Dulcie Levett’s second letter (August 24), on the felling of two of the cathedral lime trees is strange.
Her first one, condemning the felling and full of fierce suspicion of its background, suggested to me a person so concerned that she’d have kept up with what was going on. As I wrote to you. But no, she tells us, she only learned of the felling after it was done.
So be it, I was mistaken. Indeed, she now argues the felling ‘could have waited a few more months’. That is very different from damning it outright.
Alas, she has not softened to the people responsible. Instead, she has widened her attack. Her first letter described ‘the cathedral and council’ as ‘run by incomers who don’t give a damn about the soul of our city as long as they can make a quick buck’. Just which council, I asked – three live in Chichester: county, district and city. ‘Take your pick’, she now replies.
No doubt they have faults. But Ms Levett’s description of them – all three, it now seems – is manifest nonsense. She apologises ‘if I have offended anybody’s sensibilities’. Giving offence is no crime. But apology is not enough here. If one puts out defamatory falsehoods as fact, when their untruth is remarked on, one should withdraw them. Not because of libel law, but out of common decency.