I feel bound to reply to the scathing attack on my character by Suzi Rollason, (Do not be so quick to judge students", Points of view, January 16th 2008).
She says that she was "appalled to read my bigotted and sweeping comments".
Firstly, if Ms Rollason wants to see "appalling" in all its glory, she might want to consider leaving the safety of her desk and take a holiday in Kenya or Zimbabwe. So let's get things in perspective before we start shall we Suzi?
Secondly, I would take issue with anyone who calls me a "bigot". The common translation of this much abused adjective is that of a "prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own". In point of fact, a more accurate description would be that of "someone who refuses to accept the possibility that their particular opinions are the outcomes of flawed logic", but I digress.
As far as I am aware, the only thing which I have been intolerant of recently is bad and innacurate letter writing, but to Ms Rollason's mind that probably now makes me a mysoginist to boot!
I know all about tolerance and Exeter University students, having lived until recently in the St David's area for around 20 years. I tolerated their all night parties. I tolerated their urinating outside my house. I tolerated them vandalising my garden (especially as daddy apologised and gave me a fat cheque), and I tolerated them defacating in a pint glass (what a jolly wheeze!) in plain view of my bedroom window. So Suzi, don't tell me about lack of tolerance, and as you can see, yes I have met these "extremely talented and hard-working young people", although just how talented you need to be to wait tables and wash pots must be open to question.
I will admit to generalisation or "sweeping comments", but I can only speak as I find, so what else am I expected to do?
Much of the points made in her letter refer to how hard working Exeter University students are, and (if you read between the lines), how downright lazy local residents (known as "townies" to the Uni elite) are. I would suggest that Ms Rollason is skating on thin ice here, and perhaps an apology to hardworking Exonians (and our Polish cousins) may be in order. If you look through my letter, you'll see that at no time did I accuse Exeter University students of being lazy or workshy, so I'm a bit bemused as to exactly what point she is trying to make.
Finally, are Select Hospitality aware that Ms Rollason is issuing statements to the press on their behalf? I have a mind to contact Sandy Jarrett, Head of Marketing and Communications at Select Hospitality to find out. Perhaps there might be a position for our budding writer in this department – or, in the words of Fagin, "I think I'd better think it out again"!