LETTER : You can blame violence on the box, Mr Bragg

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The Independent Online
From Mr G. A. Lloyd

Sir: Melvyn Bragg refers to a "complicatedly implanted moral code" in children which, he believes, TV is powerless to break. He goes on to dismiss those that challenge this viewpoint as either "tyrants, or insecure authoritarians", and he implicitly advocates strong resistance to any kind of media censorship.

As a middle-class intellectual with a firm grounding in this particular moral code, Mr Bragg clearly fails to appreciate that not all children have enjoyed this benefit. As a result of a complex array of social factors, many receive inadequate parental guidance and their basic sense of "right" and "wrong" is not always so clear cut. It is these children, often from impoverished families where financial stress leads to aggression and strife, who may view TV violence as "normal'' and who may subsequently behave in ways that reflect this. To them, unlike Mr Bragg, the distinctions between fact and fiction or good and bad are not always so obvious.

The moral code is indeed complicated, and while the link between TV and crime may not be a singular or direct one, its potential is nevertheless sufficient to warrant some caution.

Yours sincerely

G. A. Lloyd

Heywood, Lancashire

5 August