Monday, 29 September 2014

What’s in a name…?

With discussions currently taking place in the national media, and around the world, about what we should call the supposedly-Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, it seems we have a parallel local problem with our conglomeration of planning guardians (or guerrillas, depending on your viewpoint…) – and what may be the correct nomenclature for the organization I had believed was called the Tysoe Residents (Neighbourhood Planning) Group (hereinafter known as “the Group”, whatever name they care to use…).

At this point, I have to introduce a disclaimer: as I was at the meeting (and, therefore, on the committee) which introduced (around a year ago) – and unanimously agreed on – this, to me, extremely descriptive moniker: which, when allied with its mission statement…

Working with Tysoe Parish Council, Tysoe Residents (Neighbourhood Planning) Group is an independent body: established – because of the unprecedented volume of local planning applications – to advise on, influence, and respond to, proposals for sustainable and appropriate developments in Tysoe and the surrounding area

…made pretty good sense (to me, anyhoo). I even designed a logo – whose only appearance, that I am aware of, was on the back of the Sustainable Tysoe? briefing paper some members of the Group produced for the district council’s Planning Committee (East) meeting on 8 January 2014: something I had believed we were proud of, as a village, never mind as a committee.

However, according the the latest Tysoe & District Record – which seems, rapidly, to be evolving into a pulpit for those with dull spades, if not blunt axes, or even pointless lances; and will, as a consequence, have to start running a regular ‘corrections and clarifications’ column – the Group is not called what I thought it was at all: but the “Neighbourhood Plan Group”.

But why? And from when? And what’s the difference between the noun and the verb (or gerund, perhaps)? And is this the same body as the “Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group” that issued the recent survey? Or the “Neighbourhood Plan Working Group” that appears to be running the Tysoe Neighbourhood Plan website?

Being no longer a member of the Group, for health reasons, I’m afraid I cannot answer my own questions. (I’m now not even sure if this latest iteration contains, or is for, “Tysoe Residents”.) But I would like to imagine – with apologies to Monty Python – that a conversation about the Group’s name would go something like this:

– Are you the Tysoe Residents (Neighbourhood Planning) Group?
– Eff off!
– What?
– Tysoe Residents (Neighbourhood Planning) Group. We’re the Neighbourhood Plan Group of Tysoe! Tysoe Residents (Neighbourhood Planning) Group. Cawk.
– Bankers.
– Can I… join your group?
– No. Pee off.
– I hate the Gladmans as much as anybody.
– Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.
– Stumm.
– Are you sure?
– Oh, dead sure. I hate the Gladmans already.
– Listen. If you wanted to join the NPG, you’d have to really hate the Gladmans.
– I do!
– Oh, yeah? How much?
– A lot!
– Right. You’re in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Gladmans are the effing Tysoe Residents (Neighbourhood Planning) Group.
– Yeah…
– Splitters.
– Splitters…
– And the Tysoe Neighbourhood Planning Group.
– Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters…
– And the Neighbourhood Plan Group.
– Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
– What?
– The Neighbourhood Plan Group. Splitters.
We’re the Neighbourhood Plan Group!
– Oh. I thought we were the Neighbourhood Planning Group.
– Planning Group! C-huh.
– Whatever happened to the Neighbourhood Planning Group, eh?
– He’s over there.
– Splitter!

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