Brian Manning has opined that the real reason ministers and other Government officials go abroad for medical treatment is to avoid any untoward publicity if they are treated locally—not because they don’t have faith in local doctors/institutions.

I beg to disagree.

The real reason is they don’t have to pay a cent. The hapless taxpayers (you and I) foot the bill. And the “patient” actually makes a profit from “allowances” and “expenses”.

Observe that once out of government and having to pay from their own pockets, they are happy to “go local”.

Even for a routine check-up, the prime minister finds it necessary to travel all the way to California (the westernmost US state and, again, at our expense), when the same tests could have been done at the same facility to which he was taken recently for treatment.

I suppose if he had the luxury of time, he would have gone to California this time as well.

Hopefully, he will encourage his ministers to seek treatment abroad only when absolutely necessary.

A Charles

via e-mail


The first lesson of the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be already forgotten. In the mad rush to secure their own vaccine supplies through bilateral deals with the pharmaceutical majors, the richer nations of the world are flexing their influence and financial muscle while crowding out and marginalising smaller and poorer nations.

MY title is not a reference to outgoing United States President Donald Trump. We have heard so much commentary describing him as a flawed individual, and we have indeed been presented with recent evidence which has borne this out, that such a title would have been quite apt.

Recent events in Washington, DC, USA, the revered capital of the United States of America, have shaken the moral authority of that country to lecture, threaten and coerce other countries in the name of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

The disgraceful scenes of Americans storming their own sacred Capitol building—the long-claimed sanctuary for democracy—was bad enough, but what preceded it was worse.

I WANT to thank you, Alisyn Camerota, broadcast journalist and CNN anchor for the autographed copy of your book Amanda Wakes Up. The story of Amanda’s struggles are those that represent the same for most, if not all of us and hits home in the most profound way. I enjoyed following Amanda’s journey. Well done!

POPE FRANCIS’ decision on Monday to allow women to perform some altar duties during Roman Catholic Mass is a welcomed, but tentative, move away from anachronistic gender stereotypes. But not fast enough.

I note with interest the guarded call from president of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud to hold Carnival 2021, even a watered-down version. I support him. I’ll go even further. It shouldn’t be a watered-down version. Remember Carnival 2020? We were in the middle of this “pandemic” and we had a full-blown Carnival, with 40,000 foreigners visiting, and no untoward consequences. Surely, 2021 should be safer, without the 40,000?