Letters - 4 March 2022

From Population to Communication


Phil Chandler’s letter in the Friend (28 January) raises a number of points concerning population, which need answering. 

Why does he assume that it is only white people to whom this idea has occurred? See, for example, this article by the Ugandan activist, Florence Blondel, who advises Quaker Concern over Population (QCOP) on racial matters: https://tinyurl.com/mwbnnkba, and who asks ‘What’s racist about it?’

Why assume that there is no concern about carbon footprint in the UK? I have certainly written to the Friend at some point in the past drawing attention to the finding that the greenest thing that any of us can do is to have one less (at least) children: https://tinyurl.com/5ere32sn.

Why does he refer to ‘self-serving diversionary tactical behaviours’? Population advocates are more aware than most of the dangers of unrestrained growth, in economics as in population. I know of no one in this movement who is motivated by diversionary tactics. Activists are likely to be advocates of non-growth economics, and are certainly as dismayed by the activities of the wealthy developed world as you could wish.

Can I draw Friends’ attention to our website, which is on qcop.org.uk, and also to the booklet Difficult Questions About Population, which has been distributed to all UK Meetings, and will answer many of his questions?

Roger Plenty

Ideals and experiences

While I never had my head pushed down the toilet, I was bullied at a girls’ boarding school with Quaker connections, so that I had the same nightmare before the beginning of each term in which I arrived at school to find I had no dormitory bed or dining-room chair assigned to me (and probably no desk either). I dreaded the time after lights-out in the dormitory wondering what was going to happen.

So I sympathise with Justin Webb and look forward to reading his memoirs. It seems to me that both our schools combined high ideals with an inability to help disturbed and unhappy pupils. We were encouraged to be responsible members of society, had good musical provision and access to concerts and productions at the exquisite Theatre Royal, Bristol, but no preparation for life as a wife and mother (the only mention of this was in a talk by canon Charles Raven, bless his memory) – not even sex education unless you were taking biology in GCE.

Fortunately, we couldn’t afford boarding school for our children – not that I’d have wanted it.

Patricia Wright

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