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Letters / Be honest and declare your political allegiance

I find it disturbing that many regular commentators on these letter pages attack Beatrice Wishart MSP without revealing their own party allegiance.

The diatribe from Ian Johnstone (Letters: Tiresome; Shetland News, 22 February 2021) should rightfully come with the context that according to Mr Johnstone’s own social media presence, he is an SNP member.

These types of links are important to understand the context of comments from Beatrice’s opponents.

If we want a clean campaign, perhaps it is best, to be honest about where our allegiance lies, not accuse opponents of lying, nor attack staff who have no real right of reply.

Mr Johnstone accuses Beatrice of lying with regards to mental health figures, but the figures are taken from a freedom of information request and represent the figures provided to her from the NHS.

These are not spin, or taken out of context. Highlighting these is not misleading, nor an attack on our hardworking mental health staff; it is shining a light on the poor state of our mental health services after 14 years of Scottish National Party rule.

It should be noted that last week the SNP government refused to accept at Holyrood that there is mental health emergency in Scotland.

Mr Johnstone’s invective implying that Beatrice is somehow attacking the hardworking heroes of the NHS is disingenuous at best.

Having known Beatrice for many years, I know her passion and commitment to the NHS, and the purpose of raising concerns is to ensure that both staff and patients have the resources needed for a world-class health service.

After all, isn’t this what we all want? The best mental health services for all Shetland. We certainly won’t get there by pretending problems don’t exist.

Andrew Emmerson
Treasurer of Shetland Liberal Democrats and caseworker to Alistair Carmichael MP