The comment by Hugh Jaeger of FOXCAN on my post about the Oxford Canal Basin refers to the “bitter attacks” made by one Bill Leonard on the idea of reinstating the former terminal of the Oxford Canal.
I have to say that these attacks have mystified me. I know nothing of Mr Leonard beyond the fact that he is a certified Blue Badge guide in Oxford, but I have sometimes wondered if “certifiable” might be a more appropriate term as he writes letter after letter to the Oxford Times opposing the proposal.
There is nothing wrong, of course, in expressing opposition to another’s plans affecting the city, whether that opposition be dislike of the idea or doubts as to its viability. It is hard, however, to see why anyone would actually dislike the idea who had no direct interest in its outcome. One can accept that enthusiasts FOR a scheme will want to keep the idea in the public eye, but I am pushed to see why anyone would want to fight it so vehemently.
FOXCAN’s plans will face plenty of objective analysis as to their practical viability and their commercial realism. Mr Leonard has expressed the view that the plans will not succeed on various grounds. Why bang on about it, unless he is actually against the idea – that is, positively against as opposed merely to lacking conviction as to the likelihood of their success?
Perhaps he has a commercial interest that we cannot guess at – although I would have thought that a tour guide would be pleased to add another piece of heritage to his tours. Maybe he presently parks his car there and resents losing the space – but the City Council is committed to replacing any spaces thus lost. Perhaps the bones of some dark family secret lie below the tarmac of the Worcester Street car park which will be exposed by the excavations which FOXCAN plan. I do not mean this seriously, of course, but it shows the depth of my puzzlement that the thought should cross my mind, with whatever degree of levity.
Are there any ideas out there which may explain Mr Leonard’s “bitter attacks” on this scheme?