Ryburne

McCarthy and Stone

Small ads

Bernard Ingham

From Dave Boardman

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The HB Times/Halifax Courier are still refusing to answer questions about Ingham's future and their role in supporting him. I fear their intransigence will lead to a boycott which could kill off the paper (maybe that's what they want...?)

I suspect the attitude is to ignore us and we'll all go away. The latest letter we sent to them (last Friday) has had no response either. I think we are now talking about their freedom to suppress rather than freedom of the press.

The Liverpool Echo has slated him for refusing to apologise generally. Jill Robinson is following it up for Guardian Northerner

Now 377 likes on Facebook page

My letter to the HB Times:

So the new style Super Soaraway Sunny Hebden Bridge Times is still playing head-in-the-sand games about Ingham. No mention of him or the common desire to have him apologise or go. Is the role of the press to ignore or suppress local news? 310 'likes' on a local facebook page not newsworthy? How come this old Tory can have a column to offend who he likes but we can't hear about how deeply unpopular he is? Oh, of course... that's what 'freedom of the press' means.

Freedom of the press doesn't extend to those who don't own the press but it does allow owners and editors to publish the views of establishment figures who hate the average Englishman and woman as shown by his disgraceful utterings on Hillsborough among other things.

Please tell us how you can justify continuing to defend this man by having him on your books without a public apology for what he has said and done.

From Mo Norwood

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Yes there must be several/ many/ hundreds/ of us already boycotting the paper because of Bernard Ingham and the publishers need to know this.

From Simon Hayles

Thursday, 31 January 2013

For those who don't wish to register with Facebook there is also an online petition to the Hebden Bridge Times to ask them to stop using Mr. Ingham as an opinion writer.

The current circulation of the HBT is approximately 2600, so it would only take 1300 signatures to send a very strong message indeed.

If this figure (or near it) is reached a printed copy will be delivered to the HBT office. Tell your friends!

From Allen Keep

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Signed.

Apparently Ingham commented recently that HB people don't care about Hillsborough so I hope we can prove him wrong. The boycot of the S*n in Liverpool, which carries on to this day, shows that people can come together and make an impact. Let's get Ingham out.

From Roger N

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Whatever happened to the Voltarian ideal: "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

The campaign to eradicate him from our local newspaper is chilling, and rings warning bells amongst those of us who have even only a scant understanding of history.

Let's assume I'm wrong and the campaigners have their way. Sir Bernard will be removed and all will be sweetness and light. The Hebden Bridge Times will be full of uncontroversial and anodyne comment that reflects our fluffy little cotton wool shangri-la. No need to think for ourselves, because the press (or ultimately the government) will do that for us.

I'm afraid I can't help thinking of Monty Python's Life of Brian where Brian addresses the crowd who are blindly following him. "You're all individual!" he cries out to them desperately "Yes, we're all individual!" they boom back in unison. "You can all think for yourselves!" he pleads. "Yes" they chant "We can all think for ourselves!"

Let's just assume for a moment that Sir Bernard is allowed to continue his column. What an opportunity to show our kids that the world is full of controversy, and that some people may have extreme and sometimes unpalatable views which may not coincide with our own. (You may have gathered I'm not a great fan of his). If you disagree with someone and their opinions, isn't it better to shoot those opinions down with well argued reason rather than to pretend that they simply don't exist. If we deny the views of people like Sir Bernard, we do our children a monumental disservice, and leave them less able to cope with conflict.

If you have the intellectual capacity to challenge Sir Bernard on his views, then let him continue his column. You can then debate his views in the pubs, clubs, homes and institutions of the valley, and possibly even the letters colums of the same paper. If you feel you're no match for him, then by all means campaign for his removal. But beware of that route - it may lead to more than you bargained for.

From Hazel D

Friday, 8 February 2013

I agree with the need for a range of viewpoints and attitudes to be reflected in our local paper. This is why I love our letters page. So, let's have a controversial columnist who inspires debate. However, is there any reason why we can't find such a person living in Hebden Bridge and therefore more in touch with what is going on. Or at least, can we find a columnist who is not so arrogant as to assume that nobody in Hebden has been in any way affected by what happened at Hillsborough. At the very very least, can we have someone who apologises when they do or say something wrong.

