Introduction

I do not take a national newspaper every day but each time I deliver a lecture in the UK, a copy of 'The Times' is read during the train journey to the venue.  Matthew Syed (a former table tennis player whose remarkable defensive style frustrated many opponents), Sports Journalist of the Year, is almost always worth reading - most of his articles are outstanding, often covering topics well beyond 'sports'. On September 7th 2016 I went through 'We have to scrutinise Paralympians'.  As is often the case, I noted intelligent wisdoms which I concurred with based upon my life experiences.  Matthew speaks a great deal of sense.  It comes as a considerable relief to find a leading newspaper publishing such material.  He commented in the above article that in the past criticising the Paralympic movement had felt somehow wrong to him. "Why undermine people's confidence in such a wonderful institution?"  He considered that many of those in a position to criticise were held back by an outstandingly bad form of political correctness.

Upon reflection, he has concluded that this was about far more than the Paralympics. It was about the fundamental NEED for constructive criticism - no matter who are embarrassed by voicing such concerns (even the most respected and well-known figures and institutions).  Syed asks, "How often in recent years have we seen charities abuse funds over many years because they were 'above reproach', aid projects sustained in the teeth of maladministration because they were involved in a "good cause"..."   How true these words ring to me.   My concerns are not being listened to, despite being the person with by far the most knowledge overall about Himalayan flora (based upon first-hand experience and scientifically sound evidence which I have been accumulating of a period of more than 3 decades)....
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