February 10, 2013 by Whispering Smith
Published in the Littlehampton Gazette January 31st. 2013
The other week a reader labelled Duncan Barkes and me as ‘whingers’. I cannot speak for Mr Barkes but I was rather hurt. Never thought of myself as a ‘whinger’, a sort of derogatory term certain to make a sensitive soul like me feel quite blue. Then it occurred to me that I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘whinger’ actually meant. I looked it up in the good book of words and discovered it to be someone who ‘grumbles peevishly’. Oh well, that’s a relief then, as I am more than happy to be called a ‘whinger’ on occasion and if that be the right moment to label me then, so be it. When I ‘whinge’ about the closing of the cinema I am doing so on behalf of at the very least fifteen hundred other local folk. If I rant a bit about the various councils – especially their use of consultants whose ideas are scuppered by popular demand, so why not ask the populace in the first place before the consultants are so expensively retained? I have a great deal of respect for many of the councillors as individuals it is when they get together things seem to go a bit awry. I only echo the views of the many there! Dog mess? Well I will walk around that one as I am certain the powers that be are aware of the problem as are the dog owners aware that, with a lack of dog wardens, their crimes will go unpunished. The eternal puddle on Sea Road? Readers ‘whinge’ to me and I merely pass it on down the line. I certainly ‘whinged’ about cruelty to animals and especially the poor Rottweiler chained up and abandoned behind the Crown public house. Sadly, the dog has since died of his neglect in spite of the best efforts of the RSPCA. Some folk have laid down a chunk of bad karma there for themselves. I could go on but I won’t, suffice to say, you ‘whinge’ to me and I will, from to time, ‘peevishly grumble’, albeit in a whisper, on your behalf for as long as I am able…
Four worn car tyres and an old suitcase were dumped onto the grass verge of my street. Within days the tyres had been rolled and dispersed by late nighters. I rang the ADC to ask if they could clear the rubbish away. No problem, I got straight through to the right department and the officer promised a collection and would I mind answering a couple of questions? The ADC actually consulting a member of the public? The question, would I be happier making an on-line contact or a person to person contact? Well, always the latter. I hope the reason for the question isn’t that the ADC are thinking of going down the impersonal fully automated response line. It’s good to talk!