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Here's a bit of friendly advice

The propensity of some journalists (for example, Bruce Arnold's 'Impotent bank inquiry is product of a castrated Dail', Irish Independent, January 23) to attribute trenchant, sometimes controversial views, to "a friend" is disingenuous.

It calls to mind a cheeky incident some years ago when I was driving my young son and his seven-year-old contemporary. The latter announced that "So and so (another friend) told me to f*** off".

I responded: "Well there's no need for you to repeat it . . . nice people don't talk like that."

Like many others since the year dot, our young friend was enabling himself to circumvent what might have been considered unacceptable by attributing the offending phrase or opinion to "a friend".

As one who appreciates, but does not always agree with, the often forthright opinions of your columnists, may I make this appeal: by all means express your views, but please desist from attributing them to an unidentified "friend".

Valerie Alexander
Dublin 14

Irish Independent