I owe Ben Jackson an apology. Ben, I’m sorry. I doubted that you would bother replying to my email but you did. it was wrong of me suggest that you wouldn’t be bothered replying without even giving you a chance to.
Ben replied to me within about an hour of me emailing him and I promised him that I’d post his email reply to my blog. Which I’m doing. I’m also going to post my subsequent reply to him:
Ben’s email to me:
Dear Ski Industry Insider,
I note from your email you are the Senior Ski Sales Consultant for A major UK ski agency. This presumably explains your ‘blood boiling’ in your anonymous piece.
You asked me to respond, so I’d be delighted to make the following points. Please feel free to put them before your readers.
1. I have no anti-Europe agenda they have the world’s finest skifields – however I do understand yours is to sell ski holidays.
2. Europe has had the worst start to the ski season for 147 years. This is not generally disputed. We both hope it will improve.
However if I had booked an early ski season holiday I would think this is a genuine cause for concerned holidaymakers to ring you – whether they read The Sun or not.
3. You incorrectly say the story suggests Glencoe Mountain Resort is open, it is not and that is plainly mentioned in the eighth paragraph of the story.
4. The British Ski Club currently report Meribel has 0 cm of snow on its lower slopes.
5. I do follow your scribblings and last week you wrote: “there is no snow, quite literally fxxk all.” In some resorts that has yet to change, particularly in the millionaire playgrounds of Klosters, St Moritz and Davos where wind has blown a lot of the very limited snow cover off.
4. We mention snow is at last falling in the Alps – and add that the most important time is from December 26th. Nobody is writing off the industry.
5. You may think the article was born of a hatred of “evil Europe.” In truth The Sun sometimes supports the underdogs, like Crawley Town playing Manchester United in the FA Cup. Nobody realistically expects tiny Glencoe will out compete Meribel. It is simply a little skifield hoping to make the best of an early season run of luck.
6. I appreciate you have the right to defend your industry and that your anonymous column gives you the right to rant – but if your opinions are to be valued why not put your name to your stories – like we do?
Having asked for my response I trust you will good enough to publish it.
My reply to Ben:
Thanks for your reply, I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my blog and reply. I have to say that I didn’t expect a reply and I thank you for it. I’d be more than happy to post your reply to my blog. I also apologise for my comment at the bottom that you probably wouldn’t bother replying to my email, which I’ll gladly retract.
I post anonymously for one main reason. As you can tell, my blog is a little edgy/sweary and my bosses would not appreciate having their brand associated with some of my less restrained rants, like this morning’s. They are aware of my blog and enjoy reading it. Out of respect for them, I will continue to post anonymously.
You make some interesting points below, I think one or two of them merit a little close examination.
1. My point re: Europe was referring to your publication’s openly hostile attitude to Europe and the EU, not your personal view, which I understand may be different from the editorial line you have to follow. I would be interested to hear if you disagree that The Sun is anything but anti-Europe?
2. What I’ve tried to be clear on is that whilst up until this weekend the snow hasn’t been great anywhere, the season hasn’t even started in most resorts (it is only 6th December) so to call it the worst start to a season in 147 years can’t possibly be true.
3. Your piece begins with a large picture of skiers at Glencoe and the caption: “Snow joke … you can ski at Glencoe, Scotland for a fraction of the price of foreign resorts” Regardless of what you have said in paragraph eight, your headline, main photo and caption are clearly suggesting that Glencoe is open for skiing. Do you accept that your statement about skiing in Glencoe being a “fraction of the price” of skiing is Europe is quite simply not true (unless you happen to live within a few miles of Glencoe)?
4. Indeed it does. Why didn’t you use a webcam photo of Meribel from today in your piece, not one from before the snowfall began? If you’d like to have a look, please do http://livecam.meribel-alpina.com/ . Perhaps you didn’t use this because the image your readers would have seen might have given them the impression that there actually was a bit of snow in the Alps and that your article was a gross overstatement.
5. I did say that last week, as last week it was true. I then went on to say that there will be snow, as there always is, and that even if it didn’t snow, resorts would be running their snow cannons to ensure that some pistes were open. Most major resorts would have more skiing available with just one lift and a couple of pistes open than Glencoe would with all its lifts open. As your article was published this morning, not only was the snow falling heavily and had been since Sunday night, but other organisations, the Daily Mail, Metro and Evening Standard were all publishing stories correctly stating that snow had now arrived in the Alps, with appropriate pictures to accompany them.
6. (you appear to have gone back to number 4 at this point, but I will continue in the normal order). Your article does indeed state that snow has started falling. “Yesterday some snow was at last falling in the French Alps,” In the second to last paragraph. Followed immediately by “though it was feared there will not be enough.” So having added half a sentence of “balance” to your article, you have then contradicted it and continued with your scaremongering.
7. I’m sure the Sun does support underdogs all the time, like the Tory party, the Murdoch family and of course Crawley Town.
8. I think I covered this earlier but will repeat. My blog is anonymous out of respect for my employers who may not want their brand to be associated with some of my more vulgar outbursts. I’m not sure what more value my opinion would have if it had my name next to it?
Ben, thanks again for taking the time to reply, which I really appreciate. I will post this email chain (edited for my anonymity) to my blog for my readers to comment on.
The Ski Industry Insider