Does the cap fit?

JACKIE Bialeska quite deliberately signs herself once more with the subscript, 'Vox Pop,' which means 'voice of the people,' as I'm sure she understands. Yet in her letter she disingenuously writes, 'I speak for myself,' and omits her own address. I don't 'put words into her mouth that she never said'. I quote the words she herself writes, and continues to write.

The letters from her and from Stephen Myers, remind me of the old joke.

How many folk singers does it take to change a light bulb? Six. One to put in the new bulb and five more to write protest songs complaining that the old one was much better.

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Their letters also precisely prove the main points I made about the protesters.

I said that Ms Bialeska “seems to think the good citizens of Bexhill need to hear her views at least once a fortnight.” One week later, here she is, in the paper, protesting about my remarks, repeating her views yet again, and stating that she will “fight on,” sending “letters to inform the citizens of Bexhill what is going on.”

If the cap fits?

She accuses me of misquoting or misunderstanding her, but the only critical references I made to the endlessly expressed views of her and her acolytes were to their comments about the planting of the gardens and the building that obscures part of the view of the De La Warr. Do they deny those comments? They do not. Indeed, with regard to the planting, Ms Bialeska then repeats one of the comments that she accuses me of misrepresenting.

I didn’t misrepresent her or misquote her. Nor did I show ignorance of the needs of people other than me. I’ve worked far too long with people with physical and learning disabilities for that. Is Ms Bialeska putting words I never said into my mouth in order to reject arguments I never made?

What I did do was to put forward my own views about the style and design of the new seafront, and its potential economic contribution to the future of the town. I concluded, “I for one did not come here to gaze fondly out of my backside at a past imaginary utopia.” Ms Bialeska and Mr Myers then dismiss my views largely because I am a “newcomer” who never experienced the “old shelters” or the pleasant scenes on “the old pitch and putt” and “the seafront as it used to be”. Does the cap fit?

It clearly hasn’t occurred to them that newcomers are perfectly able to form a valid opinion of what is there now, unencumbered by memories of what was there before. We had a couple of friends over from Holland recently. Holland is incredibly stylish, and both our friends are involved in the visual arts. One of them is heavily involved in building design. Both of them thought the new seafront was great, and a significant potential contribution to the future of the town.

I note that Ms Bialeska does not “acquiesce” and welcomes “lively debate.” It’s very clear however that she doesn’t appreciate contributions to that “lively debate” from those who don’t “acquiesce” in her particular views.

Having made my contribution to the “lively debate,” I don’t intend to repeat it over and over again. I intend to enjoy the seafront with my grandchildren, and wish her much joy, pleasure and lots more time with her own great-grandchildren.

JOE FAIRCLOUGH

Whydown Road

Bexhill