From Allen Keep

Saturday, 9 February 2013

I suspect the least concern of anyone who wants to get rid of Ingham is that they might not match up to him intellectually - opinionated and arrogant bluster is not particularly challenging to most. I reckon my 13 year old would give him a run for his money.

As for the tedious Voltaire quote? First of all he never said it (it was a view attributed to him over 100 years after his death) and, in any case, it is entirely meaningless.

I don't know about Roger, but I have always taught my children that while I believe generally in the democratic ideal of free speech there are always restrictions and, sorry, you can't just say what you like. Rights, as most people accept, are balanced by responsibilities. Opinions are not abstract - they have a concrete impact on people's lives – and why, in my view and for instance, we should not provide the freedom of speech for fascists which, since Roger invokes a knowledge of history, has disastrous consequences.

I have also taught my children that if they offend someone they should apologise. Let us not forget the impact of Bernard Ingham's view, not as a lay person but as someone right at the heart of government, that Hillsborough was caused by tanked up Liverpool hooligans. It is a view that the Liverpool Echo revealed this week he reiterated in personal letters to victims' families and despite the overwhelming evidence of the Hillsborough Independent enquiry he has not seen fit to retract.

So the question is not about freedom of speech. It is whether, until he apologises for the offence and pain he has caused to the bereaved families of the Hillsborough victims, he is a fit and proper person to be invited to contribute to our local paper on a regular basis.
My view, which I hope Roger will defend to the death, is that he is not.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 9 February 2013

I too think the anti-Ingham campaign risks becoming counter productive. But judging by Ingham's latest column, it has succeeded to a degree. I can imagine it stemming from a conversation something like this:

HBT editor: Bernard, can we have something that doesn't just slag off wind farms and big up the nuclear industry?

Ingham: Like what?

HBT editor: Well, there's controversy about the Browns site, Nutclough Mill, fly tipping in Cragg Vale, residential parking charges, and Calder High School.

To a conscientious or canny writer, that's five columns. At least. Instead, Ingham bundles them all up in one, proving only that his grasp of local issues is heroically superficial.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. He might just disappear (if I were HBT editor, this would be the last straw). Or he might revert to Johnny One-Note mode, which would strengthen my own suspicion that he isn't being paid for his columns by HBT, but by the nuclear industry he represents.

Could there be a sweetheart deal in the background? He's unlikely to be churning out Ingham's Eye View for nothing. If he's being paid by the HBT - and thus the struggling Johnstone Press - he certainly isn't delivering value for money. But if he's getting paid by someone else, there's no urgency to switch him off. Is there anyone in the NUJ who might shed light on this?

From Roger N

Sunday, 10 February 2013

So, as far as Allen Keep is concerned, all that is needed from Sir Bernard is an apology.

One simple question: Is it right for someone to apologise for, or retract something, if he/she isn't being sincere? We've had so many cases recently of politicians issuing statements of regret concerning things they've done but shouldn't have. Is such regret sincere, or is it just to let them off the hook so they can continue their career unhindered? Do they genuinely regret their misdemeanours, or do they actually regret the fact they've been found out and say 'sorry' merely to appease the public? I suggest the latter is usually the case.

Let's turn our attention to Sir Bernard Ingham and his critics. "Apologise!" demand his critics. "Retract your comments!" And how easy it would be for him to do just that. But whatever you think of Sir Bernard, and however much your politics clashes with his, he has a certain integrity. He doesn't say things to court popular opinion - he has no need to do that. The bottom line is that he speaks his mind, and won't retract his views just to keep in with the in-crowd. You know where you are with Sir Bernard. Would that present day politicians, of whatever hue, take that on board! Give me someone of integrity and honesty over a coward and rogue who lies just to placate his audience.

Let's suppose he called the protesters' bluff and actually issued a statement regretting his remarks on Hillsborough, wind farms et al, however insincere that may be. Would that be the end of the matter? I suspect not. I suggest that Sir Bernard's problem lies in a deep seated hatred of the political regime he was responsible for promoting last century.

