MR Hopkins’ ad hominem attack on me instead of the substance of my column on Monday vividly illustrates that he thinks only his opinion matters (Letters, Dec 12). While we may not have crossed paths before, he can’t dismiss or erase my activism. I have fought for every single right I now cherish and he will never stop my defence of young gay people with his hyperbole.

Coercion to accept radical treatment is happening and is  based on real examples as cited in my piece. He may be content to excuse the modern gay conversion practices I set out in Westminster Hall last week, but as I said in my column, for those who attempt to shrug this off I have no words, just utter contempt.

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The unavoidable truth is that those who promote gender ideology are wilfully damaging the sex-based rights of women and LGB people. That is an easily demonstrable fact that sits at the heart of the Section 35 ruling.

Perhaps he would do well to extend his reading list beyond a handful of stats that fit his organisation’s narrative and listen to the voices of real young gay people whose lives have been wrecked by an absence of professional psychosocial support, rapid access to experimental puberty blockers and radical surgical interventions.

I will listen to their voices before I listen to Mr Hopkins any day of the week.

The Sex Matters document calling for a ban on modern conversion therapy (available here) will allow your readers the opportunity to consider the harrowing account of those important voices I referred to who were rapidly accelerated onto an irreversible transition pathway with minimal information or meaningful support.

Neale Hanvey MP
via email

ON its launch, many were sceptical that the BBC Scotland channel would depart from the London-centric BBC model  and deliver more balanced and higher-quality programming to Scottish audiences. Regrettably they have been proven correct, as not only has the BBC lurched further to the right in its news reporting and political programming, like a dutiful poodle BBC Scotland has followed the BBC’s lead in spite of a more socially leaning electorate of which 50% or more support constitutional change.

No doubt there are some professionally objective journalists and reporters in their midst, but disappointingly they appear to be rare exceptions. 

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Seven Days is supposed to provide an impartial review of the previous week’s news, but 
the considered views of panellists like Shona Craven and Abbi Garton-Crosbie of The National would not generally be viewed as fully countering the anti-SNP, anti-Scottish Government rhetoric of panellists like Tory activists and former election candidates Euan Blockley and Dan McCroskrie. 

On Sunday December 10 Abbi and Dan were joined by former Liberal Democrat election candidate Siobhan Mathers to discuss questions posed by hosts Andrew Black and Hope Webb, who presumably had some time to do a little background research 

on the questions they would be posing (even if the persistently slanted questions were prepared by others at the BBC). When it came to the issue of the latest Pisa scores, Dan was allowed a period of more than two minutes, uninterrupted by either of the nodding hosts despite stating “in England results have improved” and “people in England are doing much better and leaving with better skills”.  

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Even a cursory view by the hosts of the relevant data or charts would have revealed that results in England (in spite of England adopting a significantly higher degree of school selectivity) have declined in all three primary assessment categories since the last survey of 2018, and in fact results across the UK are the poorest since 2006 in both science and mathematics, with reading remaining at roughly the same level.  

With the latest figures (2021-22) indicating that 93.5% of Scottish school leavers were in a positive follow-up destination compared with 82.6% in England, why did our BBC Scotland hosts, who presumably do not wish to hear Scottish education unfairly denigrated, still remain silent?

Stan Grodynski
Longniddry, East Lothian

WE entirely agree with French commentators of both the left and right who have objected to President Emmanuel Macron allowing the lighting of a Hanukkah candle inside the state-owned Elysee Palace.

Macron is President to all French people but even some French Jews have been uneasy about this clear violation of France’s proud history of secularism: the separation of church and state which protects all citizens equally.

To how many other religions might he lend this endorsement? At the last count there were well over 4000.

Neil Barber
Edinburgh Secular Society