Nigel Thornton: Peterborough squatters should let their masks slip

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
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What a bunch of idle, soap dodging oxygen thieves they are. Do they really think they can end austerity by squatting in a disused building?

Hanging out their silly political banners (you’re a couple of weeks too late, the election was on May 7), they ought to spend some time and energy getting a bloody job.

Hang on that’s not me talking, and no, it’s not a bottle of Mr Sainsbury’s finest Rioja talking either.

It’s easy and even understandable to have a kneejerk reaction to the protestors who have occupied the empty Environment Agency building Aqua House in Peterborough city centre.

The crude sloganeering of their banners will have made up the minds of many people already.

But there is a point here. There is a housing problem in Peterborough. The causes are many and varied but it exists.

Those of us lucky enough to have a comfortable roof over our heads should not think this problem doesn’t affect us. If people can’t feel safe, secure and comfortable in a home of their own, how can they be expected to be integrated members of society having a positive effect on our community?

The answer is simple – they can’t.

I absolutely support the right to protest even if I don’t necessarily agree that squatting is the right way to do it. If it draws attention to a problem it will have served a purpose (and I’m not saying the end justifies the means).

But I have one tip for the protestors and that’s don’t wear masks – it would be sinister if it wasn’t so silly.

Don’t you want people to know you’re an idle soap dodger?

Aussie popette Kylie has revealed she’s still looking for love and, in what appears to be a dropping of standards, doesn’t mind if her prospective beau is bald, has grey hairs or even a paunch.Before I put in my application, Kylie, can I just check what your views are on snoring, the willy-nilly discarding of odd socks and dawn ‘til dusk Sky Sports News?

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Peterborough is the ninth most working class city in the country. Meanwhile, just down the road Cambridge is rated the third least working class place. That doesn’t surprise me, but Peterborough’s ranking does.

I was quite tickled by Labour city councillor John Shearman’s antics on election day.

He got a “friendly’’ ticking off from police after he repeatedly honked his horn to try to block out a loudspeaker blaring out Tory messages from a van. Cllr Shearman explained: “With an election people get excited.’’ It’s a good job Labour’s Lisa Forbes didn’t win as Cllr Shearman might have thrown himself in the Nene by way of celebration.

I’m not a fan of honours – they are given out to many unworthy and in some cases downright dishonourable types. But I applaud the decision to give darts champion Martin “Wolfie’’ Adams the freedom of Deeping St James. He has put his village on the map with his sporting prowess, but anyone who meets him reports he is a friendly and humble man.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

When it came to the terrrible twos we were lucky with Toddler T. Tantrums were a rarity (not counting mine and Mrs T’s). But now she’s a threenager boundaries, nay, envelopes, are being pushed to the limit. The problem is, like most toddlers, for our little minx the line between being naughty and being funny is blurred.

The other day Toddler T grabbed a cake off the kitchen table (naughty), took a bite out of it (naughty) and then, and there is no nice way to put this, spat it out.

Mrs T ticked her off but a few days later took up the incident with Toddler T to make sure she’d learned her lesson.“I’m realy sorry,’’ said a penitent Toddler T, “but an evil fairy put a spell on me and made me bite it.’’

If she’d been jailed for the original offence I think she’d have earned time off for a good excuse.

Evil fairies, monsters and witches are a recurring theme in her imagination at the moment and I often wonder what’s going on in her little brain.

She has a box of waterproof letters and we combine bathtime with a spelling bee. She chooses the words and then we spell them together. The other night she went for “sausages’’, “monsters’’ and “chicken pox’’.