A sorry state of affairs in Peterborough

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

In the words of Ben Elton (where is he now?) we had a “little bit of politics’’ in the PT last week.

As our intrepid reporter Joel was hightailing it to Westminster to cover Stewart Jackson’s debate on the St Michael’s Gate debacle, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was heading the other way to Peterborough to relaunch his Labour leadership.

Neither was probably particularly happy with the outcome. Housing minister Gavin Barwell listened sympathetically and then proceeded to give his backing to landlords to treat tenants like dirt.

Jezza meanwhile got his predictable mauling after changing his mind more times than a teenage girl deciding what to wear on her first date.

Our MP Stewart Jackson played a part in both stories. Before Mr Corbyn had found his seat on the 10.11 from Kings Cross, Mr Jackson was issuing a pre-emptive “get your scooters off my lawn’’ and demanded the Labour leader apologise for record immigration during Labour’s last government.

It’s an interesting idea of Stewart’s that politicians should apologise for failed policy, but I’m not sure how they’d find time to run the country if they did.

Stewart himself was apologetic to the St Michael’s Gate residents in his debate saying: “I feel very bad about what has happened.I apologise to my constituents that I could not do more to help them.’’

Sorry it seems is not the hardest word for Stewart. Sadly his Tory colleagues on Peterborough City Council don’t seem to share his feelings .

All they can do is bleat on that they had no choice but to sign the disgraceful deal that toileted lives at a stroke of a pen.

Meanwhile Mr Corbyn waded into the row saying: “What they (the city council) have done is sold off council houses to a private company, that surely cannot be the right thing to do.’’

The hapless Mr C was badly briefed and just plain wrong.

Predictably, the city council quickly jumped in to have a pop at the bumbling opposition leader.

But the Tories on the city council would be well advised to keep their collective head down on this one or, and here’s a good idea, they could say sorry.

Deep fried insect

Me and Mrst T have different ideas about what constitutes a superfood. She goes for broccoli, beetroot, sardines and green tea, while my choices are bacon, cheese and onion crisps, shortbread biscuits and red wine. I got sent a list of 17 ‘new’ superfoods for 2017 and they were more up Mrs T’s street .I was quite tempted by red algae which was described as bacon-flavoured seaweed. I think we can both agree to give No 8 on the list a wide berth – insects. The press release tells me 100g of crickets contain 214% more protein than 100g of chicken breast. Unless it comes with the Colonel’s special southern fried coating, I’ll pass.

Clear as mud

Talking of press releases one dropped in from Cambridgeshire Police titled ‘Collaboration sees resilience in busy start to 2017’. They must be going all out to win this year’s coveted Plain English award.

You name it

The most unintentionally funny story of the year was in last week’s PT (it helps if you read it in John Cleese’s voice). It concerned the naming of the newly combined Peterborough and Huntingdon hospitals trust.

Residents were invited to vote from a shortlist of potential names. I was not impressed by the winning choice of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust but at the time I wasn’t aware of the other options.

The PT revealed they were: Peterborough, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Hinchingbrooke, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; The Nene, Ouse and Welland NHS Foundation Trust; Peterborough, South Lincolnshire and Huntingdonshire NHS Foundation Trust; and Huntingdon, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Remember the famous Monty Python sketch with the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front Of Judea?

Diary Of A Bad Dad

I have to admit that sometimes I get sick of my children... literally. The little critters are always bringing home unwanted sniffles and tummy troubles.

A new survey reckons that mums on average get sick 18 times a year and most of that can be traced directly back to their kids.

Dads suffer too although the survey also revealed that 72 per cent of women reckon they cope better with illness than their partner.

More than half of parents end up arguing because one of them battles on when they are ill while the other stops and needs to be looked after (the bells are ringing so hard inside my head that I think I might have to go and lie down for a bit!).

The survey helpfully adds some advice for avoiding getting ill although it doesn’t include Mrs T’s top tip which is to pull the duvet off me, put her face in mine and yell ‘man up!’

She can talk (shout) with her 18 illnesses a year. I’m only poorly once a year... it starts in October and I’m fully recovered by the end of March!