Ed Lines

WE HAD the audacity to share a tweet from  Tracy Brabin MP on The Press Facebook page last week. It wasn’t universally admired.

We thought her tweeting #PESHMERGA (the name of the armed forces of Kurdistan) was newsworthy. We wondered what our readers and her constituents  might think.

No, the Iraqi Kurds haven’t suddenly deployed a platoon up Track Road in response to the arrest of alleged ISIS sympathiser Ghulam Hussain (see page 1).

Although R Trace – my new nickname for her – probably hasn’t found the House of Commons tea room yet, she was already jetting off on political manouevres in the Middle East.

Some of the social media comments we received were less than kind, if understandable, because just days into the job and she was already off on a jolly of sorts.

No offence R Trace, but you’re hardly likely to trip up over Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to lobby on behalf of our local hospital while learning to strip down an AK47. One of the MP’s sympathisers gave us a kicking, claiming that her cosying up to the Kuridsh Peshmerga was in the interests of her Batley & Spen constituents.


You can hear some outlandish stuff at the bar of Batley Nash, but “Ah’m fretting a bit that t’Peshmerga’s grenade stocks are running low” is on the unlikely side.

I don’t know if R Trace’s Facebook champion is pitching for the PR account for the Al Hikmah Centre (or a job with her) but I’m really not sure where he gets that idea.

I doubt they get into the plot-lines of Emmerdale or Corrie, but are Muslim mums at the gates of Purlwell Infants School really engrossed in the geo-politics of north-eastern Iraq? The Kurds are a religiously mixed bunch, but their Shia factions are about as akin to Mount Pleasant and Savile Town’s Sunni hardliners as they are to Mormons.

The last Iraqi Kurds I was aware of in this valley were the mob who went on a rampage in Ravensthorpe, nearly killing Lee Massey – and I really hope R Trace wasn’t looking them up hoping for a group hug and some reconciliation.

Best not to put any of them in the same room, I’d say.

Anyway, she’s back now  safe and sound thankfully, so look out for a soapbox appearance in Batley marketplace some time soon, “feeding back to her constituents” about the trip.

In fairness she’s already accepted that jetting off overseas might have seemed a tad hasty, unfortunately justifying it with what sounded very much like a “Jo Cox would have approved”.

I sincerely hope we’re not going to have that old chestnut rolled out on a regular basis. The job’s here and now.

NB: I should add that this is not sour grapes after one of my staff came in on his day off for a pre-arranged interview with the new MP, only for her not to show.

I know, mistakes happen. Diary mix-up etc. But along with a Parliamentary maiden speech that contained just a bit too much “when I wor a lass growing up in a cardboard box on t’side of t’road...” I’m not yet convinced. Early days and I’m sure it’s all very new and exciting. We shall see...

‘YOU talk out of your backside Lockwood. You know nothing.’

I’ve heard a lot of that lately and have to plead guilty as charged – I occasionally do speak from my fundament. But I know something. I know Donald Trump is the 45th President of the USA and Hillary can go delete emails to her heart’s content.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that our quisling Remoaners intend challenging Trump’s win as well as Brexit, probably based on the fact that he lied about his shoe size or whether he’s ever cheated while playing Snap.

Haven’t those feeble conscientious objectors got jobs to go to? The latest word is a possible legal challenge to the EU referendum result based on Leave campaign fibs, which is thigh slapping, stair-footingly hilarious.

I’m well aware there is no extra £350m a week for the NHS – Because. We. Are. Still. Paying. That. Much. To. The. Flaming. E. U. You. Morons.

Comprendez? (See, I can do continental!)

But if we’re talking lies (and yes, the £350m was still an exaggeration), can I just ask ... World War III anyone? Economic collapse, business exodus and the bubonic plague? They need a good slapping, some of that lot.

Anyway, the Don’s only gone and done it. That delivery truck outside the BBC on Wednesday? An industrial supply of Kleenex, probably. It wouldn’t surprise me if half the corporation has thrown on the sick with stress.

And I would have paid a week’s wage for the pleasure of standing in front of Channel 4’s Jon Snow as the results from Ohio, Florida and North Carolina came in, just to laugh obnoxiously loudly in the poor snowflake’s distraught face.

Did I want Trump to win? No, but my wish for a hole in the ground to swallow both him and Clinton whole was ever longer odds than a double on Brexit and Trump.

I wanted the will of the people to prevail in the face of a patronising, deceitful and corrupt establishment – just as with Cameron and Brussels.

So, two out of two for the ordinary Joes. Wow. Wait until the French and German people go to the polls next year.

PS: I’m glad I’m not the Paddy Power marketing bright spark who decided to pay out £800,000 of early  ‘winnings’ on Hillary after the Don’s insults towards women. Maybe he can go get a job as an economic forecaster with George Osborne.

MY FIRST part-time job was delivering newspapers in Thornhill for Clifford Jackson. My first full-time job was lugging them round John Menzies’ warehouse after dismal O Level results.

For some astonishing reason The Reporter editor-in-chief Jack Gowers didn’t consider this suitable grounding for a journalist, but after the intercession of my former Dewsbury Tech headteacher Don Nelson, plus a forgiving leg up from Wheelwright 6th Form head Mr WB Lancaster, I got back on track. The rest as they say is history.

I was honoured to be guest speaker at the Wheelwright Old Boys’ annual dinner last Friday at Healds Hall, where I found myself sitting next to Mr Lancaster – now 94, in robust good health and the most charming company.

I don’t think he realised the impact he had on my life – as indeed so many great teachers probably don’t. It is wonderful to be able to remind them.

I squandered my first academic opportunity, but at least by passing my 11-plus I had one – a gift denied so many children today.

There were 39 pupils in my class at St Paulinus, of which 36 passed the 11-plus, one went private and two to Dewsbury Technical School. We were mostly raggedy-arse kids from terraced houses or council estates, which to me speaks volumes about good, old-fashioned discipline and teaching.

The homogenisation of secondary education in the 1970s will be judged by history as an act of neo-Marxist vandalism. We’ve handcuffed a generation of children with a system infested by liberal weaklings posing as intellectual bullies, who continue to hold unfortunate sway.

This government is trying to kick-start that pathway to excellence for all children again. They have their work cut out.

The act of political malice that closed the wonderful Wheelwright 6th Form in the 1980s was the handiwork of two former Kirklees socialist stormtroopers who I know still read this paper. I won’t name them, but I trust they still feel shamed by it.

Dewsbury has lost too many of the great institutions that give a town its civic pride. Congratulations to the Wheelwright Old Boys for keeping its memories and spirit alive. And thank you.

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