Australian letters

16 September 2017

9:00 AM

16 September 2017

9:00 AM

Spreading the word

Sir: Yesterday, I left my copy of last week’s Speccie behind at the optometrist after an appointment. I needed to come back today, so I presumed it would be on the table with all the other mags.

Sure enough, it was being read by a customer. I politely told him I’d left the mag behind yesterday, but please… keep on reading, and I’ll collect it later. I told him “the more people that read such articles, the better.”

Perhaps one way of getting the message out there would be for various editorial & contributing staff to likewise surreptitiously rather than accidentally, leave the mag on tables in optoms, dentists, doctors etc etc & “forget to take” them when they leave.
David Gerber
Sydney, NSW


Sir: It is ironic that the very people who are over zealously advocating gay marriage now, are exactly the same people who a few years back, were trying to get rid of all marriage, claiming that it was an irrelevant, outdated institution.

Ditto religion, these same people declared that all religions were ridiculous and should be scrapped. Yet now apparently, Islam is a wonderful religion, but Christianity is wrong.

However, the biggest irony is the recent attacks on the “Anglo Celtic” heritage. The majority of the people who are attacking it, come from exactly the same background as the people and culture they are now trying to denigrate.

If you research Marxist Communism, you will find references to the “Useful idiots” These are people with weak minds who have been brainwashed into believing that they must destroy their own civilisation, for no other reason than that they can.

The fifth column is working hard to bring about its own demise.
R. Gledhill
Townsville, QLD

Fat responsibility

Sir: Prue Leith is right to note that the state picks up the bill for our national obesity problem (‘Our big fat problem’, 9 September). But the kind of large and expensive scheme she proposes only deepens the mindset that the government is responsible for our choices. Manufacturers should be forced to display hard-hitting facts about obesity on the labels of the unhealthiest food, in the vein of cigarette packets. This would leave people in no doubt about the consequences to their health, while avoiding extra cost to the state or punitive taxes which also hit those who exercise moderation.
Theo White
Chelmsford, Essex

Bring back smoking

Sir: Surely the way to counteract ballooning obesity would be to reverse the smoking ban, as obesity’s rise correlates directly with the imposition of the ban. If one looks at news films from the 1950s until that legislation, one sees that young people had perfect figures, clear skins and glossy hair. It seems that if people can’t smoke, they binge on junk food.
Nicky Haslam
London SW5

Overblown wind

Sir: James Murray’s claim that most countries are embracing decarbonisation is ill-informed (Letters, 9 September). For example, his claim that China is the world’s largest ‘cleantech’ investor may be true, but it overlooks the vast size of China’s economy: in 2015, it was responsible for 24 per cent of the world’s total electricity generation, yet only a tiny proportion of that was generated by wind and solar power. And current plans indicate that despite substantial investment, wind will by 2020 still be responsible for only about 6 per cent of electricity generation. As wind power in the UK is already responsible for more than 11 per cent of electric power, that’s hardly impressive. The reality is that China is continuing to invest massively in fossil fuel-based power plants that will dominate its energy mix for the foreseeable future.

Moreover, China is also investing vast sums in new coal-fired power generation and mining plant overseas, in particular in Africa, southeast Asia and the Middle East. And contrary to James Murray’s claim about the plans of ‘virtually every government on the planet’, developing countries throughout the world are adopting a similar strategy. Although already responsible for more than 65 per cent of global CO2 emissions, it seems they don’t believe decarbonisation is the most attractive development path.
Robin Guenier
St Albans, Hertfordshire

Teams, not players

Sir: Rod Liddle has missed a key point about England’s footballing malaise (‘Why English footballers are so useless’, 9 September).

Leaving aside that Malta and Slovakia have produced creditable results against much higher-ranked teams than England and that population has never been a reliable guide to quality, it is his summation of English players as ‘crap’ that rankles. The comment reveals a basic problem — why English ‘players’, why not the England team? We constantly focus on the individuals, expecting them to produce the magic they occasionally conjure up at their clubs every time they pull on an England shirt. Disappointment is inevitable.

We should, rather, focus on the team. That’s what the Spanish and Germans do. How many members of the 2010 or 2014 World Cup winning teams can you actually name? I managed four from each. I can easily recall their collective efficiency and cohesion, though. What we ought to do is take pressure off the individuals by concentrating solely on how the team performed as a unit. Giving an overall score out of ten would be a small step in the right direction.
Philip Patrick
Tokyo, Japan

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