Editing a provincial newspaper has never been the most intellectually rigorous of tasks.
Traditionally the ability to create an aggressively macho management culture by bullying the work experience girl; grooming a couple of contacts in the local Rotary Club; having some half-decent local knowledge and always taking up populist positions – no matter how barmy – has got your average small town conservative newspaper editor selling enough papers to have a quiet life.
Alas, it seems, such simple tasks are beyond the wit of Cancer editor Mike “News Bunny” Norton. As his hasty and unequivocal support for the BRT route on the Bristol and Bath Cycle Path looks likely to marginalise his increasingly marginalised newspaper – with the drastically plummeting circulation – still further.
Due to his woefully incompetent misreading of public opinion, lacking any grasp of local knowledge whatsoever, Norton now finds himself at odds with over 90% of his own readers who yesterday voted overwhelmingly in a poll to keep the cycle path as it is.
Norton also seems to have ignored the huge and growing petition on the council website, which – big hint this – just happens to be the largest one they’ve ever had on there.
Instead Norton has backed the madcap plan that’s only supported by our lobotomised transport boss Mark Bradshaw, a few First Bus executives seeking easy profits and a load of CONsultants out to make a small fortune for themselves.
Even the Cancer’s sister publication Venue magazine – not noted for embracing the cycling fraternity – today accurately describes the plan as “fucking stupid”.
Poor old Norton. Looks like he’s put himself out on a bit of a limb. How long before we find him delivering a perfectly executed U-turn on the issue then?
Especially when the News Bunny finally catches on that the other part of the BRT plan, which the council’s trying to keep quiet about at present, involves introducing a congestion charge. Something Norton claims to be implacably against!