THE SALFORD STAR MARY BURNS AWARDS 2013
Category: The Ashley Jensen Award for Exposing Political Extremism
Winner: Assistant Mayor Councillor Gena Merrett
Ladies and gentlemen, this year the Salford Star Mary Burns Awards honours that brilliant actress, Ashley Jensen, star of films like Nativity and tv series like Extras, Ugly Betty and The Escape Artists.
In 2013 Ms Jensen also took a lead role in the top family film All Stars*, where her character, Gina, tries to save a youth club from council cuts and one very nasty councillor, played by the superb Mark Heap (Spaced, Friday Night Dinner et al).
To try and stave off demolition of the club, called The Garage - a bit like The Grange – Gina goes into a council hearing and makes a brilliant speech…
"Money doesn't care…Money doesn't know what is important, so why are we letting it make decisions about what's happening in our lives… What is that all about? When did that happen? I'm talking about libraries, Sure Start centres… I mean, closing them? Totally insane because people need that kind of stuff…
"If you shut The Garage then you're going to be selling these kids short too – why should they pick up the tab for bankers' mistakes?... I mean they're kids, they're children for god's sake…"
As she closes this bit of her plea the evil councillor coughs behind his hand… "Communist"…cue laughter throughout the cinema.
Now join us in Salford - where real life imitates art imitating real life – and Councillor Gena Merrett, who's also Assistant Mayor for Housing and the Environment.
Back in March, as the Salford Star was backing the fight to stop cuts to Park Rangers jobs and criticising Salford City Council for hiking up rents for social housing in the city, Councillor Merrett launched into a very public attack on the Star via her official website…
She accused this fiercely independent community media group of being a "key supporter of an extreme left-wing political party that aims to 'smash The Labour Council and the Labour Party'" and that the "Salford Star has never been one to let the truth or accuracy get in the way of a good story that might help to support these aims"… get ready to cough everyone… `Communist'…
Of course, the Star answered these lies and slurs (see Salford Star article – click here) and tried to drag the Assistant Mayor to the councillors Standards Committee. Alas, our plea was rejected by `Monitoring Officer' Ben Dolan, who, as the Council's Strategic Director for the Environment, was being asked to rule on his own boss, the Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment (see Salford Star article - click here). A totally objective process!
The slurs went on throughout the year – the Salford Star even went on strike against it all (see here and see here) - and there were two other nominations for this Award.
Also on the short list was Salford Council's new totally neutral head of communications, former Tony Blair spin doctor, Matt Finnegan, who decided that anyone who raised their voice against him and his £65,000 salary were "Tories and Trotskyists".
And joining Mr Spin in the nominations was Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart, for his constant accusations of Salford Star and trade union "extremism" (see here). The latest of these came when the Mayor asked his staff to `Think The Unthinkable' to help him make £75million of cuts to services.
The Star chipped in with a few ideas, including cutting his own bloated £69,000 a year salary… to which he tweeted that our ideas were "the usual mix of political extremism, economic illiteracy, impossibilist demands, hysteria and nastiness" (see here). This particular outburst even made the Private Eye Rotten Boroughs page (see here).
However, Ian has already won two Marys, including the similar `Rent-a-Crowd of the Year' Award, so in the end, the judges concluded that the worthy winner had to be Councillor Gena Merrett…
…So come Gena, and look in the mirror of the All Stars film scene. No, you're not the fragrant Ashley Jensen but the stupid looking councillor, who coughs `Communist' behind his hand.
Ladies and gentlemen, please raise yer red flags, demolish yer youth clubs and kiss the bankers' arses for the winner of the Salford Star Mary Burns Ashley Jensen Award for Exposing Political Extremism…
Salford City Council Assistant Mayor and Councillor G-e-e-e-na Merre-e-e-tt!!!
If Gena would like to make an acceptance speech accusing the Salford Star of more lies and extremism please use the comments box below.
* The Salford Star highly recommends All Stars for ace family viewing this Christmas. It's just come out on DVD and features some top street dance scenes as well as that Ashley Jensen speech. We won't tell you what happens to the evil councillor in the end – we reckon you can guess!
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
Rent-a- Crowd of the Year Award - Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart - click here
Eccellense In Speling Award - Greater Manchester Police - click here
Interest Free Loans, But Not For Us, Award - 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