Monday, September 03, 2007
Everyone in Tameside - and beyond - has reason to be disappointed with this Public Inquiry. Why?
Well, it seems that the biggest local advocates for this bypass - that is Roy Oldham and his brother-in-law Mike Flynn, Chairman of the Longdendale Siege Committee - will not be appearing to give evidence in support of it. This is clear because phase 2 of the PI is about to start, and the case for the Promoters and Supporters is over.
So when they mewl and puke in the press, as did Flynn in last week's Glossop Chronicle, about the weakness of Objector's evidence and the strength of theirs, it is all crap. Because if they are so sure of their case, why are they not prepared to go on public record to defend it?
What have they go to hide? Why are they so afraid?
After all, wasn't this their golden opportunity, their moment? Let's face it, they're both getting on in years - especially Oldham - & there won't be another opportunity. And for those who think this bypass is a good idea, it would give Oldham and Flynn huge cachet in their eyes were they to have the guts to defend it in public. Instead, it's not to be, and Flynn is urging 'supporters' to turn up and ask 'hard questions' of objectors (which is actually not possible now - he hasn't been paying attention, or attending for that matter). But he is not prepared to do so himself.
We know that Mike Flynn did not produce a statement of case or proof of evidence. Indeed, he did not even write in to support the bypass - what odd behaviour from a 'spokesperson'/chairperson.
And we know Oldham submitted a Statement of Case/Proof of Evidence - so why doesn't this appear on the PI website? His fellow Longdendale councillors have done so - has the programme officer overlooked Oldham's evidence, forgotten to scan it and upload it? It seems unlikely.
In the absence of any reasonable explanation, we can only infer that they are spineless, and don't believe their evidence will stand up. They prefer to leave it to the professionals such as the barristers who are as adept at using smoke and mirrors in the PI environment as Oldham and Flynn are in the press. We recognise them for what they are, and so should everyone else.