Wednesday 22 January 2014

My slogan - 'Better the Devil you know?'

Recent revelations and reports of resignations will have embarrassed the top brass of the South East Cambridgeshire Conservative Association. The embarrassment is deserved. In any other organisation the top brass would have resigned en masse. It isn't too late, even now. 

My interest in the matter is that I want an able and broadly representative person to represent me and this great constituency in the House of Commons. Moreover, I want an MP who is sympathetic to the views of most people in both town and country who abhor, as I do, the so-called 'sports' of fox hunting, hare coursing, etc.

As to the first point, I was told by a person who was present at the 'open primary' selection meeting that the selected candidate would be 'in the Cabinet in no time at all.' I responded to this person by saying, 'Yes, but, will she relate to South East Cambridgeshire?' To my astonishment, the person said, 'Probably not.'

As to the second point, I wrote (by recorded delivery on the 7th of December last) asking the then selected candidate to let me know how she intended to vote should a possible repeal of the Hunting Act 2004 (which banned fox hunting, hare coursing, etc.) come before the Commons. The reply, in e-mail form, took until the 6th of January to reach me. It disappointed in that I saw it as being typically London-lawyerly. It said that she 'would canvass opinion' and that she 'at that stage [a possible repeal] would very much look forward to hearing your [my] views in detail.' I replied immediately indicating disappointment and stating that a possible repeal had been the subject of lively and widespread debate and discussion throughout the country ever since the Act's passing. I thought that she should have an opinion one way or another and I was pressing her as hard as I dared at that stage. I pointed out that I had stood (as an independent) against the then Mr James Paice at the 2010 election. I said that I had lost big time but that I had made a point, a point which I was prepared to make again. I have received nothing more from the candidate.

I make now some more comments:

The idea of having an 'open primary' was and is commendable. A successful one was held at Totnes in Devon. No fewer than 16,947 people are said to have taken part. I understand that something over 100 people did so in South East Cambridgeshire. That was pretty pathetic: the thing ought to have been advertised more widely.

As a mistake in counting the ballot papers at the 'open primary' appears to have been made, it would have been sensible and right to have re-run the whole process. It isn't too late, even now.

I spoke to Mr Peter Cresswell, the Association chairman, regarding the lack of a prompt response from the candidate to my letter of the 7th of December. At that time, which was before the now infamous 'second meeting,' Mr Cresswell took great pains to tell me about his own integrity. I didn't doubt it then, but I do now.

I have seen some of the letter from Mr Brian Ashton, the Association president, supposedly sent to Association members before the infamous 'second meeting.' Mr Ashton referred to 'unsubstantiatable suggestions.' I had not come across the first word before and neither has my spellchecker. Mr Ashton often uses long words where short ones would be better.

I am amazed that the now-knighted Sir James Paice played any part in the now infamous 'second meeting.' It is not the job of a retiring MP to promote a particular successor. Sir James is soon to be part of the past: he ought to have known his place.

Heidi Allen has been the most obvious loser in this messed-up process. Other losers have been the eminently electable and suitable local people who were peremptorily passed over at an early stage. It appears that Conservative Central Office had an agenda - an agenda that was pursued with typical Central Office ruthlessness.

I said that I was prepared to make a point again. If I make that point again it will be as an independent again. I am reasonably well-known throughout South East Cambridgeshire but I don't suppose that I am liked by everybody.

My election slogan is therefore likely to be, 'Better the Devil you know.'

Saturday 13 July 2013

Our new home at Soham is now named Sunnymead: it seems appropriate to us

Our new home at Soham is now named Sunnymead.

That name has strong resonances for Sue and for me.

It was the name of the Day family’s seaside bungalow at Hunstanton which, dramatically, was washed away in the awful East Coast floods of January, 1953.

More importantly, it was the name of Sue’s family home at Newmarket when I commenced courting her in 1961.

She married me from there in 1962.

Sad to relate, Sunnymead at Newmarket no longer exists.

We decided recently to revive the name: it seems appropriate to us.

We miss Chapel Farm enormously but we love Sunnymead and the town of Soham and are very happy with the outcome of our move.

Monday 3 October 2011

'Little Chapel in The Fen' - 'Full of love' (it was said)

Yesterday there was held the 127th annual Harvest Service at 'The Little Chapel in The Fen,' which is at the end of our Fen garden at River Bank, near Upware.

We had a 'full house' again and, without exception, all said that they had enjoyed themselves. One lady went so far (and she had come so far, too) as to say that she wouldn't miss the Service for anything because she always feels that the Chapel is 'full of love.' It was certainly full of people and I guess that our lady friend had noticed that we all love the Fens, that we all love the farming of the Fens, that we all love getting together, and that we all love giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, the bounty of which may be seen in my first picture, that of the Chapel and the display of produce which was given eventually to benefit the Burwell Day Centre (and delivered today).

The service was conducted by Mrs Helen Randall, of Upware, and she impressed with her very appropriate words and with her sincerity. Helen presently heads up 'Care Network Cambridgeshire,' a splendid voluntary organisation, and the offering (£225.00) was given for its support. Here is a link to it -

Helen came with her husband, Steve, and both appear in the not-very-good picture below. The excuse of the photographer is that the light wasn't right. The sun was hot after the service, too.

Our regular organist is Mrs Shirley Randall, of Waterbeach, but Shirley has just had a hip replacement and wasn't able to perform. A very welcome stand-in (or sit-in) was Mr Brian Mizon, of Cambridge. Here is Brian preparing to tune up. He played beautifully.                                                                            

The old-fashioned hymns (from the Sankey & Moody books) were:

'Come, ye thankful people, come'

'We plough the fields and scatter'

'Bringing in the sheaves'

'Tell me the old, old story'

'Jesus bids us shine'

'When the roll is called up yonder'

The congregation sang with great gusto. The whole Service was recorded by Mr John Drewry, of Little Thetford. CDs or tapes are available on application.

A retiring collection was taken for the Chapel's upkeep. 'The Little Chapel in The Fen' has had a good year in that the interior has been re-decorated. All the work was organised by Mr Kim Sheldrick, of Swaffham Prior, and most of it was done by Mr Paul Brown, of Fordham. We are very grateful to both of them.

We need now to renovate the windows and it will be a fiddly and expensive job. No less than £301.00 appeared in the collection bucket towards this next project. The Trustees are very grateful for this superb start.

