Monday, 31 May 2010

"His bravery and selfless commitment will not be forgotten. He will be greatly missed and we will remember him."

From the BBC:

"UK marine killed in Afghan blast

A Royal Marine has been killed in an explosion in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

The marine from 40 Commando was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province during the evening of 30 May.

His death brings the number of UK soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 289. His next of kin have been informed.

Task Force Helmand spokesman Lt Col James Carr-Smith praised the marine's "bravery and selfless commitment".

Lt Col Smith said: "He was conducting a foot patrol in order to further develop the understanding of the local area when he was struck by an explosion.

"His bravery and selfless commitment will not be forgotten. He will be greatly missed and we will remember him."

The marine's death follows that of Cpl Stephen Curley, 26, from 40 Commando Royal Marines, who died in an explosion while on foot patrol in Helmand on Wednesday.

He died on the same day as Gunner Zak Cusack, 20, from 4th Regiment Royal Artillery who was killed in a firefight with the Taliban in Helmand Province.

Eight British service personnel have been killed in Afghanistan this month, of which four were Royal Marines."

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What is the bloody point of this bloody 'mission'?

I have campaigned - unsuccessfully so far - to bring our boys home from Afghanistan. I ask again, 'What is the bloody point of this bloody 'mission'?'

I ask again today because yet another British death is reported today, the total of British deaths now being 288.

Go to the link below for the report from the BBC -

If I felt that something useful was being achieved, I would give up on my campaign, but most folk realise that where the British Empire failed and the Soviet Empire failed, the NATO 'empire' has also failed. This is our Vietnam. Our 'emperors' have no clothes.

Post Script (28/5/2010): The dead British soldier has been named as Gunner Zak Cusack. He is pictured above.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

I told the truth to the electors of South East Cambridgeshire, but they didn't believe me -

The Daily Mail contains a real 'shocker' today, but it hasn't shocked me. I told the truth to the electors of South East Cambridgeshire, but they didn't believe me.

The Daily Mail headline is -

"Tories plan to scrap foxhunting ban ... with Lib Dems facing split over free vote"

- and the 'shocking' article is to be found at -

The Daily Mail permits on-line comments and I have commented as follows:

"I stood as an Independent and opposed Mr Paice at the election in South East Cambridgeshire partly because of his known pro-hunting opinions and plans. Now he is 'Minister for Hunting and Shooting.' I do not believe that most of his Tory supporters or most of those who voted for him believed that it would come to this. I am appalled. As one of my best and most loyal supporters has just said, 'It's a a pity that Labour didn't get back in.' I tend to agree."

Here is the 'Minister for Hunting and Shooting.'

Shame on him.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

'David Cameron's coalition, born of failure, may make the new politics succeed' (Charles Moore, the Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 15th May, 2010)

Charles Moore writes well. His articles in the Daily Telegraph read well and merit serious consideration. But I fear that he is whistling in the wind today, for his latest contribution is entitled as above:

'David Cameron's coalition, born of failure, may make the new politics succeed.'

The full article may be read at -

It is probably unfair to pick up on, say, one sentence, but I have done just that in an on-line comment, posted as follows:

"So the first thing to note about our new coalition is that it is the result of Tory failure."

In reality, all three major parties failed big time. Labour obviously lost, but nowhere near as badly as had been predicted. The LibDems lost all of the poll positions posted after the TV 'debates.' And the Tories lost their eagerly anticipated landslide. We now have what few wanted - a ConDemNation - and I predict that it can't and won't last. Out of the weak will come forth sourness.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Congratulations to Mr James (Jim) Paice

I have just read that Mr James (Jim) Paice, M.P., has been appointed a Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and I have sent him the following message:

Congratulations, Jim!

As ever,

Geoffrey Woollard.

P.S. (19/5/2010). I rather regret those congratulations now that there appears to be more to Mr Paice's appointment.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

'Gagged' by 'the new administration' - not good!

Those of us who have either signed or made other use of the 10 Downing Street E-Petitions system have received a shock. Go to -

- and see for yourself. The message left for us reads as follows:

"The new administration is currently assessing how best to proceed with the e-petitions service. We will update users as soon as practicable."

Not good: we have been gagged by 'the new administration'!

'A unnatural marriage of inconvenience made in Hell'

I haven't posted anything on this blog since last Sunday. Some people have been kind enough to comment to the effect that they they enjoyed this blog. Therefore, though there is no longer an electoral purpose behind this blog, I will post something from time to time.

