Burntwood

We know what you did last summer

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HOLIDAY in Portugal and Cornwall this summer a long lost memory?

Wondering what’s been happening in the Cathedral City whilst you’ve  been away?

Hanging onto the tail-end of summer before the glorious finale of  ‘Jerusalem’ and the fireworks of Saturday’s Proms in the Park?

Dreading the inevitable mirthless descent towards Christless?

Well don’t worry, we’ve been keeping an eye on things from a suitably tropical distance whilst you’ve had better things to do.

 And here’s some of the best bits:

 

Lichfield District Council in cash-grab from council taxpayers’ bank accounts

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LICHFIELD District Council raided local council taxpayers bank accounts on 13 August.

The unscheduled Council Tax direct debit payment at the height of the summer holiday season came as an unexpected knockout blow for many cash-strapped locals.  A council spokesman said at the time:

‘Never mind, payment by direct debit remains the most simple, convenient and safe way for us to steal your money.

‘We would like to thank you for continuing to pay by this method and thereby avoiding that knock on the door by our over-enthusiastic bailiffs. Please enjoy what’s left of your miserable holiday, sorry the kids can’t eat this week.’

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised, please contact the Council Tax Billing Team on 01543 308882/3/4 who will be unable to help you with your account.

 

Unemployed Londoners occupy the roof of a Shenstone factory in random show of support of Palestinians

MEMBERS of the London Palestine Action Group occupied a camp on top of the UAV Engines factory in Shenstone.

The group claimed that the Israeli owned company makes engines for Israeli drones.

The company spokesman said:

‘We have owned this land since we stole it  from the Lammas Land Trust in 1948 as compensation for the atrocities committed against weapons manufacturers throughout our history. The unlawful occupation of the factory roof by these lowlife gentiles threaten the security of the region, their porridge eating and first floor defecating is a cause of great concern to the local commuters who congregate in The Plough each evening to pass judgement on the ‘lowers’ of the village.’

The siege was eventually ended as a police drone helicopter approached menacingly out of the early evening sun from within the Wall. Powered by a UAV engine the drone videoed  the removal of the protesters from the roof by officers on the ground.

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Tempted down by a promise of hot pork baguettes and bottles of merlot, ‘Palestinian’ leader Pete ‘Swampy’ Smith commented:

‘By allowing this factory to export drone components to Israel, the UK Government is providing direct support and approval to Israel’s massacres.

‘We demand the permanent closure of the factory and an end to all forms of military trade and co-operation with Israel.

‘But alternatively,if you could just pay for our train fares back to Brighton we’ll be off.’

Outside the factory supporters of the protest massed in their 10’s.

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Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant commented:

‘By a quirk of boundaries Shenstone is not within my constituency,  just like Burntwood. But had it have been I would have commented:

‘It is an outrage that the factory roof has been occupied and is a threat to the rest of the premises. I wholeheartedly support the Company should it choose to annihilate those concerned. There will of course be collateral damage to the roof but his can be repaired over the next 20 years by you, the taxpayers, with aid funded by humanitarian appeals on TV for just £3 a month.’

 

Councillor cleans up local wildlife park

CELEBRITY granny, Councillor Sue Woodward spent her summer holiday litter picking in the former Redwood Park.

Following questions from locals asking if the Park had been designated as the new Burntwood Tip Councillor Woodward commented:

‘No, Redwood Park is not the new tip. We have spent the past few weeks collecting old fag packets, crisp wrappers, chip papers, condoms  and the like from the hedgerows. Dog shit has been a significant problem but with the help of JCB from the People’s Republic of Uttoxeter this has also been removed.’

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Looking to the future, newly appointed Burntwood Town Council enforcer Steve Lightfoot commented:

‘We are confident that the park will be designated, not as a tip, but as a Wildlife Park, being home, as it is, for all sorts of local wildlife who may find living in a traditional housing a little too challenging.’

