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Banning Dr Seuss books is not the answer – we must identify the issue, explain why it’s wrong and fix it

·4-min read
<p>Dr Seuss is being re-examined</p> (AP)

Dr Seuss is being re-examined

(AP)

Yet another childhood favourite has gone, or is at least on the banned list, with six books by Dr Seuss now no longer being published. They have gone because they were offensive with inappropriate presentations. It is obvious that many old books may contain content that is not acceptable but is the answer to remove it or basically hide it away when it might be better to identify the issue, explain why it is wrong and how to resolve these matters?

It's not book burning but it's still concerning to see books become unavailable. There is some wisdom in Dr Seuss's own words: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." or "Think and wonder, wonder and think." and finally "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne

Charity refurbishment

Boris Johnson has had to be repeatedly pressured into providing free school meals to poor children in the school holidays during the coronavirus crisis. And Tory MP’s like Ben Bradley argued against“extending freebies” on the grounds it would increase “dependency” on the state. Only a repeated campaign led by Marcus Rashford forced the government into a series of U-turns over denying free meals to poor children.

Johnson gets £81,932pa for being an MP and an additional £79,469pa as prime minister.

He lives rent-free at Downing Street and Chequers.

The state also provides Johnson with an official car and he can claim multiple expenses for costs such as employing staff, travel and running his office. Johnson also has access to parliament’s numerous heavily subsidised restaurants and bars.

Now comes the news that Downing Street is trying to set up a charity to cover the costs of the refurbishment of the flat in 11 Downing Street where Boris Johnson lives, at state expense, with his partner Carrie Symonds and their son Wilfred.

Johnson, who has repeatedly proved reluctant to feed hungry children, has no shame in turning to charity to refurbish the state-owned flat he lives in and has no fear that taking“freebies” will leave him “dependent” on handouts.

Charity seems to begin in Boris Johnson’s home but ends when it comes to hungry children.

Sasha Simic

London

Yellow fever vaccine passports

Themis Avraamides states that it would be discriminatory to require vaccine passports for travel. These are already required for yellow fever, polio and other diseases for travel to various countries. What is so different about a Covid vaccination?

Valerie Morgan

Leigh on Sea

Helpful contributions

We are used to two-faced rants in Scotland, and Scottish Conservative party leader Douglas Ross’ recent one is typical: he has called for our first minister to resign, due to a possible breach of the ministerial code. She may well have made some errors of judgement, this will transpire over the coming weeks. However, Nicola Sturgeon is positively saintly compared to the likes of Boris Johnson and Priti Patel who have very clearly breached the ministerial code. Yet we’ve seen Tories evade resignation. Alex Salmond's recent comments resulted in the support for Independence taking a dip in the polls. Helpful contributions from the likes of Mr Ross will quickly see the polls restored, disdain of the Tories is one thing the vast majority of Scots unite on.

Paul Morrison

Glasgow

Across the pond

It's always a joy to read Holly Baxter's weekly update of life in America.

They evoke memories of Alistair Cooke's “Letters from America” on the BBC.

They also remind me that whilst we may speak the same language but we're very different people. "Realtor", what a truly awful word.

I'm looking forward to tales from the new apartment.

Richard Smith

Address supplied

Foreign aid

When the government was urged to delay the implementation of Brexit during the pandemic to prevent even more serious damage to the economy, we were told they had no choice as it was a manifesto commitment.

Now, when challenged on the proposed cuts to foreign aid, we are told it is to protect the economy. When, as Andrew Mitchell has pointed out, "every single member of this house was elected just over a year ago on a promise to maintain the 0.7 per cent”.

G Forward

Stirling

Hotel quarantine

What a lovely, positive article from Maria Oliveira, regarding her enforced hotel lockdown. It appears to me that Maria was not lonely being alone, she had a husband and friends who actively kept her emotionally buoyant while the hotel provided her with essentials for life. Maria was made to feel special and used her time to enjoy the release from her usual routines of caring for her family. She was proactively using her “free time” to enjoy pleasures not normally visited. I congratulate you. Maria, you have shown remarkable spirit in your lockdown period which is a lesson, and hopefully, the support that other lockdown travellers will take to heart. Thank you for your uplifting story.

Keith Poole

Basingstoke

Read More

Dr Seuss: Six books pulled from publication over ‘hurtful and wrong’ imagery

Denmark to launch digital ‘vaccination passport’ to open up travel

We mustn’t grumble about the cost of Carrie Symonds’s exquisite tastes – no one likes to look cheap, after all