Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An edited version of this letter is published in today's Guardian

Sir,

Not for the first time, Simon Hoggart (column, 7 August) allows common sense to desert him when he imagines he has the "nanny state" in his sights. The stepping stones over the river Dove have not been renovated because of an obsession with health & safety (if anyone has such an obsession it is Hoggart) but because they are part of a right of way used in high season by literally thousands of walkers each day. Despite their being referred to in The Compleat Angler (a book it is doubtful whether one visitor in ten thousand has ever heard of, let alone read) they were not constructed, nor are they used today, purely as a landscape ornament in the manner of Capability Brown. These stones were made for walking, and the renovation (using local limestone in what the picture in his column show to be a perfectly respectful and unobtrusive way) is aimed at keeping them that way.

I suspect Hoggart's issue is that he hates having to share "his" picture-postcard view of stones which he clearly has never used (slipping off is more likely to get you a gashed
leg or a sprained ankle than simply wet feet) with the hoi-polloi who actually continue the tradition of using them to get from A to B. If the council had done nothing and in twenty years' time the stones had become so eroded as to be both unusable and irreparable, Hoggart would doubtless be sitting somewhere in France moaning about how much better care the French take of their heritage than we do.

Still, in his next paragraph he describes Tony Blair as being a "heralded, loved and acclaimed prime minister". Clearly the man needs help.

5 Comments:

At 17 August, 2010 12:15, Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Brilliant! Sorry I missed the letter in print, but well done you for your acerbic and utterly accurate demolition of Hoggart (who frankly is an embarrassment to his father in my eyes, as problematic as Hoggart snr is now viewed)

 
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