 

 

Burntwood MP Michael Fabricant gets a bloody nose

FORMER member for Burntwood, Michael Fabricant  spent the summer Parliamentary recess addressing the pressing concerns of his constituents.

Whilst the lack of a Burntwood Health Centre debacle continued, Mr Fabricant lobbied against the unusual issue of discrimination against gay men in their right to donate blood.

In an article in the Guardian Mr Fabricant said:

‘It’s so unfair, if a promiscuous heterosexual man having unsafe sex is allowed to donate blood why shouldn’t the rules be applied equally to a promiscuous gay man having unsafe sex.’

Local gay Guy D Hiscock commented:

‘To be frank, if you ask me there are far more important discrimination issues that need tackling  than equality in blood donation. But on the other hand, the prospect of feeling a quick prick followed by ten minutes of a rhythmic throbbing is quite appealing now you mention it.’

When not campaigning for the right to donate bodily fluids indiscriminately, the honourable member was upping his campaign for the blood of the cuckolded midget Speaker Bercow.

Alas another campaign of no interest or significance to his loyal Burntwood constituents.

 

‘A’ Level results day ‘just an excuse to perv over teenage girls’

A GROUP of unattractive, unqualified and underemployed Lichfield ladies complained about the media coverage of our local schools’ ‘A’ level results.

Vicky Pearce of Lichfield Ladies Circle said:

‘We all pretend to be friends and entertain ourselves with baking and knitting whilst our ‘men’ are out having fantastic archery and real ale evenings and driving round in their fully-liveried Mitsubishi Priapic RotundTable car.

‘But then every summer, to add insult to injury,  we have to put up with pages of filth in the Lichfield Mercury and that on-line rag ‘Lichfield Died’  following on from ‘A’ Level results day.

‘Page after page of young fit attractive flat-stomached girls jumping in the air, vibrant and full of life, it’s an absolute disgrace.’

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Lichfield Died’s football correspondent, former celebrity skateboarder Ross Hawkes defended the coverage:

‘Every year we get sent dozens of photographs on results day by our local schools. We just choose to publish the ones where the kids seem to be having the most fun, just so long as it’s a group of flat-stomached well-endowed hotties. Frankly I’m not bothered what grades they’ve  got, as far as I’m concerned everyone’s a winner!

‘The rest I leave for my mate Phil.’

 

Staffordshire Police become online lingerie salesmen

DESIGNER clothes bought by ball-achingly beautiful Lichfield mom Michaela Hutchings were put up for auction on e-Bay by Staffordshire Police.

Ms Hutchings had been innocently sent an unsolicited gift of £50,000 by the financially incompetent Lichfield District Council and then promptly convicted of dishonesty.

Kayla said :

‘Without prejudice, my understanding of the legal position is that under the provisions of the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 (as amended), any received monies can be retained as an unconditional gift. As the receiver, so to speak, I had no obligation to return the gift… sorted.’

Mickey spent a modest £7,000 of the LDC’s generosity buying luxury goods by Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Dior, amongst other brands. She generously gave £1,000 to her mum before wisely investing £40,000 for the future in a savings account.

The designer clothes were seized and put up for sale on-line by Staffordshire Police in a bid to recoup some of the £51,006.55 confiscation order.

Kayla commented:

‘There really was no need for a confiscation order, as soon as I realised the mistake I agreed to give the money back, but it was tied up in a tax-free ISA with interest penalties for early withdrawal. And that’s not something I’m keen on – early withdrawal, so to speak, to be honest.’

Staffordshire PCC Matthew Ellis said :

‘All of these items were genuine, purchased at full retail price in High Street stores and were seized the day after purchase and I for one am delighted to have been the successful bidder for a nearly-new pair of Paramour panties.’

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Labour Parliamentary Candidate gets married

LABOUR Parliamentary Candidate Chris Whoishey got married and went on honeymoon, somewhere.

Chris said:

‘Thanks for asking anyway. Maybe see you again in 2020?’

