Labour Councillor accused of “naked hypocrisy” for Hawth pole dancing comments.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Duncan Crow, has added to the criticism of Councillor Chris Mullins, over remarks he made about a national pole dancing competition that was held at the Hawth Theatre. Conservative Councillor Duncan Crow stated that Labour Councillor Chris Mullins was guilty of “naked hypocrisy”, for claiming that the pole dancing competition was evidence that the Hawth’s programme had gone down market since Parkwood Theatres took over the day-to-day running last year. Councillor Mullins has described the national pole dancing competition as being like “page 3” despite it not containing any nudity.
Councillor Crow said “Chris Mullins is looking through some very rose-tinted spectacles when he comes out with such absurd comments. Not only is he completely wrong about any kind of dumbing down of the Hawth’s programme, he seems to have conveniently forgotten the time when he was the Cabinet Member for Leisure for Culture under the previous Labour Administration prior to 2006.”
He added “I remember when Chris Mullins was the Cabinet Member responsible and was having male strippers performing at the Hawth. Even more hypocritical than that, I recall back in 2003 when under Chris Mullins tenure, the Hawth was proudly booking a distasteful and tacky show called Puppetry of the Penis. As part of the advertising for this, there were posters of naked men at the Council’s neighbourhood parades, including one very close to a Primary School.”
Ten years later, Puppetry of the Penis is still touring although it is not coming to the Hawth in this year’s autumn tour. It features full-frontal male nudity and is advertised as “a mind-blowing show written and devised by two handsome, well-endowed Australians who manipulate their manhood into various shapes, objects and landmarks.” It goes on to describe how “A video camera projects intimate details of these phenomena onto a large screen ensuring little can be missed” and how you can “discover the Loch Ness Monster! Be blown away by the Windsurfer! Coax the Slow Emerging Mollusc from its shell.”
Councillor Crow added “I don’t know whether as the then Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture in 2003, if Councillor Mullins attended this performance at the Hawth, or may even have been a guest of honour and had a front-row seat, but surely this is sheer cynical and naked hypocrisy from him, to have endorsed such a tacky show with full nudity under his own tenure, but then to go on to criticise a sport and fitness based national pole dancing competition under someone else’s tenure?”
“I will forever associate Chris Mullins time as Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture with those Australian contortionists, but joking aside, what I find most disappointing is that Labour Councillors like him keep trying to undermine the ever-popular Hawth Theatre when in reality, it is improving and going from strength to strength. Sadly, this is because of their outdated left-wing ideological objection to an outside provider running and improving our services. We are saving £2.5 million of Crawley taxpayer’s money over ten years while bringing in investment and continuing to improve the customer experience.”
Puppetry of the Penis flyer.
Councillor Chris Mullins, a former Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture – accused of “naked hypocrisy.”
Poster advert similar to one displayed at Crawley neighbourhood parades in 2003, when Cllr Mullins was Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture.