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Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Geraldine Dreadful MP Writes ... to Eric Pickles
Dear Mr Pickles,
Thank you for your response to my letter of last month; it's always nice to receive a cryptic nod across the chamber.
I write to you today following approaches by Sicklethwaite Unitary Authority, an authority area entirely within my constituency boundaries, who have grown concerned that their local authority magazine, 'Public Representatives Advice, Views, Decisions and Announcements' ('Sicklethwaite PRAVDA') may face cuts under your sickening and disgraceful proposals to limit their publication and ensure reduced political bias in them.
As you are no doubt aware, Sicklethwaite is a remarkably diverse borough, and its diversity is reflected in the political makeup of the council.
In addition to my four strong group of Labour Co-op members, there are six Labour, two Socialist Labour, one Socialist Worker, one Worker's Party, one Socialist Women's Workers Party and a Conservative.
It is not the case that Sicklethwaite PRAVDA is a ‘propaganda sheet’ with inherent bias. Tory councillor Graeme Simpkins is actually the only councillor with his own column, called 'the Two Inches' Hate' in between rubbish collection, urban clearways announcements and 'Name and Shame a Paedophile'. In addition, recent stories like 'Tory cuts mean soup kitchens only for the wealthy', ‘Thatcher’s Funeral Street Party – Help us Plan’ and 'Tory plans to destroy our borough - we need your views' were legitimate news stories reflecting real concerns and seeking to engage with the rates payers.
Your proposals, on the face of them, seem to be an attempt to curb freedom of speech; councillors have a right to voice their concerns over government policy, and surely the best place for that is in the glossy pages of Sicklethwaite PRAVDA, paid for by the grateful population of our solidly diverse borough.
As ever, you show how the protofascists in your appalling party know the cost of everything but the value of nothing, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Geraldine Dreadful MP.
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Funny how pro-Pickles people always try and portray this as a Labour "problem".
They always tend to brush over the fact that Tory councils (especially Hammersmith & Fulham and Wandsworth, both poster-councils for many true blue types) are enormous fans of such pointless magazines. Wandsworth's awful Brightside was forever trotting out anti-mayor propaganda when Ken was in charge at City Hall, yet The Only Cabinet Minister Visible From Space was strangely quiet on the subject at the time.
Lots of these council mags are indeed nothing short of propaganda sheets, and it's not just the left who are guilty. Most councils are quite happy to use taxpayers' money to fund these in order to generate partisan attention and further their party's interests.
The worst offender must have surely been Ken Livingston's "The Londoner".
Geraldine Dreadful's letters remind me of The Peter Simple column -sadly missed - such cruel satire (isn't it?)!
She's not getting any funnier, but then I expect the raddled old hag would accuse me of being funnyist for observing that.
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