Madam, – The smacking ban is the tip of the iceberg.
The prevailing group thinking in social work, education, children’s charities and politics is that children should not be punished at all.
Children are thought to be so vulnerable that any discomfort or frustration could have serious negative effects on their “wellbeing”.
Already we see punishments being replaced by mini-counselling sessions in schools under the banner of “restorative approaches.”
This weak and indulgent process seeks excuses for misbehaviour and leads to a breakdown in discipline in the longer term.
So, watch this space.
By one means or another, from redefining child abuse to children’s rights activism, parents will be put under pressure to refrain from punishing their children at all.
While some MSPs have opposed the smacking ban, none has tackled the underlying philosophy.
As the state continues its project of “liberating” children from the authority of their parents and other adults, children will suffer as they grow up without the clear boundaries and structures that they need.
Leader of The Scottish Family Party,
No place for threats or abuse
Madam, – I read with interest the Opinion of Kirstene Hair (Life in frontline a dangerous place, Courier, October 1).
I agree there is no place for threatening behaviour, intimidation, name calling or abuse of any kind either directly to an individual or through social media or any other medium.
Ms Hair relates her experiences as well as those of her staff and has every right to do so.
However, I believe her article goes beyond her personal condemnation of such unacceptable behaviour and she has used this article as a form of pre-general election party political broadcast.
The content is at best full of generalisation, and at worst political point scoring. To suggest the independence referendum was responsible as a platform for the behaviour we now see is just plain wrong.
The independence referendum was, by anyone’s account, a very civilised affair, robustly fought on both sides.
Ms Hair exaggerates the outcome of the no vote. Her reason for no to a second independence referendum is “I do not wish to put my country through such an aggressive campaign again”.
I can only regard this as very tongue in cheek.
What we do agree on is the rhetoric on all sides of the political divide has become worryingly partisan and lacking in tolerance.
My major concern, and I am sure Ms Hair agrees, is that many politicians are guilty of peddling false news, making unfounded statements regarding the opposition, are loose with the facts and malign their opponents.
Charles Melvin Gardens,
SNP wellbeing agenda failures
Madam, – Nicola Sturgeon claimed in a speech in July that collective wellbeing should be more important in measuring economic success than GDP.
Examples of these are mental wellbeing and incidents of violence.
Not a bad idea if it were not for the fact that, even here, the SNP are failing.
The Scottish Health Survey shows the average wellbeing for adults in Scotland is the lowest since 2008 and Scottish Government’s annual crime figures show violent crime up by 10% in the last year.
How long before Ms Sturgeon declares that GDP is actually more important, I wonder?
Safety of plant is first priority
Madam, – A glance at publicly available information shows the operators of the Fife Ethylene Plant have been associated with HSE compliance issues going back several years.
The news the operator was the subject of an ‘Immediate Prohibition Notice’ relating to a leaking flammable gas line suggests the current operating culture is still not sufficiently focused on safety.
The hazards associated with ageing plant are well researched, and Mossmorran integrity is likely to be increasingly compromised by corrosion, erosion and fatigue of critical process items.
A safety-oriented operations and maintenance regime that recognises these increased hazards is really the only credible way forward.
On a broader note, history suggests in the event of a serious incident at a petrochemical plant, any local employment and economic benefits tend to be quickly forgotten.
Local politicians may wish to bear that in mind.
Brae Street, Dunkeld.
Truss must go over arms sales
Madam, – The fact that international trade secretary, Liz Truss, has admitted the UK has breached for a third time a court order banning the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and not resigned, highlights how discredited this Tory government has further become.
An estimated 18,292 civilians have been killed or injured as a result of indiscriminate bombing by the Saudi-led coalition embroiled in the civil war in Yemen.
Saudi land forces are also based in the country, intervening in support of the Yemeni government which is fighting primarily against Houthi rebels, backed by Iran.
Since the conflict began in March 2015, the UK has licensed at least £5.3 billion worth of arms sales to Riyadh.
Ms Truss also told MPs that government had breached additional undertakings given to parliament that weapons would not be sold to Saudi Arabia’s coalition partners, by agreeing to sell fuel gauges for F-16 jets to Jordan’s air force.
While the minister’s apology is of course welcome, the government is either completely incompetent or deliberately breaking the law.
Whatever the situation, if there is any shred of morality left in this government Ms Truss must do the right thing and resign.
Flat 3, 2 Marchmont Road,
Poor roll out of parking system
Madam, – I reluctantly accept the need for car park charges, but would like to know who in Angus Council has been responsible for the incompetent implementation.
Is it councillors, or council officers?
The meters, till altered to accept cash, were very difficult to use.
The omission of a postal address for payment is not a mere technical error, but crucial (Parking flaw could lead to huge bill, Courier, October 2).
The system appears to have been devised by a 16-year-old with no knowledge of the pre-internet world.
A political head of state needed
Madam, – It is time we had a political Head of State elected by the people and not not the Establishment.
It is also time we went back to town councils of unpaid councillors.
The system we have is run for the Establishment.
Bigger is all about political control, not efficiency.
All you have to do is look at the dirt and weeds in our streets .
John G Phimister.
63 St Clair Street,