Beestonian updates: Petition to hit the Council, Fearless Baiter of Politicians (and Dimbleby), Soubs Nose to Grow Larger?

Wilkos

Another busy week beckons. On Wednesday, at 7pm, the Wilkos petition will be presented to a full meeting of Broxtowe Borough Council. As it has been such a success, now in excess of 3,000 signatures, it’s automatically triggered a debate in the chamber. This is good news, and if you can, come and join me on the public benches to see what your elected representative intends to do about it. I’m going to publish an article about the present situation tomorrow, and it’s going to make you very irate if you care about Wilkinsons continued presence in Beeston and the fate of the workers who face looming redundancy.

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Hindu Temple

Until then, a few updates. I appeared on BBC Radio Nottingham last Sunday morning, talking to Sarah Julian show, in an interview about the Hindu Temple campaign. Hopefully it triggered more cards, but I can’t thank you enough for what you did in response to my appeal.  They’ll be more news leading up to the opening of the temple, and I for one can’t wait to see it when it’s completed. Until then, let’s hope the miserable specimens who smashed their windows get pulled in by the police, or at least realise that bigoted small-minded hate is not welcome in Beeston.

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Question Time

After a couple of appearances on radio and the local press, it was only natural I further my new career as a media tart by getting on the telly. So when Question Time came to the Djanogly Academy in Sherwood Rise, I got myself an invite, put on a nice shirt and toddled along.

We were put in a holding pen for an hour, with free tea and biscuits. Suddenly, a hushed murmer swept the room: Dimbleby had entered the room.

He was as suavely debonair and urbanely avuncular as you’d expect, and we were putty in his hands. He explained the set-up of the show, complimented Nottingham on the quality of his shoe-shops and the whole room really wished he was their uncle.

We headed to the studio, and took our seats. Unfortunately, these were at the back of the auditorium so when the recording began, only my knees made it on-screen. Still, it’s a start. I’ve been asked if my thighs want to audition for a slot on The Daily Politics.

The panelists were a split between the seasoned: Prescott, Ken Clarke and Baroness Kramer; and the novice: Julie Meyer, Founder & Chief Executive of Ariadne capital, Investment Firm, apparently,and the very youthful looking Owen Jones, author of the class-polemic ‘Chavs’. 

Meyer was awful, seeming to think that every problem in Britain could be solved with more ‘digital entrepreneurs’ (cos I’ve always though we just don’t have enough Nathan Barley-esque half-wits in stupid wooly hats banging on about their plan to design an app for other idiots with iPhones to bore the rest of us with), described the NHS as a ‘Multi-billion pound industry’ (errr, isn’t it a service? That’s an ‘S’ in NHS, isn’t it, or have I misread it for years and it’s NHI?). As her contributions delved deeper into the pits of banality, bafflement turned to bemusement turned to amusement and she was laughed out of the debate. Remember, people like Meyer are exactly the people Cameron is pinning his hopes of economic recovery on. If they’re all like Meyer, we’ll be grubbing for roots by 2014.

The recording concluded after an hour of hearty, generally good-natured debate, and we filed out. The set was being swiftly dismantled, but I managed to get myself mugging at a camera before we were politely invited by the crew to getoutandletthemdotheirbleedingjob:

Walking out towards the car-park, we unwittingly took a wrong term, and to my horror strolled into the guests makeshift Green Room, where Prezza was holding court to a tired looking Ken Clarke and a wide-eyed Owen Jones, while a very pissed-off Julie Meyer skulked in the corner, probably planning to activate her army of androids she’s been amassing over the years. I backed out, apologising, to find I was standing next to a grey-haired bloke in an odd tie and white shirt, clutching a glass of red wine. It was Dimblebum. The man himself. The nation’s favourite political referee, the ice-cool moderator of national debate, the MAN himself.

I couldn’t get this close without proof. If I was to tell anyone I’d been this close to him they’d roll their eyes, mockingly scratch an imaginary itch on their chins and intone sceptically ‘Oh yeah?’

So I suddenly heard my mouth say ‘Hi David, I’m a big fan, can I grab a quick picture with you?’ By all rights he could have told me to leave him alone, how dare a mere mortal come in such proximity to the Dimblelord? But no, he smiled with that twinkly-eyed face he does and …..

For some reason, I’m pulling a face that inspired one wag to ask ‘Are you having a stroke?’ which I could only reply that despite my excitement at the situation, my non-Dimbleby gripping hand was behaving itself.

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SoubryWatch

There are so many things I have to get over about Soubry that soon, when other stuff quieten down a bit, I need to get out. For now though, I’m sure you’ll not be suprised that our redoubtable MP voted to keep the NHS Risk Register out of the public eye.

I put out a request on Twitter to see what local politicians think: I personally find it incredible that such a document can be kept secret, but thought a good reason might exist that I hadn’t thought at.

