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Letters to the Guernsey Press

I've set up a page for letters I've had published in the Press. This is for several reasons. Firstly, it broadcasts them widely: some are on topics which are not purely parochial.

Secondly, it enables the reader to read the originals: by the time my letter is published, the Press containing my sources may have been discarded. Of course, the Guernsey Press homepage does some good archiving work itself.

Thirdly, while this doesn't appear to be the case at first, I write for brevity. There are worthwhile comments which I often can't include for reasons of space.

Talmai Morgan and Socialism (published 11/10/05)

Some guy called Talmai Morgan, who was allegedly once stupid enough to stand in a British General Election as a Tory in Wales, went on a one-man propaganda offensive over the summer of 2005.

His original musings are mostly in "'Socialist' States may kill finance industry", by Mark Oliphant, published on 3rd August 2005. You can find it on the Guernsey Press homepage.

There were further rumblings of the "Oh god, save us from the dangerous lefties who are imperiling my island" variety on 23rd August. What was added to his case in this letter chiefly consisted of a string of inane cliches. But check out the post below: some heartening criticism.

Finally, he had another chance to propagate his ideas on 9th September, in an article called "My love is Guernsey, not the finance industry". Isn't that touching? This one seems not to have made it online.

My response made it into print eventually.

Corporal Punishment (published 10/05/05)

The subject was brought up with a letter by Geoff Dorey. I decided to write a reply.

Though I had not the time to mention it, I was particularly chilled by the suggestion that "Rights are not sacrosanct and can be forfeited if deserved". I had a look through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, focussing in particular on Articles 19, 37, 39 and 40. There is nothing in the preamble saying that these rights are not sacrosanct or that they can be waived at the request of Mr. Dorey.

On the other hand, I have looked for a copy of the UN Convention on Not Dropping Litter Near Where Geoff Dorey Lives, and have so far been unsuccessful. Some rights are, it seems, more sacrosanct than others, but they're not the ones championed by Mr. Dorey.

Taxation (published 04/04/05)

On the same day, the Guernsey Press published two articles on the States of Guernsey's suggested tax policy for the next few years. It was not too subtle.

Alas, there appears to be no way I can link to them, but they can be searched from the Guernsey Press homepage: you're looking for one entitled "Rich may be lured with indirect taxes", and another called "Indirect taxes will almost certainly rise", both by James Falla.

That's right: our corporate elite seemed to be agitating that the best way to solve our public funding shortfall was to tax the poor more and the rich less. Exceptional! I responded.

Drugs policy (published 05/10/04)

The Press publicised a propaganda drive by Geoff Rowland, surrounding a hefty sentence giving to someone who was looking after a moderate number of Ecstasy tablets for a friend.

Again, there seems to be no way to link it, but it's an article called "'Minders' will be treated as dealers".

So, in response to my letter, there was a quasi-official reply by Rob Prow, of Customs and Excise. His comments deserve some detailed analysis; some of the points below are more crucial than others, and they're in the order they are occasioned by his letter.

I should mention that another letter was written on a similar topic to mine. The matter raised in the note at the end notwithstanding, I endorse the principal points therein as being probably fairly accurate.

Paedophilia (published 26/08/03)

This time my letter was elicited by a retributionist manifesto. In turn, someone else felt it was worthwhile adding to it anonymously. I don't think much comment is required on this issue.