14th April 2015
A member of my family is ill sadly, and my wife has been staying with her a lot. So I’ve been stepping in and looking after my two girls, aged 8 and 10.
The Easter holidays are in full swing and today, we decided to go to the brilliant Guinea Gap baths, which is in Wallasey and just 200 yards from Wallasey Town Hall (Wirral Council HQ).
We arrived at the baths half an hour too early, so I thought I’d take the girls along the prom for a nice walk, up the vast Town Hall steps on the seaward side, around the building, turn left and back towards the baths – which would take half an hour if we walked very slowly.
The weather was lovely, and after we’d climbed to the top of the Town Hall steps – and jumped around shouting like Rocky does in the film – my 10 year old decided she needed to get to the nearest toilet, so in we went. The girls were a little tentative about entering such a magnificent building, but I said, “It’s fine. Nothing to worry about. Me, mummy and nana have been paying for this for years.”
In we went, and I said to my youngest, “We got married here.”
“What, you and mum?”
“I hope so babe.”
I was then twiddling my thumbs, waiting outside the Ladies, opposite the lift, with my 8 year old, admiring the grand staircase and the new stair carpet from a respectful distance.
When I turned around, somebody was off in the distance and getting closer. And as he got nearer, the penny dropped. It was somebody whose photo I’d seen in the newspaper recently: none other than Eric Robinson, the new CEO.
I thought, ‘Paul, you’re not going to get another opportunity to do this. GO FOR IT !”
This was our conversation:
“Excuse me, Mr Robinson?”
“Paul Cardin. I’m a local blogger and tweeter.” We shook hands.
He immediately closed his eyes, and turned his head away, smiling and nodding….and pressed the button on the wall, waiting for the lift to arrive.
He may as well have raised his eyes to the heavens (he obviously knew who I was).
I asked, smilingly, “Was that a smirk?”
He said, “No, I wasn’t smirking, just acknowledging your name.”
I said. “You blocked me on Twitter a couple of weeks ago; and I’d followed you, in the hope you’d be engaging with the local public.”
He was entering the lift now. “You were rude.”
I said, “I spoke the truth about Rotherham Council receiving an LGC award in 2008 at the height of unchecked child abuse.”
He smiled. The lift doors closed and up it went. And that was it !
I sincerely hope Mr Robinson will think about this chance encounter, change his @staffspeople Twitter handle to something more suitable for this locale, unblock me, and extend the hand of friendship and co-operation ! That would be great…
And that’s it !
p.s. Thanks to the Worksop Guardian for writing that article, albeit as self-enhancing fluff. However, although they seem to have overlooked this, the Local Government Chronicle may have combed through its output and rewrote history by removing all trace of the deeply embarrassing Grosvenor House Hotel award ceremony. I just can’t find it on their pages!
28th March 2017
The Worksop Guardian article has been removed it seems. How on earth could that have occurred?
This menace to Council skulduggery asks, ‘will Eric unblock me, extend the hand of friendship and open up a line of constructive dialogue?’. No he bloody won’t and I for one don’t blame him.
Poor sod! I mean, there Eric is minding his own bloody business, floating around levitating in joyous celebration that he’s in charge of all of this, and what greets the poor fool? Bloody Cardin! ‘Good bloody grief’, he must have muttered to himself, ‘the suns bloody shining, the last three pointless meetings discussing the joys of yet another barrow load of pointless drivel and tripe have passed without any sane and sensible conclusion, and who’s here to greet me. Bloody Cardin!’
I say, be thankful Eric wasn’t equipped and armed with a two pound mallet, for I fear that he’d have attacked this ‘seeker of truth’, beaten Cardin senseless, howling, ‘stop bloody asking why and where the money went you bloody horror of a blogger’.
No! Given the circumstances and given the position Eric found himself in, I sincerely think that simply smirking at Cardin and not lurching forward and trying to throttle the life out of him was a reasonable and measured response to this delightful and unexpected encounter.
Mind, if it had been me and I was in Eric’s position I would have handled this encounter in a very different way. I’d have said to Paul, ‘buddy, I don’t know where you’re going and I don’t know where you’ve been but why don’t you phone in sick, take the afternoon off and spend your time laid in bed with me at some Holiday Inn and let’s get to know one another and discuss how I can convince you to remove your teeth from my fat arse’.
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