It’s simply human nature
ALL humans have one thing in common: individual personal autonomy. We have the power to decide whether to embark on creative, constructive, altruistic courses of action, or destructive, nihilistic, malevolent ones.
We also have the power to choose whom we love, like, dislike or hate. But how do we make up our minds?
If I were honest, I would confess I don’t feel a fantastic amount of empathy with people who were born and brought up in the same part of the world as me. But nor do I have much of an axe to grind with people who weren’t, so it makes no odds to me who lives nearby.
In fact, most of my fellow countrymen and women strike me as childlike, hedonistic, thrill-seeking, narcissistic, self-obsessed simpletons who labour under the delusion that someone else is duty-bound to assume responsibility for perpetuating their apparently pointless existence.
To be fair, 99 per cent of those who have suffered the tragic misfortune of being born abroad are, by and large, no better than those born here.
This might lead a casual observer to conclude that I am an inveterate misanthrope, but this is not true. Despite the efforts of the powersthat-be to transform me into something I am not, my psyche seems determined to retain its innate soft spot for native, English-speaking, nominally British, Euro-caucasians everywhere.
Unfortunately, under the prevailing ethos of 21st-century global society, my state of mind is construed as unequivocally evil. But at least I don’t go around killing, dismembering or raping people, or smashing up other people’s houses and cars.
I have eradicated my habit of using derogatory t erms to describe members of foreign ethnic and geographical groups, for ostensibly humorous effect. Come to think of it, the world could do with a few more evil fiends, like me.
JIM PRICE, Luton, Beds.
Net gains — for whom?
IN MICHAEL HANLON’S view of ‘How the internet is rewiring our brains’ (Mail), he falls into the same trap as Anne Robinson when she pilloried a contestant on The Weakest Link and a member of Mensa for getting answers wrong.
‘Far from becoming more stupid, people are becoming brighter,’ Hanlon claimed. But IQ is a measure of the way the brain thinks rather than of the knowledge it contains — which was Robinson’s error.
That said, how much of the ‘rewiring’ is brought about by Microsoft, Google et al’s desire to take over the world and have us do things their way?
Hanlon blames the net for our decreasing ability to have the application to read a book in its entirety, the most well-researched of which can be a valuable source of general knowledge, even though it might be classed as a ‘novel’.
P. WILSON, Chester.
HOW illuminating is the response of each of the prospective Labour leadership candidates, with the exception of Diane Abbott.
They were outlining their newly acquired views on immigration, its deficiencies and lack of long-term benefit t owards t his country’s economy.
Ed Balls is the latest to make known the disquiet he secretly held over the imposition of this multicultural experiment and its deficiencies,
Andy Burnham and the Milibands have previously come clean — owning up to the fact that although apparently supporting Labour’s policy for 13 years, in truth they all had grievous doubts about its worth.
It is now obvious that this bunch of charlatans believed they could do and say anything, and that the ‘thickos out there’ — the electorate — would swallow their every word.
Unfortunately, those who actually did were many of the well-paid political pundits who now imply that, until Andrew Neather disclosed that Labour had set an agenda to ‘rub the noses of the right in diversity’, they remained unaware such a direction had actually been taken by the Labour government.
I find this hypocrisy distasteful. I detest the denials of those who claim to have been unaware of Labour’s intentions, yet were obviously prepared to accept what that administration was perpetrating.
PETER O’CONNELL, Leigh, Lancs.
Lost Summer values
ALAS, Last Of The Summer Wine is to end, like numerous other British traits now filed under nostalgia. Writer Roy Clarke should be given appropriate recognition for giving us priceless entertainment.
Maybe the egocentric mandarins of the BBC should promote programmes of this ilk, if only to remind us of days gone by and real values.
R. WOOTTON, Bilston, W. Mids. KEN DODD still packs halls throughout the country with pure comedy. He is a legend. Even when he’s not treading the boards, he is helping some good cause. I trust the new powersthat-be recognise his greatness with an appropriate honour.
OWEN TAYLOR, Bickerstaffe, Lancs.
FURTHER to cataract operations (Letters), in case anyone is put off by accounts of rather less successful treatment, it seems wisest to be treated in a modern hospital.
My operation, at Mayday NHS hospital in Croydon, did not involve an eye injection but one in my arm. And I, too, found the successful treatment an ‘eye-opener’.
Miss M. LLOYD, Old Coulsdon, Surrey. I AM horrified to read the NHS plans to axe cataract operations. This will impact on older people, who will face a bleak future and loss of independence because of failing sight.
JESSICA GRANT, London SW11.
Number one woman
FORGET your Cheryls, Kerrys or Victorias. There’s only one woman who stands head and shoulders above the rest: Christina Schmid, widow of Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid.
