Letters: why the surprise when a wealthy capitalist makes a large donation to an Oxford college? | Universities

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Why is Catherine Bennett so outraged by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao’s donation to Oxford (“An Oxford college is about to link itself to a bikini airline. Now that’s what I call classy”, Remark)? It’s hardly front-page information when rich capitalists make massive presents to elite universities. Nor are these establishments normally a lot troubled by the supply of their benefactors’ wealth, whether or not oil, coal, diamonds or expropriation of private information from web customers. Elite universities are locked in a contest that compels them to hunt huge quantities of cash to maintain them on the prime of the pile. College presidents are paid excessive salaries to boost these sums. That’s their job.

So Vietjet used a tasteless advertising gimmick for some time. Disgrace on them, however they’re hardly the worst of the Oxbridge or Harvard, Yale or Stanford donors.

A coherent place can be that increased education mustn’t should depend on contributions from rich donors. That each scholar ought to have a possibility to check at a first-rate college, regardless of the place they reside or how a lot cash they’ve. We’re a great distance from that, however to single out Madame Thao is unfair.
Jonathan Pincus
Hanoi, Vietnam

I’m a junior dean at Linacre School and earlier than the proposed title change to Thao School, there have been fierce inside debates.

It was unhappy to be taught concerning the occasion the place bikini-clad girls served as stewardesses on a Vietjet flight. The thought that our faculty was receiving cash that might have been made by the commodification of girls’s our bodies was troubling. To not point out that a few of it might need been made by harming the atmosphere by carbon emissions.

Thao’s subsidiary firms are below a contractual settlement with Linacre to realize internet carbon zero by 2050. If they don’t meet that, the school can take away her title. In impact, Linacre has actual leverage in curbing the carbon emissions of a giant company. Additionally, Thao would be the first minority lady to have her title on an Oxford faculty. This might assist break the stereotype of Oxford being just for privileged white males. I hope many extra girls and people of a special cultural heritage are impressed to use to Oxford as a result of they see it as a spot for every kind of individuals to succeed.
Peter Younger
Linacre School, Oxford

Blame austerity, not councils

Girl Leshurr is flawed to say “councils have failed us with regards to youth golf equipment” (“This much I know”, Journal). Reasonably, 10 years of unremitting nationwide austerity has eviscerated the youth service, alongside many different non-statutory companies. After I left Dudley council in 2009, councillors of all events had been pleased with what we had achieved; now, youth membership buildings stand derelict. However Girl Leshurr is correct: it’s a tragedy this has occurred with out an outcry.
John Freeman
Dudley, West Midlands

Of moors and monoculture

Amanda Anderson of the Moorland Affiliation is upset that I described heather moorland as a monoculture (Letters, 31 July). Her statistics about biodiversity of UK heathland and moorland are likely right, however don’t derive from the moorland sort that I used to be referring to, which is the place heather has been burned to maintain it on the level in its progress cycle that maximises purple grouse numbers for taking pictures and minimises different species. Such monoculture could look briefly spectacular in August, however it isn’t a habitat wealthy in biodiversity.
Alastair Fitter, emeritus professor of ecology,
College of York

Taiwan’s wake-up name

Nancy Pelosi go to or not, China is planning to invade Taiwan as quickly as it’s assured in its army’s means to take the island (“Nancy Pelosi’s reckless visit succeeded only in arousing an unstable China”, Editorial). Fooling ourselves that the Chinese language will play properly if we don’t ruffle their feathers is shortsighted and harmful.

Pelosi’s go to is a wake-up name to the Taiwanese and surrounding international locations that they should make financial and army choices to forestall China from gobbling up extra territory and proudly owning the South China Sea.
Dominick Giordano
New York

Trans issues

Sonia Sodha writes that “the data commissioner has discovered that Stonewall operates a ‘vital diploma of affect’ over members of its office index, by which organisations compete to point out how aligned they’re with its worldview” (“Don’t buy the Stonewall line on gender identity? Fine, you can’t be sacked for that now”, Remark, 31 July).

This definitely holds true in our medical royal schools, regulatory our bodies and NHS trusts, the place a local weather of concern prevents docs voicing critical issues concerning the care of trans-identified sufferers. The cancellation of a trainee convention titled How Can Youngster Psychiatrists Assist Gender-Questioning Younger Folks by Well being Training England additional demonstrates the shutting down of debate.

A bunch of us met the president of the Royal School of Psychiatrists two years in the past and evidenced particular scientific and safeguarding issues from a pattern of psychiatric trainees associated to the care of those sufferers. We questioned if the school’s place assertion mirrored the views of its members. Our request for a survey to establish psychiatrists’ issues and expertise on this space was dismissed and the RCP’s response clearly adopted the Stonewall line.

The faculty’s statement on the closure of the Tavistock gender identification clinic fails to recognise the substance of the Cass interim assessment and disavows its tasks to sufferers and members who’ve doubts that the affirmation-approach (an experimental therapeutic stance imported from the US) and WPATH (World Skilled Affiliation for Transgender Well being) tips are match for goal.

We urge the school to rethink its membership of Stonewall’s contentious office index and consider its obligation to advertise holistic and compassionate care that takes full account of the complexity of sufferers’ lived experiences.
Dr Juliet Singer, Dr David Bell, Dr Seth Bhunoo, Dr Aileen O’ Brien, Dr Kate Clyde, Dr Lenny Cornwall, Dr Lucy Griffin, Dr Az Hakeem, Dr Stella Kingett, Dr Jane Martin, Dr Adrian Vann, Professor David Skuse, Professor David Veale, Dr Brigit Westphal, Dr Sophia Williams, Dr Anne Zachary, Dr Mona Ahmed, Dr Saam Idelji-Tehrani, Dr Damien Gamble, Dr Nicky Cowan, Dr Giovanni Polizzi, Dr Carine Minne, Professor Marc Serfaty, Dr Phil Hopley, Dr Charlotte James, Dr Wayne Kampers, Dr Lubna Karim

Dig deep for vitality options

Phillip Inman (“Four solutions as soaring energy prices hit home for millions”, Information) affords some good concepts, but when the supply of the inflation is the rising price of vitality, why not suggest an emergency programme of putting in alternate options to grease and gasoline throughou the nation? Right here in Cambridgeshire, a village is putting in floor supply warmth pumps below a subject. Why might this not be achieved below inexperienced areas all over the place? This might be paid for by taxing the sources he lists, although for ethical, political and financial causes at a far increased charge than he envisages. Cheaper electrical energy would draw folks away from gasoline and decrease our dependence it.
Michael Briant
Cambridge

Let all of it hang around

Each time I see an article on naturism, my coronary heart sinks. Extra infantile innuendo, unhealthy puns and misconceptions. So it made a nice change to learn Sally Howard’s article (“Naked Ambition”, Journal). It was, nonetheless, let down by the accompanying pictures, which had been concurrently coy and suggestive. Artfully posed, they contrived to obscure the very factor the article was supposedly celebrating. Specifically, complete nudity.

The Observer, as a grown-up journal, is sort of comfortable to print even probably the most sturdy English with out asterisks. Why now this uncharacteristic Hyacinth Bucket fake gentility? My two-year-old grandson mentioned to me the opposite day: “Grandad, I’ve bought a willy in my pants” and pulled them down to point out me. I recommend he has a extra mature angle to the human physique than some at your newspaper.
Anthony Vear
Harrow, Middlesex

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