i Editor's Letter: Readers' emails


Stefano Hatfield
Friday 05 April 2013 22:01

A little apology. I haven’t been able to respond to as many of you in person as I would normally, partly down to having two jobs until I’m replaced here, and partly because there are now so many more letters. i’s increasing circulation accounts in part for the deluge, but it’s also the current climate. The Government’s determination to reduce the welfare bill and the language it uses around that aim, provokes heated views. We are looking at ways of giving your opinions more space. You are clearly frustrated with the status quo (I don’t mean i) and what you believe is your inability to have your voices heard.

A theme runs through your emails: dissatisfaction with the binary nature of British politics and its ugly, point-scoring manifestation in Westminster’s PMQs and the BBC’s Question Time.

Be careful what you wish for, because the alternative to binary can result in the sad, suffocating stasis of Italian politics. That said, I take your point. There is a difference between politics and journalism in this regard. Few of us want to read opinion pieces that are full of “on the one hand... and on the other...” It is the more binary of columnists (in i, Owen Jones) that generate response and garner a following.

Some of you write in to say there is a conspiracy against you because you are never published. I can assure you this is not true. Three tips may be of help: don’t be offensive; don’t libel individuals however sure of your personal opinion you are; and keep it brief. Look at the length of most letters, if you email more, then you won’t get in. Oh, don’t forget to have an opinion. Happy writing.

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