Despite many attempts to have a letter printed or article covered in the Eye, I have to date failed. I am therefore awestruck to find that Mr Ahmed Khan has made the pages at his first attempt. The “Case of the Missing Ballot Boxes” is covered in this week’s issue, and it doesn’t make pleasant reading for the Councils hierarchy. Highlighting David Milibands calls for Pakistan to gets its electoral house in order, it then goes on to explain how South Tyneside managed to “skip” ballot boxes which contained a section of legally disputed forms. “The cock up – if that is what it was”, (their words, not mine) is under the “Rotten Boroughs” section, with the heading “Deep In The Skip”.
As an avid reader of the Eye for nearly 30 years, to be included in its Rotten Borough section is more than a slur, it is a national condemnation of shame. The writer of the piece, Tim Minogue, is a highly respected journalist of the “old school” i.e. when he smells a rat, he digs and digs. As such, he always has a lot of material for the column. The article is the first item to be covered, so for South Tyneside to finish top of the pile then, is pretty disgraceful.
I always said this issue was far from over. This article will stimulate other journalistic interest and more column inches will follow. Who knows, we might have an interview with the “porter”!
I sincerely hope that Ms Lucas et al are made aware of this element of our notoriety! What next, councillor attendance rates? South Tyneside issuing parking tickets on land which doesn’t even belong to them?