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Welcome Back…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lichfield and Burntwood residents must pay to see their local MP

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Burntwood residents will get a rare opportunity to meet their local MP at a specially arranged ‘An Evening with Michael Fabricant’ at the Lichfield Garrick on Friday 27 June at 8.00pm.

Stung into action by the remarks of Labour Group leader ‘Butcher of Burntwood’ Councillor Norman Stephen and celebrity granny Councillor Sue Woodwind, Mr Fabricant has organised a gala surgery for the disenfranchised from beyond the Wall.

The MP commented:

‘Traditional MP’s surgeries deal with the moans and the groans of the frankly rather tedious, ‘Fix My Street’ types who have nothing better to fill their dreary lives with than complaining about the Austerity Project and dog shit.

‘This week at the Garrick my constituents get the fabulous chance to listen to me talk for over 90 minutes about my radical campaigning for self-promotion. Much more entertaining I’m sure you’ll all agree.’

The throbbing member will charge £8.50 per ticket to attend this prestigious event. Mr Fabricant continued:

‘I have no liking for local surgeries of any kind, as everyone with health issues in Burntwood will testify. But charging £8.50 for a ticket will ensure that only the truly deluded will attend.

‘If successful I’ll propose this as a template for appointments to see your local GP, if you can find one. It’ll discourage the time-wasters and of course, the poor and sick.’

Originally aimed at his sycophantic twitterers, the local member will choose the records he would take on a desert island in a show based on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs

Mr Fabricant is expected to enter stage left to “Rocky’s Theme” and his fans will be disappointed if the Stephen Sondheim classic, “Send in the Clowns” doesn’t feature.

Somewhere in the show the select audience can expect to hear “Talk to the Animals”,an old Rex Harrison number, with a special guest appearance by the ‘Cougar and Dark’s Circus’ Push Me Pull You. The two-faced creature is credited with inspiring  Mr Fabricant’s political stance on most local issues and his unnatural interest in llamas.

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Playing Kirsty Young (presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’) will be local Conservative Party chairman Jonathan Hall:

‘I’ve enjoyed playing Kirsty Young for many years, my wife is very supportive provided that I don’t go to church dressed like that.’

‘At the end of the show, Michael will take questions. If they are on any serious topics to which he takes exception there could be hilarious consequences,’ joked Mr Hall.

‘Expect a brain haemorrhage or a thump in the throat at the very least,’ he quipped.

Mr Fabricant promised:

‘The evening should be a lot of fun and for each mug that buys a £8.50 ticket  I promise to donate absolutely nothing to a local charity. It’ll sell out fast,” said the MP, desperately trying to fill the remaining third of the small auditorium with just days to go.

‘This will be a first for the Lichfield Garrick, a disastrous political stunt, but that’s nothing new for me,’ added Micky.

No.10 is keeping a low profile on the event but when asked PM David Cameron said:

‘The idiot is a complete embarrassment and I urge all the good citizens of Lichfield and Burntwood to vote for the local Labour lost boy Chris Whoishey if you can find him.’

Anyone who prefers not to mix with the common folk in the cheap seats can always opt for the more prestigious House of Commons Dinner earlier in the week. For a modest £100 per ticket you can join local Tory Boys from Lichfield Round Table at the exclusive event in Westminster.

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Diminutive Rounder Dicky Ladman commented :

‘There are still tickets available, I’ll be leaving Lichfield straight after my tanning session on Wednesday afternoon and anyone who needs a lift is welcome to join me in my fully-liveried Mitsubishi Pajero.’

Rumours abound that the event may be cancelled due to lack of interest.

Anyone who would like to attend either event is advised to book early to ensure disappointment. However it may not be suitable for opinionated Muslim women unless of course they are shopkeepers or nannies.

Lichfield MP’s appearance in Burntwood blamed on GPS malfunction

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BURNTWOOD residents were astonished to find their local Member of Parliament, Michael Fabricant, was in their town this week.

