Coinciding with the 950th anniversary of the Norman invasion of England and William the Conqueror’s subsequent crowning at Westminster, Andy Burnham, Labour’s poster boy for righting historical wrongs, is believed to have called on the Home Secretary to open an investigation into the antics of the Duke of Normandy and the alleged backing of the French authorities, and is demanding a public enquiry into that unwarranted fracas, which is now referred to in history books as 'The Battle of Hastings.'

Campaigners for an official inquiry into the 1066 clash between King Harold’s English army and forces under the control of Duke William of Normandy, have claimed they were misled by the interpretation of the battle, as depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, which was published by needlepoint experts, and commissioned by the conquering forces during the 11th century, on which campaigners claim tells a biased and heavily redacted story of the Norman Conquest of England.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd, the new Home Secretary was believed to be considering appointing a High Court Judge to Chair a probe into the events that lead to King Harold meeting his death by an agent of the Norman Duke; who shot Harold in the eye with a well aimed arrow, whilst clearly stood in an off-side position; typical of the 'Onion Eaters' and of FIFA officials of today! 

" I told him, put a rubber sucker on it or you'll have someone's bloody eye out!"

However, in a move described as an "establishment stitch-up" by Mr Burnham, Ms Rudd has rejected calls for a statutory inquiry or independent review into the historic confrontation at Bexhill, stating Mr Burnham and his co-campaigners were trying to undermine the very fabric of the nation in their demands, and by questioning the validity of the Doomsday Book, which William needed at the time, to raise taxes to pay for his army, and to assess the wealth and assets of his Anglo/Norman subjects, who prospered throughout the land. She concluded by emphasising that any enquiry into Anglo-French history, could make negotiations on Brexit even more difficult that it is proving to be!
Ms Rudd added, having carefully considered the campaigners appeal, she further announced “…that having concluded that there was no sufficient basis to instigate either a statutory inquiry or an independent review, it was alleged that she thought the totally unnecessary call by the Burnham camp to open ‘old wounds’ was purely the act of a tabloid obsessed, publicity seeking group, desperate to garner votes from marginalised Anglo-Saxons, especially those who vote within the Greater Manchester area!”




I understand that our local Ashton MP Angela Rayner has joined Andy Burnham in the saddle of his next hobby horse in ‘demanding’ a public inquiry into the South Yorkshire police's involvement in events that took place at Orgreave during the Miners Strike in 1984.

Could it be significant that having ‘nailed her colours to the mast’ in support of Andy Burnham in his quest to become Manchester’s next Mayor, she found it politically prudent to sign a letter to the Home Secretary, in which she alleges similarities in the policing procedures and the legal handling of the Hillsborough tragedy and events at Orgreave.
However, I do find it odd, seeing as she would only have been 4years old at the time!
Yes, she may well have read about it, but she never experienced life when the nation’s electricity had to be switched off on a rota basis between 07.00am and midnight every day.
She never faced the long power cuts; that some days lasted from six to nine hours, whilst still attempting to carry out work under gas camping lights.
Why weren’t Labour MPs demanding ‘public enquiries’ then, when the shortage of electricity was forcing factories and businesses to close or when 1.2 million workers had to be laid off for weeks on end?
Even Imperial Chemical Industries, (ICI) then one of the country's leading industries, gave a week's notice to all its 60,000 weekly-paid staff.
In politics, they say timing is everything, so maybe it’s not so strange that these Labour MPs weren’t calling for a public enquiry into the strikes that lead to this unfortunate incident, during the 13years of the Blair/Brown government era!
Maybe Andy Burnham, who seems to have appointed himself as some sort of Shadow Minister for Historical Tragic Grievances, might be better thought of had he demanded an inquiry into the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ during his term as the PPS to the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett; but of course he wasn’t in the frame back in 2004, to become Manchester’s Mayor and didn’t crave the publicity needed to get him elected.
It’s also strange that this politically timed call for a ‘public enquiry’ by Labour MPs appears to just be pointed at the shortcomings of the Police service. No one seems to be want to highlight the roll that the ‘flying pickets’ took in this brutal riot.
Yes, there was obvious misconduct carried out by the police at the time, but let’s not forget that it was ‘striking miners’ who actually killed one of their own.
The new government Home Secretary, Amber Rudd was technically right that no-one died at Orgreave, unlike in South Wales where a local taxi driver David Wilkie was killed when a concrete block was dropped from an overhead bridge on his car while taking a ‘scab’ to work. The striking miners responsible ended up serving just four years in jail after their murder sentence reduced to manslaughter on appeal. – Perhaps Angela and Andy should also call for an enquiry into why two murderers were released after serving such a short term.



