Thursday, November 01, 2007
Apologies, apologies, apologies - sorry for my absence over the latter part of our glorious summer. There's been 'trouble at mill', & I will inform comrades on a need-to-know basis - basically it's family problems, illness and it's impending doom. Seems to have been hanging over my dad's head like the Sword of Damocles. I only have one head and it has been needed elsewhere - a thousand apologies to all those who matter. I think you know who you are. Anyway, back to business.
On a recent visit to a certain drinking establishment I bumped into a friend of mine, and as is usual when we meet, he sold me a copy of the very excellent periodical NORTHERN VOICES. For those of you who are not familiar with this little literary gem, it tends to offer the reader good, honest, journalistic attempts at some home truths, as well as issues/stories that may be of interest to local people - something our local rags fail in the most miserable fashion (unless of course you are in the market to purchase a conservatory, house, or motor car).
I noticed this little story. I quote directly from source:
GUESS WHO WANTS A KNIGHTHOOD
A regular reader of NV contacted us recently with a juicy bit of information. It seems that he had heard from a council employee that a certain councillor who leads a Greater Manchester Local Authority had gone ballistic when he had learned that the leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Lees, had been honoured with a knighthood. It seems that that the councillor - who covets a knighthood - was so incensed that he'd been overlooked in the honours list that he turned purple with rage and was seen to kick a door in at the council offices where he works. Our source told NV that he was seen 'kickin and a spitten' and shouting, "They're my knighthoods, the bastards"
I'll quote again from Northern Voices:
Next Knight Of Tameside
The voters of Tameside would do well to heed the words of American poet Walt Whitman who once said "rise at once at the never ending audacity of elected persons". That politicians are inclined to become brazen and arrogant the longer they are in office was recognised long ago by the ancient Greeks in Athens, who tended to exile those elected persons that they felt had got too big for their boots. In Tameside, the local Council has been Labour-controlled and led by its leader Roy Oldham since 1979. Mr Oldham, now aged 73, likes to boast that he holds the record for being the longest serving Council leader in the country. Indeed, he has now been in power longer than Robert Mugabe who leads the Zanu PF party in Zimbabwe and seems almost as difficult to get rid of as the ageing dictator. However, in spite of his political longevity, it seems that Councillor Oldham is becoming something of an embarrassment if the letters in the local press are anything to go by. It seems that some people feel that his ego has become almost as inflated as his council salary. This summer (August) he was accused by the leader of the Tory opposition, councillor John Bell, of being on a "massive ego trip" after it was discovered that his house on Back Moor had been etched into a bronze map showing places of historical interest in Mottram. The map, which shows the homes of L S Lowry and the old Post Office, is the first in a series of bronze maps which are intended to showcase the jewels of Tameside's cultural heritage.
Some members of the public have reacted angrily, accusing the council leader of arrogance, megalomania, and of being an embarrassment and a laughing stock. But councillor Oldham, who already has a bridge named after himself in Stalybridge, is unrepentant and insists that placing his house on the map was "just a bit of fun". He told a local newspaper "It's like when a carpenter works in a church and carves a little church mouse on the bottom of an emblem. I don't see why any one should make a problem but there are sad people in all walks of life". Some politicians on Tameside council are not impressed, believing that the leader's arrogance gives politicians a bad name and undermines local government politics. Councillor Bell said "Councillor Oldham's ego has run away with him ... a few years ago, he had CCTV installed at his home at tax payer's expense after a bomb hoax. Now he's drawing attention to himself by putting his home on a map".
THE BIG O?
How to deal WITH THE BIG O. No folks, I'm not talking about Roy Orbison, I'm talking the real BIG O. Our glorious leader, the 'not so Sir' Roy Oldham. In my humble opinion, the only rise Roy needs to hear (a rise sir Roy) is possibly in his trousers - I would not wish the alternative on man or beast, so I suppose that covers Roy in one way or another. Anyway, how can we as a group of like-minded individuals best draw attention to our glorious leader's plight? Well, one idea I've had is to contact all our friends, comrades, political alliances etc and start a campaign to get Mottram renamed Oldhamgrad (I quite fancy the bypass being called the Oldhamgrad/Tnitwistle Bypass). No, only joking - about the bypass, not the new name for Mottram though. I think we should start a campaign to help Roy obtain the accolade and the big 'thank you' he deserves. There it is, the name of our campaign - THE BIG THANK YOU. A campaign from the good and fair people of our land to pay homage and respect to a dedicated local politician who, through his selfless acts and betrayal of local communities, thinks that the needs of us green 'n common folk, are best served by the greed and backscratching of the grubby and vile speculators that follow the Highways Agency long after these middle pigs have concreted over another piece of our green 'n pleasant land.
At the very least I propose we adopt a new strategy: let's take our campaign to a new level, or different direction. Lets help the Big O. I propose at the very least a TOOT AND WAVE POLICY. Let me explain. Was it not Councillor Oldham who was BRASS faced enough to have his home address cast in the same, so that all and sundry will know where the 'not so Sir' Roy resides? Let's ask all our allies - everybody we know - let all campaigners be emailed with his home address and politely ask/invite them to take part in a campaign against this road scheme by tooting and waving as they pass by Roy's house . A cheap, effective campaign that fights on a different front. Lets hope it becomes a relentless barrage of noise and car horn blowing. He seems to like roads and the motor car so lets use them against him. In life you sometimes get what you wish for...