6 NOVEMBER 2004, Page 36

Managing anger

From Martin Hogg

Sir: Brendan O'Neill is assuredly correct when he asserts the rightful position of anger as a positive emotion in some circumstances (`The anti-angry brigade', 23 October). We have, after all, a rather authoritative example of righteous anger put to good use against money-changers in the temple. However, Mr O'Neill goes too far when he would have us believe that it is emotional correctness gone mad to be told 'which emotions it is OK to express and how we should express them'.

No: that is called learning how to behave in polite adult society. I might be repelled by a colleague's physical appearance, or incredibly attracted by a friend's spouse, but decency and good sense tell me it would be unwise to express my emotions to the parties concerned. We all need to learn when and how to express our emotions, anger included — a lesson which, alas, too many of those I encounter on the public highway these days appear not to have learnt.

Martin Hogg

Stellenbosch, South Africa