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The End Of Village Life As We Know It

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 51
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Rose Sal Volatile Parade (U4705648) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    As is so often the case these days, I woke up at 4.30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, and unable to get back to sleep I decided to go into the village. It’s a remarkable place and like no other I’ve ever been to, in that the pub is always open, the village hall door is kept ajar at all times, and all the houses, small or large, have their downstairs lights on and would happily let you in out of the cold night air. However, I was dismayed to see the planners had delivered a sentence of death on the place. On February 25th, bulldozers will move in to flatten it and destroy the community for ever. Two weeks’ notice of eviction was given for inhabitants who have lived there for years and years.

    There are plenty of places provided by the BBC for celebs, for politicians, for chat show hosts, for presenters, for the usual suspects, stakeholders and opinion formers in society to give their opinions and have fun while we passively and obediently watch or listen in. Where are the public spaces for the rest of us, the licence payers, to have our own fun, interact with each other and contribute our own opinions? Shouting at the radio in the kitchen is all very well, but discussion is far more satisfying. Up to now, one place we’ve been able to go to has been the village: cyber- Ambridge, or as it is known locally, Mustardland. This wonderful example of genuine dialogue between a Home Service wireless programme and a modern BBC 21st century community of listeners is, now, however, to go.

    The Archers as a radio soap opera is a throwback, an anachronism. As anyone who’s recently lived in an English village knows, they aren’t like Ambridge anymore. Even though many of them are still relatively conservative, the concept behind the soap which worked in 1951, is unlikely to work in 2013 without provoking scepticism or even derision.

    The producers of the show therefore have a dilemma: how to modernise to keep this beloved institution going, while keeping the basic idea that the lives of a few well-off families who run everything and a few scurvy poor characters who don’t, are central to everything? Increasingly, the route chosen through this has been to insist that the village inhabitants wise up to the 21st century and become a bit more politically savvy. Thus, at New Year on the 60th anniversary, the strange and almost inexplicable survival of a peculiarly historical phenomenon was celebrated by, in the same episode, throwing out the old (nice but daft landowner, Nigel) and welcoming in the new (a baby born to a single mother by artificial insemination from an unknown father). The clear idea was that a new Archers was to be born and the old one consigned to the grave. Except that, of course, for the listeners, the crude imposition of urban modernisation into the programme in this way was not what they’d wanted and Vanessa Whitburn confessed that Nigel had been murdered because he was popular, not in spite of this.

    Having got that decision wrong, there was a serious consequence which the BBC business people should have warned the producers about: trust in the product was destroyed, and the listeners’ zone of tolerance narrowed to almost nothing. For a programme which relied on decades of wry tolerance from loyal customers this was disastrous. From then on, although in fact very little changed, even dedicated listeners began feeling that The Archers team could do nothing right. The message board became grumpier, the criticism more barbed, the fun less funny. Even, in my opinion excellent and carefully long-term storylines such as the baby with Down’s were aggressively attacked – attacks which began to be noticed outside the board bringing us all into disrepute. Some of us begged the ruder, more contemptuous posters to be less rude, less contemptuous but by this time they were addicted to the right to post daily doses of derision And now we have the second consequence that could have been predicted: on a public forum where the proportion of seriously out of control detractors now outweighs the promoters, the solution is to get rid of us all.

    The pity of it all is that the producers were looking in the wrong place to sex up The Archers. For story lines, simply accepting as Thomas Hardy did so magnificently in his novels that ‘character is fate’ would have done it. There was no need to persuade themselves that in some way there was a new rule for 21st century narrative plotting in which political issues of the moment were fate, too. There was no need, because what they clearly desired had already taken place: listeners had gleefully accepted the offer of a forum and made, by their wit, and humour and wisdom and huge bank of knowledge about Ambridge and the world, a genuine bridge between the old village and the cyber one, old ideas and new ones, old technology and new.

    If they had only realised that the way forward for The Archers was to embrace the possibility that it had a multi-faceted BBC future combining like no other programme the very old and the very new in its listeners, it would have valued The Archers’ vintage village qualities, valued the input of the message-board, valued the listeners and not risked the precious formula it had happened upon possibly more, we now realise, by accident than design.

