An open letter to the @dailymail taken from

Dear trainee journalist,

I have read your article about the tree in Stockton High Street with interest and bewilderment at what now passes as news in your, lets face it, dying industry. I have never held your newspaper in particularly high regard because, well quite frankly your writers make things up and rarely report anything that makes the world a better, more cohesive place. On this occasion, you have declared yourselves experts in the field of Christmas trees. I’m not entirely sure how you are able to position yourself in this way, but there again – you are generally excellent at playing judge, executioner and champion of negative news reporting – so why should we be surprised. I’m just sorry you failed to see ANYTHING else while you were in town!

Personally I am not a big fan of this Christmas structure either, I LIKE real trees – so I am delighted to walk to the Christmas Market – around 400 meters from where you took your photograph and see the dozens of trees, festive cabins full of local independent traders, illuminated churchyard oh, and just along from there, another massive tree overlooking our illuminated riverside. Could it be that your photographer and reporter are only able to look at things from one angle? SURELY NOT! For your information, the works going on around the end of the high street where you kindly visited and decided to focus on meant that the positioning of a tree or lighting a pointless and cost-ineffective waste. Your regular readership would love such strategic ‘efficiency’ surely. I believe the structure you call a tree is part of a much bigger lighting scheme for next year. Sadly that, I presume is the year you will be concentrating on slating someone else’s efforts within our recession torn country.

So, next time you come to my town Daily Mail… I would personally like to meet you. I would like to tell you of our heritage; of our regeneration and of our vision. I would love you to meet some of the 2000 participants of last week’s community event; or the massive numbers of small, specialist shops who are bucking the trend and successfully setting up shop in the high street; I could take you for a coffee in one of a number of cafes and tea rooms; perhaps you could enjoy a gig, a comedy night, or theatre show in our thriving arts centre. We could pop to the world class watersports centre or visit Durham University Queens Campus And then, once you have visited, I will wait – and enjoy your complete lack of coverage and silent ignorance of a community that is real, dynamic and regenerating.

I look forward to meeting you.

Best Wishes

A Man You Don’t Meet Everyday.