Friday, January 29, 2010

Now Chilcot gets the blame...

Channel 4 trailing their seven o'clock news tonight with the (bad) taster '...did the Chilcott inquisitors finally prove they are not up to the job?'

They are disappointed of course that a distinguished Iraq War inquiry panel apparently failed to land a finger on Tony Blair in his six? hours of evidence.

From what I saw, Blair showed today what I've always believed: he's not a liar and made a difficult decision based on the facts presented to him - a decision backed by the first-ever vote in the House of Commons to send British fighting troops.

Wouldn't be surprised to hear calls for ANOTHER enquiry into the Iraq war, even before Chilcott reports. And then another one after that if the next one doesn't come up with the answers some people and some media seem to demand.

Seems to me there's been more official enquiries and more public scrutiny of the decision to take on the evil murdering tyrant Saddam Hussain - who used WMD on his own people - than any other conflict in history

That includes two world wars and, incidentally, the 1980s Falklands War, which I recall happened after Margaret Thatcher sold off our ice-ships and gave the Argentinians all the signals that we'd take no action to defend the Falklands - in contrast to a few years earlier when then Labour PM Jim Callaghan sent a much tougher signal to warn off General Galtieri...

UPDATE: The 2010 Question: Tony Blair put his decision to deal with Saddam Hussain in 2003 in clear perspective today when he suggested his critics should think about the 2010 question rather than the 2003 question...

What do you think the monster Saddam Hussain would be doing today if Tony Blair had lost his nerve and not taken the action he did?

Relief for cancer patients with £3m cash injection...

Welcome news for local cancer patients and their loved ones, thanks to a £3 million cash injection at Peterborough Hospitals that will end the need for lengthy regular journeys to Addenbroookes in Cambridge.

Another example of how Labour's massive investment is transforming our NHS services - despite Tories claims that things haven't got better...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More on Cameron's crime con...

Good to see the Mirror picking up Cameron's dodgy claim that crime is rising - when the opposite is in fact true.

The Conservative 'Britain is Broken' scare campaign relies heavily on ramping up people's fear of crime - and they can only do that by telling massive porkies.

As I posted on Monday, the entire 'Britain is Broken' nonsense unravels under any degree of independent scrutiny.

It's another Cameron Con.

Monday, January 25, 2010

BBC unpicks Cameron's claim of 'Broken Britain'

Glad to see I wasn't alone in raising an eyebrow at David Cameron exploiting the horrific Edlington torture case last week.

Today, the BBC's Mark Easton questions how honest Cameron is being on his claims.

Read and make your own judgement who's telling porkies...

Same old Tories, eh?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cutting SureStart is not the answer Mr Cameron...

If David Cameron really believes 'Britain is Broken', why would he cut one in five of the amazing SureStart Childrens Centres opened by Labour over the past ten years which now give hundreds of thousands of children a better start in life?

Despite Conservative attempts to exploit the horrific Edlington case, it is - thank goodness - extremely rare for nine-year-olds to be assaulted by their father with a golf club, grow up watching extreme violence, mutilation, pornography, see their mother beaten by their drunken father and threaten to slash her face, experience illegal drugs...

Lincolnshire benefits from three dozen of the 3,500 SureStart's delivered across the whole country by Labour over the past decade - including one here in The Deepings.

Cameron's cuts to vital public services like SureStart - and fewer police - would damage society, not make it better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's the most depressing day of the year, so cheer up!

The Carpenters hit seemed to sum it all up with: 'Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down'.

Well, it's raining, it's Monday, and according to tonight's Lincolnshire Echo today is a special day in the calendar...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

BNP's Politics of Hate and Extremism

Three news stories this weekend demonstrate all you need to know about the racial hatred constantly stirred up by the extremist so-called 'British' National Party.


BNP Leader Nick Griffin has described British Government aid to the victims of the terrible Haiti earthquake as stinking elite hypocrisy, alleging that the British winter will claim more lives and 'there is no aid here'.

The truth is after 12 years of Labour Government, there is far more assistance than ever before for the most vulnerable in our society. For example, decent pensions, vastly increased winter fuel allowances and automatic cold weather payments to help pensioners keep the heating on when temperatures of zero or below are forecast for a week or more.

Good to see East Midlands MEP Glenis Willmott - Leader of the Labour Group in the EU - instantly rebutting and rubbishing Griffin's outburst.

There is nothing British about Griffin's odious response to the Haiti disaster - and the screams of dying victims - in one of the most impoverished nations on earth.

I'm certain that the generosity of the British people will shine through, reflect the aid already pledged to Haiti by the British Government, and show how non-British and out-of- touch with the British people Griffin really is.


Newly released crime figures demonstrate that reports of racial and religious hate crime rise wherever the BNP gets elected.


A racist ex-BNP nutter was jailed for 11 years for turning his bedroom into a bomb factory.

Here in Lincolnshire, I believe a Boston Borough councillor is the only member of the BNP to be elected.

IMHO, that's one too many.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nightmare trek ends bad week for East Coast Main Line...

