The way we were – And where we are now


Chris Spivey/ The Wetherby News

With the article that I am working on at the moment taking A LOT longer to write than planned – even though I hadn’t actually planned to write it in the first place – I feel the need to chuck you a quickie, just to keep the site fresh don’t cha know.

Mind you, despite the fact that I hadn’t planned on penning the piece, due to the fact that I have – or I believe that I have – an abundance of proper good stuff to write about already (which I really need to be getting on with), I am never the less quite pleased now that I thought “fuck it”, and just got on with the job… Even if I did perhaps begin writing it for the wrong reasons.

I just wished it wasn’t taking so bleeding long that’s all.

And if I can manage to avoid being suicided by the Men in Tights, I really do have some excellent, very exciting projects in the offing that I KNOW will go down well with you all.

That is to say that the topics will go down well with the vast majority of you. The the nut-nut’s on the other hand -who only come here to see how it should be done and then wish to fuck that they hadn’t because they are then forced to face the fact that they really aren’t capable of competing – won’t be best pleased… Yes, you all know who you are, ya little Monkey-Nuts and Wannabe-Won’t-be’s.

But I’m waffling and it doesn’t do to waffle about the Blue Waffles… It gets them excited, because they think that they have arrived, only to find that in reality they missed the boat a long time ago.

So anyway, this quickie – I dun’arf fancy a quickie, don’t you – is straight out of the; ‘ya couldn’t make this shit up in a million fucking years’ category.

You see, if you have been paying attention you will know that I rarely see my family and by “family” I mean my Mum, Dad and my brothers, from one bleeding year to the next.

Now I won’t lie, I have had a ‘difficult’ relationship with my parents for as long as I can remember, although they get on with my Stacey like a house on fire… Strange things are families.

And again I won’t lie, by telling you that I was a proper, proper ‘orrible little cunt from a very early age onwards… Indeed, I think that it is fair to say that I am wired differently to most and as a consequence, my ultra Conservative Ma & Pa didn’t understand me – and for my part, I didn’t even so much as try to understand them.


Therefore to save any unpleasantness, it works out for the better if we just have a ‘catch up’ at Christmas.

As for my three brothers, Paul, John & Michael, I have always got on brilliantly with the latter two, both of whom are younger than me: John by 2½ years, Michael by 10 years.

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Unfortunately, I can’t say the same in regard to mine and my older brother Paul’s relationship over the years.

Indeed, I don’t doubt for a second that being the eldest he resented me being born and without a fucking shadow of doubt I resented the fact that he did.

And as such, it isn’t unfair to say that we have only warmed to each other over the past 10 years or so, although all things being equal, I would say that we get on absolutely fine now.

Having said that, he lives just outside of Leeds, in West Yorkshire and like my two younger brothers, we all have busy lives – John is married and Paul & Mick have birds, meaning that unlike me, they do get to have a quickie now and then… Fucking Bastards.


Therefore, because of our busy lives it is usually a case of me and my brothers only seeing each other about as often as I see me Ma & Pa… Which as it happens, usually turns out to be on the same day as I see them.

Course, my brothers get on a lot better with their parents than I get on with mine and with that being the case, they are all kept up to date with one another – whereas, I haven’t a Scoobie what they all get up too in life until our annual Christmas catch up come around.


Now, although we haven’t really talked about it in-depth; a couple of three years back Paul did mention in passing that he was dabbling in Council politics.

And as it happens, it now transpires that since then he has become a UKIP Party member and is in fact doing very well for Nigel’s Numpties – as you can see from the last Election results below.


A fact that I must admit took me quite by surprise, being as he … How can I put this… Being as he wasn’t blessed with the same level of self-confidence that I was born with.

And neither is that a criticism or slur; it is just a fact.

Indeed, when we were growing up, right through to our late 30’s you could not have hoped to meet two people of such different character, let alone so closely related to each other.

For instance, we don’t share the same taste in food, music, pastimes, dress sense or sense of humour.  And where I used to spend most of my free time in one pub or another – before moving on to a club – Paul rarely went out back then, preferring instead to stay at home.

Neither has he EVER smoked and I would bet my life on him never having so much as tried a line of sniff or dropped an E (an 80’s E mind, not the girly ones that the youth of today have to take by the bucketful before blowing on their Pea-whistles… Although they have no such problems when it comes to sucking on their dummys).

Whereas I on the other hand have smoked like a fucking trooper since the age of 11 and do know what it feels like to have a massive Ecstasy rush, whilst trying to hold ‘it‘ together in a packed nightclub despite being convinced that I was going to collapse and die… Ah the 80’s… Just say no. Its not big and its not clever.

And whilst the Spa, The Bull and the White Hart Public Houses, along with TOTS, Mr B’s and The Pink Toothbrush Nightclubs are all distant memories to me now – thus meaning that the occasional ‘pill’ and extremely more frequent Skol, Fosters, Carlsberg and Ron Bacardi beverages have long ceased to play a part in my life – I do still smoke like a professional.