Local hair technician Britney Singleton commented:

‘We was pushing the babbies back home from the “Sue Woodward Memorial Swing Theme Park” when I spotted an elderly gentleman with a blonde hair enhancement staggering down the street in a confused state. It was almost eleven o’clock in the morning so I naturally assumed that he was pissed.’

Britney’s mum Pauline was with her at the time. The 35 year-old mother of five said:

‘I couldn’t believe my eyes. Britney is too young to remember, but there in front of my very eyes was the fabled Member.  In all the years since he was elected in 1992 we’ve hoped and prayed that there would be visitation by the mythical Fabricunt to lend his support to our local struggles and deliver us from this socialist tyranny. And there he was in the flesh – a real disappointment to be honest.’

Burntwood pharmacist Sukhwinder Singh said:

‘We get many mentally challenged locals in here every day. And frankly, to most of them I have to say – sorry I cant help you, try Bargain Booze down the road, it’s the shop with the boarded up windows following an attack by drunks.

‘But, although I tend to the needs of these badlands, I actually I live within the Wall and I’m hoping one day to be allowed into the Beacon Street Area Residents Association (BSTARDS). I recognised the clown instantly. My assistant took him into the back of the shop whilst I secured the entrance. They were baying like wolves at the door for a sight of the legendary Fabricunt, saviour of the East.’

Mr Singh’s assistant, Pam Larlor continued:

‘Fabricuntio was  clearly confused and disoriented when he came into the shop. He said that he’d  been on his way to a college reunion in Oxford, when I know for a fact that he got a Desmond in Running and Jumping from the University of Laughborough.’

Mrs Larlor added:

‘He was rambling on about being a high-ranking member of the Conservative Party and having an urgent appointment with the PM at Chequers to discuss his proposed response to recent UKIP advances.

‘I’m stupid and have no idea what he was talking about but he clearly needed medical attention. If only he had lobbied for that new Burntwood medical centre we were promised. As it was Mr Singh just drove him back to the Cathedral City on his way home.’

Mr Singh explained:

‘As we approached the City and the spires of the Cathedral came into view Mr Fabricunt’s condition improved markedly. By the time I’d shown my passport and driven beyond the Wall he was back to his old self, tweeting knob gags on his phone before skipping off in the direction of the Close.’

Any residents of Burntwood who would like to see their local MP again before the 2015 General Election are advised to be prepared for a disappointment.

 

 

 

Search continues for missing Lichfield Labour parliamentary candidate

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THE search is continuing this weekend for Labour Party parliamentary candidate Chris Whereishey who hasn’t been seen in Lichfield since his selection three months ago.

Leading the search is Lichfield Labour activist Ken Redman, he said:

‘Chris disappeared off the City’s political radar shortly after taking off as the Labour Parliamentary candidate back in January. There was a brief fund raising event with his Aunty Jacqui Spliff at an undisclosed location beyond the Wall, but after that… nothing.’

With the assistance of local computer nerd and amateur journalist John Philips, mobile phone records and sporadic re-tweet activity of 17-year-old Mr Whereishey’s Twitter account have been used to create a map showing his possible location to assist with search efforts.

Mr Philips commented:

‘My skills as a technical wizard and amateur journalist have enabled me create this digital map showing a north-south arch of likely locations to the west of the Wall, from Rugeley in the north, through the People’s Republic of Burntwood down to Great Barr in the south.’

Lichfield District Council Labour Group Leader, ‘Butcher of Burntwood’ Norman Steven said:

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‘It’s a mystery, I say, it’s a mystery what has happened to our Chris. I fear he may be lost to us forever, lost to us I say, lost to us forever just like those other young chaps Steve Hyden back in 2010, Nigel Gardner further back in 2005 and Marin Machray further further back in 2001. They disappeared, I say disappeared, without trace off of the face of the political earth.’

