Big Eye, February 21, 2017

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Well, after seven years the journey has come to a conclusion and this columnist will today hang up his mouse and hand the square at the bottom of page sixteen back to Purfleet.

It has been a massive privilege and honour for me to be allowed to rant and rollock unfettered by the shackles of having my real name 
plastered across the top of the piece and, although it has been a source of irritation for some, I have always 
been relieved that I’ve not had dog poo pushed through my letter box or wrangled in
 pubs with people who 
didn’t share my point of 
view.

Since Day One my mission has been to prick the 
pompous balloons of public figures and bodies who stand before us and try to convince you that they know what they’re doing and should be trusted.

Nothing in the last seven years has persuaded me that we can let our guard down for a minute and if you give an inch they’ll take a mile every time.

The future holds huge possibilities for us all and equally huge pitfalls and unless everyone remains involved and engaged with what’s going on around 
them, Norfolk will begin to look like every other county overrun with housing developments and industrial sprawl.

My dislike (hatred) of party politics remains unassuaged and nothing has convinced me that a system that puts the welfare of any party above the welfare of the people should be allowed to continue.

I have cynically watched the comings and goings of 
Liz and Henry and their rises and falls as they try to cling onto the greasy pole of the London political club and wondered how much local value we really get from the strangers we elected to these well-remunerated gravy trains.

I’ve been accused of being everything from a member of this glorious newspaper’s editorial staff to a guttersnipe apologist for people with racist views and none of these things are true.

It is true that much of my research has been conducted on fag packets and some of my ‘facts’ could be described as dubious or even downright piffle but the honest intention was always to provoke or goad someone into writing in.

I have people to thank. Jon Buss was editor at the start and after a few terse emails he said “go for it but understand you need to be in it for the long run”.

Mark Leslie has also indulged my peculiarities and has generously cut me some slack when he could.

My occasionally maligned wife has graciously allowed herself to be the butt of jokes and is my harshest critic and I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Last, but not least, sincere thanks to those who have diligently read this drivel and whether you commented or used it for cat litter trays I hope you’ve tasted a little of the fun I’ve had venting my spleen.

Finally, remember! It’s your country, not theirs! Keep yew a’troshun’!

The Big Eye x