Oh, and briefly, before I wrote this I just thumbed through Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary (English translation I'm afraid so some of the nuances aren't there). I can't help thinking Voltaire would have approved of the saying so irrevocably associated with his name (Incidentally, that's why I said 'Voltarian' rather than attributing the comment to the man himself). And despite Allen Keep's dismissal of its sentiments, it actually makes rather a good starting point for a true democracy.

From Andy M

Monday, 11 February 2013

Much though I disagree with his politics, world view, philosophy, morality (I expect!), manners and oh . . . probably everything about him, I will not join a witch hunt . . . that's their territory . . . and he serves a useful purpose as a reminder about what is so bad about Tories.

From Allen Keep

Monday, 11 February 2013

I dont think an apolgy from Ingham would be about him playing to the "in-crowd". Campaigning for Justice for the 96 is not about being part of an in crowd. There may have been a small but determined number of people who have carried this campaign for the truth for so many years but since the HIP report anyone, except the willfully blind, can see that truth as plain as day and millions of people are outraged by it.

Even Cameron apologised on behalf of the nation and Ingham should do the same unless, of course, (which wouldn't surprise me) he feels he has nothing to apologise about in which case he should have the courage to say so.

How people view any forthcoming apology is up to them (Mackenzie "apologised" but I for one will never read the S*n and if he grovelled at my feet I'd step on him). The point is that it entirely legitimate to demand one and campaign for his removal unless that occurs.

And you can see why the Voltarian ideal is meaningless - at best you end up sitting on the fence. At worst you end up lining up behind the most reactionary.

From Jason Elliott

Monday, 11 February 2013

For the avoidance of doubt, I can confirm that Ingham is indeed paid a nominal fee for his column by Johnston Press.

From Diane Hurst

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Bernard Ingham

I always thought and assumed that in a debate of any kind, that its simply a matter of common etiquette or decency to reply to that debate.
So please Sir . . . Please give all of us an answer. Please.

From Roger N

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Diane, in a sense he has replied.

His latest contribution to the Hebden Bridge Times is headed "My job as columnist is to cause angst on local issues - and I will". That headline is probably all you need to read to see where he's coming from.

As for exhorting him to give us all an answer... what exactly is the question?

From Allen Keep

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I don't think this is about having a direct dialogue with Ingham but rather continuing to ask HB Times if it is appropriate to have him as their columnist given his failure to apologise for what he said about Hillsborough.

In addition to arguing that Liverpool should "shut up" about Hillsborough let us remind ourselves what he said on Question Time as quoted in the HIP report (which Ingham proudly informs us he hasn't even read).

"In my view the culprits of Hillsborough were those yobs in mass numbers who turned up just before the match and tried to force their way in and did force their way in. They are responsible for the deaths of innocent people. They are responsible".

This was not immediately after the event when he was briefed to this effect by South Yorkshire Police but in 1996, post Taylor report and when there was already ample evidence for those who cared to view it that this view was entirely unfounded and malicious and based purely on police and media lies - now unequivocably endorsed by the HIP report.

Ingham must have known it wasn't true then and he certainly knows it isn't true now - but he continued to endorse this vicious lie for years after Hillsborough and he continues to refuse to acknowledge this or to apologise in any way.

So. Imagine for a second being a member of a bereaved family tuning into Question Time that evening and hearing Bernard Ingham speaking about Hillsborough.

The question I might therefore want to ask him is "how do you sleep at night?"

From Dave Boardman

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

There's an old saying: Voltaire Schmoltaire ... I don't care that Ingham has views that differ from mine on probably every subject. I do care that he is part of a movement to blame victims of police incompetence and continue the misery of bereaved families for decades. Bullying the bereaved takes the issue beyond any criticism of his politics. And not to stand up to bullies is to encourage the bully

From Barry Mills

Friday, 22 February 2013

The very notion of campaigning against someone having a newspaper column because you don't like something he said is more offensive than anything he did or could say. I think Ingam is a bigoted, but harmless, fool, but the people behind this campaign are dangerous. If you want to live like that, go to China or North Korea.

