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Outspoken opinion prompts backlash from car cruise fans

An opinion piece in the Essex Enquirer about boy-racers and custom cars has raised the hackles of the “cruising” community and flooded the newsroom with feedback.

Letters and e-mails have been pouring into the Billericay offices of the Enquirer after Gina Marsden’s latest column.

And some message board contributors to the website for Revs magazine are already considering a convoy past the newspaper office.

She wrote the Final Word column to discuss recent pressure in the paper’s circulation area for an organised “cruise” night, where the drivers of modified cars parade around the streets in their vehicles.

But the column pointed out that it wasn’t with organised events that problems arose.

And it was this that raised the ire among the cruising community.

Messages on the Revs chat board – from “legitimate” cruisers – claimed her article painted modified car drivers in a poor light.

And the attacks got personal with contributors suggesting Gina’s work as “stereotypical”, “ill-informed” and “badly written”.

But the reporter answered the criticism, which has arrived via e-mail and post, by explaining the nature of the weekly opinion column, and pointing out that it was copied onto the message board as a balanced news piece.

Gina said: “Even if people don’t like my opinions, and that is often, I will always have the balls to run with them because that is what the job of a columnist demands.”

However, her critics have softened their stance after a response on the message boards by Gina, offering to accompany them on a “cruise” – and since they saw her photo on holdthefrontpage of her recent wingwalk.

And now they are considering her for “girl of the week” in Revs…

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