Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blaze-hit bridal business goes bust...?

The wedding dress business destroyed in the Great Fire of Deeping St James last year - which relaunched in Stamford in January - has sadly shut up shop.

According to the Stamford Mercury, The Bridal Centre is facing bankruptcy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The cost of getting out of Lincolnshire...

One more day to have your say on Humber Bridge tolls...

I blame Gordon Brown...

A temperature of 28.6 Centigrade at Cranwell was a UK record for this year, according to the Lincs Echo.

For us oldies, in real money 28.6 translates to somewhere in the mid-eighties.

I knew Lincolnshire's hot, but that's boiling!

The Prime Minister is of course on holiday in neighbouring Norfolk: And as he seems to be getting slated for everything under the sun, he's no doubt also to blame for the weather!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why politicians who kiss animals should let sleeping dogs lie...

When an MP chooses to promote himself by posing for the media while kissing a dog, he should expect a bit of ribbing...

But Andrew Rosindell, Tory MP for Romford, clearly failed see the pitfalls of dressing up his Staffordshire bull-terrier in a Union Flag costume, and demonstrating his clever trick with a chocolate biscuit...

(For the avoidance of doubt, that's Buster-the-Staffie who's clearly the clever one.)

One of the leading political bloggers, Guido Fawkes thought the resulting snap was amusing and decided to publish it as a caption contest under the headline: Man's Best Friend...

Guido's post attracted 85 entries from his readers, almost all posted within a few hours. Predictably, and of course tongue-in-cheek, some focused on the close relationship between the MP and his mutt.

That was on 24th April, 2007. That's right. The 24th of April.2007.

Everything went quiet for over a year and would no doubt have remained so, were it not for Mr Rosindell's actions. Last week, 15 months after Guido's original post, the MP seemingly stumbled across the long-forgotten caption competition while surfing in the early hours.

He had an immediate sense of humour failure and fired off an email to Guido demanding removal of the more offensive comments.

Not surprisingly, instead, Guido promptly posted the MP's demands in full together with his reply, telling him that if he will

go round kissing dogs for publicity photos, people are entitled to laugh and make jokes.
Guido's new post attracted 147 comments, rather more than the original posting that most people had forgotten. It also attracted the attention of Mr Rosindell's local paper the Romford Recorder.

The Recorder suggests that MP perhaps should have 'let sleeping dogs lie'...and highlights the fact that some of the postings refer to 'romantic insinuations about Mr Rosindell and his dog, as well as negative suggestions about his political capabilities...'

As the Recorder dutifully points out, Guido says no-one is suggesting that the MP and his dog are lovers...!!

Mr Rosindell's explanation of the photo is that he was doing what the media asked.

He's not the first politician to to be held up to ridicule for failing to see how an apparently innocent pose might be mischievously interpreted.

But resurrecting a long-forgotten piss-take from well over a year ago surely confirms an appalling lack of judgement.

Until he went barking to Guido, most of his constituents in Romford would have remained blissfully unaware of how daft he'd been with Buster and the chocolate biscuit.

After such a self-inflicted shot-in-the-foot, he needs to brace himself for a whole lot more 'fun' at his expense.

For example: Determined to have the last word - and laugh - Guido has now responded to the Romford Recorder coverage with a new photo of Rosindell, this time with a goat, suitably captioned:
Tory MP intimately embracing Nanny
So far this latest salvo has attracted 185 comments.

Your move Mr Rosindell...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A cut in your council tax bill - but at a cost...

Council taxpayer across Lincolnshire are to get their council tax bills cut by an average £70 - thanks to the Government stopping the county's Police Authority from imposing an eye-watering increase of almost 80 per cent.

I've always believed that the Authority took a wrong decision to demand that Lincolnshire council tax payers fork out an extra 78.9%. In my view, it made 'capping' by Government almost inevitable.

Yesterday, the Authority voted for new reduced bills to be sent out, but to continue to lobby for more Government cash for policing in Lincolnshire.

