David Parkin hears the naked truth about Beckham and salutes the left’s answer to Boris Johnson

David Parkin hears the naked truth about Beckham and salutes the left’s answer to Boris Johnson

THE challenge of any event featuring more than one speaker is you are always going to have comparisons made by the audience. The Lord’s Taverners Balloon Debate takes that a step further in that it has four speakers and the audience has to vote them out over a series of three rounds. So forget kind words, if you are turfed out having only spoken for six minutes in the first round, it feels like a raw deal. Between them, Paul Robin, chief executive of the Lord’s Taverners and Alan Wright, chairman of the Tavs Regions and Nations committee, have seen more than a dozen Balloon Debates overs the years. So when both agreed that the Yorkshire Region Lord’s Taverners Balloon Debate had the four best speakers they had ever seen together, that was high praise indeed. It also raised around £8,500 for the great work done by the Tavs charity for disadvantaged and disabled children and a great first event for new chairman Jeremy Thomas. The event was sponsored by Henderson Insurance Brokers, Yorkshire Bank and Deloitte. Having achieved virtually everything they could in their chosen sports, Phillip DeFreitas and Kevin Sinfield came with sporting CVs that are second to none. Add in the fact that both are thoroughly nice guys with plenty of humility and they both have a great speaking style and you perhaps wouldn’t have held a candle to the chances of the other two speakers, highly successful but relatively unknown blind amateur footballer and banker David Clarke and Yorkshire and former England cricket physiotherapist Wayne Morton. Most viewed the latter pair as lambs to the...
David Parkin sees Tory silence speaks volumes, economic boosts and why wine and cheek don’t mix

David Parkin sees Tory silence speaks volumes, economic boosts and why wine and cheek don’t mix

THE Radio 4 Today programme was broadcast from Leeds yesterday morning with presenter Nick Robinson based at the Winder Power factory in Pudsey. Given the city is a key election battle ground, narrowly voted against Brexit and has an economy with a strong manufacturing and financial centre, it provided a unique case study for the BBC to get their teeth into. I provided a bit of background and context to a former colleague and friend who is one of the producers of the Today programme. What is interesting is that the BBC found it impossible to get a Conservative candidate standing in a West Yorkshire constituency to be interviewed on the programme. So when it came to interviewing candidates from the three main parties, Hilary Benn from Labour and Greg Mulholland from the Liberal Democrats, who represent constituencies in Leeds, were at the factory while Kevin Hollinrake, who represents the Thirk and Malton constituency for the Tories, joined the discussion by telephone. I’ve not been a fan of Prime Minister Theresa May’s presidential approach to the media and her refusal to take part in election debates. It now seems that her fellow Conservative colleagues are doing the same thing. I can see why they are doing it, I just don’t like it. You can almost hear the party strategists from Conservative Central Office, saying: “Now come on everyone, don’t drop a bollock now and we’ll be home and dry with an increased majority on June 8.” It makes sense politically, but doesn’t do a lot for democracy. ::: MY comments last week about Burberry moving jobs to Leeds annoyed...
David Parkin on the Tour de Yorkshire, Star Wars, Burberry mac attack and being showered with attention

David Parkin on the Tour de Yorkshire, Star Wars, Burberry mac attack and being showered with attention

DID you experience this year’s Tour de Yorkshire? Whether you were on the route or just took it all in from the TV, this year’s three-day cycle race was a tour de force. After last year’s downpours and the technical problems that led to the grounding of the aircraft due to carry out the aerial filming of the race, I think the Tour de Yorkshire was due a large slice of good fortune this year. The pleasant, dry weather encouraged huge crowds over the three days – estimated at around 2.2 million people – and proved that Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity hadn’t used up all his good luck charms. If you remember the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart – those that watched it never will – when days of rain before the race pointed to damp and dismal conditions for the early July extravaganza. But when the day of the race dawned, bright sunshine emerged and stayed shining for both days, ensuring Yorkshire was showcased in all its glory. Holding the Tour de Yorkshire on the last weekend in April – and one which ended with a bank holiday – was always a risk, but the cycle race calendar dictates the timing of events. But conditions remained fine and I watched the finish of the men’s race in Harrogate on Saturday. Cycling enthusiasts, families, dog walkers and tourists mingled on the Stray creating a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Invited into the VIP hospitality area on the finish line (don’t worry I took my sunglasses), I bumped into a few familiar faces. The Mayor of Harrogate...