SENTINEL: Knock on the door, Seabank Marathon, graffiti



Sentinel offers his take on the latest events in and around Boston...

Oh Derek. Good old Coun Richmond has caused a stir this week with his intriguing remark (not once, but twice) that our Observer columnist will be ‘getting a knock on the door’. Sentinel’s not one to suggest the comment was controversial but it did even rouse Boston Eye from his blogging slumber to make a response! What did he mean? Was he - as one wit suggested - branching out into Avon catalogue work and thought Observer would make an ideal customer?! He now says he simply wants an adult face-to-face conversation with Observer to debate the hot topics of the day. Observer – as with his humble online cousin The Sentinel – is The Standard’s attempt to keep up the long-standing journalistic tradition of such columns which comment on current affairs in our area and hold those ‘in power’ to account. Don’t like what they say? Good. Write in, tell them why they’re wrong. It’s a healthy part of politics. Coun Richmond says he is happy with ‘just’ criticism but feels Observer isn’t that (no word on Sentinel - maybe he doesn’t rate this column, sniff!). The trouble here is what is ‘just’? Sentinel reckons that really is for the reader to decide, not councillors. The day they rule what things they’re happy to be criticised about and what they’re not is a sad day for democracy. To flatly ignore people who disagree with you is poor politics.

*Speaking of democracy and politics. Sentinel can confirm that none of The Standard’s team is a ‘fully paid up’ member of any political party. (why are people never ‘half paid up’? Not that any of them are that either.). In fact, Sentinel’s maths isn’t what it used to be but with borough council leader Peter Bedford penning a monthly piece and MP Mark Simmonds doing likewise that makes two Conservative columnists and none from any other party (unless RSPB-er Chris Andrews is yet to be unmasked as a radical communist of course). Maybe Coun Richmond is right - perhaps it ought to be more balanced?

*Perhaps the funniest bit of ‘knock on the door gate’ (hmm, maybe not!) is that Coun Richmond claims no-one takes any notice of the Observer column. Sounds like it Derek...

*Still, one thing can be said in praise of Coun Richmond. Like him or not (and Sentinel knows there’s a few members of local disability groups still smarting from his comments about paying to park) in an era where politics is becoming increasingly populated by beige ‘nodding dogs’ he, at least, does voice an opinion that is anything but beige. Life would be dull without any Dereks but, then again, he needs to learn that so would it without any Observers.

*Those out there who think it is just Boston that can’t put an event on these days might want to take a look down the A16 at Spalding. The town is famous for its annual Flower Parade and yet last year, with funding drying up, was the last of the showpiece events. Sadly, this week, Sentinel noted that plans to at least replace the traditional May event with a ‘People’s Parade’ have, after ten months, fallen through. Added to Boston’s Christmas debacle and the Community Showcase news it makes pretty sorry reading for south Lincolnshire. Why have we become so bad at delivering such events? Sentinel guesses it is money as per usual - but are we really not able to get sponsors on board to support events in their communities?

*It’s nice to see that the flood damage will not stop the Seabank Marathon from going ahead this summer. The event will be held on June 22 for Macmillan Cancer Support - I’m sure everyone will agree it’s a worthy cause. What a shame then that the organisers choose not to talk to The Standard, preferring instead to send their news to a different newspaper. Why? Well it seems some are still a little upset when The Standard teamed up with Boston and District Athletic Club to make sure the 2011 run went ahead. Sentinel knows and accepts that the 2011 event was, by necessity, hastily put together but we did do our little bit to ensure this fine event stayed on the calendar. However, the current organisers obviously feel very differently. They refuse to register 2011 when adding up the number of years the marathon has run (arguing it was not the Macmillan Seabank Marathon so it doesn’t count) which, Sentinel feels, is a bit of an affront to the people who still took part and raised money for good causes. Still, no hard feelings on our part. Last year we pictured runners on our front page (we do at least get invited to the day). We will publicise the date and how to take part. It’s just a real shame that the toys can’t go back into the pram and the organisers can’t work with us to help make the event the biggest success possible. Sentinel is not being big headed - but surely it is obvious that the more coverage it gets across the greatest number of different papers, radio shows and TV broadcasts the more it will help to raise money for a good cause? That’s at the heart of why it is on surely? Maybe a few people ought to remember that...

*Spot the rude word in Monday’s Boston Bulletin? Maybe it says more about Sentinel but our eye was sadly drawn first to the “‘go forth and multiply’ the police” daubing on the bus shelter before the story. Still, in the interests of fairness, Sentinel did also chuckle at an error in The Standard since it evoked a strange image. You can only imagine that Coun Richard Davies doesn’t want to ‘duel’ our roads...althought that sounds a fun past time. Probably safer for our elected members than being Tasered too...




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