Friday, 30 April 2010

Bottisham Village College - my old home territory

I enjoyed so much the 'hustings' meeting held at Bottisham Village College this evening under the excellent chairmanship, guidance and leadership of the Revd. David Lewis. David does his church 'stuff' well and I now know that he has the vital talents of tact and tolerance, too. He is a lovely man and an excellent all-rounder.

Five candidates were present - we appear to have 'lost' another, the UKIP man - and they were, in alphabetical order: Mr Dan Bell, the sincere young man representing the Christian Peoples Alliance (who will take votes from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats); Mr Jonathan Chatfield, of the Liberal Democrats (who thinks he is home and dry with the help of some Labour supporters but is very much mistaken); Mr James Paice, Conservative (who has already lost votes to every one of the other candidates); Mr Simon Sedgwick-Jell, Green Party (who will take large numbers of votes from the Liberal Democrats); and Geoffrey Woollard, Independent (who has taken and will take votes from all of the others, especially Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and UKIP, because he is independent and speaks his own mind, toes no party line and is right on most issues according to the electors he has met, partly because he is local to Bottishan and South East Cambridgeshire and is very experienced and well-known).

I addressed the meeting at the beginning and told those present some of my life story. I said that I was born at Chalk Farm, Bottisham. I said that I had been angered by the innumerable incidents of hare coursing in the neighbourhood during most of my adult life. I explained that hare coursing was/is a so-called 'sport' that involves greyhounds chasing and nearly always killing hares. I explained that, as they are being killed by being torn limb from limb, the cries emitted by the dying hares are very similar to those of a screaming baby. I explained that I had protested about hare coursing to successive prime ministers, MPs (including Mr Paice), successive chief constables, and many others. I said that Mr Paice had attempted to pacify and/or placate me by saying that he believed that fox hunting, care coursing, etc., would in due course be banned and that the Conservatives would probably effect a ban.

But nothing happened.

Then, in 2004, the Hunting Act was passed by Labour MPs with help from a handful of heroic Conservatives such as Ann Widdecombe set against almost all of the other Conservative MPs and Lords.

I have been informed by a senior Police officer that the incidence of hare coursing in Cambridgeshire has lessened since the passing of the Hunting Act 2004 by Parliament.

I told the meeting that the Conservatives, including Mr Paice, were intent upon repealing the Hunting Act 2004, thereby bringing back fox hunting, hare coursing, etc.

I challenged Mr Paice to justify his announced intention to vote to repeal the Hunting Act 2004.

There was no response at any point from Mr Paice. Shame on him and the once-great Conservative Party, for which I worked for so many years.

There isn't time for a lot more commentary now because it is late and I have to get going early in the morning, so here is a series of pictures with the briefest of captions.

Here is David Lewis with a worried-looking Jonathan Chatfield.

Here is yours truly with another worried-looking Jonathan Chatfield and a pensive and intellectual Simon Sedgwick-Jell.

Here is yours truly again, yet another worried-looking Jonathan Chatfield, a party-political Mr Paice and a bored Mr Sedgwick-Jell.

Here is yours truly, yet another worried-looking Jonathan Chatfield, Simon Sedgwick-Jell seeking inspiration from above, and the sincere Dan Bell looking - well, sincere.

And here is the blue 'boy' (sorry about the red-eye, Jim: I can't fix them).

Finally, some audience shots.

Yours truly and good friend, District Councillor Allen Alderson.

Good friend Mrs Phyllis Rayment, with Dan Bell and good friend Mr Alan Shepherd in the background.

Yours truly, Allen Alderson and good friend County Councillor Mathew Shuter.

And yours truly proudly in the company of 88-year-old RAF veteran 'Zeke' Hacke.

More on Zeke is also to be found at -

To Woodditton - again - and Burwell - again

Sue and her part of the campaign went to Woodditton again this afternoon whilst I and my part went to Burwell again. Both were very rewarding in terms of support - again.

I had a most enjoyable discussion with a prominent member of Burwell Parish Council. We put the world generally to rights and he is hovering between me and one of the party political men in this election. I believe that another one will come along with me. He and I are both independent-minded, so it figures.

Here is my picture of Burwell's 'Jubilee Reading Room,' which is not only the parish office (my friend, Mrs Lesley Reader, is Clerk to the Parish Council), but also one of Burwell's polling stations. If I know Burwell, it will be busy next Thursday.

