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Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Style Council

Why are so many blogs about serious subjects? What is it about bloggers that make them write like they haven’t had a good laugh for a fortnight? I’m just the same; most of my stuff is about serious things or else is written in a serious manner. Yet I’m renowned for my sense of humour and fun. So why do I get serious when I enter the blogosphere – like now.

Well, no more. As of this moment fun, fun, fun is the bye word(s), humour the star which will guide my path and irony the sword with which I will slice open the iniquities of life. I will breath life into the staid and stifling atmosphere that envelopes Planet Blog, and like the dynamic comic hero I will banish for ever the gloom that is the lens thro’ which the world is viewed.

OK. Here goes, watch out for those dazzling sparks of humour, as we explore the under belly of the news (in Walthamstow).

Let’s start with the antics of the Council – always good for a laugh. What’s been tantalising us Council watchers is the mess they got themselves in over the closure of a local library – brought about as part of cost cutting exercise, only then to announce that £350k would be spent on converting said ex library into a centre for drug users.

Local residents were pretty upset at their library closing – especially as there appeared to be little or no consultation about the decision. Imagine their anger, disbelief when it slipped out that the Council were going to turn it into a junkie shop.

No doubt some residents were aghast at the thought of the impact this would have on the value of their property… until it was pointed out that there’s little value now in their property anyway. Others might have worried that trips to the local Chinese take-away could only be made with an armed escort…until they learnt that the take-away had been closed down for serving fried cockroaches in their Chow Ming. Others thought their neighbourhood was rough enough without adding to the problem…until someone pointed out that the area might be improved.

However, drugs are drugs and shifty looking yobs sticking needles in their arms and sniffing glue from cans outside respectable people’s homes was not on. They would have to move over when the residents returned home from the pub pissed out of their heads. And that wouldn’t do.

Now the Council appears to have switched from action mode – that is acting without any thought for the consequences of their decisions to looking like complete arses mode – that is their usual posture. We have the Labour wing of the ruling coalition blaming the Lib Dem wing for the cock up. It would appear that the Lib Dem had taken the un decision in the first place since they hadn’t read the relevant document authorising the expenditure on the drug centre. Labour have helpfully pointed out that the relevant portfolio for this is held by the Liberals.

Councillor John Macklin, the Lib Dem leader has risen statesman like to blame his fellow Lib Dem councillor. He said that neither he nor his Lib Dem colleague Cllr Keith Rayner, who signed the report off, were aware of the decision as officers had not brought it their attention.

There is just one word for that “Bollocks”. A bad craftsman always blames his tools – we don’t ask much of our elected representatives but one thing they should do is bring their officers to account. I think Councillor Macklin realises that since he went on to say "I don't like the idea decisions are made without councillors looking at the information carefully." I think he was trying to blame the officers but…

And of course the Labour camp carried out their democratic responsibility impeccably. Their “bon mots” were (I thought I’d add a little culture at this point) “"Since we are not responsible for the mishandling of the process, we are keen for those who have allowed information to be 'hidden' within reports to be held accountable."

That is priceless – do they know what they’re saying. “You’ve been caught with your pants down, Na,Na,Na Na Na”. A bloody school yard chant. And these people stare out at us from their websites chests blown out, looking meaningfully into the distance, when all they do is pick their noses and fart into their short trousers.

Whoops, I nearly lost it there – a Mark Steele moment. I promise that the next blog will have even more laughs. Well you have to. With a Council like this taking them seriously is not an option - until the elections (Shut up Mark).

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