Many people have been more than kind in their messages of sympathy at my losing the election 'big-time' and, of the messages, I have been particularly touched by three, one from a superb supporter in Ely who wrote, 'What a shambles our lovely country is in.' Another was from a greatly valued Swaffham Prior-based friend, who wrote, 'Well done Geoffrey. A great effort.' The third was addressed from the President's Lodge of one of our major Cambridge colleges. It read, 'Congratulations on an energetic and dignified campaign!'

The word 'dignified' in the last-mentioned message rather got me and, though it might be wise to continue in a dignified fashion and, perhaps, to desist from criticising the 'unnatural marriage of inconvenience made in Hell' that is our new Government, I am throwing dignity to the winds and saying, right away, 'It can't last and it won't last.'

The electors did not vote for a hung parliament: they voted - in the main - for political parties with specific policies and agendas. I actually wanted a hung parliament because I wanted Labour and the Conservatives to work together (as the late Mr Ramsay MacDonald and the late Mr Stanley Baldwin did in 1931) to a limited agenda, for a limited period and for a specific purpose, namely, to ensure sufficient support for an economic recovery (which was achieved following 1931, despite popular myths to the contrary). I neither won nor did I get what I wanted and I am not complaining about not winning because independents invariably have a hard time and I felt in the final few days of the campaign here a hunch that the old adage (from Hilaire Belloc's 'Jim') was coming into play, 'Always keep a-hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse.'

But we have a hung parliament and this 'unnatural marriage of inconvenience made in Hell.' Gordon Brown, the graceless and unattractive Scotsman of true substance, has been ousted, greatly to the delight of many English people who only saw the gracelessness and the unattractiveness and the Scottishness and chose to ignore the true substance, and we have in his place the pair of pretty public schoolboys (as portrayed so brilliantly in today's Times by cartoonist Peter Brookes) who are untried and untested and who, until a few days ago, detested one another and whose respective parties and party members still detest one another. That is one of my reasons for asserting that this unnatural 'marriage' can't and won't last. I know only too well the party system in this country. The Conservatives loath Labour. Labourites loath the Conservatives. But the Conservatives and the Labourites go way beyond loathing in their lack of regard for the Liberal Democrats: they detest them. Cameron and Cleggy are now bosom buddies but their respective supporters 'in the country' are appalled at them getting into bed together. We shall see proof of this in the up-coming Thirsk and Malton election where, unless orders come from on high that the locals must be lovey-dovey, inter-party tensions are certain to come to the fore. For a Yorkshire take on this extraordinary situation go to -

So far as 'my' issues are concerned, I have become deeply pessimistic.

1.  'Our boys' are going to be mired in the muck of Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. President Obama has already commended Mr Cameron for his adherence to the American 'strategy' over there.

2.  Unless Caroline Spelman, M.P. for Meriden, of 'Nannygate' notoriety -

- and now the new Defra Secretary, is prevented by 'Boy George' Osborne from wasting more money, she and her Liberal Democrat colleagues will continue Government funding of the wasteful 'Wicken Vision' scheme whereby the National Trust is taking over and ruining thousands of acres of our finest food-producing Cambridgeshire Fen land.

3.  And, horror of horrors, I now hear that there is every likelihood of a Government-led or Government-sponsored attempt to overturn the Hunting Act 2004 under the cloak of repealing other pieces of legislation. If this is true, then the unnatural Cameron/Clegg ‘marriage’ is doomed for divorce on the grounds of cruelty and deceit.

I received an indirect assurance from the Liberal Democrat candidate in South East Cambridgeshire that he would vote against 'un-banning' fox hunting and hare coursing. I wonder what this earnest and otherwise honourable young man is now thinking.

My thoughts are for our country, our British people and our animals. I repeat, I am now deeply pessimistic.

Friday, 7 May 2010

I lost big time, but it was both fascinating and rewarding - see the Cambridge News

The Cambridge News can be relied upon for the latest election news. Here is the link to the figures in South East Cambridgeshire.

The story can also be followed on the same website.

In my brief comments after the result was announced, I congratulated Mr James Paice on his re-election with a 'thumping' majority. I also alluded to my tour of the South East Cambridgeshire constituency yesterday when I visited in turn more than fifty polling stations and thanked the officers at each one for doing their bit for British democracy. I also said that I had witnessed yet again the beauty of the County of Cambridgeshire. I then said that I had driven through 'fox' country and hare 'territory.' I said that foxes and hares were protected by the Hunting Act 2004. I concluding by pleading with the re-elected Mr Paice to alter his stated intention to vote to repeal the Hunting Act 2004, 'for the sake of the animals.'