    When the message boards are purged on 25th February to rid the programme of the problem of a few relentlessly rude posters, the virtual village with all its support groups for the sick and the housebound, its passionate and academic disputations, its energetic pub conversations about gritty local international issues, all its ease of access to the community for the disabled and the discriminated against, all its glorious 21st centuryness, will go too.

    While I won’t miss the negativity at all, I’ll miss these boards hugely. I’m really upset by their closure. I wish certain editorial errors in TA had not been committed, and the board moderators could have sorted certain posters out. Sob. I hope to keep in touch with some really wonderful people I’ve met here (you know who you are!). I’ll stay to the end but this is my very long goodbye.


    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Burberry (U14785386) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Top post, Rose Sal ... You've said it all for me, and much better!

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by LK (U14717973) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Well said.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Minihohum (U14070767) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Yes thanks, Rose, you've put it in a lovely way. We will miss you too.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Celtic Tiger (U2229153) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Rose Sal, you've summed up so well everything I feel about TA and the board closures.
    Celtic
    xx

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Auntie Molly (U14110968) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Well said Rose. I too have often found solace in ML during sleepless periods.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by everforgetful (U6610529) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    You've hit the nail on the head. Excellent post.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by stolenkisses (U6230663) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    The only thing I would add to an excellent post is that I genuinely feel the quality of the MB has changed in over the last couple of years. For some people this change may be for the better, but for me it has become less interesting.

    Partly because DTA has become effectively out of bounds, for the reasons explained by RSVP. There is also the feeling that many of the original and wittiest posters have left and moved on to new challenges in their lives. After all, nothing ever stays the same and we couldn't have hoped for the same standard of interest to be maintained for the next 40 years or more.

    I'm not an original (or witty) poster, more a watcher and listener, but when I joined in 2006 the MB still retained much of its early vigour. It's become apparent in the farewell threads just how many of those old and well-loved posters had disappeared, leaving the boards somewhat diminished. I'm very grateful to those who chose to pop back and say goodbye for confirming my impression!

    Apart from the impenetrable DTA, the quality of The Bull and TVH has also changed, with more of a move towards mutual self-help for the troubled, unwell and housebound. That's fine for those who want it, and these are probably the people most upset by the closure.

    RSVP raises an interesting point about the DS baby SL. I think much of the ill-judged comment arose initially from the dislike bordering on hatred of a fictional character, Vicky, but ran out of control into views the BBC couldn't possibly have allowed themselves to be seen to support. It was probably the final straw for an exasperated Archers website team.

    Finally I would like to pay tribute in particular to Mr Keri, as he became affectionately known. He brought his personal, challenging and pioneering style to the community, and for me it has never been the same since he left.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by acebass (U3133653) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Beautifully thought out & expressed. Thank you

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by DracoM1 (U14252039) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    OP

    Blasting post, Rose.
    Get it on the Bolton Blog!!

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Pip (U2800217) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Great post, RSVP, thanks. I'll really miss thought-provoking pieces like that.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    It's brilliant posts like this which I'll miss especially.
    You've articulated so much, so well.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by DracoM1 (U14252039) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Yeah, and try to get the OP on Twitter?

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Minihohum (U14070767) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    People keep saying that everyone started to get nastier to each other over the last year. I really haven't noticed that - maybe i just read the wrong threads. Some obviously don't interest me at all. Also i think the thing about the baby with Downs is, it's probably not that everyone's suddenly gone all Nazi about real people with disabilities, it's just that we didn't want the show hijacked by some preaching-to-the-choir story about Downs, which then takes up far too much airtime and detracts from the established characters and storylines, which is exactly what's happened. At my age i don't need to be told how to change a baby's nappy.

    And as it turns out, many of the listeners know far more about Downs than the scriptwriters...

