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Sunday 24 April 2011

Herding Refugees’ Cats In Wakefield – 4

The saga of housing provider WDH and practising Christian Colin Atkinson appears to have reached a conclusion. Last Wednesday, after a meeting with the company’s management, Atkinson agreed to a deal in which he attached his eight inch high palm leaf cross (the “personal item” causing all the fuss) to the front of the van’s glove compartment, rather than the dashboard.

Is this such a big deal? Well, it gets all concerned some breathing space, for starters. The hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre have clearly been poring over WDH’s head office sufficiently to know what kind of objects are displayed in employees’ cars, and have been inside that head office with a cameraman.

Having the tabloid press hanging around outside will not have been pleasant for anyone working at WDH. Colin Atkinson is less than a year from retirement, and yielding a little – but it is only a little – at least gets the Dacre tanks off the lawn. The agreement lets Atkinson have his cross travel with him, but for others to see it, they would have to know where to look.

Not that the Mail wants its readers to know that, of course, so it is left to the end of today’s otherwise triumphal story, where the prominently displayed talk is of “climbdown”. More emphasis is given to more of those refugees’ cats: stories that are not material to the case. And most of the items in that category are about WDH Environment Manager Denis Doody.

Doody, we are told, has “a fascination for Cuba”. He has visited the island more than 40 times. He has spoken and written in support of the Cuban Government. He was involved in the 1984-5 miners’ strike. He is a trade union official. He was once a bricklayer. He lives in a former council house. He has attended international union gatherings. His mother’s obituary was published in the Morning Star.

And, it has to be pointed out, none of that has anything whatever to do with his fitness to discharge his duties at WDH. There is no entry in the UK’s criminal code for “being of Socialist views with malice aforethought”, or “carrying a union card with intent”, any more than there is any sanction against someone walking on the cracks in the pavement.

But there has to be a villain in this story, and Doody presses all the Dacre hate buttons, so that’s all right, then. He’ll never buy the Daily Mail anyway.


Anonymous said...

Denis doody is a self opinionated bully, he manages people under himself like a dictator. If the senior management at Wdh knew how he managed I am sure it would be him facing possible disciplinary action for his bullying tactics.

Tim Fenton said...

You'll understand that posting that comment as "Anonymous" doesn't help your cause, although I can see why anyone might do that, given the assertion made.

Anonymous said...

Denis is a great manager, will stick up for anybody that deserves it and would have stuck up for Colin if asked. He is not Colins manager so I don't understand the need for his name or about his mother being mentioned. So what if he likes going to Cuba? I like going to Benidorm...

Colin seems to have been treated unfairly and wdh's policy of equality and diversity as been made to look non existent but I still don't see the need by Colin to bring other people into this argument that he has with his own manager/HR/wdh directors.