So, I have returned all eager-beaver and have been catching up all day on what's been going on everywhere and not just all things CAFC.
First, I was saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Rose of Denmark barman, Dave Fowler, on 6th May. I had heard that Dave had been taken into hospital prior to my departure. He has had a smoking related illness for quite some time but he actually died as a result of a fall/stroke whilst in hospital although it's not clear in what order. David Hatch from SE3Addick's FotopagePage has paid Dave a fitting tribute and his collage of visiting fans for this season is now displayed above the bar in the Rose and says it all really.
Dave Fowler was a quiet man but missed nothing. I think it's fair to say he was uncomplicated and very much at home working in the Rose. West Ham through and through, I was very pleased to see that that the Hammers emblem had been added to his shirt in the photo above. Dave would have loved that.
On a more depressing note, I return to the developing furore about MP's expenses. I try not to get involved in politics here for a number of reasons, not just because it's primarily a Charlton blog, but I have to comment on this. We are now seeing many of our politicians for the hypocrites we've always suspected they are and it's sickening. The fact that it's not party-specific doesn't help matters either as it simply reinforces the notion that it's all about ambition, greed and power irrespective of the slant they have taken. How many people don't realise they have paid their mortgage off 18 months ago? If you forget to tell the tax man you have starting working again and have claimed unemployment benefit for 18 months you are brought before the court and they laugh at excuses like this. I sincerely hope we see some prosecutions here and that they aren't simply allowed to repay their way out of it. I can reclaim my legitimate expenses at work but if I hired a helicopter to go to a meeting in Birmingham, I would expect the sack for taking the piss. How Sir Gerald Kaufman can say he has more serious constituency issues to deal with when questioned over why he tried to buy an £8500 television on expenses, I don't know. Either way, expect to see the electorate take revenge on the fraudsters at the next elections as the largest number of new MP's ever enters the House of Commons.
And finally, some hope. I have today heard strengthening rumours of a Peter Varney-lead boardroom takeover with money-men from the middle-east. The talk is of an annoucement this week. It would be a massive shot in the arm if it happens and might go some way to finally lifting the gloom at the Valley and bringing real hope for 2009-10.