From Hazel D

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

I would like to congratulate the Hebden Times on seeing sense and replacing this arrogant man with voices which understand local issues in their new column "My Calder Valley". I look forward to being challenged by opinions and ideas which differ from my own and being informed on a range of different issues. I would also like to thank those people who campaigned for an apology from Ingham on Hillsborough and, in the absence of one, who campaigned for his removal from our local paper.

From Dave Boardman

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Well done everyone. We will hopefully now have a local newspaper that is in touch with the local community and what's going on here ... It shows that protest works. I feel proud to be part of Hebden Bridge again now the shame of links with Ingham has been lifted

From Richard Woodcock

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Good! Well done to Dave, Viv and Chris and everyone else. I'm looking forward to what new writers have to say about life in the valley.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Don't forget the role Hebweb played in keeping the pot boiling, not just recently but for several years. It's unlikely that the HBT will ever match Hebweb for being in touch with the local community.

From Gideon Foster

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

I realise the celebrations are still ongoing, but maybe I could ask a hypothetical question of the objectors. You have expressed a view on the Hebden Bridge Web which I do not agree with and find offensive, do I question your view realising that no matter how objectionable I may find it you have a right to free speech, or do i immediately arrange a Facebook campaign to have you removed forthwith and banned from expressing your view on such a public forum again?


As Barry Mills quite rightly states in an earlier post this is dangerous, I do not wish to live in a society where my views are censored by a baying mob, and what is considered offensive is decided for me, I am capable of making the decision for myself.

I can honestly say having read the HB Times for the last 30 odd years I may have glanced at his column once or twice but in the main I am not particularly interested by what he has to say, but he has a right to say it, just as everyone has a right to challenge that view publicly and if you feel strongly you can exercise your right not to buy the paper! And if enough people abstain from purchasing market forces deal with the problem for you.

Hillsborough was a terrible tragedy and the people who perpetrated the cover up should be brought to justice. I have visited Anfield a few times and have always stopped at the memorial to the 96 who died that day, but you will also find memorials in most towns in this country to men and women who have died protecting our right to democracy and free speech. Let's make sure their sacrifice was not in vain as well.

From Mike Shillabeer

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Finally the Hebden Bridge Times have come to their senses and removed Bernard Ingham from their list of contributors. They must have recognised that Ingham's continued presence was a poor reflection on the newspaper as well as the odious man himself. Looks like the power of local opinion has been successful on this occasion. Ingham's opinions only reflect the most narrow of mindsets that don't deserve the attention he has gained though a column printed in a town that has far more progressive views. Yipee!

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Gideon - The answer to your opening question is yes, you can start a Facebook campaign about anything. What happens then will depend on how much support you get. If you want a ‘baying mob’ though, you may have to organise your campaign in a very different way.

I too thought the Ingham campaign risked going over the top. But by sustaining his Hillsborough slanders and refusing to give ground even slightly, Ingham created an impossible situation for everyone. Caught in the middle, the Hebden Bridge Times doubtless had to consider the commercial and possibly legal consequences of continuing to host the lazy rants of a man who essentially lost the plot some years ago.

Ingham still has the freedom to think and say what he likes. All he has lost, entirely through his own folly, is the privilege - not the right - of broadcasting his views via a newspaper column.

If he doesn’t like the outcome, perhaps he should start his own Facebook campaign to get himself reinstated.

From Gideon Foster

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Graham, whilst I take your point regarding the privilege of writing for the HB Times, and I am in no way trying to defend the man or his views, I reiterate my view that it is the start of a very dangerous road to journey down, even if you find an individual's view abhorrent.

I think I have read that the circulation of the paper is around 2600, so even if we are being very generous and assume that the 500 or so people who joined the protest all individually purchase the HBT, then around a fifth of the readership, hardly a majority, have forced the issue.

If a voice in a small local newspaper can be silenced , then how long is it before views expressed in any unpaid public forum can be similarly stifled!

From Allen Keep

Thursday, 28 February 2013

I completely disagree with Gideon but I’m glad he has reminded us of what this is about, at least as far as I am concerned, with his reference to Hillsborough and his obvious and welcome respect for the victims.

