Letters to the BV Editor July 2022


The case of the sea eagle
The decision to close the investigation into the poisoned sea eagle by Dorset police, despite finding high levels of rat poison brodifacoum in the eagle, was described as ‘completely baffling‘ by the RSPB, who had been helping with the investigation.
The decision also coincided with the Force’s award-winning wildlife crime officer Claire Dinsdale going on long-term sick leave with stress, a re-branding of the Force’s wildlife crime team to remove the word ‘wildlife’, and that astonishing outburst on Twitter by Chris Loder MP, who seemed to criticise Dorset Police for spending time and resources on the investigation and who argued that eagles ‘weren’t welcome’ in Dorset (as per my letter in the May issue of the BV).
Now, after large criticism and a FOI request revealed correspondence between Mr Loder, and Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick. A specialist investigator has been brought in by police.
But this investigator is from the same police force – is this not a case of marking their own homework?
Perhaps Dorset Police can explain why the poisoned eagle investigation was dropped in the first place. And also share the status of the ongoing investigation into alleged raptor poisoning in 2021 on the very same estate where the poisoned white-tailed eagle was found.
Obviously these investigations are not easy – but the public should be able to rely on the police to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.
Dr Charles Mathews, nr Sherborne

On Simon Hoare
I thought Mr Hoare’s answers in the Q&A (The BV, June issue) were surprising – I am not a Conservative voter, and yet I found myself agreeing with many of his points. In a party of liars, cheats, crooks and tricksters I appreciate that our own MP appears to be standing up for the right things, no matter who voted him in.
Ian Downton

I appreciated Simon Hoare’s honesty in the Q&A this month.
However I felt an absence of his usual forthright and honest tone when discussing the state of NHS dentistry.
Sorry Simon, but this isn’t just a simple lack of trained dentists – every practice is turning away from the NHS because it’s not viable to run their business with the funding they receive.
I myself received very poor NHS treatment – basically because I needed a three-tooth bridge, and the NHS pays a flat fee (barely enough) for a bridge. The actual cost of having a three-tooth bridge made is double that of a two-tooth, but dentists are unable to recoup that cost back. So I received an unsuitable treatment which then required me to go private to get fixed correctly. Not the dentist’s fault – a simple lack of funding prevented them from providing the best care. This is NOT how the NHS is supposed to work. By all means recruit more dentists, but take a long hard look at the very model under which they work too – and have a dentist do the review, not a civil servant!

Marion Colly
Sturminster Newton

It was refreshing to read an MP being open and honest, and saying in a public forum that he ‘cannot defend the indefensible’ with reference to Johnson and ‘partygate’.
Thank you Mr Hoare – you hold in your hands the last remaining shred of trust I have in the Conservative Party. It’s not much, but I suspect without decent MPs like you, our country would be in a far worse state.
Jenny Baines

I particularly appreciated Wendy Darvitt’s question for Simon Hoare on the Nolan Principles. Almost thirty years since the Seven Principles of Public Life were drawn up and it seems like people no longer talk about them, and yet we’re in need of them more than ever.
Just this week we hear that Mr Johnson attempted to use his position to get his then-mistress a job (Integrity? Objectivity?), had sex with her in a Ministerial office during normal office hours (Leadership? Plus it seems looking at sex in the House of Commons means you lose your job, but actually having it is fine … ), and then used his influence to pull the independent journalism which had uncovered the fact.
The shock is that we’re no longer shocked …
Roger Dorn

Ukraine benefit
Just to let you know that the Ukraine Benefit Concert we held at GMC last Friday evening was very successful. With your kind help we raised more than £2,600. This will be matched by Utility Warehouse to give a fantastic total of £5,200.
For those that weren’t able to attend (or were there and want to see it again!), a video of the first half of the concert is now available on YouTube (see above right – Ed), with the second half to follow soon.
Even if you have no wish to donate, I would urge you to follow the link and watch the video(s). The combination of Briggs, Hearnshaw, Honeybourne, Hope, Steele-Perkins & Trotter playing organs, a piano and several trumpets is unprecedented for a concert in the UK – indeed anywhere in the world. The atmosphere was electric and putting the videos together has made me realise how very special it was!
Gordon Amery
Organist & Concert Organiser

On your typography
Thank you once again for the latest issue, full of interesting articles obviously not vetted by a Commercial Director.
A magazine with an EDITOR and how it shows!
Sadly as an ex-designer of magazines, local and national, your typography drives me to distraction. No para indents, wayward and irrational text alignment…I could go on and on….and on.
I doubt that many of your readers even notice or care.
Why [am I writing]? Because overall it is a great local asset. Around 70 to 80 ex-employees of mine have over the years realised that I am a fully qualified pedant…but only over typography. Good typography is I believe a lost art.
Paul Killinger
by email
I did reply to Paul to defend the BV’s style guide:
“The lack of indents is fully intentional – every paragraph break is preceded by a subhead, so the indent is superfluous. Text alignment should in all cases (unless I’ve missed one, which is error, not design!) be left, footer notes are italicised and right-align.”
Typography, like all things, changes with the years; I’ll stand by mine. Thanks for the compliment on the content though Paul – that means FAR more! Ed

By snail mail
The letter below was received by email, courtesy of a kind Stalbridge resident who lives in the original BVM offices:


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