Not all former Labour candidates have been so easily disposed of. Sue Woodward, who  failed to win the seat in 1997, went on to have a fulfilling career as local councillor for potholes, speed-reading and expensive children’s swings.

But in the spirit of cross-party cooperation District Council Leader Mike Wilcox (Con) has put the Fradley Microlight  Airborne Division at the disposal of the Labour search party. Wing Commander Michael ‘Mick’ Shea is based at the Roddige Airfield, he commented:

‘We’ve been flying sorties over the northern and southern search arcs for the past two weeks.

‘Earlier today Flying Officer Sandra ‘Sandy’ Sanders spotted debris floating on Chasewater Reservoir, we’ve alerted ground forces. Sandy has done a sterling job despite being a girl.’

Burntwood-on-Sea Coast Guard Search and Rescue leader Dave Kitthoff explained:

‘As soon as we became aware of possible sightings we despatch a couple of windsurfers off to investigate. They returned to base after the wind changed direction three hours later.

‘Unfortunately, all they found were a couple of soiled disposable baby nappies and a floating bag of dog turds. Nothing unusual for Chasewater in fact.’

Meanwhile publicity shy, local pantomime ‘MP’  Michael Fabricant commented:

‘I have nothing against the lad, in fact… I rather wish I had!  #sexualinuendo. But I warn him now, I don’t give up my seat easily #sexualgag. Did I just say gag! [Panto face] He’s behind you! Haha ho ho I’m on fire today. Must have been that curry …bum bum!

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‘But please remember I am a serious politician, I wore a suit last week in Preston Crown Court. REDACTED-REDACTED-SUB JUDICE-REDACTED. Although, as I’m not a lawyer, the judge was absolutely right to order that I remove my wig in court.’

Meanwhile, the search goes on. Anyone who has any information that could help to trace Mr Whereishey should contact their local Labour councillor . Anyone who could help trace over 17,000 missing voters in time for the next general  election is advised to wake up.

 

Parliamentary candidate for Lichfield pledges he ‘really wants to get a decent PR company’

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LABOUR parliamentary candidate for Lichfield, 17 year-old Sandwell College student Chris Whoishey, visited 5SL’s offices recently to introduce himself.

Our receptionist, Cloe, said:

‘Sorry the job of sourcing and photoshopping copyright pictures has been filled.’

Chris pushed his way passed and insisted:

‘I think I’m part of the next generation of politicians, I can’t be sure, but I’m told that I think I am,’ said Chris.

‘Everybody, including me, is pretty sick at the way things are going currently.

‘Sorry, but as you can see, my PR advisors can barely string together a coherent press release, and don’t get me started on the clichés.

‘What we need is less talk and more action. I got involved in politics because I genuinely believe I can make a difference. And in my short time already I think I have.’

‘See what I mean, I’m talking utter bollocks!’

Chris Whoishey is a local man, if you live in Walsall, and is studying for an ‘A’ Level in Career Politics at Sandwell College. Last year he completed a weekend break in New York which led to a work experience job in a large bank in London, but he soon realised that a career in banking was not for him.

‘After 6 months I woke up and thought “I’m crap at this”,’ said Chris.

‘I could see my life mapped out for me, yes I could see that I was about to be fired, and didn’t like what I saw.

‘I really had no choice but to move back home with Mom, became self-unemployed and get involved in the Labour Party.”

Lichfield’s current  MP Michael Fabricant has represented the constituency since 1992.

The flamboyant former whip and Preston Crown Court star prosecution witness is a popular figure in the constituency and won with a 17,683 majority in 2010, 10,000 votes up on the previous election in 2005.

‘I’ve got nothing against him personally,’ said Chris.

“The stuff I’ve seen of him has made me laugh – like wearing the fake tash in Parliament, appearing in clown costume around Lichfield, donating his hairpiece to the Cathedral Christmas tree, dressing up as Judy Garland and, most hilariously, pretending to care about the route of HS2,’ added Chris.

