Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What on earth's going on at the Echo?

The Tories must be laughing into their linen hankerchieves today after suckering the Echo into printing regurgitated news about their list of candidates.

Within the last two weeks, the paper covered the announcement that the Cartwrights and Janet Mazurk will be standing for them in May. I was gobsmacked therefore that the story has been rolled up again, and printed as the lead local story this morning. The only "new" piece of information was about my old friend George Jenkinson (about whom more anon).

This follows the singular reporting of last Thursday's Council meeting by Owen Amos.

I say - move Tory spinmeister Graham Robb's desk into the Echo's newsroom now and lets be done with it!


Ian Holme said...

Must admit I thought the Labour group got off very lightly from what was reported in the echo.

No mention of Councillor Dixons repeated use of the word lies, or indeed his complete misrepresentation of the views of Linden Court residents.

Neither was there any mention of the farcical management of the meeting or the blantant labour byas of the (labour) mayoress.

Still, it is of some comfort that we both feel somewhat agrieved from opposite positions.
Maybe the echo showed more balance than initially thought!

Darlington Councillor said...

Hi Ian.

Maybe. Sometimes we convince ourselves that if everyone's annoyed, we must be doing something right. I'm not sure the same applies to journalism...

What particularly irritated me about the reporting of Thursday's meeting was the complete absence of coverage regarding the approval of the Pedestrian Heart Contract. You will have gathered that this is at the root of many of the problems with the scheme, including some of the overruning costs and time delays.

Cllr. Richmond for the Tories made great play about the contract, yet he was one of the three Councillors (together with Cllrs. Dixon and Bristow for Labour) who was on the Tendering Panel which approved it. As I've tried to point out, I don't believe that any blame attaches to the councillors - they weren't advised of the significance of the changes. It shows, however, that it is very easy to be wise after the event.

As for the farcical management of the meeting - I appreciate that it's sometimes difficult to see exactly what is going on in the chamber itself from the gallery. From my point of view, the farce came when Cllr. Fred Lawton for the LibDems failed to produce a written amendment, was given time to do so, but when it came for him to be called, he stumbled between the chairs, trying to find a pen to scribble a few words down. The Mayor reflected the overwhelming mood of the meeting when she ruled his amendment out of order. In the Mayor's defence, it became a very difficult session to chair when a councillor was behaving like that.

As for the "liar" charge - again everyone on our side and most of the Tories liked that bit of knockabout (although one Tory was pulling a face as if someone had farted next to him - maybe someone had?) I agree with you and the Mayor, though - it's a term we should avoid, but we will need to find a suitable term to describe LibDem fibs. I feel an online poll coming on....

Gill said...

Hi Nick
Good news is worth telling twice, is it not??
Do i detect a note of jealousy there, wheres all the news of all the brilliant candiates you will have chosen to challenge the Conservative wards?