Thursday, 12 November 2009

Word is getting further round!

Since I started 'blogging' on the 30th of August, I have got into a diary-style routine of including local and national news items and commenting on matters of interest to myself and, hopefully, to others. Nearly all of the 'comments' relate to my likely candidature as an independent for South East Cambridgeshire in the up-coming General Election, whenever that is to be, and the local and other issues that I and my supporters feel strongly about. It is very clear that at least some of those issues are now being debated and discussed to a greater extent then ever before and it may be that my 'blog' is encouraging debate and discussion. I certainly hope so, for an informed and interested electorate is extremely desirable and pretty well essential for democracy to work as it should. There is nothing that I hate more than canvassing the good people of South East Cambridgeshire - and I have a lot of experience of such canvassing - and being told on the doorsteps that 'I'm not going to vote: you're all the same.' Well, we are not all the same and this independent is certainly different from any others likely to be standing in our constituency.

Regarding the election date, my private guess (don't tell anyone lest I prove to be mistaken) is that the big day - 'Independence Day' for our constituency - is going to be the 6th of May, 2010, which, coincidentally, will be the 105th birthday of my late father, Ladbrook Walter James (Laddie) Woollard, who was born at Downing College Farm, Swaffham Bulbeck, on the 6th of May, 1905. Laddie's father (and my grandfather), Walter Clifton Woollard (1875 - 1942), was a farming tenant of Downing College, Cambridge, as had been his father (and my great grandfather), Joshua Samuel Woollard (1844 - 1929), who was born at Biggin Abbey, Fen Ditton. I wish those ancestors of mine were still around, if only to witness what could well be a rewarding and wonderful day for a Woollard.

The photograph is of my father when he was a pupil at Newport (Essex) Grammar School.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Word is getting round!

Word is getting round regarding my likely candidature as an independent for the South East Cambridgeshire parliamentary constituency in the general election and I now want to make some things clear:

First, I nurse no personal animosity towards our present M.P., Mr James Paice. Indeed, having known Mr Paice for at least thirty years, I have a lot of personal respect for him, despite there being several disagreements between us on matters of policy and his performance locally.

Second, whilst I was for many years a Conservative party activist and a Conservative county and district councillor, I left the party in 1999 having, in part, become disillusioned by the attitude of many conservatives to much of what I hold dear, such as proper political support for essential public services, especially those that ordinary people rely on in their daily lives.

Third, I am opposed to hunting and hare coursing and my understanding is that the present leadership of the Conservative Party, Mr Paice included, is privately plotting to overturn the ban brought in under Labour with the support of a few honourable Conservative 'rebels.' Those latter, including to her everlasting credit, Ann Widdecombe, defied their colleagues and voted to bring civilisation to the hunting field. Hunters should accept the decision of the House of Commons and should go drag hunting instead. But, they say, 'it's not the same.' Of course it's not the same. I know it and they know it, because there is no 'kill.'

So far as hare coursing is concerned, Mr Paice and I both dislike it intensely. He says, somewhat illogically, that he dislikes 'hare coursing intensely but would be reluctant to ban it because of my libertarian instincts.' By that logic, we would still have bear baiting and cock fighting.

Fourth, I have urged Mr Paice to speak up against the pointless and wasteful Afghanistan venture in which more than 200 of our boys have already been killed and hundreds more injured. But Mr Paice feels 'constrained' on this, presumably because he is subject to the party whips and because he is part of the party line. As an independent M.P., I would never feel 'constrained' and would have no party line to toe. I want our boys brought home now.

Fifth, I have campaigned against the National Trust's so-called 'Wicken Vision' with some success. The case of those of us who want to stop this silly scheme rests in part on our opposition to losing so much fine food-producing Fen land and I would have thought that Mr Paice, as 'shadow minister of agriculture,' would want to side with the farmers and food producers. But what have we had from him? Not a squeak, and it's not good enough.

But what do I stand for?

I want the electors of South East Cambridgeshire to be put 'on the map' and what a turn-up it would be if they returned a truly independent M.P., un-whipped by any party machine? I have a feeling that Mr Paice's predecessors, of whatever party, were more 'independent' (Lord Pym, Sir Harry Legge-Bourke and Sir Clement Freud come to mind) and I know that our local electors are very independent-minded. Perhaps it's an historic phenomenon in the very earth and air of old Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely?

I want our local economy to thrive and I will do all that I can to promote our County's interests, but I also want a slowing down of inward migration to Cambridgeshire and a slowing down of immigration nationally. I am not a supporter of multi-culturalism and I have severe reservations about Great Britain becoming more multi-racial. I have no desire for our country soon to suffer the same race problems as the Americans have in their homeland.

My wife and I look upon South East Cambridgeshire as our home area. It was also the home area of our ancestors. A decision will soon be made regarding my candidature and readers will be among the first to 'hear' of it. I have no party machine to answer to nor to dictate to me. I am independent.