Barry Manilow fan Paul Lonsdale wants to be Mayor of Christchurch. Or is his  real priority a seat on the Council?

Christchurch mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel has said that she wants a contest in the upcoming mayoral race and she has got a response from the Central City Business Association manager Paul Lonsdale. He has thrown his hat into the ring.

Paul Lonsdale will be an unfamiliar name to many, especially outside  of Christchurch, but  he did have a  brief period of international recognition some years ago.

Lonsdale thought it would be a great idea to use the music of Barry Manilow to shift untidy working class  teenagers out of the Cashel Street Mall. The story went global with Lonsdale denying that he had ever described Baz's  music as a 'weapon of mass destruction'.

In the face of international amusement, Lonsdale quickly dropped the idea of pumping 'Mandy' and 'I Write The Songs' throughout the mall.

Lonsdale was also an outspoken opponent  of Christchurch youth using an amphitheatre in the Cashel Mall as a 'Hacky Sack' venue. Long after the Hacky Sack craze  receded the amphitheatre remained a popular meeting spot for Christchurch youth who travelled into the city from the suburbs.

Lonsdale supported  the police view that  the Hack Circle was 'a breeding ground for crime'. After smearing the reputations of youth who used the area, the police later backpedaled on that claim and admitted that only a handful of kids ever caused any trouble.

While Lonsdale loudly raised his concerns about the so-called  unruly behaviour of teenagers in the mall, he showed next to no concern about the alcohol-fuelled mayhem that erupted out of the Oxford Strip of bars every Friday and Saturday night.

But then its easier to criticise powerless working class youth and rather more 'problematic' to criticise an area of the city owned by the influential Antony Gough (uncle to Councillor Jamie Gough).

Not uncoincidentally Antony Gough had pushed for stronger police presence in the Cashel Mall area claiming that the people who hung out in the hack circle were 'just scary'.

Yes, the youth  might of looked and acted different - but 'scary'? The class prejudice  of the Christchurch establishment was on display for all to see.

Gloria Sharplin, a spokesperson for a protest the occurred at the mall in August 2007 , told The Press newspaper "Young people are being made to feel unwelcome. The hack circle and the fountain are not great places, but it is all you have when you have no money. They can't shut us up and just drive us out of the city'

And Councillor Yani Johanson said:  I think there has been lots of negative stereotyping of young people in regards to City Mall and sadly there is a feeling amongst some that Council is kicking them out in favour of retail business. The reality is that this is a public space and that young people should have as much right to enjoy it as anyone else.'

Just as Sideshow did when he first stood for mayor, Lonsdale describes himself as 'politically independent'. But, in reality, he is as 'politically independent' as Sideshow Bob proved to be. It comes as no surprise that Sideshow has unofficially endorsed Lonsdale. One good turn deserves another - since Lonsdale supported Sideshow's bid for the mayoralty.

And, just like Sideshow Bob, Lonsdale has displayed little interest in the plight of the eastern suburbs. But he has had a lot to say about the proposed sports stadium / white elephant. He says it is very important  that it is completed before the 2017 British Lions rugby tour.

He also has no problems with privatising public land and allowing Canterbury Cricket to build their international cricket venue on Hagley Park. He thinks that handing over public land for free to private interests is just a 'minor modification'. Presumably he also thinks its just a 'minor modification' that it will be the good people of Christchurch who'll end up paying for the construction of this venue. Is it really just a 'minor modification' that Canterbury Cricket  gets its hands on public land for nothing and, to add  insult to injury, the people of Christchurch get stuck with the bill for building this venue while Canterbury Cricket pockets the profits?

The chances of Lonsdale beating Dalziel are slim which Lonsdale clearly recognises himself. He is also having another bite at the cherry by standing for council as well. Indeed his bid for mayoralty may well be just an attempt to raise his profile in order to get him on to the Council.


  1. Blogger Paul Lonsdale said...

    I am Paul Lonsdale, the music was not Barry Manilow it was classical music, this was to assist in modifying the antisocial and intimidating behavior happening in the city centre. I am an ex musician myself and came from the punk revolution so understand the culture of alternative and still hold many of those philosophy's. Make no mistake, my desire for the city is to be a place for everyone not just a few people wishing to impose fear onto an unwilling public. Stand up do something positive and you might be surprised at the outcome. Love creativity love passion for positive change love people.
    Paul Lonsdlae

  2. The 'antisocial behaviour' from the youth was minimal as the police later admitted. Cashel St retailers just didn't wanted the Goths, etc in the Mall.

    And when did the people of Chrsitchurch vote for an oversized and bloated sports stadium? That, and the other 'anchor' projects were imposed on the people by CERA - which tossed out the Christchurch City Council's more modest and more realistic blueprint. Thousands of people contributed their ideas to that blueprint and CERA stomped on it.

  3. That is incorrect. The Police senior sergeant for the central beat section said that amongst the youth element was a collection of the worst youth offenders in CHCH. They did not want to move them due to the fact they were all in one spot with a crime camera pointing at them so they knew where they were. Some of the other youths that like to hang out said that they sometimes felt very intimidated. It is not about move youth out of the city but providing a space all can enjoy.

  4. I would have thought that playing the Solatudes single to these youths would have scared them off more than Barry Manilow.


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