Madam, – MEP Anne Widdecombe has come under fire from politicians and some LGBT activists and supporters for daring to give her views on how science might explain transexuality.
Now, my understanding of science goes no further than tripods and Bunsen burners, and I am no supporter of Ms Widdecombe, whose views I rarely agree with.
However, I wholly agree with her absolute right to exercise her freedom of speech.
It is a sad irony that politicians and LGBT members who are queuing up to have their say and ridicule Ms Widdecombe would be the first to be outraged if their voice was silenced or ridiculed in public.
The LGBT community and their political supporters must realise the only reason we have reached this healthy norm, where people can demonstrate their sexuality preference without fear or favour, is down to democracy and the right to freedom of speech and self-expression.
It’s not always been so and it is a national disgrace that people were criminalised in the past for being gay.
Even now there seems, with gathering momentum, a creeping erosion of freedom of speech and expression.
If we start to deny the likes of Ms Widdecombe her views, then are we any better than those who denied the gay community a voice not so long ago?
In the interests of balance, it must also be said the pendulum has swung too far the other way.
With some politicians and LGBT members it’s now no longer acceptable to be neutral or objective.
In short, if you’re not out there waving rainbow flags and declaring undying love for the movement then you are non-conformist, a social deviant who’s not to be trusted.
Surely it would be more effective PR if politicians and the LGBT community stopped force-feeding us their campaign message until we’re sick to the back teeth.
Far better to spread the word in a subliminal and subtle way – and especially one in which humour prevails.
After all, what are we if we can’t laugh at ourselves?
Silly suggestion, dangerous too
Madam, – Ann Widdecombe’s silly suggestion that science might one day “produce an answer” to being gay would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.
There is no more a need to look for such an “answer” than there is to explore why someone likes or dislikes Brussels Sprouts. If some people are “discontented” with their sexuality it is because of destructive attitudes like hers.
Dundee pride in Madrid visit
Madam, – A proud Dundonian, I was in Madrid to see Liverpool’s victory over Spurs and would like to celebrate two significant connections with Dundee.
First, Andy Robertson, formerly of United, and now a global football star. Secondly, anxiously spending time before kick off, my wife and I visited the excellent Jardino Botanico.
In the rose garden, in consistent heat of over 30 degrees centigrade, there was a florid specimen of the Dundee Rambler from 1850!
Prof Greg Wilkinson,
Allt y Graig, Dyserth,
Grateful for PRI’s excellent care
Madam, – I had been on the waiting list since December for a hip replacement, so I was delighted to be offered a cancellation at PRI for May 17.
Due to additional health issues I was there for 11 days.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all staff, from senior to junior, who helped me through a very tough time.
At this level, the NHS is in extremely good hands.
A heartfelt and very big thank you to you all.
Leave services at PRI alone
Madam, – I was very disappointed to read of the latest threat to PRI’s stroke unit (“Charity raises concerns over plans to move stroke services” , The Courier, May 28).
Having been recently treated in the stroke unit I cannot speak highly enough of it.
Surely there are enough people in Perth and Perthshire to warrant maintaining PRI at the very top level?
I have felt for some time now that NHS Tayside cannot see past Ninewells.
Can our Council not use their influence and exert some pressure on NHS Tayside to stop running down PRI?
Bridge of Earn.
Respect our Kirking heritage
Madam, – I cannot believe Perth and Kinross councillors have opted to have the Kirking of the Council only once every four years.
The annual Kirking Parade is a great feature in Perthshire’s ability to honour tradition and at the same time to attract tourists and citizens alike.
We are privileged to have the High Constables, the Deanof Perth Guildry and the pipe bands willing to turn out on a Sunday morning once a year.
What weasel words to claim it is due to the cost of tea and biscuits after the church service that this decision has been taken.
As a former Provost of Perth and Kinross, I am ashamed of the present councillors who voted to insult the High Constables and the Guildry with this decision. Please take another vote and value our heritage going back more than a hundred years.
Jean McCormack DL
Grange Rd, Errol.
Finding the real budget priorities
Madam, – It was intriguing to note New Zealand’s Labour coalition government recently unveil its “world-first” wellbeing budget, and the focus of it.
Billions of dollars will be invested in mental health services and also to address child poverty.
There will be record investment in measures to tackle family violence.
New Zealand is the first western country to design its entire budget based on wellbeing priorities and to instruct its ministries to design policies to improve wellbeing.
GDP has too often come to be seen not just as an indicator of a country’s wealth, but as the main measure of its success.
Yet following a decade of global economic turmoil, the limitations of that view have become increasingly clear.
In countries around the world, such as New Zealand, there is a growing realisation that growth is not the only measure of a successful economy, in fact in some respects it might not be the best measure of such.
There is a growing realisation that we must give much greater priority to the wellbeing – and the quality of life – of people living in a country.
Last year the Scottish Government made ‘wellbeing’ explicitly a core part of the Scottish Government’s purpose and the broader definition of success is also evident in Scotland’s Economic Strategy.
The promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth is a vital way of raising living standards for all.
That growth is only of any real value if it makes people’s lives better, creating a fairer, healthier and happier nation in the process.
It is not and never should be seen as an end in itself.
2 Marchmont Road,