Down­side Up

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS - tonyjohn­son That­was the­week caveat.lec­tor@icloud.com

IN THE UNITED STATES President Trump vis­ited Mount Rush­more to see if his head would fit but seems to have re­turned with his pres­i­den­tial un­der­wear on back­wards.

Here in the UK, the ‘Robert Generic’ af­fair hasn’t gone, nor have the “Free Dom for all” re­ports so Boris ap­pears to have used his ‘phone a friend’ life­line.

Lo­cally, it was a week in which a “nev­er­mind the Sex Pis­tols, here’s the bol­lards” ap­proach saw Den­mark Street be­ing pedes­tri­anised.

Trumped up charges

Al­leged­lyMr Trump went to see if there was space along­side the faces of four past pres­i­dents carved into the moun­tain­top. Re­ports that his ears wouldn’t fit in the gap be­tween Teddy Roo­sevelt and Abe Lin­coln are to­tally mis­lead­ing.

As was his claim that Covid-19 is

“99% harm­less”. With a pop­u­la­tion of 328 mil­lion in the United States, that’s still up to 3.3 mil­lion sick or dy­ing.

But his pearls of wis­domwere be­ing cast among swine who fact checked them. “Cre­at­ing new pow­ers to pro­tect stat­ues” turned out to be “do your job” Mr At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

And what he said about far-left-fas­cism made just as much sense as what he didn’t say about far-right-com­mu­nism.

His Mas­ter’s voice

Cum­mings wasn’t go­ings as the week’s tally of ar­ti­cles rose to 536 from 370 the pre­vi­ous week, as our­man in the pan was be­ing rounded on by all who’d felt a shred of sym­pa­thy for “Sir Humphrey”, the head of the civil ser­vice he’d forced to re­sign.

Mind you, the num­bers were on track for­well over 700, but luck­ily Boris’ fa­ther stepped in and saved the day by go­ing to Greece, de­spite the travel ban (here) and ex­clu­sion of Brits (there).

The hugely in­creased Stan­ley­ness of the week dis­placed some Dom, as the PM’s Dad “used his judg­ment” to travel via Bul­garia to go and Covid­proof the hol­i­day bolt-hole, sorry home.

The job soon got done. As was his son’s claim that ‘we’re all in this to­gether’.

Bild Billed Build

Much like the Duke broth­ers in Trad­ing Places (“sell, sell, sell”), the Prime Min­is­ter’s des­per­ate dash to ease the fur­loughed off the gov­ern­ment’s books got un­der­way this week.

Ac­cord­ing to Bild, Ger­many's broad­sheet equiv­a­lent of The Sun, the big po­lit­i­cal news of the week had been “For the first time in more than a quar­ter of a year peo­ple in Eng­land are al­lowed to visit pubs … again”.

Billed as the fi­nal daily brief­ing, transcript cen­tral fi­nally got round to pub­lish­ing the PM’s speech of Tues­day, June 23, so on BBC One, point­less was re­place by Point­less.

How­ever ‘Gavin’, aka the boy from the back in lower five al­pha, hadn’t got the mes­sage.

He got put in de­ten­tion at Num­ber 10, chained to the lectern to speak his lines. OK, nor­mally pun­ish­ment in de­ten­tion is writ­ing lines, but ‘Gav’ can’t do that, so Do­minic wrote them for him.

“Back to school — or you’ll be sorry” was the mantra, 100 times.

While “Build build build” was Boris’s mes­sage re­gard­ing hous­ing and plan­ning, it was meant to be the “start of the re­cov­ery after Coro­n­avirus”, but ac­cord­ing to In­side Hous­ing it was a load of blah, blah, blah in­stead.

Talk­ing of build­ing, we can ex­pect the plan­ning sys­tem to be ‘stream­lined’ as hous­ing min­is­ter Robert “cash for favours” Jen­rick has cre­ated some nifty new ‘per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment’ rules.

Th­ese let de­vel­op­ers com­pletely by­pass Plan­ning Com­mit­tees around the coun­try.

We don’t ask, we tell

Ap­pears to have been the word from Shute

End at Sea this week as they de­cided to pedes­tri­anise Den­mark Street for the week­end, ex­tend­ingWok­ing­ham’s town cen­tre ‘covid proof­ing’ scheme.

With traf­fic queued back to the Three Frogs half a mile to the east of town, traders in the mar­ket­place as well as some in the newly re-opened shops were de­scribed as ‘unim­pressed’, al­though walk­ing around was great for those that man­aged to get there.

Bet­ter luck next week per­haps?

In Memo­riam

On a more solemn note, last week saw the sud­den and com­pletely un­ex­pected death of Wok­ing­hamTown Coun­cil­lor James Box.

Those that knew himwill miss his sense of hu­mour, his pos­i­tive ap­proach and his sup­port for oth­ers.

Re­qui­escat in Pace.

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