Scenario-1: It is 23rd June, 2010.The ‘Telegraph (
) headlines scream.“ Lord Mayor bans "intrusive and outdated" Christian prayers before council meetings. A Lord Mayor has banned the traditional Christian prayers at the start of council meetings, calling the practice “"outdated, unnecessary and intrusive". UK
Nick Britten wrote further: “Mr (Colin) Hall, who has just taken over the mayorship in Leicester, said the “majority” of councilors and city council staff were not practicing Christians therefore there was little point in having the prayers” and also that “ "I am delighted to confirm that I will be exercising my discretion as Lord Mayor to abolish the outdated, unnecessary and intrusive practice.
Mr Hall declined to comment (on the reactions from the Church) but the Deputy Lord Mayor, Robert Wann, said …..: “We have many faiths within
Leicester and we respect all faiths accordingly. Equally we respect people with no faith and on this occasion the Lord Mayor has decided not to have prayers and we will abide by that."
Leicester is a huge population with large minority groups. The council members have familiar sounding names like Hussein Suleman, Manish Sood, Ramila Shah, Veejay Pael, Rashmikant Joshi, Piara Singh & Harshad Bhavsar! This will give a glimpse of minority settlement.
Scenario-2: On the same day, 23-6-2010, another paper The Mail Online (
) headlines scream in the mayor's support: UK
“What's God got to do with it?' Atheist Mayor bans traditional Christian prayers before council meetings. It quoted Mr Hall saying that 'I consider that religion, in whatever shape or form, has no role to play at all in the conduct of council business.”
A week later, on 30th June, 2010. The same ‘Telegraph’ (
) headlines scream: UK
“Lord Mayor's trousers fall down. A lord mayor has apologised after his trousers fell down during a visit to a local library".
Scenario 4: On 1st July, the Church mouse blog post headline screams:
“New proof of God's existence - Mayor bans council prayers, then his trousers fall down in public” He adds : Clearly the Lord was not so impressed, as he has now humbled the mighty Mayor in possibly the most embarrassing incident Mouse has ever heard of for a public official.
It further says: "..Mouse has seen the mighty ha(n)d of God at work in this. Surely this is proof that God intervenes in the world. ”
Let the headlines scream. Let the people take whosoever's side, but one thing is clear. Councillor Hall means business. No fuss. he knows where to put his foot down. And also knows where to lend his weight. ( He weighs nearly 100kg)
And believe me, the God had no hand in his trousers succumbing to gravity. It was his weight loss effort. If he has his way, there will be hundreds and hundreds of incidents of pants falling down on the streets of Leicester.
Not convinced? Read further., why his trousers fell down.
Scenario 5: 4th July, 2010: It is reported that the Indian-origin Labour MP Keith Vaz has gifted a belt to the Lord Mayor of
Vaz has known the Lord Mayor since he was in his teens, said: "I am delighted that the Lord Mayor has gone on a diet. This is something that we all aspire to do but none of us would have expected such dramatic consequences."
Councilor Hall has started a city-wide campaign for physical fitness.
Called 3x30 ( see the logo), people who sign up will be pledging to make that change to their lifestyles by exercising 3 x 30 minutes a week. The 3 x 30 Pledge will motivate people to exercise, through discounts to the local Council Leisure Facilities , receiving incentives , prize draws and so on.
Once you achieve 3 x 30 minutes of exercise and hit specific milestones you will receive incentives such as a pedometer, exercise DVD, signed football shirts/tickets, water bottles etc. There will also be prizes for the 100th/200th pledger and so on. Leicester City Council has been successful in securing funding to deliver free swimming lessons to Adults across the City.
Lord mayor has set himself a target to reduce his weight by 3 stones ( 18 kg) from the current weight of 16 stones (97 kg ) ! He follows strict diet, does exercises and to attend his meetings, goes walking very often.
How he forgot to get the pants altered for his new slimmer waist or to fasten them with a belt is a mystery. may be he was busy wearing his official heavy 18-carat gold chain set in velvet with a medallion, dated 1867
Is not this fun that an innocently falling pair of trousers has given best publicity to a right meaning mayor , who has chosen to express his views on church and prayers , on the need to keep fit and be active.
Both his actions will make the city a wonderful place to live with health and harmony.
Councilor Colin Hall, the Lord Mayor sure knows that “There is a vast difference between saying prayers and praying”