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Saturday, November 24, 2007
Paddy Ashdown ... as Played by Tommy Docherty
This oil painting of Paddy Ashdown, by Andrew Festing, has just been hung in the smoking room of the National Liberal Club. I can't help thinking that it looks very much like the ex-football manager Tommy Docherty!
Fairly similar. Both were fond of an affair.
Paddy would not appreciate this story about Headley Court and injured veterans being hectored by members of the public. This is a disgrace to our nation.
In the 'No Smoking' room
E Mail sent by Tim Ward Manager of Leatherhead Leisure Centre to complainants:-
"Thank you for your email regarding the report on the front page of the Leatherhead Advertiser.
You would expect an article that uses words like "jeered" and a caption of "shamed" below a picture of our swimming pool entrance to attract lots of comment and it has. Thankfully many local people and others from further afield have given us the opportunity to deal in facts rather than fiction, it seems unfortunate that you chose not to adopt a similar approach.
The facts are as follows:
The article is inaccurate; there was, for instance, no jeering, two customers engaged in a discussion with one of the PTI's from Headley Court, my understanding is that one of them was being reasonable the other not so, although no member of staff overheard the comments that have been reported on. It appears that later that day another swimmer telephoned the Leatherhead Advertiser complaining about comments he had heard during the discussion, I can only assume that these comments were made by the customer who was being less than reasonable. I am unable to confirm this as the complaint went straight to the press. I am also unsure as to whether the customer was a regular user, one could assume not because had they been they would have been aware that the service personnel attend at this time each week and are provided with lanes to swim in.
The comment about staff accommodating all concerned was lifted from a press release and was referring to the fact that we accommodate general swimmers and Headley Court personnel as part of our normal operation, in fact this happens four times each week and has, as already stated, been happening for 20 plus years. Somehow you have taken this to mean that inept staff stood by and tried to accommodate users who were hurling abuse at disabled service people, please be assured that this would never happen and did not happen on this occasion. You may have also read today in one of the broadsheets, that "swimmers told limbless service personnel that they were scaring the children" this is pure nonsense and there were no children in the pool at the time! Having spoken to a PTI from Headley Court once I became aware of the incident I can assure you that they had absolutely no criticism to make of LLC staff.
I would like to assure you that Leatherhead Leisure Centre and Mole Valley District Council have an excellent relationship with Headley Court . We make special arrangements for them, for instance during school holidays when most regular hirings are excluded, because we appreciate that their attendance is a vital part of the rehabilitation process.
I would suggest that some press people should be hanging their heads in shame, my staff are certainly not.
Hmmm no mention of the Oz result! Surely some oversight on your part!
Any chance that whoever organised Howard's campaign will be ask'd over to run Cameron's?
The Leatherhead Advertiser should be forced to send a message of apology to all the media who were lazy enough not to check the story thoroughly before they printed it.
No- it's not Ashdown- the pants are up!
This is the only portrait in the NLC where the subject is 'open-necked'...
Portraitists: The same as managment consultants. They have just one picture and slightly edit it for each client
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