Gordon the Spider

I was accompanied to Liverpool City Centre to see the attempts by French scientists to take the spider that invaded us in our year of culture, by the senior member of Mother and Child Quiz Team (3 weeks without a win) and what should happen? Gordon ' I support another Rovers' Brown should turn up. Your intrepid photographer was totally taken in by the serious-looking people outside St George's Hall with wires extending outside their ears. I thought they were either looking for a dodgy guy on a grassy knoll, or being told the answers in countdown.

I noticed a few people with elongated lenses but I just thought they were pleased to see me. I went on a 10 minute sojourn to glimpse the spider being put on a truck. Upon my return I realised the real reason for this multi-million pound extravaganza: get Eric The Fish away from the P.M.

I came back, only to be informed by the leader of the once-unbeatable Mother and Child Quiz Team that Gordon had been and gone. 'Did you say anything to him?', I ventured.
'I asked him what he was going to do about the arachnid problem', she may have replied.

Anyway, I hope to put some photos up on here and Flickr as the story unfolds.


Of course, there are moaners on parade too. Step forward the self-appointed party poopers of the Taxpayers' Alliance, who seem to get quoted in newspapers more often these days. In the Mail article referred to in the previous post, they end the story with this piece of gloom,

  • The TaxPayers' Alliance has called the artwork an 'outrageous waste of taxpayers' money'.

    Spokesman Matthew Sinclair said: 'Who on Earth would want their hard-earned cash spent on a mechanical spider? It's bonkers.'

Not as bonkers as you lot, mate. It may be a load of hydraulics but the T.A. are a load of bollocks.
This is the same group (about 3 of them) that says of a proposed windfall tax on the profits of the energy companies:

  • A windfall tax is the last thing Britain needs during these tough economic times.
  • A windfall tax would also be a huge risk to families struggling under the credit crunch because utility companies would be under a lot of pressure to pass the cost of the tax straight on to consumers.
Great logic! Don't prod the spider or it may bite you; if it does it's your own fault.

The Taxpayers' Alliance, like Migrationwatch is becoming the source of rentaquotes in the right-wing press, but more disconcertingly, in other papers too. The idea is simple: nobody likes paying tax and these experts hope to tap into concerns about central and local Government waste. So who are these self-appointed experts?

  • Andrew Allum, Founding Chair

    From 1998 to 2002 Andrew served as a Conservative member of Westminster City Council. He left the party in 2003, having lost faith that it represented his brand of free market, individualist and compassionate politics.

    Matthew Elliot, Chief Executive
    In November 2007, Matthew was presented with the Conservative Way Forward ‘One of Us’ award by William Hague

    Florence Heath
    Florence led the student Conservative association at Imperial College for two years as well as the Europe-wide European Young Conservatives, and served on the committees of the local Conservative associations, Conservative Friends of Gibraltar and the cross-party Youth for a Free Europe.

    Matthew Sinclair (quoted on the Spider story)
    He has been actively involved in politics since joining the LSE Conservative Association in his first year at university. This has included fighting the anti-capitalist movement in the Student’s Union and helping out in the election campaign of the Letchworth Conservatives in 2007.

    Mark Wallace

    Before joining the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Mark was the Campaign Manager of The Freedom Association (a union-bashing organisation favoured by Thatcher). Mark has written for a variety of publications, including Freedom Today magazine, ConservativeHome.com,
  • The Freedom Association was founded by Guinness Book of Records compiler, Norris McWhirter, whose campaigns for freedom gave medals to athletes who boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and defended sportsmen who went to South Africa during apartheid. So no bias towards the right there!
Will newspaper editors please insert a caveat when including the views of think-tanks and pressure groups. As Milton Friedman, Thatcher's hero (almost) said, 'There's no such thing as a free fill-up.'