I lost big time yesterday/today, but the election was both fascinating and rewarding. I thank all of my supporters and I thank my dear wife of 48 years, the incomparable and inimitable Sue, who deserves a medal.

Here is Sue's picture of the election result being announced at the Ross Peers Sports Centre at Soham.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Go in peace to love and serve your country

Today is Polling Day and the Polling Stations are open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

If you live in South East Cambridgeshire and can vote Geoffrey Woollard Independent, I shall be very grateful.

If you live in South East Canbridgeshire and cannot bring yourself to vote Geoffrey Woollard Independent, I shall never know because it is a secret ballot.

Thank goodness!

If you live in somewhere other than South East Cambridgeshire, you cannot help me, nor can I help you - yet.

Regardless of where you live and adapting slightly the words of a very well-known exhortation:

"Go in peace to love and serve your country."

I shall visit during the day the Polling Stations that are set up in or for:

Aldreth, Ashley-cum-Silverley, Balsham, Bartlow, Barway, Bottisham, Brinkley, Burrough Green, Burwell, Carlton, Castle Camps, Chettisham, Cheveley, Chippenham, Chittering, Clayhithe, Dullingham, Ely, Fen Ditton, Fordham, Fulbourn, Great Wilbraham, Haddenham, Hildersham, Histon, Horningsea, Horseheath, Impington, Isleham, Kennett, Kirtling & Upend, Landbeach, Linton, Little Thetford, Little Wilbraham, Lode & Longmeadow, Milton, Newmarket, Orchard Park, Over, Prickwillow, Queen Adelaide, Reach, Saxon Street, Shippea Hill, Shudy Camps, Six Mile Bottom, Snailwell, Soham, Stetchworth, Stow-cum-Quy, Stretham, Stuntney, Swaffham Bulbeck, Swaffham Prior, Teversham, Waterbeach, Wentworth, Westley Waterless, West Wickham, West Wratting, Weston Colville, Wicken, Wilburton, Willingham, Witchford and Woodditton.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A piece for this week's Ely Standard: "As the Independent, I expect to come first or second"

My friends at the Ely Standard have asked for a short piece for this week's paper, to be published tomorrow (Thursday). My readers are receiving an advance copy on this blog. It reads as follows:

"As the Independent, I expect to come first or second. This expectation is based on the results of canvassing and meetings and the reactions of people to that canvassing and at those meetings. People are disillusioned and distrustful of all party politicians. The people feel let down. The people are also worried about the economy; immigration; the dreadful death toll of 'our boys' in Afghanistan (now 284, for what?); the future of our food-producing Cambridgeshire Fens; and the Conservatives' plan to repeal the Hunting Act 2004. Repeal will bring back so-called 'sports' as hare coursing: over my dead body, I say."

To illustrate just some of the points made above, here are a few pictures, all taken in England, some taken by Sue or I.

Here is the little Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett, paying homage and respect to more of our British dead. The clock ticks on. How much longer is the slaughter to continue?

Here is an imitable English scene. The picture is of the Dog & Duck pub at Linton, in South East Cambridgeshire.

Here is a less-expected English scene. It is not in South East Cambridgeshire. It is in Luton, Bedfordshire, home of 'The Hatters' and a town once-famous for straw hat making.

Here is a scene in the ruined area of Lode Fen, which is in South East Cambridgeshire.

Here is a ghastly scene. It illustrates the so-called 'sport' of hare coursing, the legal return of which the Conservatives are planning and plotting for. Remember, this is England, a supposedly civilised country.

And here is our Parliament that also commanded respect and is now the seat of disillusionment and distrust. We need change. All of the politicians say so. I agree. But do we believe that the politicians from the so-called 'major' political parties have the guts to make the needed changes? 

There is now only one more day until Independent's Day here in South East Cambridgeshire. The most will be made of it.

