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Michael and Jane

with 3 comments

Jackson and BranleyOdd but obvious comparisons

I missed yesterday’s meeting of South Tyneside Council by a few minutes, but Ahmed Khan stopped to inform me that it was all over, I missed the breaking news of Michael Jackson’s death by a few minutes as I was busy chatting with my dad over a pint, then someone rang the bar and told them to put Sky News on, and someone else told me that the council meeting died in another shock. I hadn’t even had time to see the Gazette’s web page as my heirs were hogging my desktop.

I came home thinking of the odd but rather obvious comparisons between the “King of Pop” and the South Tyneside Independent Alliance Cllr. Jane Branley (the Queen of drama).

  • Both became rather popular with their own brand of fans.
  • Both developed a reputation for being a bit unconventional.
  • Both were short in stature.
  • Both had rather larger houses than their fans could ever aspire to.
  • Both decided to leave their former grouping and go it alone.
  • Both courted controversy.
  • Both had an affinity with surgical masks.
  • Both might be remembered for being “Bad” and “Dangerous”, but only one might be described as a “Thriller”.
  • Both were involved in rather strange marriages, some might say of convenience, that ended in divorce (remember the split with the Progressives.)
  • Both seemed to live in Never Neverland.
  • Both had a worrying trend of not turning up at some point.
  • Both had serious failures in understanding financial controls of larger corporate bodies.
  • Both had an ability to continue onwards regardless of “the rules”.
  • Both had an ability to draw a crowd that would bring a halt to events.
  • Both found themselves up against figures of authority (either a judge or a Mayor).
  • Both believe in openness without saying much at all – see here.
  • Both are believed to count a chimp amongst their best mates!

Sadly the comparisons end there, one will be the subject of wall to wall “full on” Princess Diana mode news coverage today, the other will not. One will be chirping in my ear from every radio station in the world today, thankfully the other cannot sing.

On a more serious note, here’s some advice for Jane Branley (I doubt she’ll listen to me, but I’ll offer it anyway) read the Standing Orders of the council, play by the rules and respect the authority of the Chair, understand that there was nobody else to blame for your husband being thrown off the council other than himself, stop bringing meetings to a halt through petulant childishness and allow the rest of South Tyneside’s council business to go ahead – you owe it to the public.

“I will not sit down and I will not be quiet. You will have to call the police if you want me to shut up.”

Really, –  this business of packing meetings at South Shields Town Hall, making a din and a fuss, drowning out debate, and shouting down opponents in order to cause abandonment, it’s the stuff of the Socialist Workers Party isn’t it?

Did I tell you, one of them was a bit Whacko?

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Written by curly

June 26, 2009 at 9:46 am

3 Responses

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  1. Bit of an insult to the Socialist Workers Party, Curly. After all they are usually youngsters who grow out of it when they leave college. These are people of pensionable age who you expect would know how to behave. Meanwhile business important to the people of South Tyneside has to be postponed due to the massive ego of these people. They don’t put that on their election leaflets.

    I spy

    June 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    • There used to be a time when people would invite me to view a council meeting to see how badly the Labour Party behaved (that was many years ago), now new depths have been plumbed by the Independent Alliance. Their tactics are nothing short of anarchic with no respect for standing orders, rules, regulations, customs, the watching press and public, and I suspect for themselves. They have no apparent comprehension of the damage that they are doing to local politics in South Tyneside and appear to be in complete denial about their own shortcomings. Their ranks continue to be joined by those who stick two fingers up to the public by failing to turn up to meetings, those who stick two fingers up to the press when their interest is too uncomfortable, and those who stick two fingers up to the rest of them in disgust at the first two.

      Never, in the past thirty odd years have I known a group of politicians cause so much sickening trouble for such little cause, if they had an ideology or policy that you could hang your hat on then perhaps you might be able to understand their position, but clearly they have neither and are reduced to behaving like teenage toe-rags whenever petulance dictates.

      I can perhaps think of two or three who should be seriously considering if this is what they entered local government for, and if their aspirations for helping their electorates are going to be achieved by continuing to serve under such a poor and incompetent leader, and a deputy who is in thorough denial. Indeed, perhaps they should be considering if there is any real advantage in continuing to be a member of the Independent Alliance group.


      June 26, 2009 at 4:20 pm

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