To paraphrase Harry Pearson, “you know that your town is rough when people from Middlesbrough look down their noses at it”. Stockton-On-Tees has the misfortune of falling within this select category of town. So I’m sure that we can all agree that Stockton could do with softening its image and what better way to do this than a six foot duck?
Stockton Council has invested £2.5k in a giant replica rubber duck. That’s a mere penny for every one of Stockton’s residents, assuming Wikipedia is correct (when has it ever let us down?). Given that I would happily pay thrice that to ensure that my place of residence could wheel out a six foot duck on occasion, you’d expect the residents of Stockton to be delighted with such a savvy purchase; sadly not.
“Quackers” is how the Teesside Gazette described the purchase of said duck. Well, I think that it’s ‘quacking’ or even ‘ducking great’. If blowing a rubber duck out of proportion wasn’t enough, a local Conservative councillor took to describing the purchase of the duck as “disgusting”. It that’s what disgusts them, I fear for their mental health when they discover that they are a member of a political party that has just pledged to take millions of pounds from the disabled. Why the outrage? Apparently, “people have their jobs on the line” in Stockton. Only a Tory could equate £2.5k with a job. That’s probably your typical zero hour’s contract wage and it’s still around a fiver a week short of what Ian Duncan Smith thinks that you can live off. It’s hardly a six foot solid gold jewel encrusted duck costing £2.5 million (now there’s an idea).
Far from berating the council leader for this purchase, we should hail the man for his vision. Dare to dream residents of Stockton. Picture this: The mosaic lizard of Park Guell in Barcelona; the pink dog of the Grand Canal in Venice; and the six foot duck of Stockton High Street, Teesside. Imagine the boom to the local economy; no longer will your average Stockton dweller have to make do on a Tory wage of £2.5k. No more, will the folk of Middlesbrough look down their noses at you. Let’s give it a quack.