    It is peculiarly BBC to try to stifle this real debate about what the show should be addressing, in case it "sounds like it might be a bit offensive". Therefore it's somehow better to sweep the debate away under the carpet.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by ruralsnowflakebliss (U8131914) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    I think I have noticed a slow down in the speed of posting new threads on DTA... but not in the bull or the village hall (which was always slower) Yes I have always flitted around reading all three places

    For me this reflects a boredom and disengagement with the Archers storylines over several years as much as the 'tone' of postings in DTA

    I am so sad and disappointed with the programme

    Thinking back and not in chronological order the plots which lost me and made me stop suspending disbelief and see the grinding writing underneath were

    The lack of any gossip around Ruiarhi coming to live with Jenny and Brian

    Helen and the artificial insemination storyline and lack of any real discussion/ gossip by other character

    The Downs syndrome storyline and how they handled Mike in it

    Chucking Nigel off the roof and then a spotty spat between David and Elizabeth and then a meaningless rapproachment... it doesn't make sense

    It is just not developed at all

    The dropping of Johns child and Sharon storyline... which really I am sorry I know it is a soap but felt awfully contrived and then Helen was fine and no follow through on Helens clear multiple problems

    I know I know... but seriously I have lived in small villages/ rural communities most of my life and these things would not appear and dissappear with out other characters interacting with them ... yes through gossip and disscussion. The comedy storylines which also wouldn't happen were always less jarring becasue i presumed we were menat to take them less seriously... but the character development ones are failing

    In spite of all that I think I have gamely plugged on commenting quite nicely on storylines (I hope) and trying to keep up posting here

    If people have gone negative (rogue smiley - smiley then I am afraid I can see where it developed from however

    Still we should always mind our manners :-

    Yes my list is focused on the negative and I could name the other more engaging better written storylines too however as it stands the last few years not the message baord has made this brough up with it listener into an ex listener

    Worse my mother has done the same and she doesn't know about this place so arrived independently at it! (she is only 63 BTW so hardly old... )

    Maybe our type of listener is no longer required but I must say can they not see that the boards negativity (which BTW I do feel is being exaggerated becasue I have read many perfectly normal give and take threads even recently) was as a result of stories.... not the other way round?

    Anyway.... TA is not acting like any village I know even a little and.... so... well.... I can no longer fall into the world. There is little depth to the characters interactions any more

    That is my take

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by ruralsnowflakebliss (U8131914) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Oh add the really badly written Ruth Sam David almost affair......

    I cannot comment on the Paul Lillian stuff because my listening is so erratic (really only the Ed, Em will bits)

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by anna kist (U2314477) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Great post, Sal. Hope you migrate to Peet's when the doors finally close on the BBC version of ML. The village won't die - just change its address.

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Eileen (U2438659) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Top post RSVP. As others have said I hope you put it on the blog in the hope that Nigel can read it.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Lilians twin (U4487710) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Both RSVP and ruralsnowflake have made top posts here.

    I am still listening because podcasts downloading semi-automatically into my iTunes makes this easy. But once upon a time I used also to listen to the podcast of the Omnibus. I have just checked and the last time I did that was 1st May 2011. The Omnibuses dated 8th May 2011 to 10th February 2013 remain unopened. Will I delete still unheard them from my harddrive? Probably, eventually.

    Posting on DTA fed my loyalty to this little radio programme - once the message board is gone there will be no incentive to listen and then log in to see what others are saying - witty, acerbic, earnest - according to the storyline at the time.

    The only other part of the messageboard I visited regularly was magnificently funny Fantasy Archers - especial thanks to Janie for the real Vicky and VickyS for Jude's Diary. I occasionally found myself in the Bull if the threads I was following were moved there for one reason or another.

    Will I go on listening? Possibly but with ever decreasing lack of interest. Will I post elsewhere as suggested by the patronising spokesperson on Feedback? Absolutely not on Twitter or Facebook which bear no relation to a proper messageboard. I have registered with both Peet's Place and SmeeSue's but this is the problem. We are fracturing and fragmenting. Posters come and go but this is all of us, all at the same time. It will never be the same and I will miss it.

