Anonymity questioned

PUBLISHED: 10:32 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:41 10 June 2010

It is with dismay that I read in your newspaper, inflammatory letters from people who appear not to have either the good manners or the strength of character to sign to their names and/or addresses. Why is this allowed?

It is with dismay that I read in your newspaper, inflammatory letters from people who appear not to have either the good manners or the strength of character to sign to their names and/or addresses.

Why is this allowed? Whether the letter is one of fact or opinion, surely it is reasonable behaviour to admit to sending it in?

Recently, this practice has been particularly prevalent in the matter of the Hushons' proposed development for the seafront, Budleigh Salterton.

Generally (but not always), this way of 'signing off' a letter, appears to support those against this building. As an already charged local issue, it really cannot help to read 'opinions' in print and then 'name and address withheld/concerned of X' etc.

Of course your newspaper should retain the right to withhold such information, should it be deemed really necessary. However, I fail to understand how so many of these letters addressed to you can fall into this category.

Finally, it is my understanding that unsubstantiated and attributable falsehoods in print (be they intended or not) are potentially libellous. Is this charge really what those who write anonymously fear?

Ann Coals,

100 Granary Lane,

Budleigh Salterton.

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