Archive for the ‘Bloopers’ Category
Note to Messrs. Martin O’Neill and Ellis Short
I know I haven’t written much about the club recently, or it’s new fully American ownership and business plan, but the season lurched from disaster to comfort before slipping towards the nervy end of the scale again as mid season promise withered away. There will need to be some rebuilding of the squad at The Stadium of Light before the next season begins at Arsenal, Gyan will be gone along with Craig Gordon and three or four others, Sessignon may be difficult to hold on to, but it is imperative that we pull all of the stops out to keep him. The two of you don’t need me to remind you that we have not had a consistent goal scorer since Bent was tempted by huge wages. It will also be important to try and keep Bryan “Pop” Robson on board, his scouting abilities improve year by year, and if he finds us another James MacLean he’ll be almost a legend! Far be it for me to tell you who to buy, I’m sure that you both have your own ideas and a “shopping list” to work from, but if you will accept just a little football advice from a long suffering South Shields based fan then please please DO NOT sign any “talent” from the Australian Football League, a place where the two top stars are Harry Kewell and Michael Bridges.
South Shields hosts another “record breaker!”
This is becoming a bad joke, little more than a publicity stunt, even CBBC cameras and crews were in attendance as the Great North Dog Walk organised by Tony Carlisle set about bursting the Guinness World Record once again. Am I the only one in South Tyneside who finds the figures rather less than credible? Am I the only one in South Shields asking the right questions at the wrong time?
I’d like to know just why these numbers are apparently going up and up year after year, yet the event looks only a little larger to me, and the crowds and tents have all dispersed by late afternoon. I was down on the Leas this morning to photograph the start of the Great North Dog Walk 2012 which now claims to have more dogs taking part than the first Great North Runs organised by Brendan Foster, yet I parked easily behind the Bamburgh, as far as I am aware there were no extra Metros or buses today, there were no road closures at all, and nobody to police such a huge gathering, no safety stewards or metal barriers. The start line did not stretch a mile and a half and the first participants passed by my camera in little more than twenty minutes. I’d like to know if anyone either in South Tyneside Council or close to Mr. Carlisle has any interest in trying to answer the questions that I have posed in previous years.
I guess someone thinks that the publicity factor is good to have at the start of summer, it puts South Shields on the map and makes a news story for a few outlets which lasts for a couple of days and if all of the money that is claimed to be raised is going to good local causes then hip hip hooray!
However I estimated that around 3000 dogs at most walked by in that first hour, and so to realise figures of over 24000 would need that rate of participation to be sustained until at least 6:00 pm and clearly it was not, do we really need to be accepting these claims without scrutiny?
The questions that I posed last year:
- How do the organisers confirm how many dogs take part on the day?
- Is there any involvement by any official from Guinness World Records Ltd on the day, and on site, to validate the “world record” claim?
- How much does the event cost to organise and run?
- How much sponsorship is raised and from whom?
- How much money is raised for charities and which charities benefit?
- Are any accounts published, and where can the public read them?
A comment left last year by Steve G:
Curly, originally, was querying whether the reportage of the Great North Dog Walk was accurate.
The claims made suggest there were over 22700 dogs on the Leas on Sunday over a three or four hour period.
This equates to 5600 dogs on the Leas at any given hour.
For the sake of argument there is one dog owner with each dog.
Curly is simply pointing out that given the amount traffic this mass attendance would create – are the claims made in the Gazette true?
Bearing in when I was jogging, a few years ago now, the figures for people running the Great North Run was around the 18000 figure – less than the dog walk. This involved road closures along the Leas, additional public transport, police attendance, stewarding etc.
The Great North Dog Walk should have been decidedly noticeable and quite frankly it was not. Not this year, not last year or previous years.
The video of last year on the Great North Dog Walk (on the website) does not appear to show the crowds that 16000 or so dogs would require last year.
If the number of dogs attending is exaggerated, then logically, so is the amount raised for charity. How can this sum be checked? It is only an estimate. Though £45 per dog per walk, since inception, seems achievable.
The Guinness Book of World Records website gives no indication of how the numbers involved are validated. In fact in the 2010 video neither the owners nor the dogs appeared to be allocated numbers as per the Great North Run. As the picture in tonight’s (14th. June 2011) Gazette confirms – how are the numbers checked and entrance fees collected?
