Sir, - I read John Waters's column of June 3rd with great interest and would sympathise with much of what he says. On one matter, however, I'd like to offer a correction: his characterisation of the Equality Authority as following an extreme liberal agenda. It cannot be described as being liberal; in my view, it is grossly illiberal.
In the European sense of the term, liberalism has as its fundamental basis the concept of liberty - i.e. that a healthy society is based on personal liberty as the principal ethical, political and philosophical value. In a liberal society, for example, decisions are made by individuals, not central authority. The liberal approach is to welcome and rejoice in diversity, not unnecessarily to constrain individual behaviour.
The structure and modus operandi of the Equality Authority and its supporting agencies represent a de facto repudiation of personal liberty. The authority attempts, by means of central authority backed by intimidation and coercion, to close down diversity of views and to restrict freedom of opinion, expression and action. Such an authoritarian body has, in my opinion, no place in a liberal society. - Yours, etc., NORMAN STEWART,