Whoever wrote the thoughtful comment, "Kind but firm lesson on flying the royal nest" (January 25) is to be commended.
Recent letters and columns confusing "rule" with "reign" or dismissing the Queen as irrelevant needed this challenge.
The royal princes have often admitted they are privileged – hence their determination to use their positions to improve the environment and save endangered animals, both wild and domestic. The Prince of Wales, for example, has defied decades of ridicule over his endorsement of organic farming, admitting that his status and wealth have helped him demonstrate such methods on his Highgrove estate and elsewhere.
With climate problems arising around the world, we don't hear those critics today.
A reminder that a royal forebear was restored to the throne in the 17th century after England and Ireland suffered cruel Cromwellian rule. He may be better known for his romantic liaisons, but King Charles II was a keen supporter of the sciences, even though the discoveries were frowned on in certain political and ecclesiastical circles.
What ought to be vigorously rebuffed in this country is the type of sovereignty I call financial imperialism. Allowing over 95 per cent of our financial system to be owned by, and owed to, mainly Australian banks insults the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Treaty was signed by two, not three, partners. A local audience was shocked late last year when Kiwibank's chief economist revealed that over $580,000 disappears across the Tasman Sea every hour. These mortgage repayments, fees, public debt surrendered by Maori and non-Maori alike represent wealth created here supposedly for our own enrichment, not for the multimillion-dollar incomes of corporate CEOs overseas.
Imagine those dollars helping our under-privileged here, let alone what could fund projects to benefit our environment.
Imagination is a good start, but now we must demand action.
HEATHER MARION SMITH
Martin Hanson is quite correct to say genetic factors are not the sole determinant of sexual orientation.
If one looks at the large-scale studies of identical twins, which show that in approximately 20 per cent of cases where one twin is gay, the other is also, you would have to say the idea is scientifically dead in the water.
For orientation to be determined by genetics, the correspondence would have to be 100 per cent.
There is a need to distinguish between the words "determined" and "influenced". It would seem there is genetic influence but also influences from other things, such as epigenetic factors, upbringing and experiences and, dare I say it, personal choice.
Emotion clouds issue
Bob Walker, with whose letters I mostly agree, has let emotion get in the road of clear thinking.
What I was trying to point out was that governments need a lot of money to look after those who can't look after themselves. When there is a shortage of money, you have to cut your cloth — which, if it gets serious enough, will encompass those who can't look after themselves.
I think Bob and Carol Webb let emotion get in the way, so did not get the gist of what I was getting at, which was if we continue to demonise fossil fuels in the effort to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, our economy will tank and our greenery will die.
Probably what got their emotions going was my take that affluence has let townies develop mushy brains, that affect their ability to make practical decisions.
Obviously, that was a generalisation; there are plenty of townies who can make practical decisions, they run businesses and homes. I think the mushy brains bit set their emotions going, clouding their thinking.
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