Letters to the BV Editor June 2021


I am writing regarding an event organised by Blandford’s BLM group last Sunday, which I hope you may find of interest.
At midday on Sunday 30th May Blandford’s Black Lives Matter group stood in the Blandford town market place in a demonstration of solidarity with the people of Palestine. We called on our elected representatives to condemn the bombardment of Gaza and apartheid conditions between the river and the sea. The UK government is supporting the oppression of Palestinians with its ongoing diplomatic and military support of Israel, and its failure to recognise Palestine as a state. While the British media attention on Palestine has subsided, as a social justice group advocating for the cause of oppressed people and victims of ongoing imperialism around the world, Blandford’s BLM group brought the cause into the local town, with an aim of raising awareness, showing solidarity, and encouraging people to contact their local MPs to ban the sale of arms to Israel.
We carried signs and banners, and heard from Pat Osborne (Labour candidate North Dorset GE2017 & 19), and local resident Peter, and myself.
Emma de Saram
(Blandford resident – student at Exeter university)

I appreciate the stance taken in your last issue regarding the Solar Farm application at Pulham & Hazelbury Bryan. Whilst I disagree with local media being
party political, I do believe that

opinions should be formed and sides of the fence sometimes chosen. Whilst the features were not BV editorial but articles by campaigners, the tone of the issue and the lack of balancing counterargument conveyed your support for the protests against the Solar Farm. Well Done.

Lucy J, Sturminster Newton.

I read with interest the ‘opinion piece’ by CPRE (‘Rural Matters’) on the planned Solar Farm at Hazelbury Bryan in the last issue. I trust that similar column inches will be given over to the counter-arguments so that we can have a more balanced debate about this proposed development?

I’d like to read further before deciding whether to sign the petition, rather than just rely on the one-eyed view.
I’m all for debate – and am genuinely undecided on this particular matter – but as a media organisation I think you ought to show greater transparency. I understand that others may disagree (and I’m fine with that).

Lee Edmond, Spetisbury

(We had a couple more emails along similar lines on the solar farm application coverage. ‘Rural Matters’ is the title of the CPRE’s regular monthly column for us which covers a wide-range of subjects of their own choosing; it is not paid for by them, not advertorial, and no labelling is required – having the column under their logo,

and clearly signed by their own writer I thought was enough for a regular feature, but Lee’s point is taken; I will endeavour to make it clearer for future issues.
I have no objection to sharing my personal opinion on certain local matters (see this month’s letter form the editor) – our reporting should always be balanced, however. Ed)

I always love reading Roger Guttridge’s columns. I think a lot of your readers like information nicely explained about the past. He reminds me of Jack Hargreaves, the nice old gentleman who explained such matters with old-fashioned courtesy.
There was a nice piece in the magazine recently and I believe he lived near Woolland.

Jean H, Shaftsbury

(Ed replies: he lived in Belchalwell and he was much loved, just like Roger).

Could you please write about the tractor drivers bringing in silage that drive far too fast on these country lanes. There will be a disaster soon. Half the time they seem to be on the phone.

Harry, Sherborne

There were two letters about Andy Palmer’s columns in the last issue – one said he was ‘funny’ the other questioned the puns he makes.
He seems very eccentric, but rather charming and his views are wide-ranging. It’s good that an independent magazine carries an independence of thought.
Don’t fire him just yet!

Anna, Shaftestbury
(#AlwaysTempted – Ed)


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