Ingham was, and remains, unwilling to show that same respect - quite the reverse - and it was not his opinions or ideas about Hillsborough (odious though they are along with everything he stands for) but his actions in perpetuating a lie and an injustice that has caused such offence and hurt to the bereaved. It was for this reason, not to censor or deny him freedoms, that I felt he should not be welcome in our local paper and was not a fit and proper person to have a regular public voice in our town until he acknowledged the truth about Hillsborough, as so many others have done, and apologised.

That’s not over the top - it seems to me to be perfectly reasonable and proper for members of our community to campaign on this basis and make their voice heard.

That they have done - and I am proud that so many have contributed in some way to the continuing fight for justice for the 96. I am also really pleased Ingham has gone and I hope that the role he played from the beginning in relation to the lies and cover up about what happened at Hillsborough eventually comes to be fully revealed.

I for one won’t be celebrating as such though - despite my joy at the news. The campaign has never been about vengeance or retribution. It has been about truth and justice, attaching responsibility where it belongs and making people like Ingham accountable for their actions in some way.

96 people lost their lives at a football match - there are no winners.

From Gideon Foster

Friday, 1 March 2013

Allen, whilst we may not agree, I wish you well in the quest for justice and truth. I remember watching a train full of Liverpool fans travel through the valley that day, and can still recall that image due to events later in the day and the realisation that some probably never made the return journey.

On a footballing note I look forward to the day when Liverpool can challenge the two plastic theme parks in a certain city further east again !

From Jill Robinson

Friday, 1 March 2013

A neighbour and I were discussing this issue of censorship. Surely, if a writer has a column in a newspaper for 20+ years and then is replaced, this is not censorship, he has had a good innings, far longer than many columns run, with plenty of opportunity to express his opinions. Bernard Ingham is still free to do what the rest of us have always done, write a letter to the paper if they wish. It would be more correct to call it censorship if the editor then refused to publish his letters.

From Simon Jones

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Well, I'm voting with my subscription.

Any publication that denies freedom of speech due to excessive contrived radical left wing pressure does not deserve my custom.

I will no longer be subscribing to the The Hebden Bridge Times.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Saturday, 2 March 2013

No, this isn't about censorship, nor about the 'baying mob.' Yes, it's true that only a small percentage of the assumed readership campaigned for him to go, but that was significantly more than those who campaigned for him to stay. What the others thought is not known, and irrelevant to the decision itself: in any vote, an abstention is not a vote. So, unless there is a decision that a certain number of votes have to be cast for the decision to be valid, the majority of those voting will win the issue.

Bernard Ingham has the same freedom of speech as the rest of us. But freedom always comes with responsibility, and at the very least any public utterance must exercise a responsibility to respect the hearers and to respect the truth. Ingham has done neither - indeed, in his latest utterances on BBC Radio 4 this week, he came across as someone who was completely incapable of acknowledging that he was wrong, twisting and rewriting history to demonstrate that he and only he was right, and we should have listened, and it's our fault, etc, etc. So why should I have to have his man writing in my local paper? No, I don't have to buy it, but I have always read the local paper wherever I live, as part of being in that community. What has Ingham got to do with Hebden Bridge?

Enough is enough. If the paper is to be the voice of the local community, let's have the voices of local people - incidentally, I have noticed that the size of the letters column has been greatly reduced in the last few issues: is that because people have stopped writing? I doubt it, so will the extra space be restored? I hope so.

From Gideon Foster

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Rev Tony Buglass, at the risk of getting drawn into a long and drawn out debate on the subject, you highlight a couple of points as to why I, and others I suspect, feel disturbed by the manner in which he was removed and its wider implications.

This was not a vote! It was a vocal minority who demanded his removal, the others did not abstain they were not afforded a view, and that is why it is dangerous. Yes they could have voiced their opinion, as I have, but as is the case in most things it is the objectors who will shout the loudest. People in favour of the status quo will rarely campaign and in this case the HBT has succumbed to pressure from a minority.

That is why this is sinister. Is it fair that the views of a few are able to influence the direction of many? In this case, the majority may not be bothered. I certainly won't lose any sleep if his column is not in the paper, but what if in future the same tactics were used to silence a voice that should be heard? The end result, as history has shown us, is that the silent majority are forced into action and this ultimately ends in conflict.