As previously posted, I was one of six members of the Police Authority who voted against such an excessive increase in February and was disappointed that it was forced through by the six Conservative members.

Without the six Conservatives, there was always majority against 78.9 per cent among the 11 independents, magistrates, Labour and LibDem members of the Authority.

In my view such a massive increase - the highest in the country - made Government intervention a racing certainty.

While the good news is that the bills will be cut, the bad news is that we are stuck with rebilling costs of at least half-a-million pounds.

(more later...)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Part-time soldier, full-time hero...

Delighted to hear that a TA soldier is to be awarded the prestigious George Cross after hurling himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to save his comrades.

As a former range conducting officer in the Territorial Army, responsible for training soldiers on live grenades, I've seen the horrendous damage that such weapons can inflict.

More to the point, Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher would have also known that as he felt the pressure of a trip-wire on his shin which pulled the pin from a lethal Taliban grenade, he had less than four seconds to access the dire situation, weigh up his options, and take decisive action.

He instinctively shouted 'GRENADE' to warn his comrades and dived on the grenade. Then had the presence of mind to realise that the backpack of kit he was wearing might absorb some of the impact. So flipped over on his back and waited to meet his maker.

His bravery almost certainly saved his own life - and the lives of three other Royal Marines he was patrolling with in Helmand Province at a suspected Taliban bomb factory.

Amazingly, Lance Corporal Croucher survived with a nose-bleed, temporary deafness and bruising. But he refused medical assistance, and turned what could have been catastrophe to advantage, setting an ambush for the Taliban who would come to investigate the the explosion, instigating a firefight which saw a Taliban fighter taken out.

For me, the professionalism of Lance Corporal Croucher demonstrates the extraordinary value of the Territorial Army, which celebrates 100 years of distinguished service to the nation this year.

Since 2003, some 15,000 British reservist soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting shoulder-to shoulder with our regular soldiers in some of the most ferocious close-quarter action since the Second World War.

Lance Corporal Croucher's action is also a tribute to the training of the Royal Marines - in my opinion the finest soldiers in the British Army and arguably anywhere in the world.

Fittingly, Lance Corporal Croucher's civilian job when not serving with 40 Commando Royal Marines, is running a risk assessment company.

His story had Radio 2 presenter Sarah Kennedy overcome with tears as she highlighted the bravery of Lance Corporal Croucher.

Sadly, as news of the medal was released, we were again reminded of the ferocity of the fighting in Afghanistan with the death of another British soldier.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Race abuse earns local soccer star 3-year ban...

The campaign to kick racism out of soccer - at every level of the game - scored a huge local victory this week when a semi-pro South Lincs footballer was banned from matches for three years for hurling a torrent of racial abuse at another player.

The 22-year-old 'star' from Spalding had already been fined and banned for eight months by Cambs FA. But most of their fine and 182 days of the ban was for assaulting the referee who gave him a red card for a bad tackle in the same match.

Tom Gosling's racial abuse had earned him a further 42-day ban and a £50 fine from Cambs FA and he was confidently predicting he'd be back playing for Wisbech Town in October.

But the victim of his racism called in the police. Now the Spalding lad who previously played for Lincoln City's youth side has had his semi-professional career effectively ended by magistrates.

He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harrassment and was ordered to pay his victim £100 compensation, fined £100 and ordered to pay £105 costs.

He must also attend a police station and surrender his passport when the England national team play abroad.

Of course, it's sad that a youngster has been so misguided and wasted his god-given talent.

But it seems young Mr Gosling already had a reputation as thebad boy of local football after a record of being sent off.

But despite admitting his offence of racial abuse, the former Lincoln City youth player told the Lincolnshire Echo
'I was getting paid to play football and it was fine. Everything was going smoothly...I can say I have not got a racist bone in my body...'
That's what they all say, usually just before telling us that some of their best friends are, er, black...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just when you think you know all the answers...

