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An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 1


Dear decision-makers at the BBC,

Yesterday, Monday the 13th October 2010 I spent undergoing the most fulfilling, tragic learning experience of my life.

I woke up at my usual time of 3.30 GMT and started paying attention to what was being said on the good old BEEB. What I heard made me realise that as I have TV in my living room where I sleep, I should perhaps watch what was going on in a certain state called Chile in South America.

What I learnt yesterday was unbelievable.

The strength and courage of men, who through lack of opportunity and downright poverty were obliged to take posts in a run-down old gold mine, which had first been opened in 1880.

There were no

Exits for the miners to escape in case of a landfall.

There was no shoring up of the land that had been exposed during the excavation of the precious metal. This presumably was the reason for the living burial of these unfortunate men.

We watched the smiling face of President Pinero of Chile through out the day. Mr. Pinero is apparently also one of the three richest men in the world.

When President Pinero was interviewed this morning by one of the BBC comnentators he readily admitted that the Goverment of Chile had no rules or regulations for the management of mines in the country. He said that this ommission would be attended to very soon.

The telephone call which the new Prime Minister of England, Mr. David Cameron made to Mr, Pinero, inviting President Pinero to tea at No. 10 Downing street next Monday was faithfully recorded and broadcast for the world to hear.

No one watching that programme can deny the total dedication and devotion of those involved in the rescue of those thirty three men,

I thank the BBC from the bottom of my heart for having given the world this unbiased account of a country which appears to be so poor and undeveloped, and therefore is short of job opportunities that thirty three men were driven to work in conditions which should never have been accepted.

I give full marks to the BBC for having given a totally faithful phenomenological analysis of what they broadcast so eloquently, both in speech and photography, yesterday, the day of the great rebirth of Chilean hope and Faith.

I would like to suggest that, as a sign of good Faith, the sale of the gold from the mine should be used to pay for the costs of the great rescue operation yesterday. If that is not enough, then perhaps President Pinero could pay the costs out of his apparently massive fortune.

This would quite obviously help with his very obvious concern about the tragic events which occurred yesterday.

I also believe that the gift of the thrity three pairs of highly efficient dark glasses which were so necessary to save the sight of the miners should have been more extensively recorded.

I would be perfectly prepared to give my full name and address but am abiding by the rules of this website.

Yours sincerely,


Thursday 14th October 2010 7.50 GMT new time 0.23 GMT

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 2


Well said Christiane. I watched much of it too while doing other things. I watched the last miner come out shortly before 2am UK time and was elated to see him allowed to walk, and not be stretchered, from the scene, giving him the dignity he deserved. I had to keep the sound down so I did not get the translation of what he said to his President, but from his demeanour said President and Mines Minister too can expect a very detailed lecture on the faults in their mining industry some time very soonsmiley - doh

It was interesting, uplifting and emotional, but underneath I feel a seething anger that it was allowed to happen in the first place, as the alternative does not bear thinking about.

I felt very guilty at switching off the TV before the six Rescuers were brought up, as it felt like a bit of a betrayal of those who had worked so very long and hard but I had to get up in the morning!

Websailor smiley - dragon

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 3

Gnomon - time to move on

Christiane, the editors wouldn't necessarily see your posting here, as it is in your personal journal, so I've e-mailed the eds and pointed it out to them.

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 4


Dear Websailor and Gnoman,

Thank you both so much for your comments and help. I appreciate it greatly. I really do think that they did a wonderful job.

Very dear WS, your distress is totally correct and well placed. However my report tried to look at the intoleable position from a phenomenological point of view.

That is the way I approached all my research in South Africa. I believe that it is the only way in which wrongs can be redressed - by gently prodding the offenders until they see the "error" of their ways.

It does not diminish my feeling that all people are equal and that everyone deserves an equal opportunity in life.

Both of you thank you so much for your very thoughtful and kind comments on what for me was really a wonderful day's viewing and powererful TV coverage by the excellent BBC.

I also felt that it was a superb phenomenologicval approach. !!

With much affection to you both.


14/X/2010 11.30 GMT

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 5

The H2G2 Editors

What a lovely post, AlsoRan. Thank you very much indeed for taking the time so say this. The miners' rescue is a very moving story - a story with a genuinely happy ending. We have, with pleasure, passed on your open letter to our colleagues in BBC news. Many thanks again. smiley - ok


An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 6


Hi there Christiane! I am also very happy that the men were finally rescued. I can't imagine what it must have been like for them.

I agree, I am no fan of mining or the conditions in which miners have to work. I wonder how much this rescue operation costed? Cutting corners may seem like short-term gain but it entails long-term loss ... financial and other losses. I really hope that after this, conditions can improve ... in Chile and also elsewhere.

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 7

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

Well said Christianesmiley - rose I could not have put it better myselfsmiley - applause

(I also felt guilty going to bed before they were *all* up)smiley - blush

smiley - galaxysmiley - diva

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 8

Icy North

Yes, I agree too. It was nice to see the media devoting resources to a good news story for once.

I read this morning that the 19-year old miner is suffering badly from the experience - I hope he recovers soon.

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 9


Dear editors,

Thank you so much. It was really written from the heart.

Thank you to Websailor and particularly Gnoman for having passed it on Gnoman, And now to you the editors of h2g2 for passing it on to the BBC. I thought they would just get my thank you. !!! Innocent naive idiot that I am !! Thank goodness I have good friends who know the protocol of how to say thank you properly. !!

