Food for thought

Michael Donaldson makes a valid point (Letters, 17 August) when he criticises self-professed “experts” for their constant berating of poorer people for choosing high calorie foods as a cheaper way of feeding themselves – and probably because of their comfort value.

Interestingly, a similar point was made by George Orwell in his discussion of poverty and its effects in the 1930s. As Michael Donaldson points out, it’s always easier for governments and decision-makers to penalise the poor, rather than working to create a fairer society in which poorer people can afford better quality food and better access to leisure facilities.

I’ve noticed a similar trend in the media about the supposed excessive materialism of those of us with “more dash than cash”. We are urged to spend money on “worthwhile activities”, rather than filling our homes with “useless” possessions. But can someone tell me the difference between the Brown family’s collection of shabby chic tat and the Queen’s collections at Holyrood House? Surely one person’s junk is another’s “collection” – it is only the amount of money it’s worth that’s different.

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To each his own: as Michael Donaldson rightly points out; it’s the unequal distribution of wealth that prevents some of us making informed choices.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Dalvenie Road

Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Michael Donaldson is correct to say there is too much interference in our lives already by the government. However, his call to tax the rich will only give the state even more power over our lives.

The idea of taxing the rich is irrational and Marxist and has no basis in rational economics or morality. One cannot demand more and less government at the same time; it is contradictory.

Bruce Crichton

Victoria Road