In a two and eight about Bingo
[Not sure why but I didn't really get this out quickly enough - so it's a little old now - still haven't got the "real" story on it though - wonder if we ever will ?]
Interesting to see this piece - Bingo caller told to cut ‘fat ladies’ patter by council and later, the next day this Council defends ‘fat ladies’ bingo call ban on the BBC’s news website. The article apparently sees a 75 year old Bingo caller and former Town Mayor being told by the Town Council (of Suffolk town Sudbury) to stop using the expressions “two fat ladies” and “legs eleven” as bingo calls for fear of offending people and risking prosecution.
Not easy to get to the bottom of this, but reading both articles carefully – (especially the second one which rather than being an update appears to give more detail on the same information), and scouting around the web a little – one finds a few interesting things out.
The council is a “Civil Parish” – with a small Town council of 16 councillors – including the Mayor & Deputy Mayor
It’s not easy from the Town Council’s website to establish political allegiances – at least one independent sits on the council, which lies within the much larger Conservative controlled Suffolk County Council area.
The Bingo Caller – John Sayers – is in fact still one of the Town councillors - and sits on the Policy and Resources, Finance , Planning & Development, and Human Resources committees – hardly a bit player.
The spokeswoman, is revealed in the second article as Town Clerk Sue Brotherwood - so one wonders whether she’s being advised by John – or the other way around. Certainly she’s had no chance to take this up with the full Town council formally – since it meets on the second Tuesday of each calendar month (except August and December unless there is urgent business to discuss) at 7 p.m. – so presumably hasn’t met since 10th November 2009.
All of which leads me to believe that this story (which has gone pretty much global – carried for instance by the Mail, Sun, Mirror) is not all that it seems. I would be interested to learn which if any council committee authorised the Town Clerk to dispense this advice, if in fact it was her, and whether she sought advice from members before making her statement to the press. It strikes me as “inconvenient” that this story breaks during a ‘dead month’ in the council’s calendar – and of course on a double Bank Holiday weekend – how ever can anyone possibly get an authoritative statement from anyone ?
As I say it’s difficult to get to the bottom of things. If anyone manages to though, I’ll wager that the truth will be far less salacious than this appears, and far less likely to be syndicated across the world’s news feeds. Let’s wait and see – I suspect it will be sorted out clickety-click !