Both Cllr. David Watts and Cllr. Steve Carr, Lib Dems (well, Carr resigned the whip a while back, but that’s a different story) agreed that it should be made public, with Watts pointing out ‘I’m amazed that this isn’t published routinely. How can MPs vote without knowing the risks?’ Indeed. So why did Soubry vote to stop us finding out what dangers reforms hold?

‘Every GP in my constituency strongly support the NHS bill’ she told BBC Radio 5 Live. Really Anna?? Every one? According to Dr Ben Goldacre, editor of Bad Science 

GPs rejected the NHS bill 42:1 this month. If you see a politician claim GPs support it, you know what they are, and why that’s bad.

 So unless Broxtowe is a hot bed of Tory radicalism totally out of kilter with the rest of the UK, Anna appears to have a loose grip on truthfulness. Here, she has form. Remember 14 months ago, when she told the Commons that all the postal workers in her constituency supported privatisation? That triggered the biggest march Beeston has seen for over a century, a giant postcard being sent to her office and a weasel-worded explanation that she ‘hadn’t seen’ the piles of DON’T PRIVATISE THE ROYAL MAIL letters sent to her from disgruntled posties.
Anna’s burgeoning campaign to get a front bench position before she gets booted out in 2015 doesn’t let anything troublesome like truth stand in it’s way.
And if you think that’s bad, just wait till you hear about an utterly huge whopper of an untruth she’s recently told a constituency…stay tuned, good Beestonians.
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11 thoughts on “Beestonian updates: Petition to hit the Council, Fearless Baiter of Politicians (and Dimbleby), Soubs Nose to Grow Larger?

  1. Javid says:

    As they say in the local Conservative clubs; “Why let the truth get in the way of a good story”.

    What’s this other whopper – we’re now on tenterhooks. Or rather thinking about it, tell us when she next tells the truth; that would be newsworthy.

  2. Gailsman says:

    Planning to come to the council meeting on Wednesday. Beeston demands a Wilkos. Where else will I be able to get an inner tube for my bike on a Sunday morning in Beeston?

  3. Cllr Steve Barber says:

    I find it incredible that this Government can ask the professionals to first tell them the risks associated with their policy (correct thing to do) then simply because they apparently don’t like the answers decide they’ll keep the report secret.

    To think Anna Soubry constantly (unjustly) criticises us as a council for not being open then votes and supports this.

    It all reminds me of the day she threw me out of her office for trying to represent my residents’ interests over the future of a major employer.

  4. I don’t remember you wearing a nice shirt. Ever.

  5. Gareth says:

    Did anyone else enjoy John Bercow’s brilliant putdown of Ms Soubry during the NHS Risk Register Debate?

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2012-02-22b.887.4

    Are these the sort of contributions she had in mind when she promised “As your MP I would be Broxtowe’s voice in Parliament and would never put my political career above the interests of my constituents”?

  6. Mike says:

    The LibDems voted 33 to 4 to bury the Risk Register (against the Information Comissioner’s instructions). In the light of their somewhat disingenuous replies, you might ask Watts & Carr why their party voted this way. As with Soubry’s stance on the Government’s intention to concrete over the GreenBelt, this seems to be an instance of politicians telling their local electorate one thing, while supporting the opposite nationally.
    In response to Watts’ question “I’m amazed that this isn’t published routinely.”, I get the impression from Burnham’s speech that, under Labour, it was. Clearly, the LibDems are a different animal.

    • James says:

      I’m sorry Mike, but whatever your views, the Risk Register was never published by Labour- though I’m not surprised you got the opposite impression from Andy Burnham’s speech in Parliament!

      Still, can’t believe the sheer gall of the Lib-dems saying one thing locally and doing another thing nationally. I hope they made their views known to their national party!

      • Gareth says:

        But Mr Burnham does clearly draw a clear distinction between Strategic and Transitional Risk Registers. The former, which have historically not been published, take account of on-going operational risks, contractual risks and so on. Publishing these is usually unnecessary and could be detrimental to commercial negotiations.

        The Transitional Risk Register, by contrast, which explores potential risks created by the upheaval of implementing the Health and Social Care Bill, including changes in accountability, financial controls, and disruption to staffing and levels of morale. Surely this is important in considering the effects that the proposed policy changes would have. If they’re not prepared to be upfront and transparent about these, they shouldn’t be implementing the Bill.

  7. Javid says:

    She also said that she’d never employ councillors or political activists and that she would move to the constituency.

    Remind me what was her policy on the tram?

  8. Mike says:

    ‘Every GP in my constituency strongly support the NHS bill’ she told BBC Radio 5 Live.
    I don’t know your source, but from the iPlayer Radio 5 25/02 ~8:45am, paraphrasing, Soubry told the presenter that the GPs in her constituency that she spoke to told her that they couldn’t wait for the Health Bill to come into force. All of the Bill. Her consortia was already up and running before the Bill came into being. Which is presumably the grabby doctor mentioned on the Daily Politics Show (BBC2 23/02).
    Not quite the same thing.

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