Does this event show the borough in a positive and record breaking way?
Well, it was not reported in the Sunderland Echo, nor the Evening Chronicle – I did not check the Journal. So only we know about it!!
I am not concerned over the relatively small amount this event received from the council, what I am concerned about is that there appears to be little or no accountability regarding this small and many other larger amounts distributed by our council.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.
Also, I am getting tired of the Gazettes inaccurate reporting or rather the reprinting of other peoples press releases. But that is another issue in itself.
I hope my pictures show that these numbers require answers to the questions, they were all shot between 10:00 and 11:00 am this morning.
A great day out for families and pooches, Deputy Mayor Ernie Gibson showed true bulldog spirit manfully and doggedly reading through his speech as the wind tried to whippet away, but you’d have to be pretty barking to believe that this is a Great North Run sized event which one day may end up spilling egg on our chins with some explaining to do!
This picture shows a small section of the crowd at the start line of the 1982 Great North Run when 20000 people competed, call me hard to please if you wish, but I’m not convinced that we saw anything like these numbers at the Great North Dog Walk.
Here is a section of the crowd at the Great North Dog walk
Cllr. Potts’ “personal friend” Mercedes Ashley didn’t seem very aware of who he is!
I was intrigued and curious, after all how many of our South Tyneside councillors count porn stars amongst their “personal friends?
From The Shields Gazette
“I have not encouraged former porn stars to contact my ward colleagues.
“I asked a personal friend, who is a former adult entertainment professional, to e-mail Coun Jeff Milburn congratulating him on his victory.
“I do not in any way judge people by what they do for a living.”
I thought it worthwhile having a little discussion of my own with Cllr. Potts “friend”, it took a while to track down an email address, but here is the exchange:
Whats his twitter handle? Love, Mercedes Ashley (your adult film star & friend) WEBSITE & PICS: www.mercedesashley.com MY ONLINE PRESENCE: http://itsmyurls.com/mercedesashley MY E-MAIL/BLACKBERRY: firstname.lastname@example.org TWITTER: www.twitter.com/mercedesashley PRIVATE SESSIONS/FEMM DOMM SESSIONS (L.A./VEGAS ONLY): 877-413-6085 BACHELOR PARTIES (L.A./VEGAS ONLY): 714-448-8529 LIVE TECH SUPPORT/PASSWORD HELP: 800-574-4757 WEBSITE DESIGN: email@example.com WEBSITE DESIGN WEBSITE: www.mercedesashleyfx.com FYI: All emails are answered by Mercedes Ashley personally. I am my own webmaster. I am the designer of my own site and I maintain it all myself. -----Original Message----- From: Curly <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 09:57:48 To: <email@example.com> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: David Potts May I ask how well do you know UK/US foreign exchange dealer and UKIP politician David Potts? He claims you are a personal friend Have you met him? Have you spoke with him? Have you had any contact with him other than via Twitter as one of your followers?
Doesn’t look as though she knows him that well at all, cannot even think of his name on Twitter! Neither does it appear that Mercedes is a former porn star, her websites give the appearance of giving very current services and activities.
You have to feel a bit sorry for Conservative councillor Jeff Milburn getting his name dragged into this nonsense, I wonder if he actually received any congratulations from the American Adult Entertainment industry?
UKIP Cleadon and East Village councillor invited constituent to “social gatherings”
I have today been contacted by the Gazette asking if I invited a constituent to a “bunga bunga” party.
Whilst I admit that I did do so, I was entirely unaware of the potentially negative connotations the phrase may hold. It is a term used regularly in my company to refer to casual social gatherings. Not sex parties as has been alleged.
I will not use the term again as clearly some misunderstand its meaning.
For further detail on the conversation thread please see Cllr. Potts Twitter stream
I’m so out of touch I thought it was a ship!
20% rise for South Tyneside cabinet members described as “slight”
OK, so the full amount in the pot has not changed, but this comment by Cllr. Iain Malcolm the Leader of South Tyneside Council is simply flabbergasting:
Because cabinet members are now expected to attend more meetings, their allowance rises slightly.