Love the story of the bug that baffled the world's experts - it wasn't discovered in some faraway arid desert or tropical rain forest. It turned up
in the back garden of the biggest insect museum on earth.

Apparently, it thrives under London Plane trees.

My favourite tree in the world is the majestic London Plane next door to my house.

Must check it for bugs...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More disappointment for fans of the last flying Vulcan...

Five more dates revealed in tonight's Lincs Echo following last Sunday's disappointing failure to get off the ground at the RAF Waddington air show.

UPDATE: Sadly, no sooner had the new dates been published than the first them - this weekend at RAF Fairford - wascontroversially called off due to heavy rain.

More disappointment for fans of the Vulcan...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now Tebbit supports Labour not Davis on 42-days...

I seldom find myself in agreement with Norman Tebbit, the so called Chingford Skinhead, but the views on 42-days and yesterday's bizarre by-election he expressed tonight on Radio 4's Any Questions are right on the button.

First, he said it would be difficult to agree with David Davis that yesterday's by-election was a victory for civil liberties.

Then the former Tory Cabinet Minister who famously advised the jobless to 'get on their bikes' revealed that he supported the Labour Government in increasing the maximum pre-charge detention for suspected terrorists from 28 to 42 days.

Lord Tebbit sensibly suggested that contrary to what some believe, our police are not actually waiting to pounce on terror suspects to lock them up for 42-days without reasonable cause and that in fact the measure would be rarely used, but may be necessary in some cases, for instance to give security forces time to uncover evidence held in seized computers.

Lord Tebbit's show-stopper was to remind us that his own wife had been 'locked up in a wheelchair for the past 24 years' after the IRA terrorist attack on the 1984 Conservative Party Conference.

Audience members pointed out that David Davis makes himself out to be a champion of civil liberties, yet has previously voted for hanging. More recently of course, in the Commons, he voted to increase the maximum pre-charge detention period for suspected terrorists from 14 to 28 days.

So he's for doubling the period to 28 days, but is against 42 days 'on principle'...

As predicted HERE...!, Mr Davis managed to beat off all looney all-comers, with most excitement before the result was announced being a recount between the Greens and the English National Party for a distant second place.

And of course, David Davis instantly claimed a 'stunning victory' - despite the fact that thousands fewer people voted for him yesterday than in 2005...

And despite the other fact that his party leader David Cameron let it be known that there's no place in the Tory Shadow Cabinet for the man who fought him for the Leadership .

For me, what David Davis achieved in his daft stunt, is to highlight that not only are the Tories against locking up suspected terrorists for a maximum of 42-days without charge, but they are also against CCTV and the DNA database - both of which protect the innocent majority - and which have both helped bring criminals to justice.

Once of the reasons the prisons are now full, despite provision of extra places, is DNA evidence which has helped lock up perpetrators of hundreds of serious crimes - years after they thought they had escaped justice...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lifeline scrapped for Deepings, but not for Grantham!

Dial-a-ride, a lifeline for elderly housebound people, is to be scrapped in The Deepings, Stamford and Bourne. But not in Grantham.

The Stamford Mercury report that Lincolnshire County Council will only continue to fund Dial-a-Ride in partnership with district councils.

Just a month after Grantham-based South Kesteven District Council was shamed as the only district in Lincolnshire to refuse to support extending bus passes for over-60s and disabled people, they - and Spalding-based South Holland are the only two districts refusing to back Dial-a-Ride.

The fact that South Kesteven will continue to fund Dial-a-Ride for Grantham only adds insult to injury.

A total disgrace.

UPDATE: I see there is a partial Call Connect service to be launched as a partial replacement for Dial-a-Ride where there are no local buses.

UPDATE 2: As of Friday morning, still no news on SKDC's own information website about the scrapping of Dial-a-Ride in The Deepings, Bourne and Stamford. SKDC's website has some info on the scheme, but says the last update on info on Dial-a-Ride was made in September last year...