My last picture is of the car park. That and our yard were full as never before.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Great news: Boundary Commission says Newmarket is to be in a new (old) Cambridgeshire constituency

Great news has arrived on my screen today, courtesy of the BBC.

Following the government's decision to reduce the number of MPs and parliamentary seats (from 650 to 600) in the House of Commons, the Boundary Commission has published its proposals for re-distributing seats to take account of the need now to have MPs representing more constituents on average than heretofore.

The result appears to be a much bigger upheaval than some expected. In my area (presently South East Cambridgeshire), the BBC says as follows:

"It is proposed that Newmarket merges into an Ely constituency, together with the whole of the district of East Cambridgeshire, which almost entirely encircles the town. The commission said the decision was reached because "Newmarket has strong communication links with Ely and the rest of the proposed constituency.""

Provided the Beeb has it right, I regard this as great news, for it is a fact that Newmarket (presently partly in Suffolk) is surrounded by Cambridgeshire. The parts of Cambridgeshire that surround Newmarket are in East Cambridgeshire District Council's area. It all makes sense and, believe it or not, there was an old 'Newmarket Division' of Cambridgeshire. MPs elected for the division were Sir George Newnes, Bart., who won first in 1885; Colonel Harry McCalmont, who won first in 1895; Sir Charles Rose, who won a bye-election in 1903; Mr George Henry Verrall, who won in January, 1910; Sir Charles Rose, who won again in December, 1910; and Mr John Denison-Pender (later Lord Pender), who won a bye-election in 1913. The seat was done away with in 1918.

Mr Verrall, who lived at Sussex Lodge, Fordham Road, Newmarket, was the last Newmarket MP to live in Newmarket. He appears to have been most diligent in his politicking and I have a cutting, dated the 16th of February, 1907, from the Newmarket Journal, describing one of his visits to my home village:

"Swaffham Prior.

Conservative Dinner. - The annual dinner of the Conservative Club was held at the Cock Hotel on February 6th, when between 60 and 70 members and guests were present. The President, Mr H.A. Kent, occupied the chair, and was supported by the Rev. L. Fisher, Mr Leonard Ambrose, and Mr C. Woollard. After the loyal toasts, letters from the following gentlemen regretting absence were read: Messrs. C.P. Allix, M. Tosetti, A.P. Garnett, G. Manley, and the Rev. W.A. St. John Dearsley. An address of considerable length was given by Mr G.H. Verrall, and spirited addresses were also given by the Rev. Mr Cheshire (Witcham), Messrs. J.A. Wootten (Cambridge), C.C. Ambrose, and F. Palmby. Songs were sung by the Rev. L. Fisher, Messrs. Wootten, Bonham, J. Galley, R. Galley, Way (Exning), and others. Mr J.E. Collin presided at the piano. A very enjoyable evening concluded with a vote of thanks to the speakers, singers, &c. Mr and Mrs Milgate provided an excellent dinner."

Sadly, Mr Verrall died on the 16th of September, 1911.

Here is a picture of old Newmarket showing the Jubilee Clock (erected to mark Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in 1887) and the throng of traffic in the High Street and on the Bury Road.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Libya could easily tip over the edge - (Today's Times)

The Times is now a subscription-only newspaper. Therefore links to pieces in it won't work unless one is a subscriber. However, I have been able to copy a first-class article by Deborah Haynes, who is the paper's Defence Editor.

The situation in Libya is deeply worrying (I wish that the Libyans had been left alone to sort out their problems, but out gung-ho government couldn't resist having a go at Gaddafi).

It has seemed to me all along that we know nothing of those who desire to replace the Colonel. It seems to me now that Deborah Haynes has similar concerns.

Here is the article, which is headed -

Beware. Libya could easily tip over the edge

"The mixture of distrust and disorder on the streets could yet prove to be explosive

Anyone who believes that with the fall of Colonel Gaddafi Libya will smoothly transform itself into a peaceful, progressive democracy is naive or delusional.

The rebels offer hugely persuasive assurances that the country can unite behind their cause and work together to recover from 42 years of one-man rule. They also dismiss concerns that the hunted dictator’s supporters pose any form of destabilising influence, saying that their number is too small.

However, a lot of the ingredients are in place for a new insurgency.

I would love to be proved wrong after a revolution that involved truly inspiring individuals: doctors, teachers, lawyers and engineers willing to die for their freedom. But with Gaddafi still on the loose, his followers still willing to fight and a desire for revenge still fresh within the opposition, the chaos that grips Tripoli has the potential to breed further violence rather than to mark a low point from which the new Libya will rise.

The absence of the sectarian divide that fed the Iraq insurgency, pitting the Shia majority against the Sunni minority, with help from Sunni al-Qaeda and Shia Iran, is confidently cited as the reason why Libya without Gaddafi will not go the same way as Iraq without Saddam Hussein.

But religion is not the only cause for tension. In the post-Gaddafi world there will always be underlying friction between the “pros” or “fifth column” — the militants who remain loyal to the colonel — and those who rebelled.

The emerging evidence of revenge killings on both sides should come as no surprise. This was a bloody civil war with Western assistance. People were fighting for their survival, and it will not be as easy as the rebel leaders would like to switch off such emotions, given the huge number of weapons in ordinary people’s hands and the exposure to extreme violence that most have experienced.

With Tripoli under the control of the National Transitional Council (NTC), now is the time for a brutal period of war to give way to one of restored order and reconciliation, even with Gaddafi still at large.

The restoration of water, electricity and fuel in the capital will help to build confidence in the new leadership, particularly among the people of western Libya who remained longest under the control of the old regime and are the least-well represented around the NTC table. Also, regular policemen must quickly return to Tripoli’s streets, hospitals must be restocked and even rubbish collections resumed — the stinking piles of garbage on roadsides add to a sense of lawlessness.

So far the rebel leaders have had a relatively easy ride each time their fighters have taken control of an area — Benghazi, Misrata, the Western Mountains — because the overwhelming majority of the population supported them.

But Tripoli is different, with a significant number of residents loyal to Gaddafi and hostile to the NTC. The more frank rebel estimates put the number of loyalists at 20 per cent, while regime supporters claim that it is far higher.

A wave of suicide attacks by loyalists or retaliatory killings by rebels could ignite even worse violence, preventing people from focusing on restoring public services and law and order.

There is also an external dimension. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s new leader, has called for Libya to become a new front line for global jihad, while countries that would prefer to see the Nato-backed uprising fail will be looking for ways to exploit the power vacuum, as happened in Iraq.

