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Tony Allen

TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” COMMUNITY COHESION…………………

Tue 11 Feb 2020

By Tony Allen

Some of the older among you may remember a former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saying there is no such thing as “community”. This is something she will always be remembered for, because it implied that everyone in society was in it just for themselves. I would like to think that this way of thinking has been eroded over the years, but I’m no longer sure of that. It seems to me that our politicians have managed to turn people in many parts of our country against each other in a way that looks as though it could last for years if not decades. This split has even happened among many families, turning young against old, and even partners against each other. Half of the country seems to be against immigrants, particularly European ones, and against the other half. The vice versa also applies.

Even here in Bovey, there are those born and bred here that seem to dislike incomers or “blow-ins” as some disrespectfully call them. You may have noticed evidence of this recently on social media. For progress to be made, everywhere has to change with the times. I would suggest that much of the needed change in the town, which makes it a place people enjoy living and working in, is due to many of these “incomers”. Of course, our history can be respected, but it is a focus on our future that is most important now.

With the major issues of climate change and environmental sustainability threatening us all and our ways of life, this is a time for everybody to join together to tackle these immense problems which have created the worldwide climate emergency. Our local Bovey & Heathfield Climate Action group is at the heart of addressing this here in our area. Forward thinking and action is urgently required, and the whole community needs to come together to address what is at stake. Volunteers from the parish will be more than welcome to get involved as part of our community response. Details about the group can be found elsewhere in the magazine.

So how do we put aside our prejudices, and work together for the benefit of our whole community? This is a question that we all need to seriously consider right now and commit to in order to make it happen.

A NEW VOWEL APPEARING IN OUR ALPHABET?.....................

I’m sure I’m not alone in hearing a new vowel that has come into use in recent years to replace a missing consonant. (A consonant is a sound made by obstructing the breath whereas a vowel doesn’t. Therein perhaps lies the reason for this.) You must have heard speakers on both TV and radio using this new vowel in their speech, usually when being interviewed and making a point. Football managers and players are particularly prone to this style of speaking, as are numerous “younger” celebrities and others. I suspect it is because they are speaking too fast, and don’t want to obstruct their breath even for a mini split second and as a result have difficulty (difficul-ee) getting the words out correctly (see what I mean?).

I’ll give some examples here: “The team is full of players with great abili-ee, creativi-ee, versatili-ee,. There are utili-ee players with no particular speciali-ee. As their coach, I can speak with full authori-ee and himili-ee.” A load of other sports personali-ees, actors and stars of the musical world seem to have the same problem when they get interviewed. “I may be a celebri-ee, but I’ve difficul-ee with the simplici-ee of pronouncing words like this when I’m still deciding what to say.”

If you look at language in general, the development of varying accents and dialects shows the way words are spoken can change with time and geography. Perhaps the art of conversation is also dying as so many younger folk are focussing on the little screen on their mobile phone for communicating with each other. Whatever it is, are we witnessing such a change in how certain word endings are pronounced?

This is only meant to be a light-hearted article, but if things persist, I may soon have to change the title of my column to “Communi-ee Matters”.

SOME POST-CHRISTMAS JOKES FOR YOU ………

It's John’s 33rd birthday, which co-incidentally falls on the third day of the third month. He notices that his alarm clock has stopped on 3.33 am and that the weather forecast is for a temperature of 33 degrees. He then notices that a horse called ‘Triple Chance’ is running in the 3.30. It’s clearly a sign he thinks, so he phones up his bookmaker and places a bet of £333 and sure enough, his horse comes in third.

“My neighbour has recently been to a dreadful music concert in SE Asia.” “Singapore?” “Yes, he was, and the band wasn’t much better either.”

A little boy runs to find a policeman and says, “Come quickly! My Dad is in a fight in the pub!” The policeman goes with him and finds three men wrestling with each other. “Ok, which of them is your father?” says the policeman. “That’s what they’re fighting about,” says the boy.

My wife has decided to go to a fancy-dress party as a Rastafarian. She’s asked me to help with her hair and I’m dreading it.

Experts are people who get to know more and more about less and less. The best of them know all there is to know about nothing at all.

Experience might not prevent you from making mistakes, but at least the ones you do make will be new and interesting.

Fred does ten sit-ups every morning. That’s the maximum number of times the alarm clock lets him use the snooze button.

I’ve started using those energy-efficient light bulbs and I’ve found they really do save energy. They screw in much more easily.

A duck is standing by the side of the road. A chicken comes along and stands next to him, looking carefully along the road right and left. “Don’t do it, mate” says the duck, “you’ll never hear the end of it!” How right he was.

Tony Allen is a Bovey Tracey Town Councillor. This column is written in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any group or organisation. The jokes are all in the public domain, so you may have seen some or all before! If you’d like to contact me about my column, please do so via the Cottage Magazine website: www.cottagemagazine.co.uk.



Other columns by Tony Allen

TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” - Tue 9 Nov 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” GETTING INVOLVED WITH YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL - Mon 2 Aug 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” BOVEY THANKS VOLUNTEERS & “LIFELINE” SHOPS - Mon 14 Jun 2021
TONY ALLEN’S COLUMN “COMMUNITY MATTERS” BREATHS OF FRESH AIR ALL AROUND - Tue 7 Jul 2020
CLIMATE ACTION: WHERE DO YOU START?.......... - Mon 2 Dec 2019
WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN OUR LOCAL COUNCILS…? - Thu 1 Aug 2019
BOVEY TRACEY ACHIEVES “PLASTIC FREE” STATUS........... - Fri 3 May 2019
IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE........ - Thu 24 Jan 2019
COMMUNITY MATTERS - “PLASTIC FREE BOVEY”, RARE PRAISE, ELECTIONS - Thu 8 Nov 2018
Young people in the community - Thu 15 May 2014
Moving Bovey Tracey forward - Tue 4 Mar 2014
Is Bovey Tracey too shabby and run down to attract visitors? - Mon 9 Sep 2013
A public consultation should be just that - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Athletes, young people and rural watch - Tue 13 Nov 2012
Bovey Beats Most Of The Summer Weather - Wed 5 Sep 2012
What sort of Town do you want Bovey to be? - Sun 1 Jul 2012
Awards, Traffic, Policing & another Top Shop! - Thu 3 May 2012
GOOD NEWS, SPECULATION, AND MORE GOOD NEWS - Thu 5 Jan 2012
RUBBISH, SPEED, LIGHTS OUT, BADGERS and more! - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Newspapers, Tragedy, Cheques and MORE! - Sun 11 Sep 2011
Community Matters - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Growth of Neighbourhood Watch In Bovey Tracey - Tue 3 May 2011
Which would you rather have: A PC (Police Commissioner) OR Several PCs (Police Constables)? - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Helping Ourselves In Time Of Austerity - Sun 9 Jan 2011
Security in the current Economic Climate - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Security Matters - Spelling it Out - Mon 6 Sep 2010
The Ultimate Deterrent or Not - Tue 6 Jul 2010
NHS Summary Care Records  Will Your Personal Health Information Be Secure? - Mon 3 May 2010
Social Networking - A risk or a good thing? - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Security Matters - Back to Basics! - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Security matters - are you being conned? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - ID cards and hotel key cards - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - Personal security - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Who owns your identity? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Victim of crime - need help? - Wed 4 Nov 2009


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