More important, no information at all on the Call Connect 'service', which the Mercury says will not be provided on bus routes...The whole point of Dial-a-Ride was that it was specifically aimed at people who were unable to use local buses!

BREAKING NEWS: Boris's disgraced Deputy faces new accusations...

Tonight's London Standard reveals that Boris Johnson's disgraced Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis faces new accusations of sexual misconduct.

Who pays for by-election, it's you.

Imagine what you could do with £200,000...That's the cost to the taxpayer of David Davis's daft by-election stunt as estimated by The Daily Torygraph.

Polls opened earlier this morning in what is surely the most meaningless and needless by-election in the history of British politics.

David Cameron's rival for the leadership of the Conservative Party comfortably won the Howden and Haltemprice seat in the 2005 General Election. But after a democratic vote in the house of Commons went against him, he threw his toys out of his pram, causing an unnecessary and costly which he is standing as a candidate.


With neither of the mainstream parties getting sucked into the daftest Tory trick, voters today face a daunting choice of 26 candidates on the longest voting paper in history all hoping to cash in on Davis's publicity stunt.

As well as 13 candidates claiming to be 'Independent', the residents of Howden and Haltemprice also have the chance to vote for the so-called Mad-Cow Girl who is standing for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

There's also the Make Politicians History Party, the National Front Britain for the British Party, the Miss Great Britain Party, the Christian Party, the Freedom 4 Choice Party, the Green Party, the New Party, the English Democrats: Putting England First party, and of course, the Socialist Equality Party.

But the favourite has to be the Church of the Militant Elvis Party.

Then there's the original David: ie, the man who once claimed to be a re-incarnation of God, who's so well known, he's standing in his own name with no party label.

(That's David Icke of course, not David Davis).

Then there's the ego himself, David Michael Davis, the Conservative Candidate.
They're all totally bonkers, of course.

Don't bother staying up for the result. I can confidently predict that David Michael Davis will fight off the other nutters and comfortably be declared the winner with a massively increased majority...and he will then declare a great victory for freedom and democracy without even mentioning the word 'hollow' or who picks up the tab.

So will Mr Davis have to pay for his stunt and have £200,000 docked from his MP's wages to be paid back the taxpayers of Britain...?

Nope. Didn't think so.

UPDATE: I see that even the local paper the Hull Daily Mail is having difficulty taking the by-election seriously - and who can blame them with one candidate campaiging for 'nil votes' so he can get in the Guinness Book of Records...

The Mail predicts that the winner will be the Willerby Manor Hotel, unofficial headquarters for press conferences, campaign launches, events and late-night plotting over a few drinks.

The paper reports:

As one staff member told me the other day: “I'm all for these kind of by-elections, business is booming.”

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Linchfield's longest serving teacher retires...

The longest serving teacher at Linchfield Primary School in Deeping St James is to retire after 28 years. Pat was the first teacher to be appointed when the new school opened.

As a former Governor at Linchfield, I know that Pat Mitcham is hugely respected and loved by staff, parents, governors and hundreds of children and former pupils - many of whom are now grown up with their own families.

Linchfield won't be the same without Pat, but her retirement is well earned and I wish her all the best for her future.

Local post offices survive modernisation plan...

Pleased to report that both Deeping St James and Market Deeping post offices survive intact in the modernisation plan just published for our area.

more later...

New Tory Race Row embroils Cameron...

Same old Tories, eh?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why I missed the flight of the Vulcan...

The only downside of a trip up north to meet my newborn grand-nephew at the weekend was knowing I'd miss the last flying Vulcan bomber at the RAF Waddington airshow.

After years of restoration funded by millions raised through public subsription, the Vulcan received its safety certificate last Friday - in the nick of time for a spectacular display on Saturday.