The Geoffrey Woollard Independent campaigns will today be visiting Aldreth, Balsham, Bartlow, Barway, Bottisham, Burwell, Chittering, Clayhithe, Ely, Fen Ditton, Fordham, Fulbourn, Great Wilbraham, Haddenham, Hildersham, Horningsea, Horseheath, Landbeach, Linton, Little Thetford, Little Wilbraham, Lode and Longmeadow, Newmarket, Reach, Six Mile Bottom, Soham, Stretham, Stow cum Quy, Stuntney, Swaffham Bulbeck, Swaffham Prior, Upware, Waterbeach, West Wickham, West Wratting, Weston Colville, Wicken and Wilburton. Look out for us if you live here.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

An emotional and a surprising evening in Burwell

I was in Burwell all evening, visiting individual people at individual homes, 'doing' streets and delivering last-minute leaflets as well.

It was an emotional evening for me for I met the mother of a young Burwell soldier who need not be named here but who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year. The mother seemed to be bearing her loss with admirable fortitude but she must still be distraught. I said a few brief words of sympathy - only repeating the few that I had said before - and remarked that, whilst it's too late for her 'boy,' I hoped that all of 'our boys' now out there may be brought home safely and soon. She agreed.

It was a surprising evening, too, for I realised from what I saw in Burwell that UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party) is making a better show than I thought likely earlier.

Here is part of the better show, an enormous poster/hoarding in a garden on Ness Road, Burwell.

I guess that my publishing my picture of this enormous poster/hoarding in a garden at Burwell will encurridge the UKIP leadership, Mr Nigel 'pass me a fag and give me another G&T' Farridge and Lord 'fox hunter' Pearson of Rannoch.

The more serious aspect and political importance of the enormous UKIP poster/hoarding in a garden in Burwell is that UKIP didn't put up a candidate at the last General Election in 2005. There were then just 'the big three.' (BTW, I do understand the principal policy plank of UKIP. It's just when they start pontificating on local issues with no meaningful European 'slant' that they and their people sound irrelevant and, dare I say it, slightly potty).

Many of the local Conservatives whom I know are pro-Europe, but some aren't. My guess is that UKIP's intervention and better show will cause a further split in the Conservative vote. It appears to me that the Conservative vote will be split several ways. Part will hive off to UKIP. Part will hive off to the Christian Peoples Alliance. Part will hive off to the Green Party on account of it also standing this time with an outstanding local candidate. And part, of course, will hive off to my independent line, which appeals to many Conservatives who consistently supported independent candidates at Council elections.

Interestingly, UKIP's intervention and better show will almost certainly be big trouble for the Liberal Democrats, too, for not all of the local ones whom I know follow so slavishly the national pro-Europe Liberal Democrat party line nor do they approve of British involvement with the Euro currency to the same degree as pretty boy Cleggy.

Cleggy may be a pretty boy but he is on to several losers this time round: Europe, the Euro currency, his immigration 'amnesty' for illegals, and, of course, his wobbly policy on Trident.

As an old buddy of mine says, 'The thick plottens!'

To Wilburton and Soham - again - and a Lab puppy

The Geoffrey Woollard Independent campaign carries on in South East Cambridgeshire and is scheduled to come to a climactic conclusion tomorrow night.

The campaign forces were split again. One part went to Wilburton, where we have lots of friends and very good support, whilst the other part concentrated on Soham, more specifically in the area that is called Downfields. Lots more friends and very good support were found there, too. I had the honour and pleasure of talking to a lady whose family descends from Mr Isaac Barrow, whose family in turn preceded Mr Henry Cromwell (Oliver's son, whom I have mentioned before) at Spinney Abbey, Wicken. I wish that I could have spent more time with this lady. I have promised to go back to delve further into her very thorough family history researches. If any of my readers wish to delve into Mr Barrow, Mr Cromwell and Spinney Abbey, go to -

Despite meeting such interesting and supportive people, the little 'person' who really stole my heart was a six-week-old Labrador puppy. Here she is. Ain't she just lovely?

Please be on the side of 'Help Me'

I have just received this rather touching appeal. The image is in black and white. Of course, the cause is also black and white. Care versus cruelty. There is no grey. Please be on the side of 'Help Me.'

Columbine Road, Ely, and a wonderful reception on a cold morning. Thank you to all of those whom I met for the warm welcome. I will return very soon!

I went canvassing in Columbine Road, Ely, this morning. It was cold and rain threatened. But I can't complain, for the welcome from from those whom I met was a warm welcome. I thank them. The development, which is relatively new, is much larger than I had thought and I will have to return before or on Thursday. But I liked what and whom I saw. Here is a sample of what I saw.

