Radio Northampton tonight (Monday 22nd January 2010) featured a couple of local stories that got me thinking.
The first was a veritable love fest featuring the ever optimistic Peter Mallinger, the ever cadaverous Les Manning, and ever-generous Chris Mallender of Corby Council. They were gushing (literally I fear) over the start of work on the Steelmen's next football ground.
The second story concerned wind farms, of which more in a moment.
The Corby Town piece was short on detail - for instance it didn't delve too deeply into the tendering process which ended up with a Corby director's company just happening to secure the contract of building the ground, or how much the Council had chipped in.
I squirmed, and I hoped any Kettering councillors listening squirmed at Mallender's suggestion that Corby Council stand ready to assist the Poppies with their ground issues. What could he have meant by this? I mean, what more could Kettering Council possibly do to help the Poppies? So far our elected officials have managed to sit very securely on their hands and lumped the Poppies in with every other sporting organisation or business in the Borough. That's right, KTFC means as much to Mr Hakewell and cohorts as such institutions as Grange Infants School Tiddly Winks 2nd XI, or the bloke who sells the ET at the top of Meadow Road.
One cannot help but be left with the feeling that had our ground issues come under Mallender's jurisdiction he would have been straight to the media complaining about absentee landlords and their stranglehold over the town's premier sporting club. No doubt this would have been followed swiftly by a compulsory purchase of the ground and rental back to the Poppies for a peppercorn rent on a 999 year lease.
But, alas, our representatives are so naval-gazingly insular that they can barely drag themselves away from the day-to-day business of grinding what little we have in the way of a distinctive town centre into dust and defecating on the remnants.
The other story concerning windfarms made me chuckle. Whenever it is suggested that a wind farm be set up anywhere in Northamptonshire there is an immediate backlash from an instantly formed group, with a catchy title such as, Cranford Unreservedly Negative Towards Sails, or, Towcester Wives Against Turbine Statues, or my own favourite group, Windfarms Are Not Kosher Enough Rigid Structures.
These groups are made up of the worse kind of blathering Tory reactionaries who believe that electricity is somehow created magically in their 3-pin sockets, and that only a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher crossed with Adolf Hitler can save their rural idyll from galloping darkies and communists. Arguments about the value of wind farms as opposed to nuclear power stations fall on deaf ears. "How can a nuclear disaster such as the one suffered at Chernobyl possibly compare with Channel Five needing to be re-tuned on the television sets?"
Let's be honest for a moment. The countryside around here is OK, but it's not exactly awe-inspiring. Poets won't weep and piddle their pants for Northamptonshire when it is the wind farm capital of Europe. And if this means that we no longer have to toy with nuclear power or buy coal from Russia, is this not a small price to pay?
Anyway, if the Council secure us a new ground I'm sure that no-one would object if we kill two birds with one stone and attached sail turbines to the floodlight pylons? Everyone will be happy. We've got somewhere to play AND we can be a net contributor to the National Grid.
C'mon KBC - you know it makes sense!