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‘Lichfield is a lovely place to live and I’m just hoping for the opportunity to visit the Cathedral City some day. For the moment though I’m happy to stray no further than Burntwood border and bask in the sycophantic adulation of the bitter elderly socialists of the PRofB and Brownhills.”

Outside of ‘work’ Chris enjoys football and also declares himself a big Villa fan.

“Many of my Labour heroes are also big Villa fans, for instance former PM and alleged war criminal Tony Blair has a big Villa in Tuscany.

‘As for the football, the first season I started going with my dad and brother David Prescott to see the Aston Villas was 1992/93 – we finished second. Mmmm perhaps not a great metaphor,’ said Chris reflecting again on his choice of PR firm.

‘My Dad turned to me and said “Why don’t you come up to live with me in Hull and spend a few years in the merchant navy, that’ll toughen you up you little scrote.”  That’s the last time he spoke to me, until my recent selection. Bastard.’

“I’m also a cricket fan, like my other Labour hero, former Conservative PM John Major. He ran away from the circus to become a politician, just like Mr Fabricunt but in reverse. So to speak, and no that wasn’t a euphemism.

‘I played cricket in Lichfield once at the old Birmingham Road ground before it was sold off and converted into a block of slum flats fit the 2020’s

‘I’ve also recently got into running – running for office, running out of time, running to catch up, running for cover in Burntwood.’

Chris said he was raised on music from the 60s and the 70s and, under his pseudonym Chris Worsley, is now an accomplished cellist, having played for a while with The Divine Comedy. The metaphor is again a little unfortunate as one commentator commentated:

‘He’s just changed from on big fiddle to another.’

The next few months are likely to be very busy for Chris who is getting married in August to Hannah, who teaches English as a second language to English kids at a school in West Bromwich.

‘Things are hectic at the moment what with the wedding and parliamentary campaign but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hopefully after the wedding Hannah will be able to help translate my press releases into English,’ he added.

Anyone who wants to know more about how Chris will overturn a 17,683 Conservative majority can contact former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, no expenses spared, at the UHB NHS Trust and @smithjj62 . Mrs Smith who attended a local fund raising event for Chris said:

‘Leave my husband out of this. I have friends who know what you’re watching as well you know.’

 

 

‘Lord Prescott is not my father,’ claims Labour candidate

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LABOUR Parliamentary candidate for Lichfield and Burntwood 2015 general election  has been forced to deny that Lord John Prescott of Hull is his biological father.

Chris Worsey said:

‘Ever since my selection, rumours have been circulating about my parentage. I can categorically deny that John Prescott ever had congress with my mother.’

Mr Worsey, 17, grew up near Great Wyrley and played cricket. He is currently part-way through an ‘A’ Level course in Career Politics at Sandwell College. He added:

‘I would be proud to represent Lichfield, a fantastic historic City with a fine tradition for Morris dancing. I hope to visit one day.’

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Lord Prescott’s acknowledged son David Prescott failed in his father’s bid for him to become the parliamentary candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich. His Lordship commented:

‘David has been a great disappointment to me and his mother, whoever she may be. But you have to move on in public life and young Chris Worsey is a great fellow. I clearly remember passing through West Brom in the ‘90’s so there’s a good chance that we are related. Needless to say, I was instrumental in his selection.’

Mr Worsey’s reluctance to acknowledge his ancestry is understandable. Once considered to be an advantage, the offspring of famous political parents now view their linage to be more of a hindrance.

Highly tipped to stand for a safe Labour seat in 2015, son of former Prime Minister and alleged war criminal, Euan Blair has not had the courage to put his head above the political parapet. City banker Blair Jnr commented:

‘If it could be guaranteed that I would move straight into a ministerial post, become Prime Minister within 5 years, shag a press baron’s missus and then retire to become a multimillionaire on the world public speaking circuit, then yes, maybe. But a constituency MP, with Friday surgeries for ‘local’ people with drainage worries?  I don’t think so.’

