Magazine article New Internationalist


Magazine article New Internationalist


Article excerpt

Praise, blame and all points in between? Give us your feedback.

The New Internationalist welcomes your letters. But please keep them short. They may be edited for purposes of space or clarity. Letters should be sent to or to your local NI office. Please remember to include a town and country for your address.

Fly no more

I love flying. I was in the RAF. Your dialogue 'Is flying still beyond the pale?' (Argument, NI 469) bemused me: I agreed with many points made by each contributor.

Some government officials, businesspeople, the military, academics and doctors need to fly. But the exponential growth in flying is for tourism. I can often see seven contrails above my house here in Bradford, a city not known for international tourism. Such flying is patently unnecessary and definitely destructive.

An international agreement to levy a tax on aviation spirit is urgently needed. In the absence of this, a greatly increased air passenger duty has to be levied. Moreover, the price of aviation spirit will inexorably rise: and no realistic alternative fuel is available. There is no need for a new London airport; if it were started now, it would only be finished in time for the inevitable downturn in flying.

So flying for fun is finished. I fly no more.

John D Anderson Bradford, England

People like us

As a disabled person I found the letter by Dianne Ward (NI 469, responding to an earlier letter by CF Goodey, NI 467) deeply offensive. Chris Goodey is a parent of a disabled young woman and a long-term friend, ally and champion of the rights of disabled people to be valued and respected. He has done much to improve the life chances of many young disabled people, including those with intellectual impairments.

The one thing he has understood is that the difficulty in being a disabled person in society is primarily because we are an oppressed group, devalued for who we are and made to feel instead that we should be like you, the socalled 'normal'. We do not want to be like you. We want to be like us, and for that to be OK. Simple. When parents 'get' this they bring their children up in a different way. Instead of learning to hate ourselves and to feel like perpetual victims, we learn to like ourselves and feel like lifelong social activists. I know which one I would choose.

Micheline Mason London, England

Go wider

The very month they appeared, 'The frack files' (Fracking, NI 468) were violated in spirit by our unelected (even by their own voters) Con-Dem coalition government, who revealed in compliant élitist organs like the Murdoch Times that they want to 'frack half Great Britain'. Despite this, well done on an issue which will become, for us environmental activists, a collector's item in its comprehensiveness.

But if Josh Fox is correct, as I for one believe he is, to postulate that the survival of 'democracy' is at stake, then we need surely a bigger survey of worldwide resistance. Let us put on record admiration for Brighton MP for the Green Party Caroline Lucas for her civil disobedience solidarity with Balcombe's 2013 protest and the Labour Party's SERA group for its vigilance over animal 'eco' rights preservation. 'Politics' matters.

Larry Iles via email

Who pays the piper?

In the light of its threat to both freshwater and a stable climate, a politician's unblinking support for fracking (NI 468) could be seen as conclusive evidence of venality.

That a relatively educated nation such as Australia could end up with a Prime Minister who is not only a climate-change denier (he proposes paying big emitters to reduce their output, rather than penalizing them for failing to do so) but also an opponent of conservation in general, suggests that extractive industries enjoy a controlling share of political influence in the country. …

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