I wondered if I might be able to make it back home to Lincolnshire in time for Sunday's flight of the Vulcan - but instead stopped off at my daughter's near Loughborough where I managed to catch TV coverage of Lewis Hamilton's storming performance in the British Grand Prix, most of the best ever Wimbledon final, a quick go on her Wee machine, and a splendid roast dinner!!

A great weekend, so no complaints.

In the event, an engine fault grounded the grand old delta wing on Sunday and it could only manage a fast taxi, much to the disappointment of a sell-out 55,000 crowd at Waddo.

The Lincolnshire Echo has angered Vulcan enthusiasts by using the word 'flop' in their headline to describe Sunday's no-fly.

I grew up down the hill and a couple of miles from RAF Waddington: from my bedroom window I often watched night-time take-offs and landings of the giant Vulcans - and recall the distinctive roar of the engines.

So despite not being too sure that keeping the Vulcan flying is the best use of resources at a time of global warming, I do hope there's another chance soon to see the Vulcan fly.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lewis back on top - now for the Rafa and Roger show...

Brilliant drive in driving rain gives Lewis Hamilton a fantastic win in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. While most Championship contenders spun at least once - and some three times - Lewis confounded his critics and stayed on the road, winning by a second - a country mile.

Great weekend of sport started by 14 year old Laura Robson, first British Wimbledon champion since Annabelle Croft...

Just switched to the Gentleman's Final thankfully delayed by rain almost until the chequered flag at Silverstone...

Already Rafa Nadal has already won a break of serve from Roger Federer in the opening games.

Can the Spaniard knock the Swiss off his perch?

Would certainly be good for tennis and I'm cheering for Nadal.

Whovever wins, looks like we're in for one of the great finals...


UPDATE: Neither player let us down, did they? Surely it was one of the greatest, and certainly the longest, ever Wimbledon final. An incredibly edge of the seat five hours duelling between the world's two finest - and genuinely nicest players. Rafa Nadal finally, finally beat off a fantastic fightback from Roger Federer. Even Nadal felt for the five-times champion being denied his record sixth championship in a row...


Anti-sleaze rules come back to haunt Cameron...

More whiffs of Tory sleaze today - less than 48 hours after Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayor was forced to resign facing a whole series of allegations. David Cameron is now under pressure to take action against his sidekick George Osborne who is accused of breaking Tory rules by accepting up to £10,000 for a speech in Jersey.

I have to say Osborne's defence when questioned by Andrew Marr on the BBC this morning appeared decidedly dodgy...

He insisted he didn't break anti-sleaze rules by taking between £5k and £10k, as well as complimentary flights and accommodation from the Jersey Institute of Directors.

His problem is that Tory guidelines clearly state:

'Shadow Ministers should not solicit fees for broadcuasting, speaking engagements and articles. Fees should not be accepted if the subject matter relates directly to your Shadow Ministerial responsibilities.'

Ironically, we know what those rules say thanks to Mr Osborne's previous rather questionable conduct.

They were made public a few months ago when wee Georgie faced an investigation by the House of Commons Standards Committee into donations.

Then, the Committee upheld the complaints against him.

Other Tory frontbenchers now facing similar conflict of interest claims include Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said to have received a donation from the director of an independent boarding school.

And Gove's deputy Tim Loughton apparently earns up to £35k a year as director of a company that provides camera equipment for schools.

Will Cameron enforce his own rules, or will he back wee Georgie and the rest...?

What do you think?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ken on 'The incompetence of Boris and the crisis for Cameron...'

Former Mayor Ken Livingstone sums up the chaos of two months of Boris Johnson running London.

When the story broke on Thursday, Ken gave support to the Tory who beat him, saying Boris was right to 'stick by his man' unless and until the allegations produced evidence.

But with Boris's choice of Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis forced to resign after it was revealed he wasn't even a magistrate as he claimed, Ken told the BBC Today programme this morning:

In a mere two months in office Boris Johnson has already suffered the second resignation from among his most senior officials - Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis following Deputy Chief of Staff James McGrath two weeks ago.