I am still having problems tearing myself away from the TV. What with the Commonwealth games, the marvellous #Athletics and now the Rugby season starting. Such Wealth of sport. Marvellous. !!

And now the marvellous Olympic Games in 2012, I simply cannot do what most people of my age do i.e. quietly curl up my toes. !!! Particularly as I was one of ten swimmers chosen by the South African Swimming Federation to train for three years for the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

Sadly no women were sent - four men who got eliminated in the first heat. That rankled..... and has for ages.!!

I hope to be alive to be able to watch the Backstroke events in 2012, after which I am prepared to go - quietly!!

I think that could be called "Olympic Swimming by default" though I would probably drown myself now. !!

With many thanks for your kind words.

12/X/2010 14.39 GMT

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 10

Icy North

Christiane, I'm so sorry you didn't get the chance to represent your country as an Olympian.

Here's one tenuous connection with the Olympics. Did you know that the h2g2 Editorial team's offices are at White City, on the site of the 1908 Olympic stadium (although the 1948 Olympics were held a few miles away in Wembley).

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 11


Hi Icy North

Thanks for your nice letter. I am always a bit sad about it, but I did teach swimming for 21 years. However another ambition of mine which was to swim the Channel has also been thwarted. !! I really could not bear to think of all that time in the cold water (one is not allowed to wear a wet suit) and of course the jelly fish.Brrr!!! In any case it costs a bomb unless one is sponsored. And who would sponsor a geriatric like me. !!

Ah me. I should be jolly mis, but I am actually very happy and I love seeing other people succeed.

Incidentally have you managed to find something yet?

With many thanks for your kindness,


14/X/2010 16.03 GMT

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 12


Hi again,
No I did not know that the h2g2 offices were near Olympia. AS I
have never lived in London perhaps that is why I did not go there. Actually, it might even hurt now - 62 y6ears later I do hnot think it is a good idea for me to go there, It might kill me stone dead with sadness, self-pity and remorse, !!!!!

Far better to look at the unswum Channel and dream........
Go well

(The backstroke swimmer who never was an O.......!!)


I suppose that it is just as bad for other sportspeopole who do not get chosen to represent their country, ¬

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 13


Willem (Post 6) Apparently President Pinera said the rescue cost "between $10m and $20m", but companies have contributed to the cost and his government will pay the rest.

Websailor smiley - dragon

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 14

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

President Pinero might be a good man in spite of his large fortune. In any event, it would make sense not to let anyone forget about what still needs to be done about safety in the mines--and also in the factories, and on the farms, and everywhere else! Not just in Chile, but in the U.S. and the U.K. and the rest of the world. People everywhere still suffer injury or death from accidents that should not have happened. smiley - sadface

I'm grateful for having worked worked in a safe place for most of my career. My uncle was not so lucky. He had a farm, and lost a couple of fingers in a corn-harvesting machine one time. I worked on assembly lines between school years when I was in college. It was easy to see how someone could get injured by the machines that molded hot plastic into forks and spoons. I also worked at a greenhouse where the boss's sopn-in-law got a hernia from carrying a heavy potted plant.

But Libraries can also be unsafe. My aunt was pulling an oversized book off a high shelf, and it gave her a concussion.

So, I'm very happy that the Chilean miners were rescued, and I'm hopeful the mine owners of the world will feel some pressure to improve worker safety, but let's be careful wherever we are!

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 15

Gnomon - time to move on

In my office, they give out to us if we walk up the stairs without holding the handrail. But they're right. Develop a culture of preventing the small accidents, and the large ones are less likely to happen.

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 16

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Alas, I have reached the age where I automatically reach for the handrail. Of course, whenever there's a ramp as an alternative to the stairs, I prefer the ramp. smiley - smiley

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 17


Thank goodness for ramps!!
My only way of gaining acess if there is not a lift.

I insisted on removing my foot rest on my wheelchair when I first became mobile using it You have no idea how much good it has done to keep the circulation moving in my legs. The only problem is that it is much easier to wheel oneself going backwards than going forwards. !!

There is a hotel hext to my block of flats and often there are curious guests on the balcony who call out cheerfully when they see this curious old lady going as fast as she can in a wheelchair backwards.!! I always explain that going backward is very sensible as I can go much faster and also I am not all hunched up.

Have a great weekend all my friends.

Much affection


Friday 14th October 2010 18.99 GMT.

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 18

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

I admire you so much, Christiane! You have a lot of spirit, and you don't let the b*stards get you down. There was a 96-year-old woman in my neighborhood who used to go tooling down the breakdown lane of the highway in her wheelchair to get to the shopping mall when she wanted to buy something. She only did this when the weather was nice, but even at her age she could still do things for a lark. smiley - smiley

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 19


Thank you young man, I appreciate you kindness

Papa had a saying which he often used - he never lost his french accent when speaking English

"Laugh and the world laughs with you,
"Cry and you cry alone"

There is only one person I cry for and I know you know who that is....

What a waste of a wonderful life and person.

Anyway thank you for taking my mind off that sadness.

An open letter of thanks to the BBC

Post 20


paulh, she would be taken away if that happened over here but good luck to her. in a paper here yesterday a man has adapted a mobility scooter to go at 69mph smiley - doh I think it just might suit our intrepid Christiane smiley - biggrin

Websailor smiley - dragon

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