The only way to counter this is through strong leadership, competent international support and by making sure that the disparate groups of rebels continue their allegiance to the NTC.

More must be done to defuse suspicion between rebels and Gaddafi supporters — not easy while he remains at liberty. The names of many loyalists are on rebel lists, so they will be detained for questioning if identified. The NTC says that only those with blood on their hands will face justice. Anyone else will simply be disarmed and allowed to go free. This sounds sensible and fair — but with emotions running so high there is little to prevent people seeking revenge for any suffering endured under Gaddafi.

An interesting insight into this was offered by a man I met who had spent two months in Abu Salim prison after the failed uprising in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, early in the revolution. He was beaten, had the nails on his big toes pulled out and was urinated on.

The man, well-educated, well spoken and moderate, knew exactly who tortured him. Asked what he would do if he saw them again, his response was simple: “I will kill them.”

Libya has a chance to emerge from four decades of dictatorship as a fair, democratic society but will require forgiveness, courage and resolve to prevent further strife."

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Have our farmers increase our home food production

The government has accepted another e-petition from me. This one is about food and farming and is addressed to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), where Mr James Paice, M.P. is the relevant farming minister. My e-petition reads as follows:

"Farmers Guardian says that the UK is importing 51% of the food that is consumed here. To be dependent on overseas sources for more than half of our food needs is shocking. We have a population of nearly sixty-two millions and we haven't a hope in hell of feeding them without massive food imports which may not always be available. We expect all sorts of food - as well as those lovely filling station flowers - to be available all-year-round. Much comes from Africa, and by air. Many African countries cannot feed their own peoples. While Africans starve, we demand our mange tout. Do our people have no shame? Let's have our farmers increase our home food production."

Please sign the food and farming e-petition here -

The picture above is of my friend and farming neighbour, Mr David Watts, standing in a fine field of Agria potatoes here in Swaffham Prior Fen.

Saturday 13 August 2011

Will he be labelled 'Governor Rick from Hicksville'?

I watched part of Governor Perry’s speech on CNN.

It must be difficult for all aspiring politicians in America who have to try to balance the desire to seem folksy with the appearance of being clued up.

If I were so honoured as to be addressing any sort of gathering in the marvellously civilised Southern city of Charleston, I would be only too conscious of, say, the old-fashioned oratory of South Carolina’s own Senator John C. Calhoun, and I would also want to be word-perfect and prepared.

If I were aspiring to be a candidate for the Presidency, I would not only want to be word-perfect and prepared, but I would also be trying to ensure that the desire to be folksy was carefully balanced with the appearance of being clued up.

Mr Perry appeared neither to be word-perfect and prepared nor particularly clued up. He was folksy alright, but his folksiness seemed to drag somewhat and he appeared at times to be a little lost.

He must improve his act.

If he cannot improve his act, he will go down as no successor to John C. Calhoun; he will instead be labelled 'Governor Rick from Hicksville.'

Tuesday 9 August 2011

This stupid government needs to do another U-turn

I hate to spread bad news about my country but the riots and the looting that have gone on in London during the last three nights are just too awful to ignore.

What I have said on-line (to The Times and to the Daily Telegraph) is the following:

"This stupid government needs to do another U-turn. Instead of cutting police numbers the police numbers must to be doubled. We need proper protection at all times. Think riots and looting now: think Olympics 2012."

Here is a link to the latest Daily Telegraph reportage of the events -

Saturday 6 August 2011

"His family has been informed." Well, that's OK, then

From The Daily Telegraph (Saturday, 6th August, 2011):

A Royal Marine was killed in Afghanistan yesterday after his patrol was attacked by insurgents, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The serviceman, from 42 Commando Royal Marines, was killed by a grenade thrown into a check point in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province.

The marine's patrol initially fought off an attack from the insurgents.

The patrol then returned to its check point and was preparing to redeploy when insurgents attacked again.

A grenade landed in the check point which wounded the serviceman. He was taken to the military hospital in Camp Bastion but died later, the Ministry of Defence said.

His family has been informed.

Task Force Helmand spokesman, Major Rolf Kurth, said: "The Royal Marine was part of a foot patrol deployed to reassure local residents, and deter and disrupt insurgent activity, when they came under small arms attack."

"With the help of mortars and close air support, they broke contact with the insurgents and returned to their check point. They then came under further attack, and the Royal Marine was mortally wounded by a grenade that landed inside the check point."

"He died later in Camp Bastion Role 3 Hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in their time of grief."

The total number of British service personnel who have died since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001 is now 378.

Latest news on the BBC (12 noon, 6th August): U.S. helicopter crashes in Afghanistan with the loss of 38 lives. Our sympathy goes out to the families and friends of all of those who have died.

Monday 1 August 2011

Golden handshakes - nice 'work,' if you can get it!

If my readers are willing to run the risk of an apoplexy ('a state of extreme rage or excitement'), I suggest that they follow this link to a piece in today's Daily Telegraph -

It will all seem astonishing, especially to anyone who knows any of these expensive individuals. No wonder the country's finances are in poor shape.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

A serious bit of economic bother for George Osborne

The latest serious bit of economic bother for George Osborne is variously put down to an over-warm April, the royal wedding and the Japanese tsunami.

Is it possible that some of our problems stem from Mr Osborne's own obstinacy?

Anyway, Peter Brookes, of The Times, has produced yet another great cartoon, this one portraying Bullingdon Boy George 'pole-vaulting' the pretty minimal 0.2% growth bar. Well done, that Chancellor.

Thursday 21 July 2011

The County Council and the National Trust - They've done it again - We've all been 'done' - Again and again

The following letter has been sent off to local media:

"Dear Editor(s),

The County Council and the National Trust have done it again: they have done another farmland deal in private to the disbenefit of Cambridgeshire's public purse and to the benefit of the National Trust.

The details of the latest deal done in private have emerged in the last few days. The council has sold 24.23 acres of good quality farmland near Reach for £115,000. The price represents £4,746.18 per acre. The National Trust was the buyer. No farmer buyer got a look-in. This latest deal done in private follows another deal done in private and completed in 2008, when a whole farm of over 100 acres - Hurdle Hall, also near Reach - was sold to the National Trust for £300,000, substantially less than my estimate of its true value.

I believe that the latest deal done in private, like the earlier one, is a scandal. I say this because I have good reason to believe that the 24.23 acres are worth at least £7,000 per acre as food-growing farmland. By selling 24.23 acres of farmland at £4,746.18 per acre instead of £7,000 per acre, the County Council has effectively 'given' the National Trust the sum of £54,610 - possibly more.

