BEESTON CARNIVAL THIS SATURDAY!!!! SPOT BEESTONIA AND WIN A SPECIAL PRIZE WHICH IS PROBABLY A LOLLIPOP FROM BECKS BARGAINS OR A SIGNED BUSINESS CARD.
Due to recent events in the media spotlight, I would first like to make a statement about the journalistic methods employed behind the scenes here at Beestonia Towers. I sincerely swear we have NEVER
- Used phone taps/ voicemail hacking
- Hacked emails belonging to persons of interest
- Paid the local constabulary for tip offs for stories.
No, absolutely not, our journalistic standards are high here, and as such I pledge we will continue to bring you the area’s red-hot info by our tried and trusted methods:
- Writing up unchecked unverified gossip
- Drunkenly banging out something that just comes into our heads.
- Repeating verbatim what a bloke in the pub told us.
Rest assured that we will not sink as low as other media organizations, and Beestonia will continue to apply rigorous journalistic standards to all our stories, unless brown envelopes stuffed with cash are proffered.
Interesting to see Soubs up in the Commons like a amphetamined kangaroo; and my hat is once again doffed to her. She opposes Jeremy Hunt deciding early on BSKYB’s takeover by News Corp, and rightly so. She even pops up again on Newsnight later that evening (man, she must have her own dressing room there by now) and pontificates on media plurality. Very noble, and I shouldn’t be at all cynical. But I’m old, twisted and bitter so of course I am. I cast my mind back to March, when, by proxy, I sent her an email regarding my concerns on media plurality should the buy-up get the nod-through. Her answer then was swift, but remarkably non-committal: this was not something the government should intervene in, and if all was well it should be allowed without hesitation. Laissez-faire capitalistic Conservatism in action. Now that Murdoch’s poisoned claws have been prised from the Commons, attacking the retreating beast is good for any attention seeking, promotion-desiring backbencher. Soubry has excelled here; but I still salute her, even if her motives are less than honourable.
The News of World (what’s black and white and dead all over?) isn’t the only newspaper to meet its demise this month: the Long Eaton Recorder bit the dust last week, without anyone really noticing. It’s mildly sad, though I have no idea how the hell it kept going so long when it’s news content is so minimal and watery even hamsters would complain at it’s uselessness when they found their cages lined with it. I used to deliver the bastard, 1p a paper, back in the late eighties. A penny a paper is fine if you’re doing a row of garden-less terraces, but I did the huge-pathed houses that crowd round the Jaguar in Stapleford/ Bramcote.
Once, a passer-by offered me 15p for a single copy. I accepted, as they always gave me too many issues, and then received a letter from the delivery agent telling me that I was docked a pound from that weeks £2.22 wage packet as I’d ‘illegally tendered the newspaper to a checking agent’. I was gutted, but still took delivery of two more weeks worth of issues which I took up the council tip on Bramcote Park and made into a very satisfactory fire. RIP, Recorder, you tight sods.
At the time, I also did an afternoon knocking out the Nottingham Evening Post (now the Nottingham Post, politicians who still keep mis-naming it in newsletters), which paid the handsome wage of £2.57 for five days delivery, although I was allowed to pick my own ten-pee mixes from the newsagent I worked from, which often led to such crazy criminality as eleven pence worth of sweets dropping into the white paper bags.
So I felt totally at ease meeting my almost-colleagues for a drink a week ago. I am apparently read at the Post by some of the journalists, which is nice. We bump into each other at events, and they always look so well groomed, professional and bang out rapid shorthand while I stand by them in my chocolate brown shabby suit scribbling in my notepad what looks like shorthand, but is actually my illegible handwriting. I meet one for a pint, except this is the evening that follows the afternoon Murray got kicked out of Wimbledon. I watch it on telly, and am introduced to Pimms as I do. Never had it before, and I sip away trying to remember where I remembered the taste from. Then it comes to me. Some Pimms flavoured biscuits I had a few years back. I thus, in the name of investigative inquisition, neck it, and head out, staggering somewhat.
I won’t name them, as it was a social meet, not a talk-shop thing. But I am like a nerdy fanboy when a journalist turns up and I know his surname despite only being offered his forename. I’d seen his by-line, you see.
‘How do you know that? ‘ asks he.
‘He’s the one man who reads the paper’ says his colleague.
I let out a nervous laugh and hope it’s not true: despite it’s often bewilderingly annoying news agenda; and a letters page that resembles the wastepaper bin of a psychiatric secure unit, I am very fond of the Post, and I’m a flag-waver for the Beeston Express. Without them what do we have? The Topper? Jeez.
I’m looking at a few things regarding the local hot news story de jour: the A453. The Post have thrown their weight behind the campaign to have it widened, as have Notts County Council who have ‘found’ £20m down the back of Kay Cutts’s sofa to help grease the wheels of this no doubt worthy venture. I’ve received a few bits of information through email which seem to see their are darker forces at work…any input is gratefully received.
An email drops into my inbox from Cllr. Barber asking ‘WSould you like a atory that involves a Minister of State, The Secret Service and Beeston Wetherspoons?’ Of course I would, so he sends me this, which I’ll post up unedited…over to Steve:
Peter Hain has always had a soft spot for Broxtowe. When he was Northern Ireland Secretary, Nick Palmer was our MP and I worked for Nick, he kept us up to speed on the final stages of the Northern Ireland Peace Accord which resulted in the acclaimed “end to the troubles” on 26 March 2007.At that time we were in the midst of a Borough election campaign and Peter was at first persuaded to announce the deal in the New Venture Club. However, Tony Blair stepped in and denied us that scoop for the Rylands saying that he had to first announce it to Parliament, but he could come here a week later.So on a damp and miserable April evening we were instructed to meet Peter Hain’s convoy on Wollaton Road. Four armoured vehicles, dark shaded security men with bulging pockets. They’d already “swept” the New Venture club, examined escape routes but we had an hour and a half to kill. Peter really wanted pie, chips and a pint, which pub? This was the high security bit – no-one knew where. I suggested the Last Post, Wetherspoons pub and Peter jumped at the prospect; “just clear it with these blokes”. I was offered a lift in the lead car so with radio’s blaring, men talking into their lapels, dark shades and tinted glass (it was pitch dark by now) we set off in a tight convoy at 5mph; not drawing any attention of course. The radio blared and by Sainsbury’s entrance we got the all clear “all units are now within 90 seconds of the Last Post”. Screeching to a halt on Foster Ave the security men leaped out, opened Peter’s door and bundled him past the smokers and in the door. By chance there were two large empty tables next to the Ladies toilets. MI5 grabbed the nearest the door and we were ordered on to the other.We learned a great deal about Northern Ireland politics which makes anything dished out here look like a vicars’ tea party and how Peter had decided to unite Ian Paisley and Martin MCGuiness by providing a common enemy. He was that person by insisting on a huge increase in water rates, graffiti abounded making him to be a re-incarnation of the devil. He held (a copy of) the historic document signed by Paisley & McGuiness asking him to vacate his office as they were now jointly taking over, a victory for all.The meeting was a resounding success with an elderly gentleman speaking on how his life had been plagued by the troubles, he’d effectively been exiled to Beeston for 30 years and now at last, having lost family, he could return.Nick chaired the meeting which as Peter said was easy as he had a man with a machine gun standing by to keep order.