Nigel Thornton: Political frenemies

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
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Is it just me or has the election campaign degenerated into a slanging match about whose potential coalition partner is the worst?

There’s too little proper debate about issues facing the country and too much scaremongering about the SNP and UKIP. I’d add the Lib Dems butalthough they are many things scary isn’t one of them.

It’s proof, if you needed it, that politicians are interested in power, first, second and last.

Take crime and punishment for example? This matters to us all but where’s the debate?

Admittedly we’re short on facts as politicians, civil servants and senior police officers have colluded over the years to fiddle the figures.

So is crime and punishment an issue?

Ask the 82-year-old who was robbed by a cowardly gang of youths in Dogsthorpe.

Ask the family of elderly dementia patients in a care home in Bretton who were systematically abused.

Ask the staff and cust0mer who were terrorised by armed raiders at a bookies in Bretton.

Ask the keen angler who was burgled of five grand’s worth of fishing tackle fromhis home in Yaxley.

Ask dad-of-six Anwar Ahmed, from Gladstone Street, whose life has been ruined by a road rage driver, who was jailed for just 15 months.

Real people. Real issues. No debate.

Do we have enough police? Is crime going up? Is crime going down? Can’t we just have accurate crime figures? Is sentencing too soft or too tough for that matter?

Nah, never mind all that – vote this way if you don’t want to be forced to wear a tam o’shanter and eat deep fried Mars Bars: vote that way if you don’t want to smoke and have Love Thy Neighbour back on the telly.

Janet Hippy, a staff member at the Morrisons store in Stamford, did a sponsored head shave for charity. I wonder what she did with the flowers that were in her hair?

I didn’t realise until it was too late but I took my life in my hands when I walked across Town Bridge and up London Road.

It was a hotspot for idiot/anti-social cyclists. Even on the stretch where there is a designated cycle lane it was a hair-raising experience as they sped and swerved along with no regard for anyone but themselves.

It made Bridge Street seem like a walk in the park.

Do these morons think they own the road, er, pavement?

One of the stranger stories doing the rounds at the moment is that Sean St Ledger, former truculent youth of this parish, is romantically linked to superstar US singer Taylor Swift.

The former Posh centre back, who is now plying his trade in the US soccerball championship, first came to prominence for his part in the Big Ron Manager documentary.

St Ledger, to give him his due, has since admitted he came across as a “right plonker’’ in the show that saw Ron Atkinson parachuted in to Posh to “help out’’ the then manager Steve Bleasdale, who rumour has it has secretly married Kylie Minogue.

There has been an understandable outcry after revelations of the salaries paid to NHS chief executives with the average being an eyewatering £189,000.

But that’s small beer compared to the £405,000 that Peterborough City Hospital paid its now departed chief exec in 2013/14.

The hospital, which even by NHS standards, is deep in a financial mire pointed out it was a very “challenging role’’.

I’d like to point out that the average salary for a nurse is £26,000.

I got a glossy four-page leaflet through the post from Peterborough City Council telling me how I can sign up (and pay) for another year of brown bin collections. I wonder how much that cost to produce and distribute? Is that a waste (of our money)?

Any attempt to protect the planet gets my approval. So Queensgate’s Growing Greener Awards promoting saving water and energy and cutting CO2 emissions by firms in the centre is a great initiative. But I was puzzled that the awards ceremony is to be held at the London Transport Musuem. It’s a Peterborough scheme for Peterborough shops - did nobody consider the carbon footprint of people travelling to the capital?

I spotted a woman taking a little boy, who I’d guess was about four-years-old, into the Ann Summers store in Bridge Street. Presumably she was prepared for some embarrassing questions.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Imagination is a wonderful thing. Over the years my creative thinking has diminished to the extent that I don’t get much beyond dreaming of what it would be like to see Leeds United in the Premiership or to have a lie-in at the weekend.

By contrast Toddler T’s imagination is in full flow at the moment and it is a whole lot more, er, imaginative than my efforts.

We were in the car driving to grandma’s house when Toddler T declared we were being followed by witches and monsters.“I think,’’ she mused, “they are going to see their grandmas.’’

She wasn’t quite finished with this story line and revealed that monsters ate red soup for their breakfast while witches had something smelly.

“Dog poo, actually,’’ she added planting an unnecessary image in my head.

Then we had the “wonderpants’’ episode whereby one of a pack of three from M&S gave her superpowers.

Although it turned outthese superpowers only consisted of the ability to shout “wonderpants’’ at the top of her voice while run ning from one end of the lounge to the other.

Baby T2 looked on slightly bemused in his usual chilled out way but I suspect he was thinking: “I wish my sis would put a sock in it.’’

Imagine that, son.