Martin Salter, incumbent Labour MP for Reading West, and Anneliese Dodds, the prospective Labour Parliamentary candidate for Reading East, are pictured in the online version of the Reading Evening Post holding a sign and looking glum. This photograph accompanies a story titled ‘Our town is not pig ugly – it’s beautiful’ which is in response to this article by Tom Dyckhoff printed in the Guardian last month. Ms Dodds complains: "It seems to me from this article that the journalist concerned has never visited Reading. Far from being ‘pig ugly’, Reading is full of heritage areas, harbours a beautiful riverside and canalside [sic], and is situated right in the middle of some of the most stunning countryside in England."
I am prompted to respond with: "It seems to me from this article that the prospective politician concerned has never read 'Let's move to... Reading'." The original article is an honest, even a complimentary, resume of Reading and it's attractions. Given the time lapse between the two articles one can only presume that this is just a cynical attempt by the two Labour party members to gain some publicity. Nothing new there, then.
What confuses me most is the message that the photograph imparts. It shows two people who do not look at all happy about the fact that they are in Reading holding a sign which says 'ONE TRIP to READING'. Every time I look at that I find myself finishing that sentence with the words 'and you'll never come back!'