Stop Press! No really!!

This week was the first time I’ve ever had to literally call “Stop Press” in the middle of a print job…

Three times a year, together with my ward colleague Cllr Cath Davis, I produce a local newsletter called the ‘Preston Press’. It’s another part of our commitment to keep local residents in the loop with the things we’re doing as your elected councillors. We hand-deliver the newsletter to all 4000+ homes in the ward, with the help of a small group of Labour party volunteers who like Cath and I, also live here in the ward.

Our latest edition, which we’ve begun delivering this weekend, has a focus on the Cost of Living crisis. The front page article explains the things that we’ve been doing at the local council level to try to improve the situation for local people. I don’t think I need to go out of my way to emphasise how bad things are getting as this week the ITV News At Ten reported from North Shields as its lead item; “Toast is a luxury” was their online headline.

It’s impossible to talk about escalating prices, for fuel, food and all sorts of other essentials, without talking about the Conservative government. Twelve years of flawed economic policies have taken a major toll on the country, especially the North East. But the last month has been a total disaster, which is why we felt that in our front page article we needed to call out (then) Prime Minister Liz Truss for her ineptitude. Having sent the job to the printers earlier in the week I found myself racing back to the printers only 24 hours later to get them to stop the press because Liz Truss had resigned! By the time I got to the premises in Holystone about 1500 newsletters had already been printed. We’ve had hell on this weekend trying to get them delivered before they go out of date – which could be as early as Monday night.

Later next week, when we know who the new Prime Minister is, I’ll be updating the newsletter and we’ll print and deliver the remaining 2500 to the rest of the ward.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things this is just a minor inconvenience. What it does illustrate however is the way that so many aspects of our lives that ought to be straightforward are being upended by this internal chaos of the Conservative Party. I think today’s Sunday Mirror put it best – the Tories can’t even govern themselves, never mind govern the country.

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