IT IS clear that Ian Kell (Letters, May 23, 'We have to future proof') holds strong and sincere views about the proposed engineering works along the Kent and it is likely that these views are shared by most, possibly all, of the unfortunate townsfolk flooded by 'Desmond'.

But whereas it is legitimate to use the letters page of the local press to promote your views, a practice that is a time-honoured strand of British public discourse which we neglect at our peril, it is important not to imbue advocacy with a certainty that your cause is correct in all its assumptions.

Further, to employ unwarranted attacks on organisations and individuals you regard as not being in total agreement with you is to add fuel to the fire of unhelpful polarisation that already exists.

Nor is a case strengthened by lack of self-awareness - those Ian identifies as enemies of the cause are no more in possession of 'prejudices and personal agendas' than he, me, or anyone else.

In proposing a dichotomy between Kendal and the Lake District as part of his argument, Ian combines factual inaccuracy with a further swipe at anyone who opposes his views in what generally gets labelled 'development'.

The Lake District is no more or less a 'natural phenomenon' than is Kendal.

It is a patch of ground that natural processes shaped physically (just like Kendal's flood plain), upon which human activity has been undertaken for 1,000s of years, causing the landscape to evolve, a process that is universal and unstoppable.

As for Wordsworth and his daffs, I hope Ian would agree that existing visitor pressure and the unending demands of commerce for even more visitors constitute a legitimate concern and that in addressing this, organisations such as FOLD can be argued to be keeping a watchful eye on the same future that he is so sensibly concerned about for Kendal.

Geoff Brambles