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THE Council s so called newspaper can only say what the powers-that-be want to hear writes Pam D (Post July 29). Why does she not send her unexpurgated letter, which she says was subjected to the council censorship, to the Post? Her experience emphasis

THE Council's so called newspaper "can only say what the powers-that-be want to hear" writes Pam D (Post July 29). Why does she not send her unexpurgated letter, which she says was subjected to the council censorship, to the Post?

Her experience emphasises the value of an independent local newspaper: to tell its readers all sides of a story, including that which the council does not want them to know, and to provide a forum for the free expression of honestly held opinion, whether the council likes it or not.

By contrast, the council produces, at our expense, a vehicle for council and Labour Party propaganda. It was conceived by a council which cannot countenance criticism of itself, and so cannot tolerate a free press.

It publishes a story about a report claiming that migrants get no priority in the allocation of social housing, In a pretence at fair-mindedness it quotes opponents, but puts them in the "lies, damned lies" brigade, thus suggesting that they are people who ignorantly condemn that which do not like or understand.


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The report itself was published by a body which cannot be said to be impartial, and its conclusions were predictable.

The July 29 issue of the Post carries a letter from two Dagenham ladies strongly in favour of wheelie bins. It has carried other letters strongly against. This is free expression of opinion: an essential freedom, surely, in a free society. Something you will not see in a Pravada.

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The freedom to disagree can exist only as long as we have an independent local press.

Long live the Post!

Without it our council would achieve what every tyrant demands: total control of the media, and silencing of the voice of opposition.

Anthony Richards

Wilmington Gardens

Barking

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