Cheeky, oppressive regimes use their citizens' own hard-earned cash to waste on PR consultants and fancy dan positive media messaging.
Today's exciting "tractor and potato production increases" for the Banana Republic of Rochdale are published in a glossy brochure posted to every household in the borough.
It is a cunning but expensive way to avoid the blue pencil of an objective press editor. A Regime can push its "exciting" and "positive" messages free of journalistic balance.
Expensive glossy paper is excellent for polishing turds. Unfortunately the high sheen can cause slip ups. Shite has a tendancy to smear itself when pushed around. [that's enough poo references, thank you- Ed)
What Mafia of the Mediocre is responsible for the exciting messages costing Rochdale ratepayers about £2,000,000 a year? Is it the Troika of senior council executives, political portfolio holders and the Rochdale Development (sic) Agency?
The clue is in the 28 pages of drivel posted through Rochdale doors in this month's "Local Matters" (plus 10 minute podcast):
There is a prominent "welcome" by a grinning Chief Executive Roger Ellis on page 2.
More "thumbs up" Rogering can be seen on lucky page 13 with another photo of the unelected c.£140,000 p.a. mandarin gushing about school lunchboxes. Not a banana in sight.
The main theme of the publication is about education in Rochdale. Roger and his bunch like to teach Rochdale expensive lessons. There are many fauwning adverts promoting the Rogering Regime-mostly from local authority funded schools and departments.
Compost and recycling plays an important part of the positive messages together with dodgy descriptions of regeneration and patronising credit cruch recipes.
Anyone for fudge and humbug wrapped in a plain brown envelope?
How much of our cash is being used to pay for this garbage?
Local blogger Matt Simms has tried to get the true figure. Conservative estimates suggest £20,000 per edition for a publication that is at best biased and economical with the truth.
Injury is added to insult when public money is wasted on propaganda. Public access for a free press to report and investigate facts allows for some filter of editorial objectivity and balance to present a fairer image. Even in Rochdale, with the past 'strong grip' of Cyril Smith, that was always a tall order and one of the reasons why RAP flourished in the 1970's.
But something quite sinister could now be happening in Rochdale. Word on the street has it that there are threats against the livelihoods of the Rochdale Observer and associated media. The threat is clear- Anymore 'negative' stories about Rochdale could result in a withdrawl of advertising revenue.
Gagging the free press with threats of cutting civic cash?
Is that legal?
Who is making such threats?
Could this be a Misuse of Public Office?
Has the republic of Rochdale gone bananas?