End of a promising political career

DALE Jackson was one of the most entertaining and colourful characters on the Ipswich political scene, and the news that he has forfeited his seat at the borough after being absent for more than six months marks the end of a political career full of potential.

DALE Jackson was one of the most entertaining and colourful characters on the Ipswich political scene, and the news that he has forfeited his seat at the borough after being absent for more than six months marks the end of a political career full of potential.

His departure marks the end of a three-year political rollercoaster ride which went from the triumph of leading his party into power for the first time in a generation to falling out with his colleagues and resigning the whip.

What makes today's news all the more remarkable for those who know Mr Jackson is that he lives and breathes politics.

It has always dominated his life - he even took holidays marching with the Orangemen in Ulster when he was a county councillor.

When that news was broken by The Evening Star opposition councillors ostentatiously produced oranges at the next county meeting he attended. He roared with laughter and revelled in his reputation as a right-winger.

The problems Mr Jackson faced during his political career were often self-inflicted, betraying a lack of judgement that his friends often feared could land him in trouble. At times he seemed to be living in a 1970s sit-com.

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But his circle of friends included Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians - he would happily debate with them in the pub.

It is difficult for those who know him to imagine that he can be too happy living in Spain and not debating Ipswich political issues down at the local.

POP icon Boy George is the latest big-name act to be confirmed for the Ipswich Regent. He will be visiting the refurbished venue in October.

This latest announcement confirms that the theatre really is on the up - able to attract major stars with a world-wide reputation.

Today's announcement follows confirmation that regular venue-fillers Status Quo and Daniel O'Donnell will be returning during the autumn and soul diva Beverley Knight will also making a return visit.

The management of the region's theatre deserves a massive pat on the back for doing so much to keep the area entertained.

WHILE The Regent plays host to some of the biggest names in showbusiness, there is still room in the theatre for talented amateurs who serve up first class entertainment.

That is what we are being treated to at the theatre this week as the Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society brings Titanic The Musical to the stage.

The story of the tragic maiden voyage of the world's largest ocean liner has been told many times before, most notably by Hollywood a decade ago.

But it is good to see that a talented and enterprising amateur group is able to bring a new take to this story - and provide great entertainment for the town.

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