Last week Sideshow Bob was waxing lyrical about 'Chinese style' economic booms. But, wait, there's more! This week he's  been talking rubbish about rugby.

This week the  Irish rugby team were the latest 'notables' to be given the guided tour of Christchurch's devastated central city. They joined   a lengthening list of VIPs and celebrities who have been given the escorted tour, ranging from US congressmen to former models.

Christchurch's central city has become  the conveniently  'acceptable' face of the city's devastating  earthquakes. The landscape of destruction , perversely, allows the likes of  Mayor Sideshow Bob and his master,  Gerry Brownlee,  to make wild claims about Christchurch rising from the ashes.  Yes, that good old 'Canterbury spirit' will pull us through. We're all packing up our troubles in our old kit bags  and I'm  sure that the Irish rugby team has been left with the distinct impression that the citizens  of  Christchurch  are all pulling in the same direction.

Perhaps if the Irish players had been given a guided tour of the quake-wrecked  eastern  suburbs  they  might of got a more accurate  picture of what is really happening in this city.

They might of got to see how ordinary  people are living in forgotten  areas like Aranui, Bexley, Shirley and New Brighton. They  might of got  to meet  families living in quake damaged houses.They might of got to meet people  living in garages.and caravans .  They  might have even begun to ask why people are still living like this, over a year since the second devastating earthquake.

The attitude of the execrable  Sideshow Bob has to been to keep his mouth shut and pretend that nothing is  wrong. Gerry Brownlee long ago decided there was no social crisis in the eastern suburbs and Bob, who has given new meaning to the word 'toady',  has fallen in line with his leader.     

While they Bob and Gerry  bend over backwards to placate vested business interests  you're out of luck if you're down and out in Aranui and Bexley.

Last week Sideshow Bob was waxing lyrical was about 'Chinese style' economic booms. That was a load of old tripe and this week he's been blowing hot air about rugby.

His weekly  column in the Christchurch Star is solely devoted to Saturday's  international between the All Blacks and Ireland.

Writes the revolting  Bob: 'This is a big milestone  for the  city as we rebuild what was damaged  in the earthquakes and get back to the 'new normal'.

The  'new normal'? What would that be exactly Bob? Living  in  garages? Being screwed by bloodsucking landlords? 

Bob even goes on to praise the speed in which the stadium  was built : '..the fact that we have  this facility up and running just over a year after Christchurch's worst ever natural disaster is a tribute to those involved.'

Its a pity that enthusiasm and determination - not to mention the money -  has been conspicuously missing in the eastern suburbs.  But, hey the eastern suburbs have never been 'sexy' and afford little opportunity for Sideshow to inflate his already inflated ego. 

On Friday night, Bob informs us, 'I'll spend some time with the Irish consul-general, the president of the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Irish ambassador.' How nice.

Never mind folks, if you're shivering with cold  in a wrecked home  just remember that, according to Sideshow Bob, 'this is an exciting weekend for our city'.


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