    Lils xxx

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by teddyandgypsy (U14935190) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    'views the BBC couldn't be seen to support'

    I never saw anything unkind. What I saw was passionate and pragmatic debate by intelligent posters who expressed their views about the practicality of this birth. The only time things got heated was when the people who subscribe to the view that this was a subject where only the positives should be aired, encountered an opposing point of view.

    It is a myth that has grown up that there was anything unkind or badly meant posted about children born with a disability.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Lady Trudie Tilney Glorfindel Maldini (U2222312) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Great post RSVP, and fwiw I think you've described what's happened to ML since SATTC brilliantly well.



    In particular: Where are the public spaces for the rest of us, the licence payers, to have our own fun, interact with each other and contribute our own opinions?  


    Yes, The first thing that had me shouting at Feedback was the astonishing defence that "The Archers is the only BBC programme, TV or radio, to have a public messageboard". Well, yes - because you've closed all the others!

    I really think the BBC considers the public to be a bit dangerous.

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Peggy Monahan (U2254875) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Finally I would like to pay tribute in particular to Mr Keri, as he became affectionately known. He brought his personal, challenging and pioneering style to the community, and for me it has never been the same since he left. 

    Sorry but I have to differ on this. My one experience of direct interaction was unwarranted rudeness. I was wary of Tayler as an "outsider" at first but I think she's done a great job.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by stolenkisses (U6230663) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    'views the BBC couldn't be seen to support'

    I never saw anything unkind. What I saw was passionate and pragmatic debate by intelligent posters who expressed their views about the practicality of this birth. The only time things got heated was when the people who subscribe to the view that this was a subject where only the positives should be aired, encountered an opposing point of view.

    It is a myth that has grown up that there was anything unkind or badly meant posted about children born with a disability. 
    I beg to disagree. There were a number of threads of which the forcefully expressed burden was that abortion was the only possible solution and Vicky was selfish to choose otherwise. A number of posters with relatives with DS did express their hurt. Apparently the hurt also spread beyond the board and caused wider offence.

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by stolenkisses (U6230663) on Saturday, 16th February 2013

    Finally I would like to pay tribute in particular to Mr Keri, as he became affectionately known. He brought his personal, challenging and pioneering style to the community, and for me it has never been the same since he left. 

    Sorry but I have to differ on this. My one experience of direct interaction was unwarranted rudeness. I was wary of Tayler as an "outsider" at first but I think she's done a great job.  
    What can I say? I met him at one of the last meets he attended and found him humorous and absolutely charming. I also admired his firmness in dealing with the unrulier elements on the MB.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Rose Sal Volatile Parade (U4705648) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Thanks all.

    I did try putting it on the blog, but after a while it was taken down - just disappeared.

    I think we're kidding ourselves if we imagine the closure is /all/ about money. Of course that's seen as a very good reason to get rid of anything these days, including food from babies' mouths and support from right under the disabled, but that's been true for a while now. It's like the Tory cuts. They are not /all/ about money. They actually believe in the reshaping of society that the cuts are bringing about.

    Somehow The Archers MB survived other cost surveys. It was seen as hyperactive in MB terms. It was known to be a bit of a phenomenon. it was known as not-a-fan-club-but-summat-else. After all, there is a BBC official fan club elsewhere.

    I think it's a wierd irony that this destroying Nigel and our dedded Nigel share the same name. A route can be plotted between them - not a direct conspiracy in my view, but a direct enough route nonetheless.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Auntie Molly (U14110968) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    'views the BBC couldn't be seen to support'

    I never saw anything unkind. What I saw was passionate and pragmatic debate by intelligent posters who expressed their views about the practicality of this birth. The only time things got heated was when the people who subscribe to the view that this was a subject where only the positives should be aired, encountered an opposing point of view.

