Readers' Letters: Feeling your age? Then why not self-identify as younger?

Would the iconic Chelsea Pensioners uniform look as good on a younger person? (Photo by Steve Reigate - WPA Pool/Getty Images)Would the iconic Chelsea Pensioners uniform look as good on a younger person? (Photo by Steve Reigate - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Would the iconic Chelsea Pensioners uniform look as good on a younger person? (Photo by Steve Reigate - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Scottish Government seems to be prepared to accept self-identification regarding sex, so I hope they will also accept self-identification regarding age.

For too long people have been trapped in the binary distinction between young and old. Why should the accident of birth which is recorded as the date stamped on one's birth certificate become a prison which closes people off from the age they would like to be and with which they identify? Surely people should be free to choose their own age, rather than have others take that crucial decision for them?

A person whose registered birth makes them 15 is not making a frivolous choice if they decide to be 75 . Clearly that person finds life as a 15-year-old simply intolerable and the best way to help them is to allow them to become 75 immediately, rather than have to wait for six decades. An ex-15-year-old will be in better physical condition than the average 75-year-old and so they will be able to make better use of their retirement and their pension. The current system lavishes the freedom of retirement and the luxury of a pension on people who are often not very well and may not live long to enjoy it. Self-identification will ensure that there are fewer cases like that. Retirees will be healthier and will enjoy their pensions for much longer.

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No doubt a period of transition will be required as society adjusts to the consequences of self-identification. It is possible that more people will choose to be older and retire, rather than younger and have to work for a living. That is only to be expected. The Scottish Government probably has an army of advisers already dealing with the matter. In the meantime, however, we should all be cautious and refrain from burning our birth certificates until we have definite instructions from the Scottish Government to do so.

Les Reid, Morton Street, Edinburgh

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Not so fast

Bill McKinlay (Letters, 15 August) confuses elections with referendums. The former deals with support for parties, the latter with support for ideas.

In last May's elections the pro-Union parties gathered 51.4 per cent of the popular vote. As even the SNP's own constitution requires a 66.6 per cent majority vote in a plenary session for a constitutional change (as independence would require) one need look no further to explain the SNP refusal to call another indyref.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

Rangers needed

There is no doubt that given the new staycation culture we need more countryside rangers to protect our fragile natural environment and wildlife while ensuring the public are not denied the right to roam in a manner that is not detrimental to the scenery and animals they come to see (Scotland on Sunday, 15 August).

I would add to the shopping list the need for more dedicated wildlife protection officers in Police Scotland.

New legislation protecting animals including beavers and mountain hares were recently introduced. Sadly, these laws have been weakened by introducing licenses allowing people to continue to persecute the animals.

Without police officers trained to monitor and enforce these new laws and existing laws protecting birds of prey from persecution, wildlife protection legislation is useless.

John F Robins, Animal Concern, Dumbarton

Write to Scotland on Sunday

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