In my entire eight years in office I suffered only one enforced resignation of any of my most senior officials, Lee Jasper - and that only after seven years.

This extreme contrast shows vividly the incompetence of Boris Johnson and his administration.

It is an equal crisis for David Cameron who, it should be remembered, chose to make his first photo opportunity as Tory leader with Ray Lewis.
Spot on Ken!

Boris's Deputy: How the Standard tone changed as story unravelled...

After my moan earlier Friday that the London Standard hadn't splashed the big story of the allegations against Boris Johnson's Deputy on their first edition, it's only fair that I show you the front page of their final West End edition which I picked up as I headed for home this evening.

And I have to say that the billboards matched the change in tone as the story unravelled.

Unfortunately, Ray Lewis's resignation came too late to hit the Standard's news-stands.

Too early yet to see a hard copy of Saturday's Daily Mail, but Newsnight showed the early front page which I recall is headlined: Boris: the wheels are coming off already.

I guess we'll have to wait patiently for the Sunday papers to see how much of the damage from the Ray Lewis scandal sticks to either Boris Johnson or David Cameron...

UPDATE: Here's the Daily Mail front page, courtesy of the Sky site.

UPDATE 2: And here's the Indy which devotes its entire front page to the story...(or rather what's left after all the promos). The Indy story and analysis is well worth a read.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Boris's Deputy falls on his sword - now spotlight should turn on Cameron...

Ray Lewis resigned tonight after revelations that:

1. He was NOT and NEVER has been a magistrate - as claimed as recently as yesterday by Boris Johnson trying to defend his choice of Lewis as his Deputy Mayor of London and...

2. Scotland Yard investigated a string of complaints against Ray Lewis - but each time decided to take no further action.

This sleaze scandal doesn't just reflect badly on Boris Johnson who suggested he didn't need to vet Lewis because he'd already been vetted as a magistrate!!

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson actually claimed this afternoon that Lewis has 'gone through the strongest vetting process outside MI5' ...oh yeah?!

More seriously, 'Lewisgate' once again calls into question the judgement - or rather complete lack of it - by David Cameron, the Tory choice for Prime Minister.

The now shamed Ray Lewis actually introduced Cameron as 'my mate Dave' at the launch of Boris Johnson's campaign to become Mayor of London.

Cameron described Mr Lewis as
'the most inspirational person he had met since becoming Leader of the Conservatives...'
Ray's best mate Dave may be regretting his choice of 'mates'...

UPDATE: You can now see Ray Lewis's resignation speech at the BBC in which he blames the media for acting like 'a modern schoolchild who won't accept the concept of delayed gratification' and explains that it is splitting hairs to say he is not a magistrate as he has passed all the interviews and has a letter to say he will be recommended to be one.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has warned that London's problems won't be solved if he only appints 'antiseptic yes-men' and has spoken of Mr Lewis's 'god-given abilities'. Boris appeals for Mr Lewis to be left alone, so that he can clear his name and be re-appointed Deputy Mayor.

Some hope Boris.

UPDATE 2: Daily Mail splash tomorrow - Boris: the wheels are coming off already.

BREAKING NEWS: Boris Deputy is NOT a magistrate...

After what I said about it's first edition earlier today, fair play to reporter Pippa Crear and Standard for revealing this gem.

It certainly leaves Boris Johnson rather exposed after suggesting that he didn't need to carry out checks on Ray Lewis before appointing him from relative obscurity to Deputy Mayor because he'd already been vetted as a magistrate!

No doubt C4 will have more at seven.

Either way, looks like Ray Lewis - and Boris - have some more explaining to do.

Keeping up the Standards...

Interesting coverage on the allegations of financial and sexual impropriety against Boris Johnson's Deputy which broke yesterday. Most of today's national newspapers ran a page lead, but London's evening paper chose not to put the story on its front page.