    It is a myth that has grown up that there was anything unkind or badly meant posted about children born with a disability. 
    I beg to disagree. There were a number of threads of which the forcefully expressed burden was that abortion was the only possible solution and Vicky was selfish to choose otherwise. A number of posters with relatives with DS did express their hurt. Apparently the hurt also spread beyond the board and caused wider offence. 
    What if the test for Downs had been negative? Would it then have been offensive and hurtful for people to suggest that she should have an abortion on other grounds, for example their ages or suitability as parents? Just wondering.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by stolenkisses (U6230663) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Don't really know...but I think its fair enough for people to take offence at what was actually said, rather than what might have been said in other circumstances. And although a 'suggestion' might have been accepted at face value, the reality was strongly-worded insistence, with no tolerance of another opinion.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Minihohum (U14070767) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Remember, it's not real. It's a radio show. Personally, i don't like the idea of a radio show getting hijacked by an "issue", no matter how well-intentioned. I think it would be just as inappropriate if the Archer family suddenly became obsessed with the plight of polar bears, or if Joe Grundy began an anti-high speed rail campaign that took up tons of episodes of airtime.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by ruralsnowflakebliss (U8131914) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    'views the BBC couldn't be seen to support'

    I never saw anything unkind. What I saw was passionate and pragmatic debate by intelligent posters who expressed their views about the practicality of this birth. The only time things got heated was when the people who subscribe to the view that this was a subject where only the positives should be aired, encountered an opposing point of view.

    It is a myth that has grown up that there was anything unkind or badly meant posted about children born with a disability. 
    I beg to disagree. There were a number of threads of which the forcefully expressed burden was that abortion was the only possible solution and Vicky was selfish to choose otherwise. A number of posters with relatives with DS did express their hurt. Apparently the hurt also spread beyond the board and caused wider offence. 
    I think we do have to remeber that it is at least possible that posters could also have direct experience of having an abortion after an amiocentesis test (for what ever reason) as much as have a child or relative with Downs Syndrome

    It worried me constantly that the tabbo regarding this is such that no poster here ever spoke about it however statistically there must be some posting

    I think the tolerance and offense was running both ways on the whole issue and I damn the scriptwriters who did create a heated emotional storyline and then the reaction is that is can only be discussed one way and is used as ammunition against the very existance of a discussion forum

    That is seriously wrong even though I disagreed completely with the more strident posts (and they were few) on both sides of the 'issue'

    It does however come up in anything relating to abortion and given it is one in three women in the UK... then there must be an awful lot of silenced posters out there plus potential offence they just have to swallow

    I have thought a lot about it in the last few days as friend has had an abortion due to problems.... not Downs Syndrome however

    Intemperance was working both ways

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Peggy Monahan (U2254875) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Personally, i don't like the idea of a radio show getting hijacked by an "issue", no matter how well-intentioned. I think it would be just as inappropriate if the Archer family suddenly became obsessed with the plight of polar bears, or if Joe Grundy began an anti-high speed rail campaign that took up tons of episodes of airtime. 

    Well whatever I think of the storyline it was actually a realistic thing that could happen to a couple of the ages and other circumstances of Mike and Vicky.

    As somebody else said rather a lot of the sharp edge in the disussion was provoked by people's dislike of Vicky as a character and rejection of her steamroller approach to Mike's hesitations. I personally don't remember unkindness about Down's syndrome babies/childre/people. Unless to mention that they may well require more care than children who are not DS and may well require all their lives is to be unkind.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by DracoM1 (U14252039) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    If they had written Nic as having a Down's child, the 'issues' would have been entirely different, would have had a chance to live and breathe.

    If they had given a child to late flowering Vicky and 63 yr old Mike, that would have been a whole and fascinating other set of issues, but to do BOTH using V & M was IMO a disastrous error of editorial judgement.

    The result is the the DS issue has got sidetracked, undermined and has come in for flak simply because Vicky is so insensitive, bullying and unsympathetic as currently written.

    If you then take this couple through the whole 6 or so months as they did, and blatantly excise the slightest SERIOUS examination of long term issues for either parents or child, you have created a problem for yourself and further undermined the Down's child issue. Wonder how the DSA feel about it now?

    Once more, ALL these issues are infinitely worth tackling, but the way the TA team has chosen to tackle them has actually had the effect of diminishing their capacity to engage,.Which is a loss to the DSA, to The Archers as a responsible and credible brand and to us the listeners, particularly to those many posters who have written in movingly to discuss the pain and joys of these issues.