We are now preparing for tonight's 'hustings' meeting at Bottisham Village College, which is on my home ground, the school to which my children and my grandchildren went and on the governing body of which I served for more than 20 years. During that time, we managed to build and to cover a very fine swimming pool for the use of the school and the community. See the following link -

What are these 'leaders' up to now? Hop, skip, jump?

Brown and Cleggy look as though they're ready for the 'orf.' 'Dave' is obviously looking for divine inspiration. He needs it, for he has no policies excepting retaining the remaining hereditary peers in the House of Lords and bringing back fox hunting, hare coursing and stag hunting.

Oh, yes, I forgot. 'Dave' is also going to give married couples one hundred and fifty quid a year for remaining married. I have been married to Sue for forty-eight years and I didn't marry Sue for one hundred and fifty quid a year. Nor would I remain married to Sue for one hundred and fifty quid a year. There's much more to marriage than one hundred and fifty quid a year. The Tory policy wonks have made a big boo-boo again.

More from the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS)

I am not a member of the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), but I receive 'stuff' from them from time to time. Today's 'stuff' includes a video praising the role of Ann Widdecombe in supporting the Hunting Act 2004 which banned hare coursing, fox hunting, stag hunting, etc.

Here is the link to the latest 'stuff' which includes a good video:

The LACS website also encourages on-line comments and I have commented as follows:

"Ann Widdecombe is a real heroine. She defied the monsters of her Tory party and she voted to ban hare coursing, fox hunting and stag hunting. She and most Labour members did the right thing and they passed the Hunting Act 2004. Now Tory 'Dave' and his still unchanged and still nasty Tory party - including Nick Herbert, the 'shadow' Defra Secretary, and James Paice, the 'shadow minister of agriculture' - want to repeal the Act and to bring back those so-called 'sports.' Shame on the b****y Tories."

Here is the heroine (right).

And here, below left and right, are the less than heroic men who want to bring back barbarism.

I taught Mr Herbert how to write minutes when he worked at Conservative Central Office in his youth. I wish now that I had not wasted my time. He is cruelty's Trojan horse in a political battle that is otherwise conducted by a better morality and higher standards. Mr Paice ought also to know better.

Mervyn King tells country the truth, so why the lies?

Today's Times carries a story about Mr Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England. (He is the approximate British equivalent of Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve - 'the Fed').

"Austerity Britain will hate its new Government, says King

The Governor of the Bank of England was at the centre of an electoral storm last night after saying that the austerity measures needed to tackle Britain’s budget deficit would be so unpopular that whoever wins next week would not get back into government for a generation."

I believe that Mr King is right and I have commented on-line as follows:

"So why are all of the major political parties lying to us? It's 1931 again, but then we were told the truth and Ramsay MacDonald and Stanley Baldwin, better patriots and more honest men than any of the present shower, worked together for the common good and brought us through."

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The final leaders' TV debate - now I am worried!

I have not been able to watch live the first two leaders' debates on TV because I have been out debating elsewhere. The final leaders' debate was tonight. I watched it and I am now tending towards being deeply worried for my own campaign and chances on Thursday next.

I tried giving Brown, Cameron and Clegg the 'eyes-closed' test. With my eyes closed, it was 100% clear that Gordon Brown is streets ahead of the other two in terms of sound ideas and sheer substance.

With my eyes open, I was beguiled by the pretty boy public school looks of Cameron and Clegg. The latter two, especially the latter one, are so good-looking that one tends to ignore what they are saying, which is mostly slick doorstep-salesman spiel.

But why I am deeply worried? Well, Gordon Brown, for all of his sound ideas and sheer substance, is no pretty public school boy. Neither am I. He is ugly. So am I. He puts on peculiar facial expressions. So do I. He has a 'squiffy' eye. So do I. He sometimes gets tongue-tied. So do I.

Gordon Brown is the oldest of the three leaders. I am the oldest of seven candidates.

Worst of all, for Gordon Brown, he is all Scots. I am one fourth part Scots. Gordon Brown is probably doomed. I may be doomed.

Is there are a chance that the electors will see through all this public school prettiness? Of course there is, because not all of the people are hoodwinked by the slick doorstep-salesman, his spiel and his dodgy products.