You ask "why should I have him writing in my local paper?" However, you are willing to listen to his ramblings on Radio 4. What's the difference?

As for what he has to do with Hebden Bridge? I guess the HBT has persevered with him as being the "local boy done good" who started his career with the paper, despite him living elsewhere now, but I agree he is most definitely not representative of the current local community. It may also interest earlier posters on this thread who as always try to turn the debate into a political argument that his father was a Labour party councillor and that Sir Bernard Ingham himself stood for the Labour party in Leeds City Council elections having been nominated by the Fabian Society, in the days before he was press secretary for Margaret Thatcher.

From Rev Tony Buglass

Sunday, 3 March 2013

No, Gideon, it wasn't a vote, nor should it have been one. It WAS a public discussion carried on in a public forum, and a forum which would have been even more public if the editor of the HB Times had deigned to allow the conversation to take place in the paper. If you want to call foul on censorship, perhaps you would comment on his alleged refusal to publish the objections raised with him.

Of course the objectors shouted loudest - but if he had supporters, they could easily have spoken up and shouted even more loudly. As far as I can see, there were no actual supporters, just folk like yourself who are worried about censorship.

As to listening to his rambles on R4, well, no - the radio was on in the background, as it usually is at lunchtime, and he was interviewed as part of a discussion. The difference is that I happened to hear him on the radio (which is free), whereas I choose to read the newspaper (which isn't free). Not really the same thing.

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 3 March 2013

This thread seems have set a new record for dragging out all the freedom of speech clichés including a 'baying mob' and our old friends, 'the silent majority'.

I am at a loss how a group of concerned individuals offering considered arguments against an outdated and boring right wing columnist is a 'baying mob'. It's long time since I was lumped into a 'baying mob' when all I did was sign an online petition. An old fashioned tradition done in a new school way.

In fairness, those who responded weren't just the usual suspects, but a wide cross section of people who didn't want to hear from the print equivalent of the pub bore.

As for the silent majority - much beloved of failed independent candidates - I didn't see their counter petition. They didn't do one because they don't actually exist and if they were that bothered it doesn't actually take much effort to set one up; you can even do it from your armchair which would suit the laziness of the mythical silent majority.

I thought Ingham's view on the events surrounding 96 deaths were disgusting but my main objection was he hasn't lived here for decades and hadn't been to our town for three years. How can you write a column on a place you are so unfamiliar with . . . especially a town like ours.

I've been a journalist for 25 years and grew up in small Northern town with a similar paper to the HB Times. If I wrote to their editor and suggested that based on my birthplace I should write a column on a place I didn't live in, he would think me either arrogant or deluded.

I respect Simon Jones' decision to register his dissent by withdrawing his subscription which is just as democratic as signing a petition.

The thing I find most objectionable is this hysterical idea that if we challenge people like Ingham then we are on the slippery road to some sort of Orwellian or fascist state. This is a reductionist argument that doesn't take into account the complexities of mature debate and dissent.

It was the right to let Ingham go because he was simply past his sell by date and was trotting out the same old stuff. My only concern is that the new format will just feature the local 'great and good' who we hear quite enough from already.

From Gideon Foster

Monday, 4 March 2013

Rev Tony, the editor of the HBT should have allowed the debate to take place and his alleged refusal to do so makes him just as culpable in my eyes, i too will not be subscribing to the HBT in future.

Paul Clarke, I am sorry for the use of clichés and the language of a failed independent candidate as you have most kindly observed. I would however point out that when you refer to the person in question as "an outdated and boring right wing columnist" then it gives me the impression that your objection was in some part driven by your political preference, which is precisely why I voiced my concerns in the first place.
As for your penultimate paragraph regarding an "Orwellian or Fascist state", my point was that the action taken means he has not been challenged. He has simply been silenced. If that was as a result of his own unwillingness to comment then more fool him! If it was as a result of the editor refusing to allow any debate regarding the matter then everyone should boycott the paper! I suspect the answer we will never know.