“I’ll bet you drank Carling Black Label Spiv” … I’ll bet I fucking didn’t, I couldn’t stand the stuff and as such I flatly refused to drink in Charrington houses.

Moreover, unlike my BB, I wouldn’t have a fucking clue about how to build a Kit Car, let alone own a company building them… Then again neither have I ever wanted to do either. Fiddling about with car engines doesn’t do it for me, I’m afraid.

Course by way of contrast Paul has never stood in the Roots Hall North Bank singing his heart out in support of Southend United Football Club.

And whereas I have only known him to have had 3 relationships – Tina being his third; which to date has lasted longer than I can even remember… I on the other hand would have been a multi-millionaire by now, had I not loved the female of the species so much.

Furthermore, I have given him 5 nephew and nieces, yet he has never returned the compliment.

Course, it isn’t that he doesn’t like kids.

On the contrary he is a proper good uncle – certainly a better one than I am anyway, since my two younger Nephews tend to stare at me from across the room with a wary, quizzical look, as if to say; “who the fuck are you, ya scarey looking axe murderer” – as did Amy and Jake until they finally cottoned on that I was the Uncle Chris who warranted an occasional mention, whilst always having assumed that I had been killed in the war or something.

And, as far as I am aware, there was nothing to stop Paul from having kids. by then

Therefore, I just think that by the time he had finally got round to forgiving me for being born and in doing so come to accept the fact that not all babies are born with the specific mandate of ruining his life – having by then reached the age of 40, he probably just couldn’t be arsed to have any.

So, fair play to him – the boy done good.

Never the less, if he continues to rise up the political ladder – and we all know what you have to sell in order to gain entry to that elitist club – then come the revolution he too will have to swing… Course, with him being my brother and should that time ever come, I feel sure that he will understand that it won’t be nothing personal…


Elmet and Rothwell Parliamentary candidates interviews part two

As the 2015 general election approaches, with less than six months to go, Elmet and Rothwell’s Parliamentary candidates from the major parties are preparing to face the electorate.

Covering extreme variations in wards, from Wetherby and Harewood to Kippax and Methley, the constituency has been in the hands of current Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke since 2010.

Before Mr Shelbrooke won the seat with 42.6 per cent of the vote (a majority of 4,521 people – 8.1 per cent) the Labour Party held the majority since the last Conservative victory in 1992.

In May 2015, however, the election in Elmet and Rothwell, which had an electoral turnout of 55,789 in 2010 (71.8 per cent of the district’s population), there will be a big difference on the minds of every voter.

There will be five Parliamentary candidates from major national parties, all of whom have the ability to steal the show and a significant number of votes from the two largest parties.

Though there were six candidates last time, since UKIP’s renewed success and a significant change in the Lib Dem’s polling figures, this ward could be one to watch as the nation’s future is decided in six months’ time.

Although wards are divided politically there are common issues affecting all of them – transport, the economy, food poverty, jobs, education, and planning schemes submitted by housing developers.

This week, Lib Dem candidate Stewart Golton and UKIP candidate Paul Spivey spoke to the Wetherby News about how they will confront these issues and set out their vision for the area.

See next week’s paper for interviews with Parliamentary candidates for the Selby and Ainsty constituency.

 The Liberal Democrat hoping to be selected as the Parliamentary candidate for Elmet and Rothwell is Coun Stewart Golton.

Currently the leader of the Lib Dems in Leeds and LCC councillor for Rothwell, Coun Golton, 43, graduated with a degree in politics from Newcastle University.

He has worked in the leisure industry in Spain and at British Gas before becoming a full time councillor at Leeds City Council in 2006.

When the Lib Dems were in power at LCC he was in charge of children’s services. Coun Golton ran for the ward in the 2010 election, won by current Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke.

He said: “I am hoping to be a Lib Dem candidate because I think we need to engage with people locally about what has been achieved by Lib Dems through being in government in coalition.

“We are proud of our record in having helped sustain a suitable economy over the most difficult period Britain has had for a generation.

“At the same time we have also been able to make some significant changes that have started to rebalance both the economy and society.

“We have taken millions out of tax through raising the tax threshold, and we have the pupil premium so children from poorer families have as good a chance in life as those with more affluent parents.

“We have helped introduce the triple lock on pensions to ensure pensioners will never again be offered a 75p raise as they were under the last administration.

“And we have started a process of devolving power away from Westminster and back to other regions so they can be a second motor on the economy as it is being dominated too much by London.

“I want to ensure people’s power is moved away from the centre.”

Highlighting the divisive theme of planning as a major obstacle for the constituency, Coun Golton said LCC is partly to blame for the numbers of applications submitted for the constituency.

He also had a lot to say about working with the Labour-dominated council and the frequent difficulties of cross-party working.