When I was Chairman of the County Council's Finance Committee in the 1970s, I pleaded the poverty line on behalf of the County Council. I believed in the line that I took at that time. Others have pleaded the same line since. I now take the line that, if the County Council can afford to 'give' the National Trust £54,610, the Council's oft-pleaded poverty line is misleading and not to be believed.

Something must be done. If County Council farmland is to be sold, it must be sold more openly. This scandal must not be repeated.

Yours sincerely,

Geoffrey Woollard."

Wednesday 20 July 2011

“At £1,000 per taxpayer, most of whom will see no benefit, HS2 is a massive redistribution of wealth to the rich people who will travel by the train” (The Times)

Amidst all of the excitement stemming from 'hacking,' the Murdochs and Mr Cameron's increasing discomfiture, people are missing other arguably more important matters.

Today's Times (a Murdoch-owned newspaper) publishes a piece on the so-called HS2 and, as The Times is a subscription newspaper not available to all, I have copied part of the piece which vindicates every word which I have said on the subject of HS2 before the 2010 election, during the 2010 election, and after the 2010 election.

Here we go:

"High-speed rail line ‘is next Millennium Dome’

Robert Lea Industrial Editor

A 225mph rail line from London to Birmingham and the North will be a £34 billion waste of money and the proposals are based on an “economic fairy story”, the Institute of Economic Affairs has concluded.

The free market think-tank’s report attacks the economic arguments of the proposed line, known as High Speed 2 or HS2, promoted by Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary.

The report, which has the backing of Conservative backbench MPs, describes HS2 as a white elephant in the making based on “weird” travel assumptions and with a cavalier approach to costings.

It is proposed that the line, due to be running by 2025, will cut through unspoilt parts of Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Chilterns and terminate on newly built tracks at London Euston. The debate has hitherto been marked by accusations of Nimbyism against vociferous local opposition. However, in its report High Speed 2: the next government project disaster? the institute argues that it is a vanity project, on a par with the Millennium Dome, whose economic case is flawed.

Richard Wellings, co-author of the report, said that HS2 will cost £34 billion, not taking into account extra billions needed at Euston to cope with the dispersal of thousands of additional passengers. “At £1,000 per taxpayer, most of whom will see no benefit, HS2 is a massive redistribution of wealth to the rich people who will travel by the train,” Dr Wellings said.

“The cavalier approach to costings has not taken into account the cost implications of running into Euston, which would need the construction of a new Tube line or diverting Crossrail [the new east-west London train line under construction] to cope.”

Dr Wellings said that the Department for Transport was guilty of “weird assumptions” about the economic benefits of HS2 that exaggerated the benefits in time savings of a high-speed line. He said that the line would need to be vastly subsidised to charge fares that would attract enough passengers. “If this were a commercial project it would be hugely loss-making,” he said."

Pretty damning, isn't it? 

Write to your MP about it if you feel as I do.

Saturday 16 July 2011

A mosque in the City of Ely? - No, thanks very much!

There have been reports in the Cambridge News - about a protest march by the English Defence League in Cambridge and a counter-march by Unite Against Fascism - and in the Ely newspapers - about the possibility of muslims building a mosque in the Cathedral City of Ely.

What I say is this:

"Cambridge has a mosque. Cambridge is believed by many now to be a 'multi-cultural' city. I do not believe that Ely - a significant centre of Christianity and Englishness for many centuries - is in the same league. Therefore, I have reservations as to the desirability of a mosque in Ely.

I am not at all keen on such as the English Defence League. To whom else can I turn?"

The view above is of Ely Cathedral with parts of the surrounding City as seen from the Stuntney direction. Some of our splendid black Fen farm land is in the foreground.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Newmarket, Suffolk - and some costly Chinese balls

Sue and I live near Newmarket. Sue was born in Newmarket. We were married at All Saints' Church, Newmarket, nearly fifty years ago.

Above are the infamous Newmarket balls. They came from China and they cost a mint. They were intended to enhance and to improve the old Newmarket Jubilee Clock Tower traffic roundabout. Many people believe that they are an expensive eyesore, out of keeping with their surroundings. They are sited within the area of Newmarket controlled by Suffolk County Council, based in Ipswich, and Forest Heath District Council, based in Mildenhall. Some people - including me - say that the whole Town of Newmarket (where there is a Town Council which only looks after part - the Suffolk part - of the Town) would be better served by its being within the County of Cambridgeshire, the County town of which is nearby Cambridge, and the District of East Cambridgeshire.

East Cambridgeshire District Councillor, Mr Tom Kerby (pictured right), who lives in Newmarket, has raised again the vexed issue of the situation of Newmarket, split as it is between Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Counties and their respective County Councils and East Cambridgeshire and Forest Heath District Councils.

Mr Kerby raised the issue in the Newmarket Journal, our much-loved local newspaper.

I wrote to the Newmarket Journal and have had published today the following:

"Full marks to Cllr. Tom Kerby for his welcome opinions on the welfare of Newmarket.

I have lived near Newmarket, but in Cambridgeshire, all of my life. I have always looked to Newmarket for what I need. Indeed, I looked to Newmarket for a wife and married Sue (née Day), daughter of Fred and Peggy, at the former Cambridgeshire Church of All Saints nearly fifty years ago. In those days, the town was both busy and attractive. Sadly, it is less so now.

I believe that most of Newmarket and all of Exning have suffered from being so distant from their principal bases of local government - Mildenhall and Ipswich - and I believe that they would both benefit from closer connections with Cambridgeshire.

There is another factor, too. The villages that surround Newmarket are mostly in Cambridgeshire. The villagers in those villages have to turn to Ely for some services. How much better things were when there was a Newmarket Rural District Council and a Newmarket Urban District Council, both working from and in Newmarket.

It is high time for the odd historical quirk of the County boundary to be ironed out. There will be resistance from certain elements in Suffolk, as there was from the self-interested then MP Sir Eldon Griffiths in earlier days.

I wish Tom Kerby well. Many of us have worked on similar lines for many decades."

I am confident that this will run and run - and so it should until sense prevails.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Latest news - poisonous hemlock seen in Burwell Fen

I was alerted that hemlock, a poisonous plant, is particularly prevalent in Burwell Fen this year. So I went to have a look.