    It is a bewildering mistake, but taken with Nigel's fall, TC/YMB, BF, Farmageddon, 'no benefits route, it adds up to a very unenviable catalogue of dodgy editorial decisions. . .

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Peggy Monahan (U2254875) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    It is a bewildering mistake, but taken with Nigel's fall, TC/YMB, BF, Farmageddon, 'no benefits route, it adds up to a very unenviable catalogue of dodgy editorial decisions. . . 

    As you say it rammed two separate issues together (late parenthood and Down's syndrome) and with characters who were realistic in their way of dealing with them but not very sympathetic.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Buntysdaughter (U7084475) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    'dodgy editorial decision' and another for the list, Brief Encounter.

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by Burberry (U14785386) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    I damn the scriptwriters who did create a heated emotional storyline and then the reaction is that is can only be discussed one way and is used as ammunition against the very existance of a discussion forum  

    Very, very good point, rural ...

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by toffee (U8026926) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    If they had given a child to late flowering Vicky and 63 yr old Mike, that would have been a whole and fascinating other set of issues, but to do BOTH using V & M was IMO a disastrous error of editorial judgement

    ---------------------------

    When I read Vicky was pregnant, bearing in mind the kind of character she was and the way she and Mike were played - as comedy - I instantly assumed this was a comedy storyline.

    A woman knocking 50 with an obsession for teddy bears, having her first baby, who calls her 64 year old husband Mr Bubbles ..... it couldn't be anything BUT a comedy storyline, surely?!

    It would have flowered as a comedy storyline. Just something like Vicky dropping the baby sometimes (safely, of course!) cos she's never held one before - daft things like that. Obviously you can't drop a Down's Baby.

    So instead of a bit of lighthearted comedy storyline, it's a very tedious and depressing storyline and it's only just started.
    But then, ishoo storylines tend to be like that.

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    There were a number of threads of which the forcefully expressed burden was that abortion was the only possible solution and Vicky was selfish to choose otherwise. A number of posters with relatives with DS did express their hurt. Apparently the hurt also spread beyond the board and caused wider offence.
     

    Could you possibly give a link to some of those threads, stolenkisses?

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by Lady Trudie Tilney Glorfindel Maldini (U2222312) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Is there any point in going over this again? Some strong opinions were aired on both sides, and there is no doubt that some posters/lurkers found them a little too strong. The threads are there if anyone wants to hunt for them.

    In the circumstances I would have thought we'd be better off concentrating on ML's strengths at the moment, not its intermittent downsides.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Bette (U2222559) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    I agree, ermitrude. I'd hate to see ML closing on a range of spats. It'll be curtains in just over a week. I am feeling that this is like beginning to put dust-covers on all the valuables, before the doors are finally locked, to leave this place preserved in time.

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by teddyandgypsy (U14935190) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    but why should that be deemed unkind? It is a point of view and a lot of people subscribe to that point of view. I can totally understand that those parents who have taken a different course might feel the need to express their views forcibly, but that is only what those of us who think it is wrong for two middle aged people with scant resources to bring a handicapped child in to the world.

    I honestly see absolutely nothing wrong in putting that point of view, just as I have been interested to read the opposing viewpoint. We cannot stifle debate because of political correctness.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by teddyandgypsy (U14935190) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    a brilliant post which exactly describes the situation. What is even more sad is that people have chosen to take offence, to express the viewpoint that some Mustardlanders are being unkind about Down's syndrome when nothing could be further from the truth. So wrong, so badly written scriptwriters.

    I have been moved by the posts of many contributors with first hand experience of this situation. I have sat here and saluted their courage and their humanity. But I haven't changed my view one iota.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by stolenkisses (U6230663) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    There were a number of threads of which the forcefully expressed burden was that abortion was the only possible solution and Vicky was selfish to choose otherwise. A number of posters with relatives with DS did express their hurt. Apparently the hurt also spread beyond the board and caused wider offence.
     

    Could you possibly give a link to some of those threads, stolenkisses?  
    I could, but, as others have said, its hardly worth the trouble at this stage to pick over disputed words and phrases.

