Archive for the ‘One of our own’ Category
Reasons why Town Councils simply should not be allowed to exist #743: this story.
Reasons why Town Councils are an essential part of Our Way of Life #3: this most extraordinary of wigs…
The Northern Echo, 14 January 2011 (story):
Council chair dispute settled
A COUNCILLOR was suspended for a month yesterday after a tribunal ruled on an argument over who was first sitting in a chair.
Councillor Billy Blenkinsopp’s suspension marks the end of a 16- month row with Councillor Dorothy Bowman which he estimates has cost the taxpayer £50,000.
The pair, both members of Great Aycliffe Town Council, fell out when Coun Bowman sat down at a town council meeting on September 9, 2009.
While councillors do not have reserved seats they often sit in the same place, and Coun Blenkinsopp believed Coun Bowman was sitting in someone else’s chair.
The tribunal found that Coun Blenkinsopp told Coun Bowman to “p*** off” which he denied – claiming he told her to “get down her own end”.
Is that a euphemism? If so, I’m sure we can all agree such actions should have no place in a council chamber.
Turns out he’s a Lib Dem: hardly a surprise, given their recent behaviour in general. I wonder if this kind of thing is increasingly common around the Cabinet table in No. 10?
Yesterday’s tribunal was held after Coun Blenkinsopp, a former jockey who has served on various councils for 24 years, appealed against the three-month ban.
Coun Blenkinsopp told the tribunal that “tradition dictates” he, as deputy leader, should sit next to Bob Fleming, the then leader of the town council, as he had done that evening.
Coun Bowman said she had gone to sit in her usual place, next door but one to the leader, which she claimed prompted Coun Blenkinsopp’s four-letter out burst.
There’s something not quite right about describing a mere use of ‘piss’ as a “four-letter outburst”. Maybe if suspended Liberal Democrat Councillor Billy Blenkinsopp had gone for a ‘fuck’, a ‘twat’, a ‘cunt’ or a ‘COCK’, yes, but not just a ‘piss’, surely? Oh, and hello to those of you who are just joining us via Google.
A grateful tip of the wig to Nicky Sawicki for unearthing this gem.
Suitably refreshed after a festive break and back on the so-called-news trail, let’s get straight back down to business with some good old local government smut from the Christmas period.
This Basildon beauty seems intent on damaging the already dubious reputation of the directly-elected mayor system. And by the way, top marks to the Southend Standard for having the confidence to deploy the always-underutilised ‘snow’ pun as the article’s gambit. BAM! No messing.
Southend Standard, 22 December 2010 (story):
Mayor Mo is town’s Christmas cracker
THERE’S snow mistaking this blonde bombshell!
Basildon’s mayor Mo Larkin is hoping to brighten up the borough’s mood this merry-making season with her official Christmas card.
Mo, who became the borough’s first ever mayor last month, has gone for different approach to her festive card for the second year running.
Instead of opting for a scenic photo of the town, Mo’s annual card features the lady herself glamorously dressed in a snow white coat and purple dress.
She’s also holding a Christmas tree bauble emblazoned with the words “I love you”.
Mo, who coyly admits she is “in her sixties”, said: “I just want the card to cheer people up. Everything is so miserable at the moment with the snow. We’ve got elderly people trapped inside their homes and all sorts going on so if my card cheers just one person up then it’s done its job.”
“I’m not one to do things the traditional way!”
‘Character’ alert. I like Mo’s rather arrogant belief that the arrival of one flimsy Christmas card featuring an egomaniacal local politician dressed up to the high nines could bring any kind of meaningful cheer to an elderly person trapped inside their home. She should get on to Amnesty International to see if they want to send the card to prisoners of conscience around the world, just to give them a laugh as they curl into a quarter-circle while being savagely beaten in their cells. No, really, she should.
For Mayor Mo, life is clearly just about sex, sex, sex. Typical Tory.
Last year the Tory councillor, who was then the chairman of Basildon Council, hit the national headlines with her festive card.
It featured her posing next to a heart-shaped bauble and a Christmas tree.
The card caught the eye of a group of labourers in Ramsgate, who then decided to use Mo as the pin-up on a building site.
Political ambitions: consider yourselves achieved.