This election is such great fun - a laugh a minute - and it appears that electric poles are now for Jim Paice!

I have nothing against Poles. I usually stick up for Poles. Several of my friends are Poles.

But it appears that poles are now for Jim Paice. This won't go down too well with the anti-EU-immigration brigade and it will surely play right into the hands of UKIP.

Mr Paice has won the battle of the barns, the ditches, the hedges and the fields. It's now clear that he is winning the battle of the poles.

This electric pole was spotted today in a field, near a ditch, beyond a hedge, and far from a barn.

Who do Mr Paice's poster people think they are kidding? Barns, ditches, hedges, fields and electric poles don't have votes. People have votes. When will the Paice poster people learn?

There are only two more days until Independent's Day

All of the major political parties talk about 'change.'

How do my readers believe that true 'change' can be brought about in our splendid South East Cambridgeshire?

By retaining the fence-sitting and party-line-toeing Tory? You must be joking.

By voting Labour now that the candidate is effectively out of the fight? You must be joking.

By going with the Liberal Democrats who have shown locally that they couldn't run a beer-up in a brewery? Under their control, Cambridge City Council 'invested' £9 millions in Icelandic banks. You must be joking.

By voting for 'minor' parties with no chance? That's more complicated as the Green Party has an outstanding candidate who deserves support, the Christian Peoples Alliance will make inroads into the Conservative 'share,' and UKIP will pick up many hundreds - if not thousands - of votes. But still, you must be joking.

The only way to obtain real change - change in our attitudes to the dreadfully wasteful war in Afghanistan, change in our attitudes to the ruining of our Cambridgeshire Fens, change in our attitudes to tearing live animals apart for 'fun' and change in our attitudes to the party political bosses and the party political whips - is to vote Independent, for Geoffrey Woollard, on Thursday.

There are only two more days until Independent's Day.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Two more of 'our boys' killed in Afghanistan - do something, all you leading politicians of the so-called 'major' political parties, for God's sake!

News has just come through that two more of 'our boys' have been killed in Afghanistan. The total of British dead is now 284.

I am sick and tired of protesting about this slaughter that is going on and on for no useful purpose.

The generals and the leading politicians are talking about it going on for five, ten, fifteen more years. They say that the sacrifices being made 'over there' are making us safer 'over here.' I do not buy that argument. Indeed, it could be said - and it is said, by me - that we have plenty of 'home-grown' terrorists 'over here' already. How about doing something about them? The Americans are slowly recognising the truth of this in their own country. Why can't our leaders see it, too? I say, 'Do something, all you leading politicians of the so-called 'major' political parties, for God's sake!'

If they (the leading politicians of the so-called 'major' political parties) don't soon see this and don't do something about it, neither God nor the people will forgive them.

The only other candidate in the South East Cambridgeshire election who is saying what I say, namely, 'Bring our boys home now,' is Mr Simon Sedgwick-Jell, of the Green Party.

Mr Sedgwick-Jell has courage and integrity. Moreover, on this issue, he is right, as am I. I hereby honour Mr Sedgwick-Jell by publishing his portrait on my blog.

A tamer and quieter time at Orchard Park

The campaign went to Orchard Park later in the day. This experience was altogether different from Reach Fair in that it was tamer and quieter. Nevertheless, we were impressed by the new homes - not all completed yet - along with the very smart new Community Primary School.

Areas that were 'done' included much of Buttercup Road, Central Avenue, Chadwick Court, Chambers Drive, Charlot Way, Chieftain Way, Circus Drive, Cornell Court, Engledow Drive, Flack End, Graham Road, Iceni Way, Minerva Way, Neal Drive, Newingham Crescent, Pegram Way, Ring Fort Road, Rosehip Road, Stanley Avenue, Starr End, Sweetpea Way, and Topper Street.

The people received the independent message very well. This is consistent throughout the constituency. The major political parties are more and more worried. And so they should be. The people are fed up with them.

The pictures below tell their own stories.

The campaigning continues apace. There's a mystery, though. I haven't seen anything of the other candidates since last Friday evening. Are they hiding? Are they frit? Who can tell?

Vast crowds at Reach Fair today - England at its eccentric best, despite the English weather

Sue and I went to Reach Fair - we walked part of the way as it's not far from our home - and, despite the weather, which was a bit blowy and cool, there were vast crowds of people there enjoying England at its eccentric best. The fair dates back to the time of King John and it is actually run under the auspices of the great and world-famous City of Cambridge. Consequently, the great and the good of Cambridge come out to Reach and the Mayor of Cambridge (this year it's Councillor Russ McPherson, pictured right) opens the proceedings.

