18 June 2004

Thought For The Week

Cha voghe ad magh yn firrinys

[They wouldn't find out the truth]

The Golden Age Of Sale!

Oh dear! This week the town has been deafened by the sound of jaws being dropped, dummies being spat out and shrieks of outrage. Apparently, in last week's Sunday Times Culture section (typically it's one of the bits I usually bin straight away as I don't have time to read it all) their art critic, Waldemar Janusczak had the temerity to criticise St. Ives.

I'm really sorry I missed it because it seems to have been an absolute masterpiece containing such gems as:-

"Is there anywhere in Britain today more spoilt or phoney ... than St. Ives?"

"St. Ives today is a parody of a quiet Cornish fishing village ..."

"... does it have to be as plastic and horrible as this?"

"... the relentless gale of tat that blows through here."

"... the repugnant Captain Birds Eye atmospheres of modern St. Ives."

Top man! He may not know much about art (otherwise why would he be an art critic!) but he sure put his finger straight on the pulse of this town.

One of the first to leap to St. Ives defence was Keith Varnals, chairman of the St. Ives Hotelliers' Ass. "People are now making a real living here. The time being lamented is one when people were on starvation wages."


Oh, hang on, he's representing the people who own the hotels and the guesthouses, isn't he? Not the ones who work in them, the vast majority of whom, last time I looked, were getting paid minimum wage or little more.

St. Ives, as we are constantly reminded by upcountry economic analysts, makes 'loads of money' out of tourism. So, think of all the places that are big on tourism (Spain, Florida, Blackpool) and feel the quality of them.

Ex-bloody-actly. When you prostitute yourself to the footie shirt, tattoos and 20 pints of lager crowd to earn a living you don't bother with delicacy, taste or restraint, do you? Of course not. The idea is simple: shovel them in, take all their money, boot them out. Repeat process weekly for most of the year.

No one should be surprised or offended by this. This is what modern mass tourism does to places and people. St. Ives is what you want. St. Ives is what you make it.

And still the numbers keep piling in. Dissatisfied? We don't care. There's twenty people behind you in the queue. Next please.

P. T. Barnum's famous dictums springs to mind ...

Zap! Pow! Kersplatt!

There's trouble at t'mill. Well, ... at t'cove, actually. Sennen Cove to be precise.

Last weekend there was much friction and non-gruntlement between locals and participants in a Zapcat (some sort of small racing RIB catamaran thingy) event.

Locals were upset that the event had been organised without their knowledge, resulting in much disturbance of their weekend. Participants complained that they had been given a hostile reception by the locals. the locals alleged that the Zapcatters had flouted beach regs and hassled other beach users (surfers and swimmers). Participants alleged that locals vandalised their cars and boats.

Sounds like an absolute triumph in public relations!

You can read all about it (both sides of the story) on the Forum at the Sennen Cove website (http://www.sennen-cove.com/forhome.htm).

Thwarted By A Mayor Technicality!


St. Ives Mayor-elect, Terry Murray, is now the ex-Mayor-elect.

For some demented reason, St. Ives Council usually decides ages in advance who the next Mayor is going to be. The favoured candidate tends to be whoever the new Mayor chooses as his Deputy.

Things all seemed to be going to plan when last year the current Mayor, Harry Isaacs (Labour) chose as his Deputy, Terry Murray (Labour) and the latter was duly voted into the succession 19-0 by the council. Now, the only qualification that Terry Murray required was to be a St. Ives Town Councillor at the time of his ascension to the Mayorship.

You've seen where this one is going already, haven't you? You spotted the 'L' word in all that, didn't you?

Yes, using a radical new tactic (Codename: Democracy) the electorate decided not to 'elect-a-rat' and comprehensively stuck two fingers up at our beloved ruling party in Westminster. Resulting in you know what.

Which was rather tough tits on Terry Murray who's a decent bloke, not a Blair poodle and had been unanimously accepted as the next Mayor by the Town council (a veritable rainbow of all three parties plus independents). However, he got tarred with the same brush when his Cardboard Bay constituents followed the rest of the country in voting with their boot in the local elections.

No idea who is going to be Mayor now. Harry has already done 'extra-time' in office because of the local elections being moved to June and I can't imagine he'd have either the time or the inclination to go through another year of gurning in the Times & Echo, etc.

If anyone from the Town Council is reading this ..... The Reporting Team are available. They will work for beer and they can spread the Mayoral workload as there is more than one of them!

My Little Town (Simon & Garfunkel version)

Going back to St. Waldemar (he must be a REAL Cornish saint because he seems to care about what's happening to St. Ives!), I noticed an article in the Friday Daily Torygraph about the top 10 best and worst things people look for in a burg and thought I'd get the RT to investigate and apply them to St. Ives.

So, here are the results of their in-depth (in-pub, more likely!) research:-


Must- Haves Pts St. Ives Scores
Low crime rate 1 Yes (compared to the real world and dumps like Penzance).
Green spaces 0.5 Virtually none (unless you count the beaches as 'green').
Good transport links 0 What's transport?
Decent shops 0 For shopaholics St. Ives is the equivalent of the Betty Ford Clinic!
Good schools 0 Primary got a shitty report from Ofsted not that long ago. Don't know about the Secondary. No alternatives (other than private).
Near a supermarket 0 Does a convenience store count?
Resident's associations 0.5 Loads. Mostly trying to do down some other element of the town.
Near to water 1 Oh lordy, yes!
Local market 0 One (Fair Mo') a year just before Crimbo.
Good restaurants 0.5 Not sure. We certainly seem to have plenty of 'Good god how much!' restaurants.


Turn-offs Pts St. Ives Scores
Crime 0 Recently more pro-active approach to policing 'issues' such as skateboarders, street traders, hoolies seems to be the way forward.
Traffic congestion 1 ****ing appalling for much of the year.
Poorly maintained houses 0.5 Sort of. Not too many derelicts as such but the mass of unoccupied holiday lets/second homes make grim viewing at certain times of year.
Too noisy 0.5 Absolute bedlam in Downlong, quieter towards the top of town.
Graffiti 0 Not up to inner-city standards (except at certain Tate exhibitions!).
Near to bars & nightclubs 0.5 Yes but there aren't that many of them.
Litter 1 Pretty crappy, espesh when the ems are in full swarm.
Being on flight path 0 Only for RNAS Culdrose choppers on exercise!
Too many children 0.5 Wouldn't be so bad if the ems didn't foolishly insist on bringing theirs with them.
Near to industrial estate 0 There is no industry in Cornwall.

So, by a quick reckoning it would appear that St. Ives scored:-

Thumbs Up: 3.5

Two Fingers Up: 4

It was a close run thing but looks like you're better off staying where you are!

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