Madam, – Two Scottish Green Party representatives recently advocated gender-neutral toilets for schools (Letters, The Courier, February 16).
They said individual cubicles ensure safety and there are “commonly” fewer toilet facilities for women and girls.
Cubicles will not stop mischievous boys from harassing girls. Even separate toilet facilities sometimes fail to do that. Having girls and boys sharing the same toilet areas will just make matters worse.
My heart goes out to staff who may have to supervise a same-sex toilet arrangement.
In the traditional school situation, women members of staff supervise the girls’ toilets and male members the boys’.
As for there being more toilet facilities for boys than for girls, that was not my experience as an assistant headmaster in charge of a school annexe.
The boys had vandalised their facilities so much that the larger toilet, located in the playground, was permanently in a state of disrepair and locked. They had access to only one small toilet area inside the school and it too was vandalised, leaving only two urinals and one cubicle in working order. The girls had several separate toilet facilities, all indoors.
I had the boys’ main toilet facility repaired and organised toilet supervision by boy prefects and staff. The vandalism stopped and the boys could use their main toilets again.
Same-sex wards have been tried in hospitals and are popular with neither males nor females.
I spent time in a ward of Perth Royal Infirmary when lack of accommodation meant a woman had to move into a bed opposite. Not only was she embarrassed, but most of the men too. It made getting out of bed and going to the toilet or to shower a much more complicated process than when we were all the same sex.
Life is indeed very complex these days. A woman had herself declared male, then fertility treatment enabled her to give birth. Now she wants the birth certificate altered to show her as either the father or parent, not the mother. It’s all very confusing, but will be even more so for the baby when it grows up. As they say, it’s a wise man who knows his father. This one will have problems knowing who his/her mother is.
Campaigners for the rights of minorities just go too far and end up not only making life more difficult for most, but for the very people they are supposed to help,
George K McMillan,
5 Mount Tabor Avenue,
Where Scots’ money goes
Madam, – Bob Duncan (Letters, February 15) questions an independent Scotland’s economic viability and asks, “…where the money is coming from”. It comes, as always, from a diverse and healthy Scottish economy the credit agency, Standard and Poor, stated would qualify, even before factoring in oil and gas, for their highest credit rating. The UK’s pre-Brexit rating stands at Aa2.
David Cameron, while prime minister, was challenged by BBC correspondent, Andrew Marr, to explain Norway’s rude economic health.
His rather stuttering reply was they have as much oil and gas as us, but there are only around 4 million of them (actually 5.2 million, Scotland 5.4 million) so their wealth goes further. Norway’s current credit rating is AAA.
More recently, The Telegraph’s economic correspondent, Andy Critchlow, assured his worried English readership that Scottish North Sea revenues had saved them during previous economic crises and would do so again post-Brexit.
Scotland is a wealthy country.
It’s difficult for many Scots to appreciate after 300 plus years of London’s asset stripping, but it’s true nonetheless.
As the blogger Paul Kavanagh, aka “Wee Ginger Dug”, eloquently puts it, “We are not poor, we are impoverished”.
The question you should be asking, Mr Duncan, isn’t, “…where the money is coming from?” It is, “Where does it go?”
And not “Why independence?” Rather, “Why the union?”
15 Thorter Way,
Perth protests an own goal
Madam, – I was intrigued that Perth Conservatives were out in Perth protesting about the proposed car park tax.
As this tax has been devolved to local councils it is discretionary and need not be imposed.
Perth Council at present is a Conservative one, so the only people who could impose this tax is the Conservative council.
It is bizarre that a very small group of Conservatives protested about a tax only a Conservative council can impose.
The truth about deaths in camps
Madam, – I was struck by the comments from arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg on Question Time last week, justifying concentration camps set up by the British army in South Africa during the Boer War (1899-1902).
He further compounded matters by arguing that Glasgow had the same death rate as those interned in these camps.
The camps were originally set up as refugee camps for civilian families forced to abandon their homes due to the war.
However when Lord Kitchener took over the British campaign in 1900 he launched a scorched earth policy which included the burning down of farms and slaughtering of livestock, as well as the poisoning of wells.
Tens of thousands of men, women and children were forced into concentration camps, and while the vast majority of captured men were sent overseas, the camps became largely populated by women and children.
Rations were meagre and two-tiered, with smaller rations for the families of men still fighting.
Disease and starvation killed more than 28,000, or around one in four of those Boers interned, 22,000 of which were children.
Twenty thousand black Africans also died, of the around 80,000 interned.
Mr Rees-Mogg is also well-wide of the mark in comparing this death rate to that of Glasgow at the time.
Camp deaths were a horrifying 24,000 out of 100,000 of the population, more than 10 times that of Glasgow which was 2,124 per 100,000.
Before pontificating with such authority, as Mr Rees-Mogg is often prone to do, he should clearly check his facts.
2 Marchmont Road,
Climate protest a bad stunt
Madam, – The climate change protest by children has harmed the education system.
It caused disruption to routine and undermined discipline.
It set a precedent and may be only the first of other copy cat protests against cruel sports, animal welfare, or factory farming.
Children should not be able to walk out of school whenever they like.
This stunt should be nipped in the bud before it spirals out of control.
Pupils go to school to learn, not to engage in virtue signalling.
Justice Park, Oxton,