There is a chance that Gordon Brown will prevail and there is an even better chance that I will prevail.

Long live the ugly old 'uns who weren't the prettiest boys at their public schools!

Post Script: I have received an amusing reaction to what I wrote above. It reads as follows -

"I was amused by your latest blog entry. I wouldn't worry too much about the competition in SE Cambs. You have a guy who looks like a bald muppet (Paice), a balding LD candidate and a very hairy Green candidate. The rest can be discounted."

Canvassing in shirt sleeves - it didn't last

As you can see, I went canvassing in shirt sleeves today. I should have known. It couldn't last. It didn't last.

I went to Burwell. I got rained off twice. And there were more 'incidents.' Sue went to Woodditton, the home village of many more of her ancestors, my relatives and our friends. More of Sue's doings later.

My 'incidents' in Burwell included meeting large numbers of friends (I was the County Councillor for the village for many years), getting rained off, calling in at Hurrell's, the butchers, for a good piece of beef for the weekend, losing my credit card, rushing home to alert the credit card company, picking up a 'phone call from a Mrs Bircham of Priory Close, Burwell (Mrs Bircham had found my credit card in the street), rushing back to Burwell to recover my credit card from Mrs Bircham, paying Peter at Hurrell's for the beef and rushing round Guyatt Court, Wildacres, Saxon Drive, Mill Lane, Mill Close, etc. I just got into Orchard Way and down came the rain - again - so home again.
Sue did well at Woodditton, too. She was very much on her home ground, for her great grandfather, Frederick William Day (1854 - 1919), lived his latter years in the parish, whilst her more ancient ancestors, members of the Chambers, Deave, Dobito, Holland and Tetsall families were born and lie buried there. I had relatives who lived there, too, most notably members of the Gardner family, of Church Hall and The Links.  

The Three Blackbirds pub used to be run by Sue's cousins, the Hollands, but it appears to be up for sale now.

Finally for now, two doggies caught Sue's eye. They are easy on my eyes, too. How about yours?

N.B. Please note that the happy outcome of my credit card 'incident' happened in Burwell, one of our wonderful Cambridgeshire villages where the gentlemen are gentleman, where the ladies are lovely, and where our neighbours are both honest and helpful. Bless 'em all!

'Brown’s ‘bigot’ blunder plunges Labour campaign into crisis' (The Times, Thursday, the 29th of April)

It gets worse by the hour. Go to -

This election is getting to me, but we also need to learn

This election is getting to me. Perhaps that's because I'm a hard-working and experienced independent candidate and have been meeting 'real' people since I started canvassing seriously several months ago.

The sad fact is that some real people are ignorant, some real people are unintentionally (or intentionally) hostile to callers they don't know, and some real people are bigoted (aren't we all, in some respects?). It is a tonic to have an intelligent talk on a doorstep or in a front room but it doesn't happen as often as one would wish. I sometimes leave a house thinking (or, indeed, saying under my breath) to myself, 'Good God, these people each have a vote, just like real political students, real intellectuals and real thinkers, and they (the person or the people I have just met) are so b****y stupid.'

And the whole election now seems to hinge on the respective leaders' performance on TV, which should not be important but which now is, and on unpredictable incidents caught on tape unawares. It is now a competition, not between individual candidates putting across individual ideas in individual styles in individual constituencies, it is a beauty contest between two pretty boys, the glamorous but shallow Cameron and Clegg, and the graceless but substantial Brown.

Of the three, I prefer Brown, though I am independent, because we still need some people of substance to get us out of the mess that we were initially got into by some NINJA loan-lending shysters in New York.

We also need to learn lessons from history. What happened in the dire financial circumstances of 1931? Why, Mr Ramsay MacDonald (Labour) and Mr Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) formed a National Government with MacDonald continuing as Prime Minister and Baldwin effectively as deputy prime minister. The government had a limited agenda - to get the country out of the dire financial circumstances of 1931 with the very large backing that only Labour and the Conservatives could command. And it worked.

Let there be the same lessons learned today. Despite what happened in Rochdale (was the late Sir Cyril Smith always as discreet as he ought to have been?) yesterday and despite what might happen on TV tonight, I'd back the graceless but substantial Brown leading a Lab/Con coalition, but keep Clegg out of it, for all of our sakes, for the local Lib Dems do not impress round here. They are profligates and incompetents.