The week started snow bad for East Coast Main Line (and its ‘customers’), with trains that never were. But as the freeze appeared to thaw, my experience was that Peterborough-Kings Cross train ‘service’ became worse rather than better.

My week has just been rounded off with a truly nightmare trek home on one of the most overcrowded trains I’ve had the misfortune to be packed onto in over 30 years of full and part-time commuting.

I expected this evening’s rush-hour tube hops on the Circle, then Victoria lines to be the usual squeeze. And they were.

I was daft enough to look forward to a little more space for the 90-odd mile - and rather more expensive - journey to Peterborough.

But no. As the train crawled out of Kings Cross, every carriage had people standing in the aisles. I was forced to squeeze into the tiny vestibule between two carriages which I shared for the duration with enough bodies to make two full football teams, complete with a compliment of subs (...if only there were a subs bench!)

To add insult to injury, the guard was soon picking his way through us sardines, demanding to see all tickets, no doubt to make sure no-one was daring to travel on a ‘cheap’ ticket.

I was so tightly wedged between a door and three fellow travellers, I would have had real difficulty getting my hand in my jacket to extract my ticket and told the guard so. I added that given the state of Third World overcrowding on the train he was responsible for, I thought he had a bloody cheek worrying about tickets.

He clearly realised that even if I could retrieve my ticket, he would struggle to get near enough to check or clip it. So he sensibly suggested that I keep my ticket in my pocket and he moved on!

With the guard in full retreat, I shared my frustration with the rest of the Coach B Vestibule first team, explaining that my £87 ticket had bought me a cancelled train on my outward journey this morning and now, no seat on my return journey, not even space to stand in relative comfort.

He too had been delayed by a train that never was this morning and were we clearly in the same er, boat? heading north. Then he produced his Leeds-London ticket which had cost him a staggering £224...

Our conversation was interrupted by the worst moment of the ordeal was when the East Coast’s ‘at seat’ (er, what seat?) drinks and snacks trolley (aka a surefire cash cow within a cash cow) was forced through the vestibule on its relentless drive, sending us sardines falling over each other to avoid a broken leg.

Talking of legs, I’m just starting to get the circulation back in mine. My back will take a little longer to recover.

What an absolute disgrace.

Back to Normal: Trains cancelled!

A broken line at Newark caused long delays Chaos on the East Coast Main Line yesterday, but this morning's Peterborough Evening Telegraph quotes an official reassuring us that it was quickly fixed and the service was 'back to normal'*

What he failed to say was the service was already on a 'revised time-table' due to the 'adverse weather conditions'.

And that means cancelled trains and long delays.

The official went on to hint that the broken line was no big deal as East Coast has lots of experience in dealing with long delays!

When I heard about yesterday's problems, I checked East Coast's website where there is notice of the 'revised timetable due to adverse weather' with a referral to another page for train times.

But up to midnight last night, that page was a blank!

This morning a list of affected services appears...and if you know where your train originates, you might get a clue whether it's running to time, running at all, or cancelled.

All too late to help me, as I was already at the station waiting for the 8.33 which never came!

* Sorry no link, the PET story is not on line yet - wonder if the adverse weather conditions are to blame?

Monday, January 11, 2010

And holding our 'local' council to account

Trying to get home to Deeping in time for a public meeting at the Community Centre where I hope we can hold our 'local' district council to account...

I want to ask South Kesteven District Council why they pulled the rug from under the extremely popular summer playscheme this year, which they have traditionally part funded. And more importantly, persuade them it's worth backing this year.

My own daughters enjoyed the playscheme when they were young so I know personally how valued the scheme is - even though it was almost a quarter of a century ago. Since then the playscheme has gone from strength to strength - despite a blip a few years ago when red tape almost strangled it.

Fortunately, it survived and SKDC continued to see its value by sharing the costs with our very own DSJ Parish Council and Market Deeping Town Council.

But last year SKDC changed their priorities and said they would concentrate on helping teenagers rather than younger kids.

They published a series of glossy leaflets and a programme of activities.

But guess what?

Nothing for the Deepings!

Fortunately, DSJ and MD councils stumped up the missing cash to make sure hundreds of youngsters and their parents were not disappointed and the playscheme had a bumper year at DSJ Primary School.

Now we're hoping those we elect to serve us as the Grantham based SKDC will do the decent thing in the coming summer and give the Deepings a fair deal!

I got stuck on the tube on my way home tonight, but fortunately, my parish council colleague, Judy 'the Rotweiller' Stevens will be at the Community Centre, so I know our voice will be heard loud and clear!

Blog of the day...

Holding Boris to account on his dodgy 'achievements'...

Nice one Adam.

The train that never existed...

Bad start to the week on East Coast trains.

Arrive at Peterborough station at 8.10. Plenty of time to get my ticket and catch the London-bound 8.33.

No worries. Wait patiently on the south-bound Platform 2.

The announcer tells us the next train on Platform 2 is the 8.33...


But then he adds that it's going to Lincoln.

Not so reassuring.

No mention of my King's Cross 'service'.

So where's my train?