    Keri warned years ago that negativity would lead to the demise of DTA and it would take the other sections with it - and so it has proved.

    Someone else suggested that the DS baby threads could have been the catalyst or last straw, and I commented on that with some agreement, but there's no way of knowing what the actual trigger was.

    I'm sorry if I've been the cause of the DS baby debate being dragged into yet another thread, because it wasn't my intention, and I quite agree its all a bit pointless now.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Rose Adagio (U14412215) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    "But then, ishoo storylines tend to be like that."

    Reply to this message 35

    Please, before the message board is closed down fo ever, WHY do you spell "issue" as you do? I've always wondered, and there isn't a lot of time left to ask and be given a considered and reasonable answer.

    Betsy that was.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Rosered darcey (U15608906) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    'views the BBC couldn't be seen to support'

    I never saw anything unkind. What I saw was passionate and pragmatic debate by intelligent posters who expressed their views about the practicality of this birth. The only time things got heated was when the people who subscribe to the view that this was a subject where only the positives should be aired, encountered an opposing point of view.

    It is a myth that has grown up that there was anything unkind or badly meant posted about children born with a disability. 
    I don't think I read all of the Downs threads but what I do remember about them was mostly that posters were angry that the story was not being represented in a serious way that respected the difficulties and dilemmas as well as the joys faced by parents in Vicky's and mike's situation. Personally I felt the same as I did about the Helen/Henry storyline ( which made me even angrier because giving that story to a woman her age made ridiculous what is a serious matter for older women) The problem I think everyone tried to express with the Downs story itself was that it, rather than the commentators, appeared to trivialise the situation.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by Bette (U2222559) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    don't think I read all of the Downs threads but what I do remember about them was mostly that posters were angry that the story was not being represented in a serious way that respected the difficulties and dilemmas as well as the joys faced by parents in Vicky's and mike's situation. Personally I felt the same as I did about the Helen/Henry storyline ( which made me even angrier because giving that story to a woman her age made ridiculous what is a serious matter for older women) The problem I think everyone tried to express with the Downs story itself was that it, rather than the commentators, appeared to trivialise the situation. 

    Rosarend, good post. That was /my/ remembrance of the posts, overall. of course, there were one-or-two posts ott (always /will/ be those, on /any/ SL, but I think you have summed it up well.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Pahnda (U14681704) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    If they had written Nic as having a Down's child, the 'issues' would have been entirely different, would have had a chance to live and breathe.

    If they had given a child to late flowering Vicky and 63 yr old Mike, that would have been a whole and fascinating other set of issues, but to do BOTH using V & M was IMO a disastrous error of editorial judgement.

    The result is the the DS issue has got sidetracked, undermined and has come in for flak simply because Vicky is so insensitive, bullying and unsympathetic as currently written.

    If you then take this couple through the whole 6 or so months as they did, and blatantly excise the slightest SERIOUS examination of long term issues for either parents or child, you have created a problem for yourself and further undermined the Down's child issue. Wonder how the DSA feel about it now?

    Once more, ALL these issues are infinitely worth tackling, but the way the TA team has chosen to tackle them has actually had the effect of diminishing their capacity to engage,.Which is a loss to the DSA, to The Archers as a responsible and credible brand and to us the listeners, particularly to those many posters who have written in movingly to discuss the pain and joys of these issues.

    It is a bewildering mistake, but taken with Nigel's fall, TC/YMB, BF, Farmageddon, 'no benefits route, it adds up to a very unenviable catalogue of dodgy editorial decisions. . .  


    Agree totally Dracs, and the idea that in a village community nobody would express a negative comment about mother, father or baby is ludicrous, or that anyone who wasn't 100% gushing would be taken to task and banged to rights toot sweet.

    I really fail to understand why posters who point out that babies/children/adults with a learning disability (and their families) still face a very tough time in 21st century Britain are vilified as being anti-disability. Sadly that is how it is in the real world, but apparently not in Ambridge. Now why does that not surprise me?