Thanks for this story go to Roddy Campbell, who has Mo’s Christmas card proudly displayed in the windscreen of his white van.
One from the archives: this is an all-time classic court report from Middlesbrough’s Evening Gazette.
Some wonderful detail, great quotes, and Simon Bland really is ‘one of life’s characters’. Probably best just to let the story do the talking…
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 14 August 2008 (story):
One-legged addict jailed for dangerous driving
A ONE-LEGGED motorist who mowed down a binman and just missed a woman with a pushchair has been jailed.
Disabled driver Simon Bland repeatedly interrupted his sentencing hearing at Teesside Crown Court by speaking over the judge and barristers – beginning as prosecutor Ian Mullarkey attempted to explain the case.
Mr Mullarkey said on July 7 last year an off-duty PCSO spotted Bland get out of his Ford Focus at a petrol station on Marton Road in Middlesbrough – naked from the waist down.
Bland, 36, was arrested later in the day after being spotted again with the car careering onto pavements and into the paths of other vehicles causing motorists to take evasive action.
He was reported to police again on July 31 after being seen driving at less than 5mph on the A171. He then got to Ormesby Bank where he picked up speed, clipped a kerb and almost hit a young girl on a cycle before going into the path of a van which managed to steer clear. He later mounted a pavement again and struck binman Buster Carter, who was left unable to work for six weeks. And on November 22 he just missed a woman pushing a pram as he tried to reverse.
As promised, Bland – who lost his leg in 2002 – was given the opportunity to speak. He told the judge, who he repeatedly called Les: “I have the utmost respect for you people in authority.”
Bland then spoke of his youth at Stokesley Comprehensive, the Gulf War and how he dreamed of being a Marine. “I joined the French Foreign Legion,” he added. “I was with them for four years, no, three years. I had to do a runner from them. It was too hard. I can’t go back to France – I will be arrested.”
Bland apologised to the binman who he referred to as “Buster Douglas”. He then spoke of a hairdresser who was at school with his brother before being interrupted by Judge Spittle.
He was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for three years. As he was led down to the cells he asked to be banned from driving for five years instead, before shouting: “Thanks everyone, thanks judge, I appreciate it.”
Local papers can never resist the lure of a story about an old dear.
Mind you, you can’t really blame them when the old dear in question was so ruthlessly dedicated to smoking that she only gave up once she could no longer see the other end of cigarettes in order to light them. This is surely the equivalent of weaning oneself off smack because you can no longer muster the strength to press the syringe.
Croydon Advertiser, 13 August 2010 (story):
Woman who smoked for more than 90 years dies aged 102
CROYDON’S most famous smoker has died at the age of 102, after a life in which she puffed her way through 170,000 cigarettes.
Beatrice Langley, known to everyone as Winnie, started sparking up when she was just eight years old.
Winnie – who despite her habit outlived her husband Robert, son Don and 10 stepchildren – only stopped smoking last Christmas.
And this was not due to health worries, but because she could not see the end of the cigarettes to light them any more.
Anne Gibbs, Winnie’s niece, described her aunt as young-at-heart and an avid reader.
“I think it was doing all her crossword puzzles that kept her mind so young,” she added.
“She never lost her marbles right to the very end – she was feisty and stubborn and had a marvellous sense of humour.
Is there such a thing as an old person who isn’t ‘young at heart’? I’m yet to hear of one.
Thanks to Nick Henegan.
Cats: some people drop them into wheelie bins, while some people enter them into national competitions. But which is the bigger form of abuse?
Local newspapers love nothing more than printing feel-good stories about domestic pets and their owners, as if we’re remotely interested or something.
Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 22 June 2010 (story):
Redcar cat reaches finals of national competition
IS this Redcar moggy Britain’s most adventurous cat? Joanne Stephens of Redcar is celebrating after her pet, Jerry, leaped into the national finals of the Go-Cat Bobo Awards.
The awards – named after the feline star of Go-Cat’s latest TV ads – are given to the most adventurous cats in Britain.
Now judges have chosen Jerry as one of 12 finalists from nearly 800 entries. And if he wins first prize, he could bag Joanne an African safari to see some really big cats, plus a year’s supply of Go-Cat.