'Your fox has no teeth' - Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative candidate, North East Somerset

I received the following link from the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), of which I am not a member, but from whom I receive 'stuff' from time to time. Here is the link -

The embedded video is almost unbelievable in its showing up the idiocy in an open interview situation of Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative candidate, though I advise viewing it, for this man has a good chance of getting into the new House of Commons.

Never mind the foxes, the hares, the stags, etc., for which Mr Rees-Mogg appears to care little. What about us, the British people, with such as him in charge of anything?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Mr Simon Heffer writes provocatively, but ...

I think that Simon Heffer, who writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, would be more at home back with the Daily Mail. Having said that, Mr Heffer writes provocatively and his piece today is headed:

"General Election 2010: The worst thing that can happen is a second general election."

Here is the link to the piece -

Mr Heffer goes on to worry about the likelihood of a 'hung' Parliament, particularly one with the Liberal Democrats hanging in there anywhere. I tend to agree with the latter point as the local Lib Dems do not impress. However, I can see merit in a Lab/Con alliance with a limited agenda, specifically drawn up in order to get us out of the financial crisis which was largely made in America and was exported to the rest of the civilised world.

The Daily Telegraph allows on-line comments on opinion pieces such as Mr Heffer's and I have picked up one sentence and commented on-line as follows:

"The consensus of polls at the moment seems to be the Tories winning about 290 seats, Labour about 240 and the Lib Dems about 90."

"Yes, and that means that the total seats won by Labour and the Conservatives could be 530. Curiously enough, it is within whisker of what happened in 1931 when Labour and the Conservatives won between them 525 seats. And what happened in those dire financial circumstances of 1931? Why, Mr Ramsay MacDonald (Labour) and Mr Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) formed a National Government with MacDonald continuing as Prime Minister and Baldwin effectively as deputy prime minister. The government had a limited agenda - to get the country out of the dire financial circumstances with the very large backing that only Labour and the Conservatives could command. And it worked. Let there be lessons learned today."

The 'Vote Geoffrey Woollard' forces went two ways

The campaign divided itself again today. Sue's half went to Great Wilbraham - again - and did very well in that place. The responses are uniformly good throughout the constituency so we must be doing it right.

My half went to Ely - again - and the car was parked in the Waitrose car park. Here is one of the most attractive shopping areas of the City and, certainly, one of the best stores. I recommend Waitrose (and Iceland and Tesco, where I refilled the car and was asked if I was 'the' Geoffrey Woollard: I know of no others, so I suppose I am).

Who should I bump into but my wife's cousin, Mrs Gill Tarry. She's always a such a fun person. She wished me well. Thank you, Gill!

I also visited the Cambridge News and Ely Weekly News offices in order to congratulate my friend Jordan Day on being an 'on-the-ball' reporter during this election campaign. Jordan was the one who wrote up the 'exclusive' story on the Labour candidate and his doings that have brought the national spotlights on to our South East Cambridgeshire election.

Here are the Cambridge News and Ely Weekly News offices.

And who should I meet there but another lovely lady friend, Mrs Liz Sayers. Liz also wished me well. Thank you, Liz!

I 'did' several areas in the centre of the City including, amongst others, Vineyard Way, the street sign for which needs a paint job.

Knowing as I do who lives on Vineyard Way, I must say that I was extremely surprised by the complete absence of Conservative posters there. I guess that the Conservative bosses in South East Cambridgeshire have spent all their money on their huge posters and hoardings in the fields.

I certainly can't complain about my own poster coverage. Indeed, the sight below must be one for any sore eyes. That's what I call true devotion and loyalty. Thanks a million, ****!

'One down, five to go' or 'two down, four to go'?

Yet another 'hustings' meeting was held last evening. This was hosted by local environmentalists at Impington Village College.

I thought at one point, because Dan Bell, of the Christian Peoples Alliance, was absent, that we had 'lost' another candidate and that instead of 'one down, five to go,' as I had remarked the night before at Ely, it was 'two down, four to go.' Perhaps this isn't so, though no explanation was offered for Mr Bell's absence and this election in this constituency continues to be exciting and to offer up sacrificial surprises.

