River Wissey Lovell Fuller

A lette from Helen cross

January 2010

Helen offers a response to recent writing's from Les Lawrence

The Editor,

The Village Pump.

12 December 2009

Dear Editor,

As one of Les Lawrence's 'silent majority' I thought I had better become a little less silent! I appreciate that he is probably trying to be provocative, and to encourage us, the silent ones, to contribute. However, before writing his November contribution about the content of the Pump, he perhaps should have reflected that if the majority is silent, it is highly likely that we are happy with our Pump, and that we do not want him insulting its regular contributors!

All the articles you publish, often with the exception of those from Les himself, are either interesting, thought provoking, or highly entertaining (and Dr Nisbet generally manages to be all three!). In common with your 'name and address' supplied letter this month, I enjoy some more than others, but I really appreciate having a local magazine of this quality, for such a very low subscription. If Les doesn't like it, perhaps he should spend his £5 on something more to his taste, and leave us more space for intelligent debate, interesting travel articles, humour, and information about what our parish councils and other organisations are busy doing - all of which most of us appreciate.

I am not sure what Les is trying to say in his letter in the December Pump, about local young people. It seems to me that although he rightly states that "they are our future", and claims to be supporting their interests, in fact he is insulting their intelligence, and assuming they are only interested in sex.

Giving Les the benefit of the doubt, I suppose his intention is to suggest that the Pump should contain more of direct interest to young people. The way to do that, which you have been doing for the last few months, is to allow them to express themselves in your pages. April's contributions are readable both for her own age group and for the rest of us, and she is to be congratulated.

Asking your existing contributors to make way for more sex would interest nobody except for a very few (perhaps only one) elderly, sexist men. Why would we want to write about teenage pregnancies in the Pump? Believe it or not Les, the percentage of teenage girls who find themselves pregnant has remained almost unchanged since the 1950s - they are more visible today because we no longer hush the matter up, and we no longer force them to give up their babies for adoption, or force them to marry just to be 'respectable' - we now respect their own choices about their own futures.

And why would we want to write about sex? Those who want to read about it have plenty of opportunity. What we want is local news and views that we cannot get elsewhere, and I am confident that the younger generation will grow into wanting it as well, just as we did.

Now I have started, I feel motivated to add my thoughts on the ongoing global warming debate, and on Ron Watts' comments on Royal Mail, but this letter mustn't be allowed to get any longer! I'll try to find time again in the future.

Helen Cross.

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