One of the three ticket stampers at the barrier at first denies any knowledge of such a train as the 8.33 to London.

He produces a sheaf of papers which is apparently his print-out of the timetable.

"There is no 8.33 to London," he confidently declares.

"So it's cancelled?" ask irritated commuters.

"Not cancelled," he insists. "As I have already told you, there is no 8.33 to London. We have an 8.33 to Lincoln..."

When other commuters point out to Jobsworth that they've been catching the 8.33 to London for years, he offers: "Ah, yes sir, but we're operating a revised timetable today and as I say, there is no 8.33 to London."

He then causes more grief with his warning that the next East Coast 'express' will be 'exceedingly overcrowded'.

He advises catching the next First Capital Connect train instead.

But he doesn't mention that this is a 'slow' service which stops at every lamp-post including Huntingdon, St Neots, Sandy, Biggleswade, Arlesey, Hitchin, Stevenage, and Finsbury Park...

Of course, no mention of cancellations earlier when I parted with my £87 for a ticket...And no mention that the next 'express' to London that actually did exist would arrive late into Peterborough...

But of course, when you operate a 'revised' timetable, and don't tell the paying customers, there are no delays or cancellations...

So, not the four hour marathons twice experienced trekking to London in last week's snow, but every bit as frustrating!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wolfie is World Champ Again...

Deeping St James darts star Martin Wolfie Adams has done it. He's World Champ for the second time.

Well done Wolfie...he's just picked up a cheque for £100,000 for his trouble...

Hope he shares it with his wife Sharron who had to watch Wolfie's edge of the seat match. At least she didn't lock herself in the loo at the crucial moment like she did last time Martin was on the verge of becoming World Champion!!

UPDATE: Market Deeping blogger Roy Dennis has pointed out that in fact Wolfie collected £103,000.

My mistake. He was paid an extra £3k for scoring an impressive 170 on a three dart finish in the final. Thanks for putting me right Roy!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Wolfie in the final....

Deeping St James darts supremo Martin 'Wolfie' Adams has just thrown his way into the final of the World Darts Championship.

'Wolfie' who was 2007 world darts champ quickly went 5-1 up against Welsh wizard Martin Phillips.

But then 'Wolfie' had us on the edge our the sofa as he allowed Phillips to come back to 5-4 before finally closing out the match 6-4.

Final is tomoorow on BBC TV starting at 5.45pm.


UPDATE: Wolfie streaks ahead against young Dave Chisnall, but then makes it difficuilt for himself by allowing Chisnall to close it to 6-5...

He's only a couple of chucks away from being world chamnp for the second time...fingers and everything else crossed...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Cameron's Canute Conservatives

Astonishing to hear the Prime Minister today being urged from the Conservative benches to scrap Governmment investment in alternative off-shore energy sources.

So now Cameron's Conservatives are campaigning to stop off-shore energy farms, as well as those on-shore too.

Come back King Canute!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Friday, January 01, 2010

Back the Ban on Barbaric Hunting with Dogs

David Cameron's priority - apart from giving a tax break to a few millionaires by cutting inheritance tax for the country's richest estates - is now bringing back hunting.

I would have thought there were much more important issues to deal with to secure the recovery following recession.

Same old Tories, eh.

Chief Exec takes action at Tory-led Council

More fall-out at the Lincolnshire council where the Conservative Leader facing questions over planning was forced to resign last month.

The Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council has now reported a number of elected members to the Standards Board apparently over their actions following the suspension of a planning officer.

It's not clear from the report in the Market Rasen Mail which councillors have been named.

Bernard Theobald stepped down as Leader of the Council a month ago following allegations concerning a planning application to develop a site which he jointly owns with another Conservative councillor.

Cllr Theobald was a member of 'Honest' Jim Speechley's Conservative Group on Lincolnshire Council before Mr Speechley was jailed...for abuse of planning procedures.

Cllr Theobald failed in an attempt to take over the Leadership of Lincolnshire County Council in the aftermath of the Speechley affair and lost his seat at the next local elections.

He went on to become Leader of West Lindsey District Council.

I wish to make it clear that Cllr Theobald claims he has done nothing wrong and has resigned to clear his name.

I wish him the best of luck.

Public support for wind power is blow for Tory protest...

More than three in four people favour wind turbines - even if they are near their own homes, according to a survey published in this week's Lincolnshire Free Press.

The survey seems to show that Conservative local councils who turn down planning applications for windfarms on principle are out of touch with local opinion.

Personally, I always suspected that the Conservative Party's objections to wind turbines - as voiced by John Hayes, our right-wing MP for South Holland and Deepings - were hot air...

Vote Labour or the fox gets it...!

In a quote for our local paper, the Stamford Mercury, I see Tory grandee Alan Duncan describes Labour's ban on hunting with dogs as 'vindictive...'

Tell that to the fox...!

Lincoln-born hostage coming home...

Happy New Year one and all - and especially to Lincoln-born Peter Moore who has been held hostage after being kidnapped in Iraq two-and-a-half years ago, but is expected to be reunited with his family on British soil later today.

UPDATE: Lincs Echo