The Wokingham Paper


Donald Trump attends a Fourth of July celebration Friday, July 3, 2020, at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone Picture: Andrea Hanks

In the United States President Trump visited Mount Rushmore to see if his head would fit but seems to have returned with his presidential underwear on backwards.

Here in the UK, the ‘Robert Generic’ affair hasn’t gone, nor have the “Free Dom for all” reports so Boris appears to have used his ‘phone a friend’ lifeline.

Locally, it was a week in which a “never mind the Sex Pistols, here’s the bollards” approach saw Denmark Street being pedestrianised.

Trumped up charges

Allegedly Mr Trump went to see if there was space alongside the faces of four past presidents carved into the mountaintop. Reports that his ears wouldn’t fit in the gap between Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln are totally misleading.

As was his claim that Covid-19 is “99% harmless”. With a population of 328 million in the USA, that’s still up to 3.3 million sick or dying.

But his pearls of wisdom were being cast among swine who fact checked them. “Creating new powers to protect statues” turned out to be “do your job” Mr Attorney General.

And what he said about far-left-fascism made just as much sense as what he didn’t say about far-right-communism.

His Master’s voice

Cummings wasn’t goings as the week’s tally of articles rose to 536 from 370 the previous week, as our man in the pan was being rounded on by all who’d felt a shred of sympathy for “Sir Humphrey”, the head of the civil service he’d forced to resign.

Mind you, the numbers were on track for well over 700, but luckily Boris’ father stepped in and saved the day by going to Greece, despite the travel ban (here) and exclusion of Brits (there). 

The hugely increased Stanleyness of the week displaced some Dom, as the PM’s dad “used his judgement” to travel via Bulgaria to go and Covid-proof the holiday bolt-hole, sorry home.

The job soon got done. As was his son’s claim that ‘we’re all in this together’.

Bild Billed Build

Much like the Duke brothers in Trading Places (“sell, sell, sell”), the Prime Minister’s desperate dash to ease the furloughed off the government’s books got underway this week.

According to Bild, Germany’s broadsheet equivalent of The Sun, the big political news of the week had been “For the first time in more than a quarter of a year people in England are allowed to visit pubs … again”.

Billed as the final daily briefing, transcript central finally got round to publishing the PM’s speech of June 23rd, so on BBC One, pointless was replace by Pointless. 

However ‘Gavin’, aka the boy from the back in lower five alpha, hadn’t got the message. 

He got put in detention at Number 10, chained to the lectern to speak his lines. OK, normally punishment in detention is writing lines, but ‘Gav’ can’t do that, so Dominic wrote them for him. “Back to school – or you’ll be sorry” was the mantra, 100 times.

While “Build build build” was Boris’s message regarding housing and planning, it was meant to be the “start of the recovery after Coronavirus”, but according to Inside Housing it was a load of blah blah blah instead.

Talking of building, we can expect the planning system to be ‘streamlined’ as Housing Minister Robert “cash for favours” Jenrick has created some nifty new ‘permitted development’ rules. These let developers completely bypass Planning Committees around the country.

We don’t ask, we tell

Appears to have been the word from Shute End at Sea this week as they decided to pedestrianise Denmark Street for the weekend, extending Wokingham’s town centre ‘covid proofing’ scheme.

With traffic queued back to the Three Frogs half a mile to the east of town, traders in the marketplace as well as some in the newly re-opened shops were described as ‘unimpressed’, although walking around was great for those that managed to get there.

Better luck next week perhaps?

In Memoriam

On a more solemn note, last week saw the sudden and completely unexpected death of Wokingham Town Councillor James Box. Those that knew him will miss his sense of humour, his positive approach and his support for others. Requiescat in Pace.

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