She is an attractive, compassionate and intelligent woman who has said what an amazing man her husband was. I’d like to add that he married an incredible woman. He would be so proud of her. I wish her and her young son a long and happy life. Number one woman, no contest.
Mrs PHIL LINGARD, Norwich.
AFTER seeing the ‘ boxing’ squirrel (Mail), I had to write about what happened in our back garden.
We had put a few peanuts on a bird table for the squirrels when a huge seagull came down. But he was walloped several times by a tiny squirrel, until he flew away.
My husband and I fell about laughing, and we put out extra nuts for our squirrel, which he promptly buried in the back garden.
Mrs R. CAMPBELL, Lowestoft, Suffolk. IN THESE hard times, we can all do our bit to help the planet and feed wildlife too. When fat from meat has cooled, put it into yoghurt pots. When set, make a hole in the bottom and put a knotted string through. This can be hung up for birds to peck at.
Cutting the rind off bacon saves you eating too much fat and, if tied to a post or similar, it will give birds a lot of fun while feeding.
Nuts and raisins left in hedge-bottoms will also feed hedgehogs, who eat slugs and other pests. ROBERT McGREGOR,
Malton, North Yorks.
Don’t be foxed
I’VE BEEN involved in pest control for more than 60 years and know that one of the ways in which to call in foxes in order to shoot them is to squeak like a rabbit in distress.
So if a baby cries, even quietly, it could sound to a fox like an animal in distress, and the fox’s instinct is to attack. And a fox can hear the slightest squeak from a long distance.
Those twin babies must have had their bedclothes up around their throat areas or they would not have survived — a fox has teeth like razors.
Our biggest problem today is the attitude of people who feed foxes, thinking it clever to have what they regard as ‘their own fox’.
MIKE PEART, Blackwood, Gwent.
SURELY Jeff Powell (Mail) can find enough great players without having
almost to invent positions. Moving Duncan Edwards, the best attacking wing-half in the world, is ridiculous because he never played centre-half.
As someone who saw Edwards play, I can assure you if he had played until he was 35, he would never have been a centre-half.
And what about Kevin Keegan on the left side? It would make more sense to play him rightside and play Tom Finney on the left, where he played many times for England.
I know it’s only fantasy, but try to give it some credibility by picking people in positions they actually played in.
M. CAINE, Coventry.
Too old to matter
HOW are Brits meant to survive without a job when the Government’s way of reducing benefits i s simply to stop paying them? My husband has been out of work for two years and is unlikely ever to work in IT again. He is on the scrapheap in his 50s, as all the jobs will go to younger folk, even though we are meant to work past 65 now.
He cannot get any help to retrain and suffers from a life-shortening disease, but the welfare system refuses to pay him anything.
My husband had a misspent youth but, as an adult, has never put a foot wrong. Yet a petty criminal record follows him wherever he goes.
One conviction was for stealing a biscuit from a supermarket, for which he served time. Can you imagine that sentence being imposed today?
Name and address supplied.
REGARDING children forced to write with their right hands (Letters), a relation of mine was a teacher in Glasgow and loved to tell the story of one such child.
The boy became very frustrated at his teacher, saying: ‘I cannot write with my right hand, Miss, and why should I? God didn’t.’ The teacher, a devout Christian, paused. ‘What do you mean?’ she said, shocked.
‘God did not write with his right hand. How could he? Jesus was sat on it.’
G. SPEIGHT, Leeds.
IN REMEMBERING World War II and the work people did, I have found no mention of the doctors, nurses and other staff who kept the hospitals running during the bombing of London. I was one of those nurses and I can remember trying to calm patients while on night duty when the bombs were falling around us. My hospital was bombed, but we all carried on caring for our patients. Mrs D. E. LOVEDAY,
No EU benefits
I HOPED William Hague would ask people whether they wanted to be in the EU or not before he started making overtures to Europe about how we are all panting to become a bigger part of it. Cameron has promised a referendum on more integration, but he broke his word on a vote on the Lisbon Treaty.
I believe no government has the guts to tell us all the wonderful benefits of membership because they are few and far between.
R. E. TUCKER, Sheerness, Kent.
Shift change useless
PLANS to save money by bringing in complex police shift patterns could be pointless.
Years ago, most officers worked eight-hour shifts. There sometimes appeared to be an abundance of officers on duty, but these periods were used to catch up on paperwork and build good community relations. It was easy to compare the shifts in terms of crime prevention and overtime earned.
The advantages of the eighthour shift system would appear t o outweigh any perceived benefits of new, more complex systems, but only time will tell.
JOHN KENNY, Acle, Norfolk.