Here is my picture of the fair being opened from the 'hill' in front of Hill Farm House, the home of my very fine friends, the Cole family, who have ensured that visitors to Reach Fair are made fully aware that the Independent candidate for South East Cambridgeshire is one Geoffrey Woollard. If readers look closely at the picture, they will see no less than eight of my posters plastered across the windows of Hill Farm House. If they look closer still, they will see Mrs Mary Cole, the matriarch of this great family. Mary is peering at the proceedings from an upstairs window. Bless her heart.

Here are some more pictures of notable things, notable friends and other notable people.

First, me with a superb Garrett steam traction engine.

The burger bar beside the Reach village war memorial, "Erected to the memory of the men of Reach who died in the Great War 1914 - 1919." A tiny Cambridgeshire village 'lost' eight men in that terrible conflict.

A young South African-born gentleman who had cycled to the Fair from London. He was at Reach with his son. We had a most interesting conversation.

A very good friend from my County Council days. Cllr. John Hipkin was a Labour member of Cambridgeshire County Council and is now an independent Councillor on Cambridge City Council. John has also been a distinguished Mayor.

The official cars (thought to have been supplied by Marshalls of Cambridge, one of our largest local employers) are parked outside the Reach Village Centre and the Church of St. Etheldreda.

Councillors Colin Rosenstiel and Dr. Ian Nimmo-Smith (and others) leaving the Reach Village Centre (formerly the village school). The latter is the Liberal Democrat leader of Cambridge City Council. Under his leadership, the City Council 'invested' £9 millions of the council taxpayers' money in that well-known safe haven for such investments, an Icelandic bank.

Here is the mace-bearer, the Mayor and several other City notables.

And here is the Mayor in a sort of procession to Hill Farm House.

And here are Sue and Mr (Robert) and Mrs (Valerie) Fuller. Robert and Valerie farm at Spinney Abbey, Wicken, the former home of Mr Henry Cromwell, Oliver Cromwell's son, and have run a thriving bed and breakfast business there, too. They now sell traditional meat. Give them a visit at -

Finally, for Reach and this part of the day's electioneering, here are our very good friends (from left to right) Mr Richard (Dick) Bourne, Mr Richard (Dickie) Doe and Dickie's wife, Brenda. Sue is in the picture, on the right, with a bag of election material.

I have taken the liberty of adding someone else's picture of the fairground-type entertainments in action. Lots of people love the traditional and quirky Reach Fair. So do Sue and I.

As we were leaving, we met the recently-knighted Sir Michael and Lady Marshall. Sir Michael is Chairman of Marshalls of Cambridge. It was both an honour and a pleasure to see them. They live in our village of Swaffham Prior.

There are now only three more days until Independent's Day in South East Cambridgeshire. Spare a thought in these last three days for the innocent English brown hares that are at risk

There are now only three more days until Independent's Day in South East Cambridgeshire. Spare a thought in these last three days for the innocent English brown hares that will again be at risk from 'legal' hare coursing if the Conservatives get back in and vote - as they say they will - for repeal of the Hunting Act 2004. It is not a question of banning activities. I am not a natural 'banner.' It's a question of whether such so-called 'sports' as hare coursing, now banned, should be 'un-banned.' Over my dead body, I say.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Here is the link to my podcast of this very morning

I reported earlier that my friend Mike (aka 'Charon QC'), an academic lawyer and an inveterate blogger, had recorded another podcast for and of me this very morning. Here is the link to my latest podcast recording. It goes on for several minutes but you might find it interesting and/or amusing. Go to -

I mentioned in my podcast the expenses claims record of my principal opponent, Mr James Paice. Mr Paice has published his latest (from May until July, 2009, inclusive) expenses claims record at -

It appears that Mr Paice's mortgage interest and 'hire of blackberry,' council tax, water rates, etc., were/are being paid by the rest of us - 'all within the rules,' as so many former MPs are fond of saying.

Did we know this? No, we didn't. Are we happy? No, we are not. And if it was 'all within the rules,' why weren't the rules altered earlier?

Here also is the link to my earlier podcast (recorded when I had a cold on the 27th of November, 2009) with 'Charon QC' -

"British soldier dies in Afghanistan blast" (BBC)

From the BBC, today, Sunday, the 2nd of May, 2010:

British soldier dies in Afghanistan blast.

