MR PENDLE: I have no sympathy over Olympic tickets situation

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WHAT a miserable curmudgeon Vernon Stuttard sounds from his letter.

It is bad enough him, as a man, whingeing about not being allowed to take part in the women-only Midnight Walk for Pendleside Hospice next month.

But then he makes it sound as though the hundreds of women taking part are all going to come down with terminal cancer as a result of eating one bacon butty as their post-walk reward. Surely this is scaremongering of the highest order.

There is no one forcing those taking part in the walk to even have a bacon butty at the end.

The sandwiches are there on offer for those who might want to have one - and Mr Pendle is sure those taking advantage are well aware of the infinitesimal risk one rasher of bacon might cause to their health.

And if Mr Stuttard is so keen to take part in a Midnight Walk, why does he not organise a men-only walk himself - without the bacon butties at the end, of course?

Will Joe Cotton be the William Hague of the 21st Century? That was Mr Pendle’s first thought after reading that the Hebden Bridge 15-year-old had received a standing ovation for his speech at the National Union of Teachers conference in Harrogate during the Easter holidays.

Hague, now the Foreign Secretary, first caught the public eye as a 16-year-old in 1977 when he addressed the Conservative Party faithful in Blackpool.

He, too, received a rapturous reception - although like the ovation given to young Joe, whether this was out of courtesy from the delegates or because it actually merited it Mr Pendle cannot say.

One thing is for certain, though.

Those who keep a close eye on political matters in West Yorkshire will have marked down the name of Joe Cotton in their “ones to watch” file.

And it will come as no surprise if, in a few years’ time, like their predecessors in Richmond did with William Hague, they blow the dust away from it and write the first chapter in the story of a rising political star.

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the allocation of tickets for next year’s Olympic Games. Some people are apparently upset about either receiving no tickets at all, or getting some for events such as handball, shooting or trampolining.

What did they think they would be getting? Box office seats for the men’s 100m athletics final?

Then there are those who complain about bidding for £800-worth of tickets, but only receiving £250-worth and then saying they would rather not go.

If these people are looking for a shoulder to cry on, they had better not come running to Mr Pendle.