Monday, December 31, 2007
Even though this blog hasn't actually been publishing material for all of 2007, we thought it was worth taking time to have a look back at the year and the articles on the blog, even if only to keep the sentimental(ist) types happy.
We kicked thing off at the end of March, right at the close of the objection period (which now seems so long ago), and followed that up with an attack on one Andrew Byford, a local nutter who was calling for a Glossop Bypass - & we've thankfully heard nothing from him since then.
April was a time to get serious, and although there was no all fools day blog, there were plenty of fools featured throughout the month. We published our take on the various (pointless) petitions that fly around, both pro and anti-bypass, and tried (and failed) to establish a dialog with Gamesley Councillor Anthony McKeown. We also thanked the Peak District National Park Authority for coming out against the bypass.
April was the month that saw the initial information about the Public Inquiry (PI) published, and there was much mirth to be had in the choice of the Inspector as one John Watson.
We published an analysis on the uneasy bedfellows that are the Glossop Spur and Longdendale Bypass, along with articles on Rossington Park.
We also published our first pops at politicians, national & local - in this case, James Purnell and the one and only Roy Oldham. The latter article - about Oldham's very public support for the campaign to keep the Woodhead line open in 1980 - seems especially apposite now given a new local campaign.
Amongst all the April Fools we blogged about, one still reigns supreme. Longdendale Councillor Sean Parker-Perry was still then masquerading as the blogger 'Roadmunkey', and had begun to shadow our blog with a series of ridiculous posts. At the time, despite accumulating evidence, we decided to keep this under wraps (only to have our thunder stolen later). But the blogs that followed were a good example of how to silence annoying little twerps, be they mere mortals or fuckwit councillors.
This was also the month to look back at a true hero, Benny Rothman, and the Ramblers who took part in the Kinder Mass Trespass of 1932 whose 75th anniversary was being celebrated. We focused on the fact that amongst the celebrants were those whose views would be an anathema to Benny and his comrades. In the 1990s, Benny had made common cause with anti-road protesters, and had joined a trespass walk at Twyford Down in 1994. No-one else made the connections.
May 1st was the date of the Pre-Inquiry Meeting, and our content this month reflected that, with the first of our video news features (ripped off, or liberated according to your POV).
We also looked at Glossop Councillor Ivan Bell and his attempts to keep everyone happy by opposing Rossington Park and wanting a bypass and the fate of Tintwistle Councillor Joyce Brocklehurst for doing the same thing. Bell lives on the margins of the issue in Old Glossop, whilst Brocklehurst lives on the frontline, and was a huge casualty for the pro-bypass cause.
We also pointed out how, unsurprisingly, we weren't (and still aren't) featured on the PI links page.
...was the month the Public Inquiry properly opened, and most of our content this month reflected that.
We also presented more evidence that Roadmunkey was Councillor Parker-Perry, and he duly vanished later in the month. The most damning evidence was not presented - we believe in keeping our powder dry - but what we had done was enough to shut him up.
As the PI continued, so did our reports, with a fair few this month devoted to the farce that was the evidence presented by members of the Longdendale Siege Committee, along with partner-in-crime Joyce Brocklehurst.
We also had time for a Beatrix Potter pastiche regarding planning decisions made by Mr Adrian Fisher of High Peak Borough Council's PLanning Dept.
Our biggest scoop this month was our revelation that the Bronze Plaque of Mottram-in-Longdendale erected by TMBC contained a homage to Roy Oldham, a scoop that was soon to become taken up by all kinds of media.
And we also asked the question 'who owns Roy's house'? It's still unanswered, but it's one of those things that may someday be revealed. But not online, because the Land Registry have since removed the online search facility from their website.
And whilst we regard many campaigning against the Congestion Charge in Manchester as Clarkson-esque cretins, some of us made it clear that we have reservations that it's not the 'white knight' it is being presented as in pseudo-environmental circles.
August saw us doing one of the things we do best - talking shit about Longdendale Siege, though let's face it, they make it easy. This time it was Brian (Darth) Butler's turn.
We also reported on a nature walk at Swallows Wood, attended by an ecologist who gave his view of the importance of the wood.
We also attended Climate Camp, where we led a discussion abut roads policy and made many important contacts.
And our final post this month featured a former soap star turned journalist, Nigel Pivaro, who is now ingratiating himself with the local mafia ahem council nicely.
We opened this month with a post about the fact that the champions of the bypass have not appeared at the PI to defend their pet project, and will not now be doing so.
And we looked at how Tameside leads the way in terms of the country's traffic congestion and is in the middle ages in terms of how it intends to 'solve' the problem.
We also had the scoop about the PI being cancelled on two occasions this month (the first here, and the second here).
And we carried news of Glossop and Longdendale's first Critical Mass, the subject of a lot of press attention this month. We also carried the video report.
And in the later days of the month, we carried very early reports about James Purnell's fake photo scandal and the possible links to good old Sean Parker-Perry.
This month, we carried on milking the Purnell story, with some humorous 'Photoshops' of our own, and looked at the thorny issue of development in Glossop. There were other things too, but this was a pretty quiet month.
Early in the month, we encouraged people to give a 'toot and wave' when venturing past Roy Oldham's house. We've absolutely no idea how successful this has been, and don't really care that much, but we hope he's wondered why people have been so friendly this past few weeks.
We also looked at the Government's new transport policy and revisited our post on development in Glossop, as well as kicking off our focus on local businessman Trevor Mooney, who seemingly has plans to 'develop' the Dinting area of Glossopdale.
We also looked at the trials and tribulations of the PI process, now descending into farce (after the 'tragedy' of the first cancellation, uncle Karl Marx is right in his dictum that history can only repeat itself thus from now on).
We also lent a certain amount of focus on the developing threat to the Woodhead Tunnel, something we'd looked at briefly over the months prior to November.
Following on from November, we devoted a fair amount of space to the Woodhead campaign, which formally launched later in the month. At this stage, National Grid were content to announce their plans semi-publicly to parish councils and the Glossop Chronicle was carrying reports of these meetings. But then midway through the month, MPs were getting on board, with Tom Levitt - going through his political death throes - eager to look like he was leading it. He can only wish...
We focused on the quiet role of United Utilities, and how this silent partner in the campaign for the bypass may really be a key accomplice after all.
It was hard to resist another pop at Trevor Mooney - and let's face it, he makes it so easy - with his campaign for a Golf driving range on Dinting. This time he painted himself in Greenwash by making out he was saving us all from dreaded knotweed, and that a load Argyle-clad bourgeois tossers would be preferable. Fore!(koff).
And of course, there was more delays with the PI, and we had a couple of posts about that (here and here). We think we now know what the delays are about, and we will have a huge scoop about that next month.
We also devoted a few posts to a lightning-fast local campaign to save a green space in Broadbottom - Temperance Green - was hugely successful. It would have been a good note to end the year on, but small fry when one considers the environmental disaster that High Peak Borough Council has promised the residents of Hadfield & Tintwistle by allowing SCC to throw up more unwanted warehouses near to Rossington Park.
And that's it for now. So, until next year (i.e. sometime this week), thanks for reading. Here's to another year of muck raking and shit-talking...