The National Trust controls much of Burwell Fen in further pursuance of its so-called 'Wicken Vision.' I went as far down Newnham Drove as I dared go. The sight (pictured above) was shocking. Not only was there a lot of hemlock but there was also the usual National Trust jungle of other weeds, too.

This is all on and near land that has grown good crops in the past. Whilst I have supported the original Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, there must be doubts about its being extended as far as the A14 and Cambridge. Thousands more acres of fine food-growing Fen peat land are set to become an unkempt jungle of weeds and waste.

Quite frankly, I'd prefer to see less hemlock and more beetroot, carrots, leeks, potatoes, sugar beet and wheat, all crops that grow well and look good in our Fens.

And I'd also prefer to see less ragwort around, too. Here is another of my pictures, this of ragwort flourishing on National Trust land near Reach. Ragwort is a toxic plant. Fortunately, the cattle in the background haven't yet touched the ragwort in the foreground.

Some of the old Fen 'boys' who cared for the Fen farms in earlier days would have a fit if they could see this and some of the younger Fen 'boys' who care for the fine Fen farms nowadays are having collective fits.
We're going to win this one sooner than some think, though. The ghosts of the old Fen 'boys' will rejoice and the hearts and minds of the younger Fen 'boys' will give thanks that they lived to see the day.
I have commented on the Farmers Guardian website (where the headline was 'UK importing 51pc of food consumed') as follows:
"To be in a position where we are dependent on overseas sources for half of our food needs is shocking. Equally shocking is the loss of arable Fen land to the jungle of water and weeds that is being effected by the National Trust at Wicken in South East Cambridgeshire, Mr Paice's constituency. We must be mad to permit it." 

Thursday 23 June 2011

I have a new hero. His name is Mark Pritchard, M.P.

I have a new hero.

His name is Mark Pritchard.

He is the Conservative MP for The Wrekin.

Mr Pritchard moved this afternoon in the House of Commons a resolution in favour of a ban on wild animals in circuses.

Against all expectations and despite the anticipated opposition of the government whips - opposition which did not materialize - Mr Pritchard's resolution was passed.

Well done, that man!

Here is a link - with a video of Mr Pritchard speaking about his being bribed and bullied - to the BBC's on-line coverage of the story.

Here are illustrations of what Mr Pritchard sought to ban.

And here (copied from the Financial Times website), most astonishingly of all, are Mr Pritchard's words as he opened the debate in the House:

"It has been in interesting last few days.

If I offered to amend my motion or drop my motion or not call a vote on this motion… I was offered reward, an incentive.

It was a pretty trivial job, as most of the ones I have had – until at least probably 30 minutes from now – are.

But I was offered incentive and reward on Monday, then it was ratcheted up to last night when I was threatened.

I had a call from the prime minister’s office directly, and I was told unless I withdraw this motion, that the prime minister himself said that he would look upon it very dimly indeed.

Well I have a message for the whips and for the prime minister of our country, and I didn’t pick a fight with the prime minister of our country, but I have a message: I may just be a little council house lad from a very poor background, but that background gives me a backbone, it gives me a thick skin and I am not going to be kowtowed by the whips on an issue that I feel passionately about."

Some questions are already being asked. I look forward to hearing or reading the answers.

I say again, 'Well done, that man!'

Wednesday 22 June 2011

A story without a picture - direct from Afghanistan

The following has appeared on a blog on the Daily Telegraph website today. It purports to be from someone - possibly a Scot - working in Afghanistan. If it is genuine, it is a devastating demolition of the continuing and ongoing NATO intervention in Afghanistan. I re-publish it here on my blog without a picture. The words need no picture. They speak for themselves.

benny_from_the_bronx writes:

"I work out of small US FOBs in rural Kandahar...I am in one now and I can quite simply state that the place is a mess. The US are throwing money at locals (Cash For Work programmes) to prevent them being payed by the Taliban because the US pay Afghan will work for whoever is paying the most. Once this CFW programme ends and the money stops...those same afghans will simply go to the Taliban and volunteer their services for money.

Once NATO leaves...and the Karzai Government run the show (hahahahahaha) the Taliban (a ficticious name anyway) will simple disband and they will all return to their own villages and tribes and commence fighting each other...which is what they've been doing for centuries. This is Afghanistan...!!! It is different to any other country on earth...people in rural villages do not care about what Karzai proclaims or what the Government say...some of these villagers have never been to the village in the next valley nor do they care what goes on across the valley...they certainly don't care what goes on in Kabul.

Afghanistan is what it is...that's the way God made it...Insh'allah as they say...we will never change it, no matter how much money we spend or how good it makes us feel that we built a new school at the cost of $50 million and several dead soldiers... a school that will probably never be used because the Taliban will threaten and intimidate everyone from using it...and after a couple of harsh winters it will slowly collapse...because it wasn't uilt that well anyway...and why wasn't it built well...? Because, in the spirit of fair trade...the contract for the new school has been sub-contracted out...then the sub-contractor has sub-sub-contracted it out to a local afghan construction firm...who throw together a couple of bricks and cement...and the result is a $50 million school project, where only about $10,000 has been spent on the actual school. The rest has gone on bribes and people taking their "cut".

This is the way NATO is fighting it's war...this is the new Counter Insurgency me an old fashioned fool...but the whole point of to "Counter" the "Insurgency"...once that has been achieved (which it has not)...then...and only then, should we be thinking about reconstruction and development...if at it REALLY our responsibility? Or are we just feeling guilty? We scream about issues like Child Mortality rates and the Opression of Women and we send well meaning but oh so naive NGO's into the country to try and "fix" this because "we" in the West...proclaim that "we" know what's best for them...for these poor illiterate peasants of rural condescending can we be...??? Afghan villagers have dealt with low child mortality rates/abuse of their women and other such "nasty" things since the dawn of is their is their tribal culture...we are not going to "educate" some 85 year old village elder into being more understanding and moderate...are we really THAT stupid and naive...? seems we are...yes...!!!

It is a waste of time...nothing will change here...this is Afghanistan...this is a place where technology is not required nor desired...this is a country where a cow or a goat determines a mans wealth...not his car, house, watch, phone or salary...Afghans want little and have less. This has always been the way...for centuries...we will not change this...this is Afghanistan."

Tuesday 21 June 2011

I've been reading again - here's my review for Amazon

Having been inadequately educated and having been brought up amidst Toryism and surrounded by what passes for Tory 'thought,' I have long known that what was missing in my reading at least was more study of the radicals in our British history. I have tried to remedy the omission. I came to admire David Lloyd George for his sticking up for the down-trodden in Wales and elsewhere and for his opposing the war with the Boers and, likewise, James Ramsay Macdonald for his principled but unsuccessful stand against British involvement in war in 1914. Another book has now come along that has helped me again.