Cheeky Jerry’s habit of following Joanne into the shower is just one escapade which really appealed to the judges. But not content with getting wet, Jerry then runs up and downstairs to shake himself dry.
No way! ‘CHARACTER’ alert…
He also enjoys climbing curtains, pinching pizza and trying to climb out of the bathroom window.
Get out of here! BONKERZ.
He has a habit, too, of hiding Joanne’s belongings in the house – to the point where some items are yet to be recovered.
Merciless thieving little shit. Lock him up.
One of the worst things about the awful British consensus that ‘pets = good’ is, of course, the smug and self-satisfied gobshite tendencies of the people who own them. Just shut up, shut up, shut up. Please shut up. Shut. Up.
Joanne said: “Jerry’s adventures are more often than not, very noisy. If he starts one of his manic escapades in the evening, there isn’t any peace in our house.
“He loves attention when he’s awake and while we’re trying to sleep, he loves playing alarm clocks by running up the stairs with a squeaky rubber toy in his mouth.
“If only you could see him 24/7 you would be so tired!”
Jerry is also in the running to win the Indoor Cat category.
I wonder if Go-Cat will be introducing a Wheelie Bin category next year? Now that could be worth some media coverage…
Be careful if you’re out and about in the Manchester area: you could be accosted and taught naughty diction at any moment.
Who’s a fucking pretty boy then, knobhead?
Manchester Evening News, 30 June 2010 (story):
Oh ****! Charlie the swearing parrot takes off
Charlie the foul-mouthed parrot has embraced an f-word which has got his owner in a real flap – flying.
Melissa Todd was warned about the African Grey’s industrial language – which has made him an internet hit – when she bought him from a pet shop a year ago.
But she was assured that one talent he did not have was flying.
Now pub worker Melissa, 29, is hunting for her pet after he took off from his perch in the garden of her Bury home. She is even offering a reward for his safe return.
It turns out the parrot in question is something of a celebrity, meaning the Manchester Evening News has been able to combine three of the most successful themes of great regional news:
- domestic pet-based happenings;
- home-grown celebrity status; and
- silly season frivolity.
As combos go, these equal regional news dreamland.
Melissa said the family had taken Charlie, who has distinctive red tail feathers, into the garden at about 1pm on Monday. But he took fright after hearing a sudden noise and has not been seen since.
Thousands of fans have logged on to YouTube to hear Charlie’s catchphrases, which include phrases like ‘shut up’ – as well as a range of four-letter word insults.
Next week he comes up before the beak in a documentary called My Pet Shame about embarrassing animals.
Experts try to break Charlie’s swearing habit in the show, presented by Gavin And Stacey actress Joanna Page. The parrot is supposed to be appearing in a follow-up programme to test whether his behaviour has improved.
Melissa said she had no idea whether Charlie could ever be cured.
Calling the people of Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, England… you are one step closer to the glory of knowing you have spawned the face of BigD nuts.
Staines News, 21 May 2010 (story):
Sunbury Page 3 girl wants your vote
PAGE 3 model and Sunbury girl Rosie Jones is one step closer to becoming the face of BigD nuts.
The local lass, who is featured regularly in weekly lads magazines Zoo and Nuts, has reached the semi finals of a competition which could see her become the face of the snack’s ad campaigns for the next four years.
Rosie, who attended St Ignatius School, in Green Street, and St Paul’s College, in The Ridings, is up against 20 other girls all eyeing the final in July.
Regional newspapers love nothing more than a local boy or girl done good. They relentlessly hype their home-grown celebrities and report their every move, however small their fame or futile their endeavours. Any article about them will contain the obligatory ‘town name + gender identifier’ reference (“Sunbury girl”, “Chichester lad”, “Spalding transsexual”) and, of course, a list of the local schools they attended. We couldn’t be doing without that.
The celebrities themselves are often willing to capitalise on this misplaced local pride by offering quotes to the paper too.
Rosie, 19, said: “I am honoured to be in the semi final and it is really exciting to think that I could soon be appearing in thousands of pubs throughout the country. I have the chance to put my home town of Sunbury on the map. I hope the people of Sunbury can show their support and vote for me.”
I have a sneaky feeling Sunbury might rather not be ‘on the map’ at all.