As secretary of State for Education, I thought it was extremely regrettable and utterly impolite for the MP Justine Greening to behave in such a churlish manner when a respected reporter attempted to question her on the Government’s decision to favour building an extra runway at London Heathrow.

Obviously, she may not have been pleased with the decision, on account that her Putney constituency is in the southwest, near the airport, but that doesn’t excuse the ill manners she showed by blatantly ignoring the journalists legitimate questioning; then adopting a frigid October face, she flouncing off, throwing her toys out of the pram and rounding off her high handed tantrum by slamming the courtesy car door in added temper.

It was no way to set an example to those children in education whose department she leads – in my opinion she did not do herself any favours by exhibiting this pedantic, childish behaviour.

If this is how the Secretary of State for Education behaves in public, then is it any wonder that the job of teaching classrooms full of unruly kids who show a complete disregard for respect and total lack of basic manners, has rendered the quality of education at its lowest ebb?

Sadly though, she is not alone. It appears to have become a growing habit among a increasing proportion of today's MPs who do not like answering awkward questions.

Politicians are people we are supposed to look up to. They're supposed to be 'shining examples' of how figures in authority should be, for goodness sake.

If they don't like being 'door-stepped' then tough!

Let them not forget, it was they who put themselves forward for public service, so being interviewed occasionally, other than by the usual pre-arranged, pre-conceived and well rehearsed question and answer sessions we are constantly subjected to, (mainly by the BBC) unfortunately goes with the territory.

All politicians, in all parties, need to grow up, take a long hard look in the mirror and start putting the country and its people before airing their own personal and petty squabbles.





Welcome to Timeside where time literarily fly's!
Was it really any great surprise that Tameside's Council chiefs have been embarrassed once again after two of the boroughs Town Hall clocks were put forward an hour, instead of back?

It would be laughable if it was not so tragic!

Not for the first time the local council became a laughing stock as ‘social media’ burst into life over the weekend as the ‘blunder was shared with the nation.

According to the article in the Manchester Evening News, Town Hall leader, Kieran Quinn said he was unaware of the issue until contacted by the M.E.N. and that bosses would get the problem fixed as soon as possible. Although at 11.30am today the clock on Hyde Town Hall was displaying 1.30pm!

The report also said that an ‘outside firm’ is responsible for the error!

Its a shame the council didn't contract the rise in council tax to the same 'outside firm' - who knows, we might now be paying 8% less!

Could it be that Tameside council bosses are now far too busy choosing the wall coverings and office furniture for their new ivory tower, that they've had to employ an ‘outside firm’ to wind-up their timepieces?

Is this the same ‘forward thinking’ council who have spent £3million transforming the old Ashton Baths into a start-up hub offering high tech superfast fibre broadband, when basic timekeeping evades them?

So, what’s next for these ‘forward thinking’ council managers? Perhaps contracting another ‘outside firm’ to assist them in tying their own shoelaces?

I find it ironic that the council have become so afraid of wind-ups that they’ve had to employ a specialist company to do it for them!

Why do we vote for these people?



Regarding the row that's raging over the ‘proposed consultation paper’ on the subject of opening new Grammar Schools; I find it totally amazing that we have our local Labour councillors marching the streets to demonstrate their dogmatic opposition to such a suggestion, whilst up in Westminster the Labour leadership, and other well-heeled politicio's have and many of their families still are, benefiting from either private schooling or attending Grammar schools.