In these days where the average lucky employed person has to settle for a rise of 2% or less, and shareholders are at last rebelling against corporate pay rises as large as 4.8%, this award seems designed to cause an uproar with news being revealed just days after a strong election victory. This is simply bad politics, a faux pas on the level displayed by the coalition government on almost a daily basis.
How on earth Cllr. Malcolm believes this will sit comfortably with the people of South Shields and Jarrow is beyond me, the independent panel appears to have taken some money from the leader of the (heavily defeated) opposition and doled it out to Labour’s favourite sons, I guess they are hoping that this will all be forgotten about over the next two years – the next time any councillors face an election around here.
I will forgive these cabinet members for accepting this grotesque increase in special responsibility allowance only if they can maintain their financial stewardship and deliver NO council tax increases before the next local government election, that will be fair payment for results don’t you think?
Of course they are!
“We are all in this together” may have been the most prophetic words uttered by Conservative Leader David Cameron following the post crash demise of the last Labour government, leaving an economy in tatters and the whole of Europe drowning in debt after the sage advice of Brown and Obama to governments and central banks to borrow more and print more money to keep the world floating happily along towards oblivion. Cameron’s words were meant to galvanise public opinion as we entered an age of austerity to tackle the worldwide mountains of debt and return the UK to a “balanced budget” after the profligacy of the Brown/Blair years, yet after two budgets from the coalition government the achievment of that aim does not seem to be approaching with any speed.
We had just gone through a Parliament awash with excess, the MPs expenses scandal had left a very nasty taste in the mouth and the reforms put in place have not done an awful lot to assuage public anger and resentment at what politicians are perceived to be doing with their time and our money, the News International phone hacking revelations and the subsequent Leveson inquiry will probably also confirm the public’s suspicions that our politicians are easy to influence and are seen to be far too close to some journalists and newspaper proprietors for the sake of good honest and open public governance.
Having taken what they think is statesmanlike stances during their years in office it may seem unedifying to some that former holders of great office now hawk themselves around on the world’s stage making an absolute fortune and banking their income not in a personal account, but into the account of a privately owned company specifically set up to reduce their liability to pay the full rate of UK tax. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and South Shields MP David Miliband all operate such companies and manage to reduce their tax liabilities by sums that some of us may never manage to earn in a year. Don’t get me wrong, we should all praise success, but if we are all in this together we should all be paying our fair share of taxes.
This “being in it together” though, is now becoming a catch phrase of the left, perhaps Cameron may regret having uttered those words in the first place, there are many who would just love to push them back down his throat, and if they have a reasoned cogent argument then why not? Trouble is, some are none too careful about republishing these words, take for example the septuagenarian Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart, invited by David Miliband to deliver one of his South Shields lectures:
“I have nothing but contempt for the expression ‘we’re all in this together.
That’s bullshit – we’re not all in this together,”
“The members of the cabinet are not in the same position as the people who live near me in Bermondsey. What we have seen is not so much a response to a global crisis but Tory policies as usual, masquerading under the claim of necessity.”
Putting aside the fallibility of memory, Stewart seems to miss the response to the UK crisis as well as missing the point on worldwide debt reduction, it does not look or sound so good bleating about the phrase “we are in this together” when one has resided in such luxurious surroundings as these in California:
Picture via Guido Fawkes
The lofty left certainly do not so sound so chummy and down to earth when their wealth is revealed, the folks of Queensferry, Westoe, Trimdon, or Bermondsey must be choking with contempt at any politician/actor (hard to tell the difference with Tony Blair) talking about “being in it together”.
Beam me up Scotty, I want to be in it together with you :-)
30 strong Labour entourage tour ward for votes
Yes, you can tell that the local elections will soon be upon us, as news reaches this desk that a large throng of Labour party members joined South Shields MP David Miliband in banging doors and canvassing support in Splott!
The globe trotting tourist and mega earning former Foreign Secretary was once again filling his spare time with another activity in a part of the world remote from South Shields, but look on the bright side, without this news we would never have heard of Splott!
“Having a recognizable face such as David Miliband turn up at your doorstep making an effort makes a huge difference.”
Much more of this and his face will become almost unrecognizable in his own constituency. I’m sure the comedienne Jo Brand must have had a joke up her sleeve about it when she was invited to give the South Shields lecture.
Splott the MP!