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Author: Alun Davies
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The dark art of spin has tricked down from Government into many areas of life and none more so than with the boys from the blackstuff.

Back in the late 80’s I moved to Ireland. This was before money from Europe combined with tax breaks for industry and a spirited population all combined to make the economy the Celtic Tiger. Back then, money was tight, emigration was expected and Temple Bar was just another run down area of Dublin.

One of my lasting memories from those days was the first time I came across a gang of tarmacers laying a new surface on a worn out stretch of road just south of the town of Naas in Co Kildare. I was used to the UK way of doing things where the new surface would be rolled flat and loose chippings swept aside and tidied up. In Ireland they just dumped a layer of new chippings for the traffic to bed in. Drive down one of these roads and loose stones would be flying into windscreens and play havoc with bikers.

Fast forward to 2009 and the roads around Stratford upon Avon are currently being treated in the most modern of ways. They are being ‘Road Dressed’, or so goes the media friendly road warning signs. In reality they are being repaired the old Irish way with a layer of loose chippings dumped and left for cars, trucks and bikes to bed in. It’s dangerous, it causes damage to vehicles and provides chavs with the ideal opportunity to wheelspin and kick up a load of shrapnel at the same time – like they were doing in Stratford the other night.

When I think of it, even the word ‘spin’ has been hijacked by the marketing departments of national and local councils. Back in the 80’s ‘spin’ was something you done on loose gravel and ‘bullshit’ was the name given to the process of leaving a load of loose chippings left on the road.

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