Let’s start with the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who were both Grammar School boys.

Then there’s Diane Abbott, Corbyn’s new Shadow Home Secretary, who sent her son to the private City of London School and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry sent two of her three children to a selective school.

There are many more of these Labour naysayers, but let’s look at the newly appointed Baroness Chakrabarti whose son goes to a top private school?

Surely not! I hear Tameside Labour voters say? ..Er… yes, actually. It has just emerged that the Baronesses 13-year-old attends £18,915-a-year Dulwich College in South-East London.

Locally too, this hypocritical anomaly is rife! 

Tameside Labour’s “do as we say, not as we do” approach is quite unpalatable as they stand for yet another photo shoot, morally evading the fact that the current Tameside Mayor, pictured demonstrating with the others, was a pupil at the now abolished Hyde Grammar School.

Personally I have nothing against Grammar School education or indeed private schooling.

If a person wants to save and spend their well earned money on furthering the life chances of their sons and daughters, then nobody has the right to deny them, especially those who have benefited from Grammar school education. It’s nothing but rank hypocrisy. Its classic Labour: do as I say, not as I do.
Hypothetically, can you imagine the outcry if Labour councilors’ told their constituents that they should not shop at Sainsbury’s or Waitrose, they must all go to Liddle and buy own label food, or the liberally inked John Wag Taylor leading a campaign to close down all Tameside’s tattoo parlors?

What people choose to spend their money on is nobody's business but their own.





Coming to a ward near you!
Following the recent news in the media reporting a spate of incidents in which groups of menacing clowns have been seen marauding the boroughs streets; scaring members of the public, I have to say this is not a new phenomenon here in Tameside!

For many years now, Tameside householders have been confronted on the streets and frequently accosted on their doorsteps by groups of ‘clowns’ badgering, gesticulating, spouting scare stories and stuffing political junk mail through unsuspecting and politically apathetic householders letterboxes.

The predominance of Tameside’s ‘clown’ sightings appear to frequently materialise in the vicinity of Ashton Town Hall - at times that just so happen to coincide with ‘full council meetings’ From there, armed with hundreds of propaganda leaflets, they gather their happy band of pro-clown factions around them and travel unswervingly to their mini-fiefdoms, terrorising all who stand in their path, in their single-minded quest to tighten the grip on their miniscule majorities by maintaining the public’s inconsolable fear of suffering the consequences, should they not choose to vote for the red-nosed nemeses.

Next year, as we approach ‘local election time’ you must take great care.

As a general rule, if a malicious looking, Sunday suited group of clowns materialize uninvited out of thin air, wrapping on your doors, do not encourage them. Don’t answer it, don’t wave at the window, don’t make eye contact, and don’t smile at them and, if all that fails because they’ve caught you unaware, whatever you do, DON’T ACCEPT ONE OF THEIR LEAFLETS!
If you do, the Tameside clowns will have the last laugh, again!



At the beginning of the year, in his message to the community our council leader, Kieran Quinn announced 16 pledges for 2016.

Among those promises was a pledge to plant a minimum of 2016 trees to offset Tameside’s carbon emissions and support greater biodiversity! Another was to ‘Get Tameside Growing’ – Where he announced that the council will work with the community to get Tameside growing its own food in window boxes, gardens, community spaces and allotments.

However, at no time did he tell us that to make space to begin this mass cultivation in pursuit of self sufficiency, great swathes of ornamental trees from well established urban landscapes, that had adorned communities for decades, would be wilfully destroyed in what appears to be a re-make of Tobe Hooper's classic horror – The Texas Tameside Chainsaw Massacre.
Local residents were stumped!

When you see this type of vandalism, you have to wonder if the trees in your area will be next.

Now I don’t know if this ‘aggressive pruning’ was carried out by Tameside Council’s tree surgeons or tree-fella's with chain saws. Either way the result is not a pretty sight!  

Perhaps we should seek out another council pledge to protect well established trees, many of which have stood longer than the Labour councillors who are elected to protect them from a similar fate.