From Roger N

Monday, 4 March 2013

There's so much more to this than meets the eye. Oh dear - I've just used another hackneyed cliche, just like the Voltarian quote I used earlier, which is so much reviled by the extremes of the political spectrum.

Talking to members of the Trades Club and others, I get the impression that the articulate minority (yes, most certainly not baying masses) always had a hidden agenda here. The apparent reasons for wanting Sir Bernard removed - his remarks on Hillsborough, his stance on wind power, or simply that people felt he was out of touch with the community - didn't really matter. What did matter was the opportunity for a little bit of retribution on the man who was the voice of Margaret Thatcher during much of her hated 11 year incumbency of 10 Downing Street.

Anyhow, the deed is done. It's water under the bridge. Let's not cry over spilt milk. Il faut cultiver notre jardin. We mustn't rub salt in the wound.

Let's hope the Hebden Bridge Times rises to the challenge. In my opinion it's one of the most boring and anodyne publications I've ever read. I do buy it, and am always disappointed. But then I buy it on the following Thursday on the basis that surely it can't be as bad as it was on the previous week. But it always is! And so you buy the next week's edition on the same presumption. It's a sort of captive audience living in hope.

So, in the place of Sir Bernard, can we have contributors who challenge us with their views? Please let us not have to endure people whose opinions entirely coincide with ours. How dull would that be!

From Dave Boardman

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

I always find it interesting - and somewhat arrogant - that people on forums and in newspapers like to decide what other people's motivations are.

There are many valid reasons for not wanting Ingham's words to take up ink in our local press and I agree with many of them. My position all along, however, is not about his objectionable views. It is that the man knew the truth and pushed the lies - about the deaths of 96 innocent people, and helped bugger up the lives of many others who were subsequently blamed for their friends' and relatives' deaths. Along with others I asked Johnson Press to publish his apology next, before publishing any further words of his - not the same as asking them to sack him. He didn't apologise. No one's fault but his own.

Is the press there to give us news and (sometimes objectionable) views? I'd say 'yes'. Is it there to lie and encourage lies? I'd say 'no'. If you disagree and want offence, lies, bullying and people to offend the bereaved then ask Johnson Press to employ someone to do this. Maybe they know the perfect man for the job

From Jason Elliott

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

In view of Roger N's comment, "So, in the place of Sir Bernard, can we have contributors who challenge us with their views? Please let us not have to endure people whose opinions entirely coincide with ours. How dull would that be!" it should be noted that the first columnist in the "My Calder Valley" section of the Hebden Bridge Times, due to start tomorrow, will be the Chief Editor of the Courier Group (including the Hebden Bridge Times) John Kenealy.

From H Gregg

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Thanks for that info Jason.

I suppose the question on some people's minds will be "Has he got anything to apologise for?" ;-)

From Andy Wilson

Thursday, 7 March 2013

I was amused to see my name on the list of people Bernard Ingham insulted in the HB Times. I had a good chuckle at the time. I regarded it as compliment to be insulted by him in print. I won't miss him though. He had become so boring and repetitive, you could skim-read his column in 5 seconds. His lies about Hillsborough and his failure to apologise are truly unforgivable. Nothing amusing about that.

See also

HebWeb News: Bernard Ingham column comes to an end (27 Feb 2013)

Guardian Northerner: Hebden Bridge residents launch campaign against Bernard Ingham amid calls for local paper to sack former Thatcher aide as columnist for his refusal to apologise for comments about Hillsborough disaster. (1 Feb)

HebWeb News: Hillsborough - calls for local papers to end Bernard Ingham's Column (Jan 2013)

HebWeb Forum: Bernard Ingham and Hillsborough (Sept-Dec 2012)

Facebook: Remove Bernard Ingham as HB Times columnist

Online petition: We the undersigned believe that due to his lack of integrity over such issues as the Hillsborough disaster and his repeated attacks on wind-farms without declaring his own financial interests in nuclear power, Bernard Ingham is not fit to be given a regular column in the Hebden Bridge Times.

HebWeb News: Bear v Bernard (Sept 2011)

HebWeb Feature: John Morrison and Bernard Ingham (October 2001)