Friday 16 December 2011

"What a plonker" in Botley, sorry North Hinksey

Oh dear, oh dear! The Oxford Mail's Insider column reports (15 December 2011):
THE Insider knows only too well that council meetings can go on a bit. But if you have stood for election, it is probably wise to try hard to concentrate on those occasions voters come to County Hall to beg for your support.

As library campaigners put their case to the Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Committee, member Alan Thompson revealed an unusual style for concentrating on the debate, closing his eyes and resting his chin on his chest at one stage.

However, when it came to the important bit, he wasn’t caught napping, springing into action and casting his vote on behalf of the electorate.

BUT it is at parish council meetings where the real drama lies. North Hinksey Parish Council has been caught up in “plonkergate”: just who did or did not call someone else a “plonker” at the council meeting on October 11?

Chairman Neil Clark believes that Remembrance Day Sub Committee chairman Bryony [actually Briony] Newport said “What a plonker!” at him across the floor of the meeting. [Newport was council chair before Clark.]

Mrs Newport insists she was misheard. In fact, she said: “procedures have not been followed and it would be plonkers to support it as repercussions would follow.”

It is easy to see how to the too [sic] very similar sounding phrases could have been confused.

It all makes The Insider proud of British democracy.

Friday 7 January 2011

Neil Clark’s leotard moment?

In 1996 Pat Buchanan was running for President and concluded a speech by saying: “And, together, we will chase the purveyors of sex and violence back beneath the rocks whence they came.” In 2002 he thought the ‘culture wars’ were virtually lost to his opponents favour as children now experience “a culture they were born into and have known all their lives. Public homosexuality, pornography, abortion, trash talk on TV and in the movies, and filthy lyrics in popular music have been around since before they can remember.

An earlier post compared the attitudes of Neil Clark with the American conservative Pat Buchanan. In 2003 Clark wrote in Buchanan’sThe American Conservative: “if Pat Buchanan announced he was standing for president again, I would be on the next plane out to join his campaign team.” This is fantasy, the anti-communist Buchananite right would be unlikely to appoint someone with Clark’s politics, but I would not have thought it was hypocritical until recently.

On YouTube one can find a multi media presentation of a modern dance production of something called “The City of the Lame” given in Budapest during April 1999. A Mr Jones has been paralysed and is keen on “fisting” Nurse Hermione, who is caring for him. He also uses words like “fuck” and “boobies”. Quite shocking for “moral and social conservatives“, but not for the rest of us, or it now seems for Neil Clark who appears as Mr Jones and whose voice is heard on the soundtrack. Clark was living in Hungary at the time and he also participates in another section.

One would suppose that someone who attacked Roy Jenkins for wishing to relax censorship laws a few months before ingratiating himself with Buchanan was being genuine, but perhaps not. Presumably this ‘double act’ is an attempt to maximise an income from journalism, though conclusive prove is impossible to find.

Clark has argued for journalists to be transparent where they have a financial interest in matters they write about. He criticised Stephen Pollard on these grounds three years ago when Pollard commended the NHS for cutting spending on homeopathy. "Now, it may well be true that" homeopathy is nonsense "and that the writer honestly believes the words he has written", he wrote, but remained opaque as to why he choose to attack Pollard on this issue. No need to worry though, Neil Clark is a man of great integrity and incredible honesty, but his wife works as a herbalist.