Local Labour party activists however have a different perspective on the influence of political families. Brownhills activist Jim Hardman said:

‘Euan Blair didn’t get selected through choice but because, as Tony’s son he is, how do they say down south? Toxic.’

Not every child of the famous have fared so badly. Will Straw, son of former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has been selected as Labour candidate for Rossendale and Darwen in Lancashire. Jim Hardman commented:

‘That was a slightly different case, as a former cannabis seller Will Straw is an established character in his own right. Most people don’t remember Jack Straw, I showed a photo of him at a meeting recently and a few said they thought they recognised him, but only as the guy from ‘Wycliffe’ who was in that play at the Lichfield Garrick last week.’

Other ‘dynastic’ children have changed their name to escape the curse. Only after selection for Lewisham did Joe Dromey admit that his mother is in fact 2015 Labour leader Harriet Harman, he said:

 

‘It’s bad enough having Jack ‘Pikey’ Dromey, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington and former trade union baron, as a father, but if everyone had known about my mom I’d be dead in the water. At least no one has ever heard of Dad, apart from the Daily Mail and the Metropolitan Police’

Chris Worsey commented:

‘Sorry, but I thought this article was supposed to be all about me?’

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Anyone who may have been affected by the Lichfield and Burntwood Labour Party selection process can contact http://www.patient.co.uk/health/insomnia-poor-sleep/support . The lines are open from 10pm to 7am.

Burntwood shopping precinct in unexpected link to European space programme

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A local shopping precinct in Redwood Drive/Parkhill Road, Burntwood has played an unlikely, yet significant, role in the European space programme.

The European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta probe was awakened this week after a ten-year trek across the Solar System. Its destination is a periodic comet known as Comet 67P.

The Rosetta orbiter will rendezvous with Comet 67P and release a small robotic lander, the Philae Lander, for a controlled touchdown onto its surface. This will be a difficult and hazardous stage of the mission as the robot approaches the craggy, uneven and pockmarked surface of this mysterious cosmic iceberg.

To the astonishment of many local residents, a replica of the Philae Lander was launched by ESA in Redwood Park yesterday (Wednesday) and brought down to earth in a series of controlled landings in the Burntwood shopping centre car park by mission scientists.

Dr Mathias Lauer, mission controller of the lander phase of the project, was delighted:

‘As a training exercise we needed to simulate the harsh alien environment of the comet as closely as possible. With its hazardous, craggy, uneven and pockmarked surface the Burntwood car park proved to be the ideal test site. The exercise proved to be a huge success, I estimate that we have covered 95% of all possible mission-threatening events likely to be encountered by the landing vehicle on the various challenging areas of this hostile local terrain.’

Not everyone is as starstruck, local resident Mrs Pam Boreham commented:

‘I’ve been complaining about the state of this car park for years, my late mother was shuffling round inside one to those potholes for hours before I arrived to help her out.’

Sankeys Fish Bar owner Georgios Papadopoulos however was quick to take advantage of the news of ESA’s involvement, he said :

‘I’m delighted to hear that the car park has found a suitable use and more delighted that my shop is a mile down the road from it. But to celebrate we’ve launched a new commemorative dish, “The Philae of Fish on a Bed of Chippings”’.

Councillor Susan Woodward (Lab) of Chase Terrace Ward, who based her recent election campaign on a manifesto pledge to resurface the area, commented:

‘I’m always delighted to hear about inward investment to the Ward, but for the life of me my dear, I’ve no idea where this car park is ?’

The ESA has now taken off, but the publicity has come to the attention of filmmaker Martin Scorsese who has shortlisted Burntwood as the location for his next film, ‘Kiev: The Final Days’.

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Anyone who has been affected by the condition of the shopping precinct  car park can point Councillor Woodward in the right direction by contacting her at susan.woodward@lichfielddc.gov.uk