Here is the 'platform' at the start, with no Dan Bell, the Christian candidate standing who is not the only Christian standing, and Simon Sedgwick-Jell, the Green man, not quite ready. Simon was very much on the ball later and in company that suited his case and his cause.

Here are the other panellists in alphabetical order. First, though he won't be first after the 6th of May, Mr Jonathan Chatfield, of the Lib Dems. He is the one standing. One of the others looks bored.

Next is pictured Mr Andy Monk, of UKIP. He does not impress. Sadly for him, I don't think that he impresses his own party people who loyally come along on every available occasion. Like all of the other politicos, he appears often to consult his party political 'manifesto.'

Clearly the most important person on the platform was the present MP, Mr James Paice. He 'scored' on one or two occasions at Impington, but there's something of the 'number two' about him after 23 years in Parliament. I still like the guy but I believe that he is well past his 'sell-by' date. He wants to bring back fox hunting and hare coursing, etc. That is not only a cruel policy: it is also very dated. Here is Mr Paice in full flow.

Finally, though I am not perfect by any means and was a little lost on one question last evening, I believe that I kept my end up. The reaction of members of the audience was very positive indeed and I 'held' them throughout the evening. (Just look at Mr Paice's face: ain't it a picture?!).

What pleased me more than anything at Impington was that, despite most of the questions being of an 'environmentalist' nature - enabling Simon Sedgwick-Jell to 'score' successively and successfully - I was able to allude to every single one of my policy lines. I 'got in' my antipathy to the wasteful war in Afghanistan, the idiocy of the government-funded National Trust ruining thousands of acres of our precious food-growing Cambridgeshire Fens, the whole point of being a true independent for South East Cambridgeshire surrounded by party people spouting from their party manifestos, praise for Labour's bringing in the civil partnerships reform which is now accepted, my enthusiasm for education, my commendation of the higher standards of house-building these days combined with my criticism of the 'starter hutches' that so many youngsters have been condemned to by the planners of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and my 'we are all doomed' line on world population and immigration to this country.

And, by sheer sleight of hand and the tolerance of the chairman, I even succeeded in praising Labour members of parliament who, with the aid of some Conservatives such as Ann Widdecombe, brought in the Hunting Act 2004 which banned hare coursing - the bane of my whole adult life - and fox hunting, stag hunting, etc. I said that we need to keep making progress and not go backwards. Mr Paice has said that he will vote to repeal that progressive Act. Shame on him and those like him in the backward-looking Tory party that hasn't really changed, despite what 'Dave' says. They are wrong. I am right. I shall continue to argue thus.

Here is a picture of the last few seconds of a fox's life. I received it today from the League Against Cruel Sports, of which I am not a member but from whom I obtain much helpful 'stuff.' 

And here is a beautiful (borrowed) image of a leaping hare. Whenever I see one of our English brown hares, I feel inspired. I hate the b****y hare coursers and those who support them.

Clarissa Dickson-Wrong is one of the latter.

There are seven days until Independents' Day

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A sight to amuse me and my supporters, perhaps less so for others who are of the Conservative persuasion!

In a location that shall not be named (but it's not a million miles from our home), we have spotted two of our posters in the windows of a house that has hitherto been used for a Conservative Committee Room. How things have changed for this election, in which former Conservatives are going to be independent for a real change.

Time off to go to Ashley for a friend's funeral

Sue and I took time off to go to Ashley for a friend's funeral today. Ashley is a lovely village and we parked some distance from St. Mary's Church because we didn't want the funeral-goers to be embarrassed by the presence of a decorated election car. So we were in the street ouside the village post office and store.

The funeral service was beautifully arranged and included one of my top 10 favourite hymns, 'The Old Rugged Cross.'

The National Trust, BAM Nuttall and the madness of what is going on in our Cambridgeshire Fens

After last night's meeting at Ely, I chatted with Mr Richard Bamford, the highly-respected local solicitor who has been the Clerk to the Swaffham Internal Drainage Board. Richard knows of what he speaks and said that he was pleased that I had brought up the madness of what is going on in our Fens.

