Letter of the week

Letters making assertions backed by opinions rather than facts should surely state where the writer is coming from. Sandra Busell raves about the poisonous nature of milk (Letters, 10 September) and selectively quotes the rants of experts. I do not think she is deeply concerned over the health of children or people in general; I suspect she is a vegan campaigner, but she could be a soya milk merchant or a cow (she might even be a clone of an earlier avatar of Thatcher - the "milk snatcher"). She should state which. Milk may indeed be poor stuff compared with beer, but it is a lot less harmful to the system than malnutrition.

Another suspect letter in the same issue is "Tory cosmology" from Ian Breach. Steady-state theory, which he recommends socialists to support, requires the distribution of quasars to be different from that which is actually observed in the sky. If socialists believe only comforting theories (go easy on the Darwinism - there's too much tooth and claw, and too few workers' co-ops), then they'll end up discrediting socialism by stuffing it with rubbish as the Stalinists did.

Robin Oakley-Hill
Sevenoaks, Kent

This article first appeared in the 17 September 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The end of the open society?