'A Radical History of Britain.' by Edward Vallance, is a massive (639 pages, including notes and the index) and important study of British history as seen via radical eyes. It starts (after an 'introduction' that brings in King Alfred) with the Magna Carta. It moves on to the turbulent fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and I can now better distinguish my Jack Cade from my Robert Kett, my John Ball from my Jack Straw, and my Wat Tyler from my Lollards.

The English Revolution - one of my favourite periods of history - is well covered and such as the Levellers, the Diggers and the Muggletonians become people and causes rather than the footnotes to which they are often consigned. No radical history would be worthwhile without chapters on Thomas Paine, the Rights of Man and a description of the torn British attitudes towards the French Revolution. The Peterloo Massacre is given pride of place, as are the Tolpuddle Martyrs and the Chartists. I knew about these but I now know much more.

Later in the nineteenth century, the emergence of the women's suffragists brought to prominence the rights of women as much as the 'rights of man.' The latter didn't always embrace the former. One of my reservations about the book was that too much space is given to the suffragists' cause at the expense of other aspects of radicalism.

Another reservation was that some great radicals are not mentioned at all. For example, Mr Joseph Arch, M.P. (1826 - 1919), founder of the first union of agricultural labourers and an outstanding advocate of better pay and votes for many of the labourers - not won until 1884 - as well as a strong supporter of freedom of religion in the country areas where the Church of England was dominant and the introduction of Parish Councils. I recall in my own lifetime the mutual antagonism of the respective adherents of 'church' and 'chapel.' Sadly, both church and chapel are finding these secular times hard. Parish Councils thrive, however. Maybe that is what some of those early British radicals desired.

All in all, though I had reservations about this book, I recommend it highly. It's a very good read and I continue to learn.

Here's the link to the book, the review - and others:

Tuesday 14 June 2011

"Britain cannot keep up its role in Libya air war due to cuts" - Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, of the Royal Navy

The following is a piece from today's Daily Telegraph:

"Navy chief: Britain cannot keep up its role in Libya air war due to cuts

The British military intervention in Libya is unsustainable, the head of the Navy has said.
Adml Sir Mark Stanhope said the campaign would have been more effective without the Government's defence cuts.
The aircraft carrier and the Harrier jump-jets scrapped under last year's strategic defence review would have made the mission more effective, faster and cheaper, he said.

Sir Mark warned that the Navy would not be able to sustain its operations in Libya for another three months without making cuts elsewhere.

The First Sea Lord's comments will stir the debate over defence cuts that have left Britain without a working aircraft carrier and forced the Royal Navy's Harrier jump jets to be mothballed.

Ministers have repeatedly argued that Britain has had no need of either HMS Ark Royal or the Harriers in the Libyan mission because planes can fly from bases in Italy, such as Gioia del Colle.

But Sir Mark said the carrier and its planes would have been useful in Libya. "If we had Ark Royal and the Harriers, I feel relatively reassured that we would have deployed that capability off Libya," he said.

Harriers would have been used for "ground support" operations, attacking Col Gaddafi's land forces, he said.

Sir Mark appeared to contradict ministers' assurances on the Italian bases. He said operating Harriers from an aircraft carrier would have allowed British forces to respond more quickly to events on the ground in Libya.

"The pros would have been a much more reactive force," he said. "Rather than deploying from Gioia del Colle, we would deploy within 20 minutes as opposed to an hour and a half, so obviously there are some advantages. It's cheaper to fly an aircraft from an aircraft carrier than from the shore."

Scrapping Ark Royal and its Harriers was perhaps the most controversial decision made in last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review. The Coalition has said it could not afford to maintain the ship or the planes. Military analysts and retired defence chiefs have said the cuts have limited Britain's military capabilities.

Despite his remarks, Sir Mark said there could be no going back on the cuts. "We have got to look forward."

British forces have been in action in Libya since March, yet Col Gaddafi remains in power. On June 1, Nato extended the military mission by another 90 days.

Sir Mark said British forces would be "comfortable" with another three months of operations.

"Beyond that, we might have to request the Government to make some challenging decisions about priorities," he said. "There are different ways of doing this. It's not simply about giving up standing commitments, we will have to rebalance."

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, said last week that Britain and France were struggling to maintain the Libyan operation without significant American support and supplies.

Sir Mark confirmed that the Navy had been forced to ask the US to resupply Tomahawk cruise missiles used by submarines targeting Libya.

"We are not running out, but we certainly have to take action to replace those weapons to bring stockpiles back up to where they were," he said.

As well as Ark Royal and the Harriers, the Navy is losing 5,000 posts under the defence review.

Rear-Adml David Steel, the head of Navy personnel, said the defence cuts would be a major challenge for the Senior Service.

"Our ships are hugely capable but we just don't have enough of them," he told a veterans' conference in Plymouth at the weekend.

"Having to make so many people redundant would be almost comical if it were not so serious."

Dr Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, defended the defence review last night. He said: "We continue to have the resources necessary to carry out the operations we are undertaking."

An MoD source said: "Unfortunately Harriers wouldn't have been able to carry the precision weapons needed for these operations."

Highlighting military anger over the shrinking Armed Forces, another admiral warned that "comical" defence cuts would leave the Navy without enough ships to be effective."

I have contributed an on-line comment, as follows:

"Then why on earth did our leaders blunder into yet another war that we cannot afford? They must be off their heads."

Monday 30 May 2011

'Was my son's death in Afghanistan a price worth paying?,' by Stuart Alexander, of 'The Independent'

We have received news that two Royal Marines have been killed in Afghanistan. This brings the total of British deaths in or as a result of that 'mission' to 368.

The Independent today carries a piece by Stuart Alexander, the father of Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander, M.C., and I can do no better on my blog than to reproduce the piece, along with photographs of Marine Alexander (above) and again, with his colleague, Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin (below).

Stuart Alexander writes:

"Was my son's death in Afghanistan a price worth paying?

The call, when it comes, is so stunning that everything goes numb and you shake. But the call, at 6.15pm going into a bank holiday weekend, is not a shock. It is the devastating realisation of all the worries and fears that gnaw at everyone, day and night, who has family, friends and colleagues in a theatre of war.

The other gnawing internal conflict for those same people, who support their loved ones 100 per cent in the job they are being asked to do, is that they may not be quite so enthusiastic about the policy which sends them there.

