to the recruitment of vaccinators exemplifies what is wrong with the NHS. It is badly managed and poorly led, not because the people are inadequate but rather because it is too big to be nimble.
When this is all over, a Royal Commission should be established to report on the services the NHS is expected to provide and manage and also how it is to be funded.