Guardian letters and comment

'Puppy's first Autumn - Reader's Picture by Elaine Ground.
'Puppy's first Autumn - Reader's Picture by Elaine Ground.
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Your views on Remembrance plus Thought for the Week and Editor’s Comment

There are better ways than bullets and bombs

Reader's Pictures: Faye Spelman says: "This is the reason we have no birds in the box!"

Reader's Pictures: Faye Spelman says: "This is the reason we have no birds in the box!"

At events throughout South Holland people of all ages, different nationalities and political persuasions come together to give thanks for the sacrifice of the fallen and injured of world wars and later conflicts.

It’s the one annual event that moves me to tears and 
reminds me of the experiences of my own father, recorded in his war diary.

It was especially hopeful to see so many children and young people. The older veterans grow very thin on the ground. It’s the youth of today who need to remember the lessons of conflict we should all have learnt by now.

Politicians start wars, ordinary people fight them and suffer.

Spalding Guardian cartoon by John Elson

Spalding Guardian cartoon by John Elson

Sadly there will always be power-hungry madmen in the world, we have them today. Let’s make sure our politicians work hard to find better ways of dealng with them than bullets and bombs.

Paul Foyster

District councillor

Holbeach

Thought For The Week

I was at the hairdressers the other day. She told me how she had helped a homeless person by providing them with a sleeping bag and some food. What a wonderful display of kindness. How precious it is when people are ‘just kind’.

Jesus gave us two instructions found in Matthew 22:37-40. And he said to him: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

Jesus makes so much sense. This can become a key principle in our life. Just be kind. We need to be treated with kindness, so let us show kindness to others. We want good things for ourselves, so let us give goodness to others.

Basically, our neighbour is not just the person next door. Our neighbour is anyone from anywhere, any background, any culture, including those who are homeless, or different to ourselves. Let’s be kind. What a wonderful world it would be if we all acted out of kindness and spoke with kindness to each other.

Pastor Chas Sandhu

Lighthouse Church, Spalding

Editor’s Comment

For those of you who follow us on social media and our website spaldingtoday.co.uk, this week must have been a particularly confusing one... it wasn’t easy for me either!

I’m referring to our reporting of the incident at “a south Lincolnshire school”, where a 13-year-old was arrested after allegedly bringing weapons on to the grounds.

I think most of you know and accept that we are not allowed, by law, to identify those under 18 years of age in such cases. I am obviously well aware of this too, so when I published the original story on our website on Monday evening, I was careful not to include details that could lead to the identification of the accused.

I did say in my report what school the youth attended. There’s hundreds of students attend that particular school and even breaking it down to Year 9 could not possibly lead to a student being identified. Even saying he’s a Year 9 boy would not identify him... there’s dozens of those too.

I left the office safe in the knowledge I’d published a 
report telling readers what had allegedly happened, where it was and when it was. Three of the key factors in writing a news story, the who and the why, were not there for obvious reasons. We could not identify the lad and who knows why he did what he did? (and anyway, it’s up to a court to prove he did anything).

But when our court 
reporter phoned in the next day he shocked me with the news that magistrates sitting in Lincoln had decided to 
impose reporting restrictions preventing identification of the defendant’s school.

Perhaps if there was still a court in Spalding, the bench would have realised everyone already knew which school is involved. Thousands saw it on our website, and the websites of other papers, and on TV and radio... and even on two police websites!

But all I could do was write the new story accordingly, rewrite all the previous stories, then delete any mention of the school from Facebook, Twitter and our website. Otherwise I could have been committing a contempt of court.