Thank you for your letter from which I can ascertain that you are in your late 50s or 60s. Therefore I can imagine my article probably worries you on a few levels and I would like to address your concerns individually if I may and clear up the main issue. As an activist and pacifist I support non-violent action. It was not my intention nor is it my position to condemn or condone the act of ‘physical assault’ on the Mayor but to draw attention to and highlight the overlooked facts in the Fluoride case. My intention was to play Devil’s Advocate, to report on what I was hearing on the streets, and ask whether poisoning the water with a known neurotoxin is an act of violence. It seems some ‘violence’ is more acceptable than others. Perhaps the ‘attacker’ should have concocted Jenny a cup of tea and everyone would have been OK with it? (That was sarcasm- for anyone getting their pen out).
Very upset at the article on ‘Follow the money on Fluoride’. Not only was it imbalanced, the comments on Jenny Dowell’s assault were worrying. What are you suggesting? Isn’t it a crime to assault a person; someone just walking the street in Lismore. Does it matter that they are a public official ?
Your comments made no mention that it was a vote passed by the whole of Lismore City Council, members of the different factions in council, and not just the Mayor; members who were democratically elected by the people of Lismore. It was the council body that passed the support for fluoridation.
And where are the statistics on the support of the anti-fluoridation? I know of no extensive survey in the Lismore City area. And what of the mal-effects of fluoride water? My dentist supports fluoridation! What science are you quoting when you say fluoride is so dangerous? It’s in my Colgate toothpaste!
Most people I speak to support the move to fluoridation. And it’s been in Sydney’s water for nearly 50 years! Growing up in Sydney my dental health improved after its introduction; great as mum didn’t have the money to take us six kids to the dentist.
Overall, a very disappointing article, and not what we’re used to in the VJ!
To be truthful, I probably should have reworded the beginning of my piece on Fluoride but wish to clarify I did not ‘justify an assault on the mayor’ but merely pointed to the facts. So therefore it is safe to say that I am not ‘culpable’ of anything other than maybe a bit of clumsy writing. When working to a deadline, time is of the essence and sometimes articles get through without as much scrutiny as they would get in an ideal world. But that said in actuality I am probably more worried about alerting you to the dangers of Fluoride than fussing about my writing. For your reading pleasure I have included your letter in its second ‘publishable’ version, unedited of course to highlight to you just how easy it is to criticise and how hard it actually is to write anything (well).