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by Rose Sal Volatile Parade (U4705648) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the story or the way it was portrayed (and I'm going to resist saying what I think about it myself, again), the interesting point ot me is that from the beginning many posters were not prepared to give it a go, to wait and see, to have faith that their beloved programme would work it out. Far from it. From the inception of the story (or rather the conception) people who are good at writing and good at arguing fine-tuned their objections and made those objections very persistently. Yet once Vicki was pregnant and the baby diagnosed as Down's, it was not going to /not/ be Vicki, or /not/ be Down's, so the continued baracking wasn't going to influence the story.

    For me, it merely indicated that many people had - have - little trust in the programme and assume every time a story starts, or a writer experiments, that it will be a) rubbish b) a deliberate attempt to impose pc issues on us and c) rubbish.

    I don't know what the team could do now to please those who've lost trust to that extent. Perhaps nothing. Recent reactions to stories would indicate to me that that's the case. That's why we all have to go over the cliff.

    I'll miss you all so much.





    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by Froginasock (U14272821) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Quite right. The programme SW team could include Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and Tom Stoppard and they would still not be able to do anything right. People here don't like change. All new characters are either blow-ins, dullards, chavs, child molesters or obviously gay, and all new storylines are picked over with a level of textual analysis that would shame a class of theology students and are furthermore all seen as being part of some world domination agenda by the editor.

    The Archers should be fun. It's slightly anachronistic, slightly cardboard and it runs for less than a quarter of an hour every day so naturally some form of compression is obligatory. However, it can and does weave itself into people's daily round at a time of day when they are doing "stuff" and some light drama helps them unwind at the end of the day. I would. Suggest that it largely achieves this and possibly the existence of this message board as "last man standing" when all the others have been closed indicated that the Beeb recognised it was a bit special.

    But time moves on. I have no doubt cost cutting was the main driver, but I also have no doubt that if the "team" had any affection for the board, they could have held out for longer. In fact, who knows whether they actually have been fighting a rearguard action against its closure for years?Perhaps it is "significant" that an apparatchik from another area of the Beeb announced the closure. That could easily be a case of "It's your decision, so you're going to have to handle it, chum".

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Rosered darcey (U15608906) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    Quite right. The programme SW team could include Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and Tom Stoppard and they would still not be able to do anything right. People here don't like change. All new characters are either blow-ins, dullards, chavs, child molesters or obviously gay, and all new storylines are picked over with a level of textual analysis that would shame a class of theology students and are furthermore all seen as being part of some world domination agenda by the editor.

    The Archers should be fun. It's slightly anachronistic, slightly cardboard and it runs for less than a quarter of an hour every day so naturally some form of compression is obligatory. However, it can and does weave itself into people's daily round at a time of day when they are doing "stuff" and some light drama helps them unwind at the end of the day. I would. Suggest that it largely achieves this and possibly the existence of this message board as "last man standing" when all the others have been closed indicated that the Beeb recognised it was a bit special.

    But time moves on. I have no doubt cost cutting was the main driver, but I also have no doubt that if the "team" had any affection for the board, they could have held out for longer. In fact, who knows whether they actually have been fighting a rearguard action against its closure for years?Perhaps it is "significant" that an apparatchik from another area of the Beeb announced the closure. That could easily be a case of "It's your decision, so you're going to have to handle it, chum".

     
    Interesting generalisation.

    I think it's fair to say that quality and tenor of the debate can vary, but that doesn't mean comment is always over-analytical or badly argued as you suggest. Presumably the point of the board was to discuss?

    RR


    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Lakeymill (U14325089) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    "ishoos"" tend to be PC issues which tend to be pushed forward by say an editor who wants to promote a particular mindset. Some celebs have ishoos, making mountains out of the sort of issues that you and I would deal with on an everyday basis. In the same way that women and wiimmin are seen as different.

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by Rose Sal Volatile Parade (U4705648) on Sunday, 17th February 2013

    The spellings ishoo and wimmin are pejorative.

    In The Bull, one particularly annoying poster always referred to New Labour as Noo Labor.

    I think it's a feeble way to make your point.

    Report message50

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