Back in 2003, Barbara Streisand tried to stop the California Coastal Records Project showing photos of her cliff-top house in Malibu to demonstrate coastal erosion. Her attempts to suppress information in order not to draw attention to it had the reverse effect of drawing lots of attention to it because the secrecy fuelled the public’s need to know why information was being kept from them.
This gave rise to the term ‘The Streisand Effect’ So when you hear about the super injunctions that TV personalities have in place, we all want to know what is so bad that the press are being gagged from reporting what’s happening which in turn leads to a dogged pursuit of finding out the truth. The Streisand effect is what is happening in Barnsley at the moment with the council’s reticent to name who the undisclosed recipients of those £1.2 million cash incentives are and as such, we are all eager to know why it’s such a closely guarded secret aren’t we?
Much as I do love our lovely new swanky town centre, I really do feel for some of the old faithful businesses in town who have been given diddly squat from the council budget just because they aren’t in the Glass Works when some businesses like Sports Direct and TK Maxx have been given a small fortune just to move a few steps away from where they were before. Can’t make sense of it and trust me, I’ve tried.As the magnificent John Parkinson pointed out in the letters page of the Chron last week, there’s also a bit of underspending going on in the boroughs which really should be addressed. Each ward is allocated £10,000 to benefit their communities and yet it’s not being spent. John points out that Darton East only spent £2000 this year, Old Town - £7000. Are they really telling us that the wards can’t make full use of their budgets? That councillors can’t identify ways to improve the areas they look after? People – help your councillor spend the money on your area and get in touch with them on what you need. You snooze, you lose.
Someone knocked Dan Jarvis last week for taking on ‘another job’ as the shadow minister for security. A word in Dan’s defence, I think he can absolutely handle that as well as being an MP for Barnsley Central. There are plenty who have done such two jobs before and well – and ones with much mightier workloads.
Take Roy Mason for instance who was an MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and that was a hell of a lot to carry. I wish Dan all the best in his new prestigious position. He works hard for Barnsley and he always does his best. None finer for the job of security with his background, I say.
I was delighted to see that a blue plaque has been unveiled for Ernest Harold Jones with my old mucker Professor Joann Fletcher in attendance. She told me about Harold years ago, a man more or less written out of history even though his research was an essential part of discovering Tutankhamen’s tomb which the glossier, richer Howard Carter whipped all the credit for and never shared the glory. Don’t we all know tw*ts like that (insert your vowel of choice). Thank goodness there are people like Jo ready to shout up for this unsung local hero who never deserved to sit in the shadows.