Sir: I always enjoy The Spectator book reviews. The review by Terry Barnes on Jeremy Sammut’s excellent book The Madness of Australian Child Protection: Why Adoption Will Rescue Australia’s Underclass Children in the 23 January 2016 issue is commendable in articulating the main points of Sammut’s work. Particularly the crazy leftist ideal of forcing children of low life parents to be condemned into a world of abuse and danger instead of the opportunity of adoption into a loving, stable environment. The resultant damage in the continuation of this underclass, crime and the rest is probably immeasurable.
And the left blindly soldiers on with Australia’s national embarrassment (branded Australian of the Year) this year passing to a morale sapping general infatuated with gender issues. To castigate those who have the requisite combination of courage, talent, skill and commitment to risk their lives in defence of the rest of us for just taking time out and unwinding i.e. being blokes, is wholly un-Australian. And to do so in a public forum reading from a speech written by someone else is beyond the pale. And then to denigrate Australia at his acceptance speech, a country with too few peers when it comes to opportunity, freedom and the rest is even more beyond the pale. And who was with him on the stage smiling in agreement? Turnbull!
St Ives, NSW
Sir: I agree with Hal G P Colebatch that exposure to modernity and liberal values will not eliminate primitive barbarism. However a classical education might help us to understand the language of metaphor and symbol and to remember the existential reality symbolised by the Fall. The Fall was never meant to be understood as a story about the distant past but rather about the everyday reality of the human condition. The fundamental flaw in our human behaviour is that we try to make absolute what is contingent. Then we commit the ultimate blasphemy of claiming God is on our side rather than being a symbol for all that is contingent.
Isis and Nazism are just two of the many ideologies that pursue the goal of totalitarianism and pursue the delusion of them and us.
New Lambton, NSW
Sir: Well that’s a relief! Here was me thinking that a near billion dollar ‘gift’ from Saudi Arabia to the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, might have had some strings attached, might even have been deeply, deeply corrupt, but reports that Malaysia’s Attorney – General has cleared Razak of corruption or even minor naughtiness have completely restored my faith in the Malaysian judicial and political system.
I have learnt from my previous acceptance of these vile and false charges that I must strive to become less cynical and more trusting. Actually I have discovered that it feels really, really nice to be more trusting and much less cynical – I now have my childhood belief in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy reinstated…
Dr Bill Anderson
Surrey Hills, Vic.
Sir: I am a long time subscriber and as a born Scot now resident of Oz after many years in Asia, particularly appreciate the Aussie version. Michael Davis-Primary Notes! I confess I have no knowledge of his claim to fame or why he had been invited to pen The Notes. But to claim Obama asked Turnbull to increase Australia’s military presence in Syria is pure bunkum and then to parley this into a rather flakey and convoluted humorous(??) wander through matters political and social in both the US and Australia was, I suggest, opportunistic. But the readership is a broad church and the fact that he provoked me into print might suggest he was successful!.
Potts Point, NSW
Leave those kids alone
Sir: Melanie Phillips was right to raise serious concerns about the emerging practice of challenging children to define their gender identity (‘In defence of gender’, 30 January). She quoted justice minister Caroline Dinenage as saying that the government was ‘very much on a journey’ on this issue. The government should therefore give children space and time to follow their own ‘journey’ of self-discovery and discovery of the world without pressure from above to choose labels to define their own sexuality. They have enough pressure of this kind from their peers.
The tried and tested way for society to help children along this journey has been to teach them subjects like history, literature and science, as these will inevitably give children the tools to make sense of the world and their own emotional life in their own time, and in their own way.
Fluidity on the brain
Sir: Reading Maria Miller’s pious nostrums on gender fluidity is enough to drive one to drink. While acknowledging the fact that there are a number of people suffering from gender dysphoria, the approach suggested by the Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee is wrongheaded and will have unintended consequences.
No doubt the member for Basingstoke will feel she is striking an important and overdue blow against a perceived transgression — one that can only be rectified by government intervention, taxpayers’ money and a host of targets. Most people will, I think, heave a loud collective sigh of irritation. Given the very real problems facing the United Kingdom, this determination to focus on single issues that affect a small minority emphasises the gulf between the electorate and legislature.