Letter: Institutions of authority must earn our respect

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The Independent Online
Sir: 'Respect for authority'? Fine. So all that's wrong with our judicial system, our government and our monarchy is that we don't give them enough respect.

When we respected our monarchy, it paid no tax. When we respected our government, it sold arms to Iraq. When we respected our judicial system, we had people locked up for crimes it couldn't be proved they'd committed.

It's all the fault of the 1960s, of course. Fine. In the 1960s we accepted responsibility for our fellows. We accepted that life deals some of us shorthanded. Not everyone has family or friends at all, never mind family or friends in a position to accept meaningful responsibility for them.

However, all we need do is to accept responsibility for ourselves and our families. We must not attempt to 'shuffle this off on the State'. Surely, collectively, we are the state. What is being said is an acknowledgement of the divided society we have become: 'YOU (the poor, the handicapped, the ill, the old) take responsibility for yourself. Don't shuffle it off on US.'

It's really the fault of the press. They tell us too much. This information is leading to a lack of respect. The answer is easy. Gag the press and force the rest of us to our knees again.

Yours,

LYNDA HENDERSON

University of Ulster

Coleraine, County Londonderry

8 October

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