Letters, June 18 2021


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Show support by sharing your #DiabetesStories

There are 4.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK and 13.6 million people at risk of developing type two diabetes.

It is a serious, relentless condition which, regardless of type, can bring with it many challenges.

Everyone experiences diabetes differently and, this Diabetes Week, between June 14 and June 20, we will be telling people’s #DiabetesStories from all corners of the UK.

We’ll be looking back on an extraordinary year and looking forward to what’s to come. And, above all, we’ll be celebrating the incredible diabetes community.

There are lots of ways your readers can get involved during the week itself, from designing posters to organising community events.

There will also be plenty of activity on Diabetes UK’s social media channels – including a film telling the story of the last year for the diabetes community, by the community.

Find more information about Diabetes Week and how to get involved on the diabetes.org.uk website.

So, let’s come together this Diabetes Week and tell our #DiabetesStories to help raise awareness of what life with diabetes is really like, and show other people living with the condition that they’re not alone.

If you have any questions regarding your diabetes, or need extra support, you can call our helpline on 0345 123 2399 or email us at helpline@diabetes.org.uk.

Angela Mitchell, national director Scotland, Diabetes UK.

Questioning Scotland’s presence

It was disappointing to find one of the new Tory MSPs has written to the UK Foreign Office questioning Scotland’s international presence.

I call it disappointing as even before devolution in 1999 Scotland had a Brussels office, which was established under these same Tories. This presence was developed under Labour and the Liberal Democrats and has been continued since 2007 by the SNP.

Now there is a network of offices around the world that promotes Scotland, its economy and tourism.

Scotland House in Brussels, for example, acts as the eyes and ears of the Scottish Government, Scotland Europa, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International.

It is an effective platform to manage diplomatic engagement, economic engagement and cultural promotion.

Scotland is one of more than 300 regional and sub-state authorities, including 28 from Germany, 21 from Italy and 18 from Poland.

And non-EU states like Norway are also represented by six regional offices.

Indeed, Scotland has a smaller international presence than many sub-states such as Bavaria, Flanders and Quebec.

In addition, Denmark and Belgium give the Faroes, Greenland and Flanders officials parity of esteem, and work together with central government, recognising the important role they play.

While everyone else is doing their best to promote themselves, it is bizarre, but maybe not unexpected, for the Tories to try to undermine Scotland’s ability to do so.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.