THE SALFORD STAR MARY BURNS AWARDS 2013
Category: Rent-a-Crowd of the Year Award
Winner: Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart
What a year it's been for Ian Stewart as he picks up his second Salford Star Mary Burns Award, following on from his `Gimme That Crown' Award!
This one is given out following the Mayor's particularly stupid statement back in September, as the Save The Grange campaign was preparing to lobby him in Eccles over plans to close short term care for disabled children at The Grange (see here).
Mr Stewart issued an official press statement saying "better to sit down and discuss any issues like sensible adults, rather than resort to the usual rent-a-crowd placards and megaphones, which do not set a good example for our young people."
Parents of disabled children labelled his comments "insulting" and "disgusting"… "I, as a parent, think that standing up for children with disabilities is showing a good example" said Margaret Tunnacliffe, a parent of two disabled children attending The Grange.
Indeed, Stewart was met in Eccles by parents carrying placards stating `Concerned Parents not Rent-a-Crowd'.
Shocking. Absolutely shocking. Especially as Stewart is a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to `rent-a-crowd placards and megaphones'. Indeed, back in 2010, in the last days of his Parliamentary time as MP for Eccles, Stewart actually attended a demo at Barton Moss Road – of all places – protesting against Peel Holdings' attempts to build on Green Belt land (see here)
In recently unearthed footage, now on the Salford Star YouTube channel, we can actually see the Mayor joining in with rent-a-crowd chants of `Hands Off The Moss!!!' – he's the one with the woolly hat next to the Peel and Save Our Green Belt placards.
It's on Peel Holdings land, of course, that the current IGas exploratory drilling is taking place - and Barton Moss Road is where the Community Protection Camp is based.
Stewart at the moment has been sitting on the fracking fence for so long now he's probably got a sore backside – but in the days before Mayordom he told the Salford Star… "Peel…will do what they no doubt sincerely think is in the best interests of both the company and the shareholders – that doesn't necessarily mean the same as what's in the bests interests of local people and their environment…"
So when the fracking application finally arrives will he stand by this statement or roll over for big business and keep telling everyone to "calm down" (see here)?
Stewart was also present on September 29th at that terribly rent-a-crowd March to the Tory Party Conference (see here), definitely not, in his eyes, setting "a good example for our young people". We saw placards and megaphones and everything there too! Surely it would have been "better to sit down and discuss any issues like sensible adults"?
Or is it one law for the Mayor and another law for anyone who dares oppose him?
So ladies and gentlemen, wave yer placards high in the air and scream down yer megaphones for the winner of the Salford Star Mary Burns `Rent-a-Crowd of the Year' Award…
If Ian would like to make an acceptance speech please use the comments box below.
Winners of the Salford Star Mary Burns Awards 2013
The Gimme That Crown Award – Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart - click here
The Exit Stage Left Award – Barbara Spicer – click here
The Excellence in Wrecking Salford Award – Peel Holdings – click here
Bum of the Year Award – Hazel Blears - click here
The Something Stinks In Salford Award – Martin Vickers - click here
The Ashely Jensen Award for Exposing Political Extremism - Councillor Gena Merrett - click here
Eccellense In Speling Award – Greater Manchester Police – click here
Interest Free Loans, But Not For Us, Award – Salford Council – click here
Trashing Salford Again You Scuzzy Fat Cat Loving, Poor People Hating, Northern Wrecking, Back Pocket Lining Arseholes Award - click here
Twit on Twitter Award - Salford Mayor Ian Stewart - click here