IT would appear that without scrutiny, without opposition, without challenge or question, in Scotland it became "the law" to force people to wear face coverings against their will when shopping. This is despite any clear evidence of any real-life, demonstrable effect (something the Scottish Government admits – there is limited evidence this move has any real effect).

This is despite the majority of the population choosing not to wear them before, including shopkeepers and the elderly. This is despite the fact that the number of people infected with Covid is at its lowest for months. However, almost regardless of whether one supports this move or not, the population must be aware that this move was brought in by subordinate legislation. There was no parliamentary scrutiny. No questions were asked in parliament. No evidence provided. No timeline set. No criteria for lifting the move discussed.

In order for the Scottish Government to enact subordinate legislation without laying a resolution before parliament, the Government must satisfy that the move is proportionate in response to a health emergency or urgent. This move, taking effect more than a week after first being announced and months after the infection peak is neither.

It's a sorry day for this country when the opposition in parliament fails so abysmally in its duty. Even if Jackson Carlaw, Richard Leonard or Willie Rennie truly believed this measure was "proportionate" or "urgent", they have a duty to scrutinise such a draconian, universal move that impinges on our civil liberties and sets a dangerous precedent. They failed.

We have entered a new era of the pointlessness and ineffectiveness of this Scottish Parliament – when measures affecting every single individual and forcing them to wear clothing against their will go entirely unchallenged, the population should worry about what else a power-hungry government has planned for us in the name of the Covid crisis.

Jamie Black, Largs.

AFTER travelling to Glasgow for the first time in four months, I'd advise readers to put their life savings on a second Covid-19 sweep within the next two months. The sheer pedigree moronity of the general public makes it a literal dead cert.

The train there and back were full of people of various ages only bothering to put on masks when leaving the train; only half wore masks in the city centre – which in the case of Argyle Street was chock-a-block (one metre distancing? Hah!); and the wearing of them in shops never applied to grunting, tattooed neanderthals under the impression that a threatening attitude to staff gave better Covid-19 protection than the idle handwash dispensers.

All this before the shopping centres and pubs even reopen. I hope the Four Riders of the Bampocalyse haven't booked their socially distanced summer holidays yet, because they've some overtime coming.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone.

I AGREE with John Coutts (Letters, July 7) when he says: "It was good that churches may now open for private prayer but any ongoing ban on collective worship clearly constitutes state interference in matters spiritual." He is also right in saying that the Government has a right to maintain public health by social distancing, but it has no further right to prohibit collective prayer and praise, provided social distancing is observed. I think that fear of the coronavirus has caused the Government to exercise control by the state over areas of individual freedom of which the right to worship freely is one.

Christians in Scotland paid a heavy price for freedom of worship. In covenanting times in the 17th century18,000 men and women gave their lives in 28 years of persecution when James VI wished to impose on the Church of Scotland terms to which the church could not subscribe without forfeiting its spiritual independence.The Covenanters would not comply and worshipped in the hills and moors of the south and west of Scotland under the penalty of death.

The Government has the power to demand political obedience but not spiritual obedience, and to deny individual freedom in matters spiritual incurs the danger of totalitarianism where the state dictates what people can of cannot do as, for example, in North Korea and China. To prohibit singing in worship services is like Premier League football clubs playing with no fans, and with social distancing should be as safe as in any other property.

Norman A Ogston, Johnstone.

NICOLA Sturgeon is to allow churches to reopen with "restrictions on singing" despite Munich's famous Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics having found that droplets don't travel more than 0.5m from singing test subjects.

The fact is singing doesn't expel a large volume of air in jerks like coughing or sneezing. Perhaps Ms Sturgeon still believes the Kirk's nonagenarian choristers eject droplets over vast distances and endanger low-flying aircraft.

Once again she ignores real science and relies on policy wonks. French churches hauled Emmanuel Macron to the Supreme Court which told him to back off because interfering with religious services is illegal. We should have done the same.

Rev Dr John Crawford, St Andrews.

I APPRECIATE the sentiment of the SNP pleading for personal responsibility. However, the irony is that no government has done more to erode it than it has.

Indeed, if such an ethos of personal responsibility had worked we wouldn't have needed a ban on smoking in public places or the sugar tax, which I can almost guarantee will not be the end of the SNP’s erosion of personal liberty.

In Scotland, you no longer even have the responsibility to prepare for the birth of your own baby any more. You can’t be trusted to eat correctly. You can’t be trusted to enjoy a can of fizzy juice. You can’t be trusted on the internet. Expensive Scottish Government propaganda informs us that "We are Scotland" or "In Town, Slow Down" or most insultingly, to "play, talk, read" to our own children.

It would appear that the SNP trusts us to do absolutely nothing without being hectored, cajoled and controlled first.

David Bone, Girvan.

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