Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on how Tony Newman has shown again that he ought not be allowed loose on the interweb unsupervised
The increasingly error-prone Tony Newman, Labour’s leader of Croydon Council, dropped another bollock this morning, when he cheerily retweeted a link to an article from a clickbait website which states:
“Seven reasons Londoners should never move to Croydon”
It is just a fortnight since Newman endured a car crash of an interview on BBC Radio London, when he revealed he had no idea that his council has a contract for the disposal of radioactive waste at Viridor’s Beddington Lane incinerator, he was so poorly briefed he did not know the correct fees for his own borough’s landlord licensing scheme, and he was reluctantly forced to admit that he is presiding over a Labour-run Town Hall that will counter the housing crisis by building zero council homes in eight years.
“These things take time,” was the best excuse that Newman could offer then.
The “listicle” article Newman linked to this morning appears to be meant ironically, and attempts to make fun out of Croydon’s reputation around the rest of London and Britain.
Its author professes to being able to get a seat on his train to work from Croydon each morning (what time do they travel: 4am?), that people from the rest of London never talk to each other (really? Maybe it’s just him), or that, “One of the worst things about Croydon is the price of beer. It’s almost always less than £5, which means you end up drinking more, and then you just get drunk.”
The article pointedly makes no reference to Westfield (well, why should it? It is not being built), the long-delayed re-opening of the Fairfield Halls or the overpriced burgers in Boozepark (Newman’s favourite haunt for a freebie).
It also fails to mention the fly-tipping epidemic which Newman’s council appears powerless to reverse, or to the fact that under Newman, the borough’s children’s services have been in special measures for nearly two years…
The article has been published by Retch, the national group who moved their own Croydon local newspaper out of the borough years ago. They now publish their Croydon content from an office at Canary Wharf. Which is hardly a ringing endorsement for Croydon either.
Undeterred by the glib nature of what passes for journalism at Retch, council leader Newman duly retweeted a link to it to his 3,000-odd followers with the ungrammatical hashtag #ItsTrue.
Inside Croydon has been contacted about this latest gaffe by three of Newman’s colleagues at the Town Hall, all of them astonished at the guilelessness of the council leader.
“Re-tweeting can be a bit of a minefield,” said one councillor, who asked to remain nameless. “Tony should know that and be far more careful.
“The article really is a bit tacky. As a joke piece, it doesn’t even work. But if the leader of the council thinks that counter-intuitively recommending people move here because they can get drunk more cheaply is something he should be endorsing, then maybe he is taking gormlessness to a new low.”
Another councillor said, “Seems like Newman has just come up with an eighth reason Londoners should never move to Croydon: Tony Newman.”
Councillor Newman has not returned our calls since 2014.
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