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 -

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