“LCC has an overly ambitious plan to build 70,000 homes over the next 15 years and a high proportion of them are going to be on greenfield sites in our area,” he said.

“Developers are far keener to develop here than anywhere else in the city because of the golden triangle effect.

“Too often I have been frustrated and angered by how Labour politicians have spent more time blaming the coalition for decisions LCC ‘had to make’, rather than actually taking responsibility that are taken.

“Unfortunately their management of the diminished budget that the council has has not been as effective as it would have been had the Lib Dems still had a voice in the administration.

“We have highlighted several areas of waste over the years, the most recent being the £500,000 they are spending on refurbishing committee rooms at the Civic Hall and the ridiculous situation whereby they are cutting services while still paying 65p a mile for council car users.”

However, Coun Golton is also acutely aware of the many other challenges that are primed to beset the area, including financing and transport.

Their likely solution, he said, is devolved powers to local authorities.

He said: “We need to think about getting a fair deal from the government and the council in terms of resources.

There is not enough being spent on roads and local rail services and instead we are faced with the obsession on HS2, which doesn’t work for our communities, that is why I have opposed it. “I would be far more interested in investing in transpennine transport rather than links to London.

“I already taken any opportunities offered to me to speak about these issues and I have been down to Westminster to give evidence in person.

“My role in Westminster is to get more of those decisions taken back to our area and that is what I will be working on.”

Yet Coun Golton is realistic about his chances. At the last election the Lib Dems won 16.3 per cent of the vote – 9,109 votes – the highest proportion they had received in the last five elections.

He is, however, hopeful that the Lib Dem message will come through to voters.

“The odds aren’t on for a Lib Dem victory locally – I’m a realist,” he said.

“However, I think at general election time people should vote for the party they feel best represents their values and best offers a stronger economy at the same time as delivering a fairer society.

“We have already demonstrated what we have achieved in government, which is trying to rebalance the economy, and we would continue in the same vein.

“We want to take even more people out of tax to increase opportunities for younger people and continue that decentralisation of decision-making so communities are empowered to make decisions for themselves.”

The UKIP Parliamentary candidate is Paul Spivey.

Now a parish councillor in Kippax, Coun Spivey, 53, was originally an apprentice mechanic before going on to do a higher national diploma in engineering.

Asked why he felt so motivated to run for the Elmet and Rothwell constituency, he said: “I am interested in community. I try to be involved in the neighbourhood plan and I am very supportive of that, though I do believe it is a way of watering down objections to planning.

“I am dubious about its long term intent. It is portrayed as being localism but I am pessimistic. I want to be involved because I do believe in localism and that villages should stay as villages.

“I want to run simply because I believe more accountability should be taken by elected representatives and I really think they should be involved in the communities.

“I don’t want to name names but unfortunately from what I see they are not really. I am aware that the people we elect to be our representatives are not interested in what I have got to say or for that matter the people in my area so we need a change.

“We need local people to have a voice and that is what I want to see. From that point of view I think we are the party to do that.”

Coun Spivey also highlighted the ‘creeping development’ and increased numbers of planning applications as a problem for the area, however he also pointed to several other issues set to face Elmet and Rothwell in the future.

“I want to see the brownfield sites developed first and from that point of view I think we are really missing a trick,” he said.

“These existing sites are always going to be a blot on the landscape anyway and they are much better used for housing.

“I would also like to see more funding coming to the north, though quite honestly I am sceptical about HS2, it is too far into the future.

“By the time it is a reality it will be obsolete and surely the money would be better spent improving the rail links we already have.

“I would also like to see better use made of our young people. Quite honestly we are allowing these people to fade into nothingness and the future of any people is the young, so I would like to see better systems put in place to allow them to develop and grow proper skills back.

“I would like to see a more developed programme of apprenticeships and I obviously would be calling for more financial support to develop our local infrastructure.”

UKIP has become a major party in recent years, developing a strong following and winning seats in by-elections in Rochester and Strood and Clacton this year.

Coun Spivey is optimistic that public disaffection with politics and the main parties will lead to a UKIP victory.

He said: “I know I have already got a strong following in my own area that I have developed over a number of years as a parish councillor.

“Currently I am talking to local people in Rothwell itself. The Tories are just falling apart at the seams at the moment and it used to be a big Lib Dem area and nothing has been done with that.

“I want to ask the local people what they want and need. UKIP is better simply because we are listening to local people.

“Any decisions that would need to be made we would clearly have a local referendum and we would abide by the results and try to integrate that with the development of the area.”

On the MP’s relationship with LCC he is more optimistic than some of his competitors for the seat if his campaign is successful.

“I work with local councillors currently. Some of them tend to go into a meltdown mode come election time but generally speaking I have a good relationship with them,” he said.

“Obviously they will be trying to maintain their power if you like, whereas I see it that I am working for the people and they will decide on the future of UKIP. If I am doing my best for them that is the way forward.” Source