Letter: I'm no blimp

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In your article entitled"Lords to rule if babies are a burden" (21 June), you quote me as saying in a judgment issued in the Court of Session, "Every baby has a belly to fill and a body to be clothed".

I said no such thing. I should not dream of expressing myself in such a coarse and inelegant way. You will find a full report of my opinion/judgment in 1998 Session Cases, pp389 et seq. I do not wish to be cast as some kind of insensitive blimp - which is what your misquotation does.

I did say, as you also report, "To treat parenthood as a wholly unblemished blessing to the parents is to ignore the realities of experience. I see no reason for our law to do that." In so saying, I was just expressing my disagreement with the contrary opinion of the judge of first instance. The underlying issue - an important one in the law relating to damages - is for the House of Lords to decide.

JOHN McCLUSKEY

(Lord McCluskey)

Parliament House,

Edinburgh

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