Martin Kirby Column, Apologies, Ancient Ruins and Losing Your Way
NICK NEEDS TO GRIN AND BEAR IT
Realising it's not a very fashionable thing to say, I quite like the Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg. Members of his own party are quick to condemn him for everything he says and does, but Mr Clegg is right about one thing; he's the only politician in many a long day to apologise for not delivering on what he promised.
Compare that to the antics of Conservative Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell's behaviour, and it becomes obvious why voters still see the Tories as a bunch of toffs who don't care a rat's **** for 'ordinary people'.
Cleggie's worst nightmare came true when he realised he was in the same position as someone who runs a lottery syndicate and spends the cash they collect, believing the syndicate will never win. When the lotto numbers come up, their number is up too.
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As leader of a party with more chance of winning the lottery than winning a general election, Nick Clegg was able to promise whatever took his fancy – or would go down well with Lib Dem voters. At the time, he never imagined that he would actually be in Government. But now he is Deputy Prime Minister, so the only course of action open to him is to make the best of it.
Nick can also comfort himself with the thought that, after the next general election, he and David Cameron will have even more in common – unemployment!
MILESTONE FOR AN ANCIENT MONUMENT
A momentous occasion takes place next Monday, 1st October. Peter Arnold, my one-time companion in columnist crime, will reach his 80th birthday. (Yes, I thought he was much older, too)! Suffice to say that if Pete were a building, he'd more than meet the requirements for listing! But despite my regularly attributing such terms of endearment to him, we are actually good mates and I hope he has an enjoyable day.
Peter has packed more into his life than most of us, including almost single-handedly keeping tobacco manufacturers in business, but he remains reasonably healthy in body and mind. Some readers will remember that he was a city councillor for many years and became the 500th Mayor of Gloucester in 1982/83, something he is very proud of. He is also, as far as I know, the only city councillor to have settled a dispute with another member by challenging him to a boxing match!
Pete started his working life as one of 'Sammy's Angels' when he was employed at Moreland's Match Factory on Bristol Road. Along the way he's been a copywriter for advertising and marketing companies, had a couple of books published and was one of the early mock Mayors of Barton when the position was revived in the 1980s.
Keep going, you old devil – Gloucester wouldn't be the same without you!
TOWN AND OUT
The iPhone 5 hasn't been the apple of everyone's eye, due to its mapping system leaving them up a certain creek without the required instruments. Several mistakes have been highlighted, one of those being the complete omission of Stroud.
According to the iPhone 5, Stroud is like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch – it doesn't exist. It has ceased to be. It is an ex-town!
O.K, so the '5' has lost its way, but I'm amazed by the number of people who think it's the end of the world. I'm old enough to remember when we had strange paper things which showed you the way from where you were, to where you wanted to go. They were called maps.