Do not make assumptionsbased on someone's name

After writing about the consistently abusive comments of online readers in regard to a particular News columnist, I had a look at my own.

Saturday, 17th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:41 am
Planet Earth

Lo and behold, in a column about Donald Trump, there were several abusive comments left just for me.

Strangely, given that I presume they were written by adults, a few focused on my name.

Apparently, the moniker of ‘Verity Lush’ is indicative of my status as an ‘idiot’.

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Lush is an old Pompey name. I’m an only child, as was my dad, and he died when I was young, so there are very few Lushes left in Portsmouth.

The name is Pompey through and through.

The Lush family were myriad in the 20th century and owned various Charlotte Street stalls after the war, plus fruit stalls on Clarence Pier and businesses around the city.

They are interwoven with other old Pompey families, such as the Madgewicks, by marriage.

My gran was an Arnett, so again, Portsmouth through and through.

I don’t mind having the mickey taken out of my name. I’m 40 in a fortnight and have never, until now, been judged for it.

But I’ve had years of banter as regards the adult movie (polite version: Bond girl) name.

It takes a certain amount of brass cojones to start a teaching career with teenagers under the name of Miss V Lush.

More than it takes, I suspect, to write anonymous online abuse.

It seems too easy to me to make an assumption about someone based on a name and a political opinion, because you know very little about that person.

I currently teach with some of the hardest-working people I have ever met, in the most passionate team I have been privileged enough to work with, in order to give Portsmouth kids who cannot access mainstream education in our city a chance of a future.

If that makes me an idiot, then I am proud to be one for, as Spike Milligan said: ‘See the happy moron, he doesn’t given a damn. I wish were a moron. My God, perhaps I am!’


Ten million of us have been tuning in on Sunday nights to watch the BBC’s amazing Planet Earth II.

The suspense, the sadness and the sense of awe and wonder that it creates are second to none.

And it’s nothing to do with Hollywood.

It is entirely uncontrived, purely nature and the world in which we live.

We spend such a short time on this planet and most of us see so little of what it has to offer that these glimpses of life that we will otherwise never see are nothing short of incredible.

The medium of television and screen time is often denigrated as being less than highbrow, but this is viewing at its best.

In fact, it is edge-of-your-seat spectacular.


My, there is such enforced jollity at Christmas. Fabulous if you’re in the mood, hellish if you’re not.

The boys down at Home Coffee, who are opening in Albert Road, Southsea for people who are spending Christmas Day on their own, are doing a really wonderful thing.

Even when you’re happy, Christmas can be a very hard time.

Loved ones who have been lost are brought to mind, grief is that little bit sharper, worries are magnified by the obvious passage of time that a new year brings.

For Home Coffee to open and to give people a place to go where they will be surrounded by others, and where they feel as if they are a part of the season, is fantastic.