Judging by the quality of yesterday’s toilet paper, the Shields Gazette, it seems times are hard.
Owners Johnston Press are concerned about falling circulation, declining advertising revenues and this has inevitably led to speculation as to the long term future of the paper. They’ve already imposed a pay freeze on staff, offered staff voluntary redundancy and have consigned the Jarrow and Hebburn edition to the dustbin – leaving only a single South Shields edition. Despite these measures it seems the owners want more.
This morning there is fevered speculation that a number of proof readers are to be offered early retirement on the grounds of ill health. Apparently they’re suffering from poor eye sight which probably explains why the Gazette has so many mistakes in it.
No one was available to comment at Johnston Press headquarters in Edinburgh but Mr Monkey was able to speak to the editor of the Gazette.
Papa John Szymanski said,
“I would like to thank our proof readers for their dedication over the years and wish them well in their retirement.
We will not be replacing them as we have decided to expand our partnership with South Tyneside Council and I am delighted to announce that from 1st February the council’s Communication Department will be taking on the role of proof reading, censorship, design and final editing. This way I won’t have to spend so much time in the town hall and on the phone to my paymaster, council leader Iain Malcolm.
This is a partnership made in heaven, the council gets what it wants – total control of the Gazette and I get to do even less work than I do now and have first choice on all the leftovers at the council’s buffets. Iain has even promised that sausage rolls will be on every council buffet menu from February 1st.”
Mr Monkey reckons this probably explains yesterday’s fuck up where the same article advertising a ward surgery appeared on pages 13 and 45. Although whoever was responsible must have had a sense of humour because the picture they used of Ugly Betty, aka councillor McMillan did her now favours. It seems she’s piled on the beef or her face is swollen form some other activity – when did the Ark Royal arrive?
Either way she’s one hell of an ugly fucker and Mr Monkey reckons he’ll be quids in if he takes her trick or treating next Halloween – the folks on the Lawe Top would give you anything as long as they didn’t have to open the door to Ugly Betty.