Take Two with Colin Drury

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X MARKS THE SPOT...?

As far as unusual place names go - as discussed in today’s main Diary feature - how about a Malcolm X Street in Sheffield?

A petition has been launched on the city council website to have a road named after the American activist. The campaign, started by a Mohammed Fiaz Hafiz, also wants a plaque remembering his speech at Sheffield University’s Graves Hall which took place in December 1964 weeks before he was shot dead.

That might prove controversial, though. While he’s considered by many to be a freedom fighter and hero, Malcolm X was also known for scoffing at the civil rights movement and condoning violence.

In any case, it seems unlikely to happen. At the last count the petition had just 57 signatures.

GIVE IT A REST

Halloween this week then? Which means, with predictable timing, there’s a rash of books being released featuring the story of the Stocksbridge Bypass hauntings.

Will tales of headless monks and ghostly children spooking the highway ever be left to, er, rest in peace? One does hope so.

EEE, THAT’S DEMOCRACY

Talking of scary monsters, to Strasbourg and the European Parliament...

There, the ex-Barnsley council officer and current Labour MEP for Yorkshire and Humber Linda McAvan has shown what a bastion of democracy this institution is. Or perhaps not.

The 50-year-old - spouse to Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield - is currently leading a drive to have e-cigarettes regulated. As such, she hosted a Facebook Q&A on the topic last week. The idea was to encourage some of the continent’s 10 million e-cigarette users to get in touch, ask questions and allow them to hold her to account. What a shame then that of the hundreds who got in touch to ask a question, she answered just 16. Four of which were asked by, er, colleagues at the European Parliament. “No wonder the questions were so easy,” noted one critic.