Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Because, Sonia Lewis, It’s Not All About You

Since 1540, the opening of the Colchester fisheries has seen the town's mayor go out into the sea and dredge up the first oysters of the season, before sampling one accompanied with gin, gingerbread and a toast to the queen.
But not this year. Because this year, the town of Colchester slipped up…
But for the first time the 16th century tradition in the Essex town will be conducted onshore for fear that the motion of the waves will make mayor Sonia Lewis ill.

Sonia Lewis, you see, has not heard about such stoic advice as ‘grin and bear it’ and ‘do one’s duty, no matter what’.

Sonia Lewis is a modern, inclusive, diversity-friendly Mayor, and thinks that putting up with things you don’t enjoy for the sake of duty shouldn’t be in the job description.

Mrs Lewis' aversion to the sea also extends to the shellfish, so the ceremonial consumption of the season's first catch will also not take place.
Hmmm, maybe she’s allergic? In which case, naturally, she wouldn’t be expected to taste them.
But, no. As the ‘Mail’ reports, she simply doesn’t like them:
In a further snub to tradition, Sonia Lewis will not even eat any oysters because she can't stand them - proclaiming herself 'a fish and chips girl'.
Look, love, when you put yourself forward for this position, just what the hell did you think you were going to be doing?

Doing things you'd rather not do is pretty much what the position entails. From the moment you first take the oath (no, not the sort of oath that escaped by lips when I first read this) you are no longer Sonia Lewis – you are the representative of the town of Colchester.

That means that you endure the primary children at the local school murdering ‘Romeo and Juliet’, you tramp round the opening of the local old folk’s home summer fete, smiling sweetly and nodding sympathetically at the fiftieth complaint about the noise from the nearby nightclub, you attend cold, wet remembrance ceremonies when you’d rather put your feet up at home by the fire.

Because it’s about the town, not about you

But no. That’s not for Sonia Lewis. Sonia Lewis is the quintessential 21st century English Mayor; selfish, ignorant of tradition and convinced the world Colchester owes her, not vice versa…

Naturally, being the sort of person she is, she feels the need to deflect some of the justified criticism heading her way with the Shield of Health & Safety and the Sword of Inclusiveness:
Mrs Lewis said: "I have never been able to go to the opening of the fisheries because of my inability to tolerate tidal waters and other councillors have been in the same boat.

"This year those who also suffer sea sickness, such as Jackie McLean, will also be able to attend.

"Having the ceremony on land also means it will be accessible to the disabled.

"We hope it will be an inclusive and happy occasion.

"I am looking forward to it enormously."
The townsfolk aren’t. But then, who cares about those old fuddy duddies?

The sudden downgrading of one of the town's oldest ceremonies has horrified locals who say it is good for publicity.

But Mrs Lewis was unrepentant, suggesting the decision meant disabled people would be able to attend - even though landlubbers, whether able-bodied or not, have rarely witnessed it in the past and never complained.

Sadly, it doesn’t matter any more that no-one has ever complained. They no longer need to.

Mrs Lewis said it was uncertain whether the tradition would even return to the water next year, when she is out of office - because of health and safety.

Last year her predecessor, mayor Henry Spyvee, almost fell into the water as he moved from boat to boat.

Note to the townsfolk of Colchester – next year, choose your Mayor wisely.

19 comments:

NickM said...

To be fair Julia some people are much more prone to sea-sickness than others and to have the mayor throwing-up during the ceremony would be far from ideal either.

Blood In The Sand said...

To be fair NickM the silly old cow should man the f*ck up...

gordon-bennett said...

"Mrs Lewis said: "I have never been able to go to the opening of the fisheries because of my inability to tolerate tidal waters and other councillors have been in the same boat."

Bit ironic, that.

Bucko said...

To be fair, if she really, really had a bad issue with seasickness, she wouldn't be spouting all that H&S and inclusiveness claptrap.

She would just say, look if I do this I'm gonna barf, and get someone else to do it for her.

Get rid of the silly moose.

nbc said...

To be fair, she could always claim for some Dramamine on expenses.

Daft bint needs waterboarding.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Has she never heard of ginger biscuits?

Or even Stugeron?

But everything you say is true anyway. Stupid self-centred bint.

Peperbarmi said...

What a stupid bitch,for fucks sake has this woman no bollocks,she should man up and put some lead in her pencil.

English Viking said...

Julia,

Did the people get a choice as to their Mayor?

I lived in a Mayoral town for 35 years and was never once asked which tosser from the Council I would like to give a bigger expense account (and ego) to.

RAB said...

Everyone else on the boat throwing up ON the Mayor would be the scene I'd like to see, Nick.

So, she isn't going on the boat, and she isn't going to eat the oysters, the words "What the fuck is the point then?" springs to mind.

Ah bless! but the disabled will be able to attend now it is on dry land.
Pity they cant actually go oyster fishing isn't it? Or is the Mayor campaigning for "disabled friendly" oyster boats as well?

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

In the Homestead of the Followers of Deornoth we recently had a referendum about having an elected mayor.

For reasons that are not quite clear to me, the majority of the Followers of Deornoth decided not to have such a thing, presumably on then grounds that a mayor selected by a secret conclave of Labour scum would be more democratic than one openly elected.

blueknight said...

Lash the bitch to the mast.

Laban said...

Keel-haul the lubber. Then give her the cat.

Woman on a Raft said...

There isn't deep enough water to keel-haul her.

Colchester Oyster Fishery
"At this location overlooking the Pyefleet Creek, surrounded by unspoilt salt marshes and a bird sanctuary we grow, grade and store our shellfish."

Two of the men in a photo aren't even in a boat. They are wearing waders and handling nets of oysters.

banned said...

Don't suppose Sonia Lewis would be much use at a "lay back and think of England" moment.

JuliaM said...

"To be fair Julia some people are much more prone to sea-sickness than others and to have the mayor throwing-up during the ceremony would be far from ideal either."

What Blood in the Sand said; it's what Quels are made for! Or, since each Mayor usually has a deputy, she could have sent him/her on the boat, and had a seperate ceremony on land for her and the disabled who wished to attend (if any actually did).

As for the oyster, unless allergic, she should screw up her courage and eat the damn thing. It's tradition, it's part of the Mayor's job, and there should be no question of her being allowed to wriggle out of it.

"Bit ironic, that."

Heh! Missed that.. :0

"Did the people get a choice as to their Mayor?"

You know, I've never really thought about it! I think in my area, the councillors vote. Maybe represeations to them should be made?

"...grounds that a mayor selected by a secret conclave of Labour scum would be more democratic than one openly elected."

/facepalm

JuliaM said...

"Keel-haul the lubber. Then give her the cat."

I'm not sure that would help, cats are not usually happy to go on the water eith...

Ah. Nevermind!

"Two of the men in a photo aren't even in a boat. They are wearing waders..."

That's the answer! Mayoral waders. A bit of gold spray paint, and Bob's your uncle... ;)

gordon-bennett said...

I've always had an aversion to oysters since Frank Skinner described eating them as like "licking phlegm off a tortoise".

dvilleoysters said...

Whoever doesn't like oysters didn't cook them right.

The Best Chesapeake Bay Oysters are grown on our family farm

Quality & Sustainability
www.deltavilleoystercompany.com

Anonymous said...

What a shame all of these people complaining about the'poor old bint' and worse, don't actually know sonia Lewis or the facts behind the media story! If they have so much time on their hands why not do a couple of hours litter picking or give up their weekends to do some voluntary work -yes the 'poor old dear' does support her local community and good causes rather than spend the time posting cruel, inaccurate and downright rude comments.