While other media is highlighting the potential damage to Boris Johnson - and David Cameron - the headline on the Standard's inside story makes it clear that Boris was ‘in dark over deputy sleaze claims’

Just a couple of months ago the same Standard ran relentless splashes and damning billboards all across the capital night-after-night against Ken Livingstone which helped ensure Boris Johnson was elected.

The Standard's pro-Boris campaign was led by Andrew Gilligan - whose old boss at The Economist was, er, Boris.

Perhaps no surprise that today, Mr Gilligan concludes that the Ray Lewis allegations are:
'not that serious, even if true...'
And The Standard's editorial comment tonight says the allegations may be groundless - I hope they are right, but surely a curious comment...

First, the Church of England apparently 'struck off' Mr Lewis. Did they do that for no reason?

Second, elsewhere in tonight's Standard, an elderly woman claims she lent Ray Lewis £29,000 and all he gave her was an IOU. She claims the money was paid back only after she went to the police. Yesterday, you may recall, Mr Lewis categorically denied ever borrowing money from a parishioner.

For good measure, elsewhere in the Standard, there's a smear story on
the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, who prompted the investigation into Ray Lewis.

The Standard diary accuses him of supporting 'Left-wing' think-tanks including the Labour-supporting IPPR and of working with Ken Livingstone.

And after Boris's comments yesterday that Ray Lewis should be left alone to get on with his work without 'persecution', no prizes for guessing the outcome of the independent inquiry, which is to be headed by Ray Lewis's old boss at the Prison Service!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Boris's Deputy Mayor faces sexual misconduct inquiry...

It has been revealed that Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayor was 'struck off' by the Church of England after complaints of sexual misconduct some years ago.

I understand the new Mayor is currently holding a press conference where he says he will launch an independent inquiry into the allegations against Ray Lewis who he appointed as Deputy Mayor days after his election victory a couple of months ago.

As well as allegations of a sexual nature, it appears the media are also asking questions regarding Mr Lewis's financial dealings.

Boris Johnson is apparently standing by Mr Lewis - who denies the allegations - and refusing to suspend him while the inquiry sits.

I seem to recall that was similar to Ken Livingstone's response after allegations were made against one of his key aides Lee Jasper, who eventually resigned after a relentless media campaign against him which for weeks dominated the Mayoral election campaign.

Will be interesting, to say the least, how this story runs, now the boot appears to be on the other foot.

UPDATE: Guardian looks at the potential damage to both Boris Johnson and David Cameron who has apparently heaped praise on Ray Lewis...

Were there reds under Cameron's bed...?

True-blue Dave-the-Chameleon claims he comes in any colour you like, (depending on his audience at the time), but can he really be Red Dave...?

The Mirror's Kevin Macguire reveals that the Conservative Leader accepted a flight and hotel accommodation from a rather unlikely source - the Chinese Communist Party!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lincolnshire's most dangerous road...?

from tonight's Lincolnshire Echo.

BREAKING NEWS: MP calls for resignation of Police Authority...

MP Quentin Davies has called for the resignation of Lincolnshire Police Authority after they were 'capped' for trying to impose the highest council tax precept in the country.

Last week, the Government stepped in and halted the massive 78.9% increase, cutting it to 26% - and giving every ratepayer in Lincolnshire a refund of some £70.

Mr Davies is angry at what he calls the Authority's
complete irresponsibility in demanding such an absurd level of increase.
He adds:
They are directly responsible for the expense of rebilling the public...they seem to me to have no regard at all for the interests of Lincolnshire Council Tax payers and they have seriously undermined their own credibility by such extreme demands...
Strong stuff.

For the record, as a member of the Police Authority and a Lincolnshire ratepayer, I take no pleasure in the current position.

For the record, and the avoidance of doubt, I spoke and loudly and clearly AGAINST such a massive increase and was one of those who voted against it in February, as posted at the time HERE.