The madness is the National Trust buying up, partially flooding and effectively ruining thousands of acres of the best food-producing land in the kingdom. As part of what the Trust is doing, a huge bridge is being constructed over Reach Lode (the one in which County and District Councillor Mr Bill Hunt nearly drowned in on Sunday). Today, I spotted a digger at work on the corner of Headlake Drove, the route to the site of the bridge. The digger was dealing with large quantities of rubble-like material and I asked the driver what was going on. The answer that he gave me confirmed what I suspected, namely, that Headlake Drove is being widened and strengthened so that a 500-tonne crane can get along it in order to hoist the bridge into place. The work is being done by BAM Nuttall, the firm that has made an embarrassing horlicks of the Cambridge guided busway.

To my mind, and to the minds of many of those of who know and care about the Fens and our country's food-producing capabilities, this is madness - and costly to boot. To others who don't know and don't care, I say, 'Wait until food rationing returns and you will then find out that home food production is vital for our ever-growing population.'

Here are two pictures of what I saw today.

Labour candidate John Cowan is sacked after boasting about his sexual exploits online

From the Daily Mail -

My concern now is what the Labour voters of South East Cambridgeshire can and ought to do.

Mr Cowan's name is still on the ballot paper. It cannot be removed. Labour is lumbered with him here.

I made it clear last evening that I applaud much of what New Labour is and has done. Labour voters, many of whom hate the perceived hypocrisy of the Liberal Democrats more than they hate the 'nastiness' of the Tories, should come with me. I will not let them down in the manner that their candidate has. I am different. I am independent. I will put the interests and the people - some of them the 'forgotten' whom Labour has tried to remember and to support - of South East Cambridgeshire first.

'Hustings' at St. Mary's Church, Ely - a polite business

Last evening's 'hustings' meeting, held at St. Mary's Church, Ely, was in good part what I predicted. Because it was organised by the local churches and because it was in one of Ely's lovely churches, it consisted, in the main, of polite people asking polite questions about polite subjects. The meeting was firmly and fairly controlled and no heckling nor applause were permitted. For those reasons, I couldn't help but mourn the passing of the old-style public meetings in public halls, where an element of rowdiness and rumbustiousness was expected and nearly always evident. I have spoken many times at such meetings and the sort of subjects that come up on the doorsteps - sometimes impolite subjects - would be raised. I really miss those old-style election meetings.

Nevertheless, the performers - the remaining six candidates (Mr John Cowan, the Labour man, has been 'suspended' by his party which is now advising Labour supporters to hold their noses and just vote Labour, which is not logical, but never mind) did their stuff reasonably well. Of course, they followed their party lines, as party people have to, and I rejoiced in being free from all that. Through being free from all that, I believe - and was told - that I came over as being both sincere and different, which I am.

Due to shortage of time, all that I can provide for this blog this morning are some pictures of the performers and a few short comments.

As I said to some people, with Mr Cowan now out, it's 'one down, five to go.'

Here are all of us who are left at the beginning of the meeting. The chairman is reading out the rules. And I am not asleep: I am reading the pre-submitted questions!

Next my Green and hairy friend, Mr Simon Sedgwick-Jell (whom I admire enormously for his intellect) is holding forth - or fifth.

Next, a be-suited me responds to something or other (with a hand in a pocket - not good).

And then my 'elder brother' (yes, he has been taken for my elder brother, though he is 61 and I am 72), Mr James Paice, is also holding forth - or second.

And then there was Mr Jonathan Chatfield, of the Liberal Democrats. He is the one standing in this picture and he has a purely accidental halo effect by his head. He's pleasant enough, but there's not much in his personality department.

Next, the very tall (but, thus far, insubstantial) Mr Andy Monk, of UKIP. I respect that party's principal line, though I don't agree with it, but it's when Andy tries to tie his party line to local issues that he comes completely unstuck. See how bored his neighbours appear.

Finally, until I report again on tonight's 'hustings' meeting at Impington Village College, is the earnest young Christian, Mr Dan Bell, representing the Christian Peoples Alliance. I have no doubt that Mr Bell will poll well, for South East Cambridgeshire is, in my opinion, a strong Christian island bastion in a sea of less attractive beliefs and practices. We were asked the following:

'What would you say ... to the growing number of Christians who have had enough of this [the alleged sidelining and undermining of Christian values], and will choose to cast their votes on that basis.'

My answer was simple. I suggested that they should vote for Dan Bell. For some inexplicable reason, this drew laughter, even though it was not intended thus to do.

Here is Mr Bell holding forth - or first.