Readers' letters: It’s not all been doom and gloom in 2022

Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 26 December 2022Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 26 December 2022
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 26 December 2022
This year for many has been one filled with doom and gloom. War in the Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis have dominated news headlines.

However, while the negatives tend to drive the media agenda, we must remember there were many positives to look back on.

For example, while the list of endangered species continued to grow at an alarming rate, some creatures bounced back from the brink in 2022, proving that extinction is not inevitable. Beavers, bison and pelicans were among the species having bucked the trend by the Wildlife Comeback Report.

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There’s also cautious optimism that the civil war in Ethiopia could finally be over, after the warring sides agreed to permanently end hostilities in November.

New fronts in the fight against cancer opened up this year, with scientists developing better tools for detecting and treating the disease.

This year also witnessed more progress in tackling discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, although there is still much work to be done. Greece and Israel for example became the latest countries to ban conversion therapy, and Slovenia ruled that its ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

So, when one reflects on the year, let us not forget that among the doom and gloom, there were many positive stories to reflect on.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

Nicola picks another Westminster fight

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It now seems very possible that the SNP's gender recognition legislation will prompt another constitutional tussle with the UK government.

Nicola Sturgeon is already upping the rhetoric by claiming democracy in Scotland is at risk, while others say the new Scottish legislation breaches UK-wide law.

Earlier this year, Sturgeon asked the Supreme Court to determine whether the Scottish Parliament had the right to hold another independence referendum without Westminster's consent and was rebuffed.

Sturgeon knew then her chances of success were slim but has turned her defeat into a 'oor wee Scottish democracy under assault from big, bad Westminster' narrative.

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Is nationalism the real reason Sturgeon, for whom independence transcends everything, has so determinedly sponsored the controversial gender recognition legislation?

Martin Redfern, Melrose

Identity politics is turning more toxic

I can’t help but notice the irony about the recent Gender Recognition Certificate changes.

This is a debate that has been shaped by toxic identity politics and where we now are should come as no surprise to those against the changes.

It was inevitable that they would be supplanted in the oppression hierarchy they helped create by another group with greater claims of vulnerability. Ditto for academics.

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The recent cancellation of the film ‘Adult Human Female’ at Edinburgh University was met with outrage from some lecturers, but they need to take some blame for the underlying circumstances of this situation.

Students have for years been too insulated from ‘uncomfortable’ ideas on courses. It is no wonder then that such an atmosphere of excessive coddling leads to them feeling so entitled and having such low thresholds for offence that they are this quick to shut down opposing thought.

For opponents of the gender reforms, the identitarian dragon that they have nurtured is now turning round to breathe its fire on them.

Sarah Hunterston, Edinburgh

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