My son Sam, at 28, married to Claire with a son Leo, is dead. He was hoping to be given brief leave to be at Leo's first birthday, on 21 July, to see him take his first steps. An improvised explosive device has put paid to that, as it has for his lieutenant, Ollie Augustin. The last time Sam was written up in this newspaper he had taken a bullet through his helmet but escaped injury after leading a defensive firefight that allowed his shot and injured troop leader to be dragged to safety.

Among the comments added by readers online were some very mean-spirited, even sneering criticisms. The Queen awarded him a Military Cross at Windsor Castle. He came home, the baby was born, and then the pre-theatre training for his second tour kicked in.

At the same time, and especially recently, there have been two sustained public relations campaigns. One says that we (Nato/Britain) are succeeding militarily. The other says that we cannot win this thing militarily and that talking with the enemy must be stepped up. Plans for withdrawal are being worked on continuously.

Is that a kind of facing both ways at once, the accusation so recently lodged against Pakistan by a finger-wagging David Cameron? How motivating is it if a stream of analysts say this is an unwinnable war, pointing out that Afghanistan has witnessed more than 100 years of failed interventions?

 What is sure is that the deaths of these two Royal Marines from 42 Commando Group brought the total cost in lives for this campaign up to 368; one of those made me, for a while, the subject of that bland reference which is Ministry of Defence speak: "The family has been informed". Informed. What does the public really know? Are we winning the fight for democracy in Afghanistan, or is that country just a loose federation of fiefdoms, often still run by warlords?

Who or what are the Taliban? From what I have been told, this was not a ragbag peasant army. The most likely opponent, often very highly trained, could be Iranian, Chechen or Pakistani, not Afghans. So what does that do for the argument that, by waging war in Afghanistan, we are protecting Britain from a 9/11 or a Mumbai terrorist attack? Where does 7/7 fit into that? How much is the enemy already within?

Nothing should be taken away from Sam or the other 367, or the thousands more with life-changing injuries. But one thing for sure is that these guys and women are fighting primarily for each other in the most professional way. And there is much more emphasis on the ground, though not always in war reports, on forging links with the local community.

But Nato, when the Afghan public opinion chips are down, is not wanted. What we see as liberation is too often seen by them as occupation – and, if they listen to their own history, it is only a matter of time before Afghan life is restored. The average farmer struggles to survive and is certainly not a beneficiary of the reported $1bn of aid funding that has quietly disappeared.

Sam's life has not been wasted, because he was so damned good at what he did. The testimony from that most valuable of analysts, his own peer group, was alpha plus for him, humbling for me. My respect for him far outweighed any pride.

But, God knows, I loved you Sam and always will. And, if a faraway nondescript patch of rock and dust has claimed your flesh and blood, it can never claim your spirit, never destroy the bonds we had.

It is time the politicians were as professional as the men, including you, and the women they send to their deaths."

I have added an on-line comment to The Independent's website, as follows:
"Thank you for writing one of the most moving pieces that I have ever read in a paper. You and your family have the sincerest sympathy of my wife and myself. In June, 2008, I wrote to my MP (Mr James Paice) when the total of British deaths had reached 100. I said then that it was time to draw a line under a disaster. We now know that, since June, 2008, 268 more British lives have been lost. Innumerable others have been injured and the cash cost has also been enormous. In my opinion and despite the bravery exhibited by our superb British service people, it is definitely time to draw a line under this disaster. Let us bring them all home now, not in 2014."

Stuart Alexander's piece is to be found at -

Wednesday 25 May 2011

In drought-stricken East Anglia we have a Fen 'oasis'

Here (above) is a picture taken this morning. In drought-stricken East Anglia, it portrays Fen taters in a Fen oasis, where the crisis is less obvious.

I fear that few understand the seriousness of the drought situation in the rest of Eastern England. It is a crisis.

However, here in the Fens, whilst some crops desperately need a good soak, the best and most valuable food-producing farm land in England is still flourishing and, in particular, the roots and vegetables appear very promising.

Our country has a population of some sixty one millions - those are the ones who have allowed themselves to be counted - and the population of the world is well on its way to nine billions.

We cannot feed ourselves.

The world's population cannot feed itself.

Who but a lunatic would advocate that our best and most valuable food-producing farm land should go to waste in a welter of water and weeds?

Well, that is what the National Trust has been trying to achieve for the last eleven years through its so-called 'Wicken Vision.' In that time, I and many others have done battle with successive officers of the Trust.

First, it was Mr C. who was in charge. He has gorn.

Then it was Mr W. He has departed.

Then it was Mr M. He has 'retired.'

And then it was Mr B. I understand that he has 'moved on.'

None of the above are missed. They did more harm than good. The image of the National Trust has suffered by, through and from their efforts.

But we, the people of the Fens, are still here. And we are still fighting.

Finally, to show my readers and viewers a more 'scenic' view of the Fens, here (below) is a second picture taken this morning. Its charm, though I say that myself with insufficient modesty, still includes yet another valuable and flourishing crop - beetroot or red beet - and it is a credit to its growers. I hope that their efforts are appreciated both in the marketplace and in the kitchens of England.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Peter Brookes and the Queen and 'atonement' - enjoy!

Peter Brookes of The Times is at his most brilliant again today.

His subject is the Queen's state visit to the Republic of Ireland and the 'atonement' that the visit implies.

Friday 13 May 2011

'As Swaffham Prior goes, so goes the nation,' I said

Some people laugh at Parish Councils. I don't. I have always believed that such really local authorities are the best and the most effective and efficient of all, and I write from less pleasing experience of both the District Council and the County Council.

I have been trying to get a good picture of Swaffham Prior Parish Council (of which I am a member) for some time, for my own records and for my blog and in order to submit it for publication to the Swaffham Crier, our village magazine, and, last evening, at the May monthly meeting and with the help of one of the Swaffham Crier reporters, Mr Mark Lewinski, we had success.

The picture above shows the full membership and the clerk and, from left to right, there are Mr Steve Kent-Phillips, Mrs Sandra Gynn, Mr Eric Day, myself, Mr John Covill (chairman), Mrs Karen King (clerk), Mr Andrew Camps, Mr Paul Latchford, Mr Peter Hart (vice-chairman), and Mr David Almond.

