Saturday, 27 January 2018

Dead at the witch trials



In fifty-eight years of life one is bound to have seen a lot of rock ‘n’ roll deaths. Of the many musicians who have passed, three stick out in my memory: Elvis, Lennon, Cobain.

In 1977 I was in my Cranley Road bedsit when I saw the news item on my TV about Elvis Presley. I was living in a Palmeira Avenue bedsit when John Lennon was murdered. By the time of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, I was living in Suffolk Avenue.

Of those three, it was the Nirvana front man’s which affected me most. It was not just the ugly nature of his early demise, but I was a big fan with a ticket for their Brixton Academy gig, an event that clearly would never happen.

Mark E. Smith has departed, fallen at the age of sixty. I was an early fan of The Fall, I was hooked from the first hearing of ‘Repetition’ very soon after its release. I still prefer their early work (I usually do with most artistes) although The Fall’s output is always interesting and often brilliant far beyond those early days.

The word genius is overused, and I am not sure that Mark E. Smith deserves this appellation, but he was very good. As a musical icon he will be missed, and his legacy is a tremendous back catalogue and many bands influenced by him. I played in bands who numbered The Fall as a key influence. Many of us, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, were influenced; Mark E. Smith and his band showed us another way and we eagerly followed.

The Fall’s music was often a long way from accessible. Mark E. Smith’s behaviour was often irascible. What marked them out, particularly in those heady days of punk, was their originality. They captured the DIY ethos of punk, and married this to clever lyrics, and music that was as catchy as it often was simple.

If those who die are made immortal by those who keep their memory alive, then Mark E. Smith has a long future after his death this week. I will be forever grateful for the man, the band, the music, and the intelligent and original attitude. Rest in peace. MES.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Councillor attendances for 2017



Here are the figures for councilor attendances at all eligible meetings for last year, showing the best attendee first, and the worst last.

There are, of course, all sorts of stories behind the numbers, but in some cases some councillors are more attached to the duty that is meeting attendance than others.

I am eleventh overall, amazing given how tough a year I had, I am second amongst Labour councilllors, and first amongst the Milton triumvirate.


expected
present
In attendance
Total attended
Councillor Carole Mulroney
43
40
15
55
Councillor David McGlone
52
51
1
52
Councillor Bernard Arscott
46
43
6
49
Councillor Nigel Folkard
52
48
1
49
Councillor Maureen Butler
51
42
5
47
Councillor Margaret Borton
47
39
5
44
Councillor Chris Walker
42
39
4
43
Councillor Tino Callaghan
42
36
5
41
Councillor Jonathan Garston
39
35
6
41
Councillor Roger Hadley
44
39
2
41
Councillor Julian Ware-Lane
36
32
8
40
Councillor Lesley Salter
29
29
10
39
Councillor Brian Ayling
42
35
3
38
Councillor John Lamb
31
27
11
38
Councillor Steve Buckley
43
35
2
37
Councillor David Garston
42
32
2
34
Councillor Tony Cox
31
27
5
32
Councillor Derek Kenyon
38
30
2
32
Councillor Georgina Phillips
36
32
0
32
Councillor Mark Flewitt
30
22
9
31
Councillor Helen McDonald
29
27
4
31
Councillor Helen Boyd
35
30
0
30
Councillor Anne Jones
30
28
2
30
Councillor Trevor Byford
30
27
2
29
Councillor Stephen Habermel
32
27
2
29
Councillor Ann Holland
25
21
8
29
Councillor James Moyies
27
26
3
29
Councillor Floyd Waterworth
24
21
1
28
Councillor Alex Bright
27
27
0
27
Councillor David Norman MBE
28
27
0
27
Councillor Martin Terry
25
22
5
27
Councillor David Burzotta
23
23
3
26
Councillor James Courtenay
24
19
7
26
Councillor Andrew Moring
23
21
5
26
Councillor Meg Davidson
25
23
2
25
Councillor Ian Gilbert
22
21
4
25
Councillor Derek Jarvis
26
23
2
25
Councillor Ron Woodley
19
19
6
25
Councillor Fay Evans
25
24
0
24
Councillor Nick Ward
22
19
4
23
Councillor Cheryl Nevin
22
18
3
21
Councillor Mike Stafford
26
18
3
21
Councillor Caroline Endersby
22
20
0
20
Councillor Peter Wexham
24
15
5
20
Councillor Charles Willis
25
19
1
20
Councillor Mike Assenheim
13
13
6
19
Councillor Stephen Aylen
13
10
7
17
Councillor Kevin Robinson
19
17
0
17
Councillor Judith McMahon
14
14
2
16
Councillor Paul Van Looy
23
14
2
16
Councillor Lawrence Davies
19
13
2
15
Councillor Anne Chalk
9
6
1
7

NOTES
·        Cllr Assenheim passed away in early 2017, and he was replaced by Cllr Chalk.
·        Cllrs Evans and McMahon served as mayor, and the mayor attends few meetings other than Full Council.