Stuart Bell has been the Labour MP for Middlesbrough for 27 years. The good people of Middlesbrough have put him back in parliament year after year in grateful thanks â for what?
During the past 27 years Middlesborough, once the town described by William Gladstone as an âinfant Herculesâ has sunk to the depths of despair and degradation that saw it named as the town least likely to withstand any cut in the level of subsidy that keep its inhabitants from starvation and oblivion.
You have to wonder just who Stuart Bell has been toiling on behalf of â the grandiose Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art may impress the chattering classes in London, but does little for the pride of the working man.
About the only thing left to keep up the spirits of the working â and ânon-working-but -would-like-to-beâ â man was its football club.
Middlesborough Football Club in a piece of spin worthy of Alistair âthe maestroâ Campbell proudly announced today their new sponsors. Only for four months, you understand, just in case it all goes belly up â canât take more of a risk in the present climate.
*Drumroll* – and the sponsor is?
âRamsdens is a genuine Teesside success story. It is a pleasure to be entering a partnership with a national company that has its history firmly on Teesside.
We are currently developing with Ramsdens a number of exciting ideas that will engage with the local community which I am sure will be of interest and very well received.â
The business will use a âsubstantial multi-million poundâ funding facility secured from HSBC Corporate Banking to support its growth. Turnover has jumped from Â£13m to Â£27m last year, and is forecast to hit Â£36 million next year.
For the benefit of those who donât know the name Ramsden and have no idea what this wonder âgrowthâ business is, that is expecting to so engage with the local population over the next year via their prominent logo plastered on the front of their proud football team â
Ramsden is the local pawnbrokers.
To quote one of my commentators who is enraged by this news:
âThe town is on its knees and the laughing stock of the country as the worst place to live and the least prepared for the impending public sector cuts. What do these cloth eared borderline simpletons do? Get a Pawnbrokers to sponsor them. Exactly the kind of company that thrive in those conditions. How many former Boro fans who can no longer afford to go to games are in hock to them?â