The meeting was one of the best ever and it was made all the more lively and interesting because we were discussing what we thought were to be the consequences of the Localism Bill, currently making its way through Parliament. As we had seen it, the Bill was intended to bring into being a new approach to planning - 'bottom up' as opposed to 'top down' - and the abolition of government-imposed targets for house-building and such as gypsy sites. We had successfully seen off a threat of one of the latter with the help of our District Councillor, Mr Allen Alderson, and we have been and are in a mood to be constructive with regard to the former. Indeed, we had received a submission from three prominent and helpful local people who wished to provide up to eight affordable homes, probably for rent, and up to sixteen 'market value' houses, all on the site that we, as a Council, had previously put at the top of our preferred list for possible development. There is no doubting the need for affordable housing in Swaffham Prior and the quid pro quo of 'market value' houses is generally accepted. We have the preferred site, we have the facilities (a good school, etc.), we have the opportunity and we have the key people 'on-side.' (Sadly, we no longer have a post office and shop and that lack was mentioned: maybe some more housing might merit the reinstatement of a post office and shop).

A lady planning officer, Abigail Taylor, from East Cambridgeshire District Council, was present in order to help us and to guide us forward. We all wished to go forward but, regrettably, there appear to be many more processes for our proposals to go through and, helpful though Ms. Taylor was, several of us saw fear that we were, again, to be bogged down in bureaucracy and tied up with red tape.

I thought - and said - that 'the forces of negativism' could represent an impediment to progress. I also said - and nobody disagreed - that the whole concept of 'localism' was at stake, that the 'bottom up' approach to planning was being tested and that Swaffham Prior, one of the first villages to take part in the process, would be seen as a test case for the success or otherwise of the Localism Bill. In short, the excellent intentions of the Bill seem now to be at risk. It might be an exaggeration to say that the Bill's success or otherwise depends on what happens in our village, but I want to witness locally some success for the Bill's national approach.

'As Swaffham Prior goes, so goes the nation,' I said. We shall see.

Sunday 8 May 2011

National Trust introduces 'Facebook' farming for £30!

OK, you don't believe me. Take a look at this in The Independent -

See: it must be true. It was in the newspapers!

Ten thousand 'farmers' at £30 apiece is a nice little earner for the National Trust.

It might generate interest in the reality of farming: it might not.

What worries me is the reality of the National Trust's 'farming' in another part of Cambridgeshire where this airy-fairy organisation is busily buying up the finest and most productive Fen farm land in order to turn it into an unkempt and waterlogged welter of brambles, elder bushes, ragwort, stinging nettles and thistles.

Millions of pounds have been spent on draining this land: it is now going to waste and our population is growing beyond sixty-one millions, all of whom must be fed.

We must be mad to permit it and to provide its financing.

Friday 6 May 2011

Councillor Allen Alderson wins again in 'Swaffhams'

The District Council elections went well in our area. My friend, Councillor Allen Alderson, of Reach, won 'The Swaffhams' ward (the parishes of Swaffham Prior, Swaffham Bulbeck and Reach) again and I have just passed my congratulations to him through his wife, Rachael, who said that Allen was 'a bit tired and sitting in his chair' (at 8 a.m.) after an all-night count at Soham.

They hadn't got finished until about 6.30 a.m. on account of the AV referendum ballots having to be dealt with.

Allen's 'official' portrait is above left, but I much prefer the more informal picture of him taken with me at Bottisham Village College during last year's General Election campaign.

We had just shared a joke - I think. Here is the picture.

Monday 2 May 2011

He's dead at last. Well done, America. Now, let's get our armies out of Afghanistan as soon as possible

Our allied armies have been in Afghanistan for years, but many of us believed that Osama bin Laden had done a bunk.

And so it is now proved.

U.S. special forces have done what our armies weren't able to.

They got the monster in Pakistan and he's dead at last.

Well done, America.

Now, let's get our armies out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

We have lost too many brave men and women ‘over there’ - and too much money as well.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

I look forward to Prince William becoming King and Catherine becoming Queen. We could do a lot worse.

As I have often made clear, I have republican sympathies, but I hope very much that Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton, his wife-to-be, are very happy together.

Given that a British republic is unlikely in my lifetime, I look forward to him becoming King and her becoming Queen.

We could do a lot worse.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Let us, at the very least, remember our servicemen

News has come via the BBC (it came well down in the list of news items on BBC1 at 1 o'clock) that yet another of our brave British soldiers has died as a result of injuries received in Afghanistan.

The total of British dead in or as a result of Afghanistan is now 364.

Here is the link to the BBC website and the news -

Whilst attention is on the latest developments in Libya and the up-coming Royal wedding, the celebrations and the street parties, our servicemen are still fighting and dying in the hell-hole of Afghanistan.

Let us, at the very least, remember them.

Better still, bring them all home - alive.

Post Script (added at 6.10 p.m.):

It appears that I was wrong in saying 'servicemen.' It has been announced that the latest British death was that of Captain Lisa Jade Head (pictured below) of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment.

I must be old-fashioned for, whilst any death of a service person is awful, that of a service woman seems to me to be doubly so.

We mourn her loss.

Friday 15 April 2011

I know that the clock cannot be turned back but ...

I am suspicious of David Cameron.

Is he hiding his policy failures by latching on to supposedly 'populist' causes?

He was clearly electioneering with yesterday's 'immigration' speech, but I am sorry to say that I did not believe that he was telling the truth, for he said, in question time following the speech, ‘This [what he had said] is Liberal Democrat policy.’ I do not believe that.

And in any case it is nonsense for him to imply that the problems stemming from mass non-European immigration started in the last twelve years.

The West Indian style black gang gun and drugs ‘culture’ didn’t start in the last twelve years; the Asian male abuse of British women didn’t start in the last twelve years; the alien and isolationist Islamist breeding of ‘British-born’ enemies of the West didn’t start in the last twelve years.

Look at Leeds, Leicester, Luton and London: see the difference.

I believe that we have been hoodwinked and let down by politicians with their own destructive agenda for the last sixty five years.

We were never asked if we wanted our country to be more multi-racial and more multi-cultural.

When I was a lad living in rural Cambridgeshire between Cambridge and Newmarket, the only coloured people usually to be seen were a few Indian princes ‘up’ at Cambridge and the late ‘Prince’ Monolulu, the racing tipster, touting and shouting his ‘I gotta horse.’

I know that the clock cannot be turned back but, surely, we can slow the seemingly ceaseless loss of what we were once were - British.

The thing is, can Cameron and the ConDem government - or, indeed, any government - be trusted to do what I want?