The death takes the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan to 282.

A British soldier has died in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said. The soldier, from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines Battle Group, was killed on Sunday. He died near PB Waterloo military base in Sangin, Helmand Province. His next of kin have been informed. He is the 282nd member of the British military to be killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001. Task Force Helmand spokesman Lieutenant Colonel James Carr-Smith said: "He was providing protection to his fellow soldiers who were returning from a patrol when tragically he was killed in an explosion. "He will be greatly missed and his actions will not be forgotten." The last soldier to be killed in Afghanistan was Fusilier Jonathan Burgess, of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh who died in the Nad Ali area of Helmand on 7 April. Fusilier Burgess, 20, from Swansea, was shot during a fire fight while on patrol aimed at disrupting insurgents.

Go to -

I say, loud and clear: "Bring our boys home now!"

I said the following in a letter addressed to Mr James Paice, M.P., almost two years ago:

"The news from Afghanistan of three more British deaths is profoundly saddening and worrying. I recall President Bush (the idiot who can't even pronounce the word 'nuclear' properly) declaring, after what the Americans call "9/11," that he/they/we were 'gonna smoke him [Osama bin Laden] out.' I supported the intention of doing that but bin Laden hasn't been found, let alone been 'smoked out,' after nearly seven years. It appears to me that the time has come for us to draw a line under a disaster and to tell Mr Bush that one hundred British lives lost is enough. The British Empire (which I still hanker for) failed to tame the Afghans, the Soviet Empire admitted defeat at their hands and still we think that we can succeed where others failed and fell. If I thought that there was still a possibility of 'smoking out' Mr bin Laden, I would support as stoutly as anyone the continuing sacrifices of ourselves and the Americans. But I can't help thinking that 'special forces' might have more success than our armies and that the latter should be withdrawn forthwith."

A generous message just received from South Africa

Hi Geoffrey

With the General Election looming this coming week and you standing as an independent for South East Cambridgeshire, I, together with all your South African relations, would like to offer you our warm support and good wishes for your success.

Who could be a better candidate than a local inhabitant whose family roots in the area go back over 300 years? Only one person, Geoffrey Ladbrooke Woollard, a people's man not whipped by any party machine.

I trust that the good people of South East Cambridgeshire will remove their blinkers, discard old beliefs, rally behind you and cast their votes in your favour knowing well that you will uphold your stern principles in the interests of South East Cambridgeshire.

Success comes with hard work in canvassing which I am sure you have accomplished, often coming home tired out after going from doorstep to doorstep to discuss vital matters that affect the residents of South East Cambridgeshire.

Please feel free if you desire to post this letter of good wishes on your Blog.

Best of luck Geoffrey

Paul Raw.

Paul Raw's ancestors emigrated to the Pietermaritzburg area of Natal in South Africa when that province of that great country was part of the once-great British Empire. Here is a link to the old South African National Anthem.

I'm no longer a virgin podcaster!

Despite what I have already said about not electioneering on Sundays, I have just had a call from my friend Mike (aka 'Charon QC') who is an academic lawyer and who blogs almost incessantly. Mike also records podcasts and he wanted me to do another one for him. (I did one for him last year and I described myself then as a 'virgin podcaster').

Mike ('Charon QC') has been kind enough to keep up with my independent campaign and wanted my latest 'take' on the election generally and, more specifically, how I see South East Cambridgeshire turning out.

I told him that I was no longer a virgin podcaster (having done others during this campaign) and gave it to him straight. With luck, it will have been recorded OK. The link to it will appear here later today.

I told Mike specifically that I expect to come either first or second on Thursday/Friday. This expectation is based on the results of many weeks of canvassing and meetings and the reactions of the people to that canvassing and at those meetings.

The pundits may have their say. It's the people who count and they will soon have their day and their say. The people have told me that they are with me and, with some exceptions, not with the major parties. The people know that I am different. I am independent. So are very many people.

Four more days until Independent's Day in South East Cambridgeshire - four more days and I might be in!

It's Sunday - I don't go electioneering on Sundays: I would feel uneasy if I did and the old-style politicians with and for whom I have worked would never consider it - but I draw my readers' attention to the fact that there are now only four more days until Independent's Day in South East Cambridgeshire.

If you have a moment during the day, do have a glance at my facebook pages at -