Fenlander’s Diary: Brakespeare considers Sir Graham’s speeches, goes skating on (thin) ice, meets the UKIP man campaigning in a pub and looks at Steve Barclay’s new Tory group

I AM indebted once more to my blogger chum from Cambridge, Richard Taylor, for drawing my attention to some of the Parliamentary speeches of Sir Graham Bright.

Though Sir Graham has been outside of Parliament since 1997, his speeches have some resonance today mainly because, at the age of 70, he has emerged as the new Tory candidate for police commissioner.

Sir Graham’s intervention in a debate about video recordings some years ago is fondly recalled.

Speaking of a certain type of film Sir Graham pointed out to MPs that “whether we like it or not, many people enjoy watching such films.

Hansard reported as saying that “I had never watched a blue movie, but I must admit that when I was in Sweden I was led astray by some Swedish politicians and I did not enjoy the experience at all. I have no wish to see blue movies. I acknowledge that some of my hon. Friends may wish to do so.

“Clause 4 allows for such safeguards. [Interruption.] Perhaps I had better get on with my speech.”


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NINE wind turbines and part of seven separate applications are before Fenland Planning Committee next week.

Seemingly the high number is because councillors now refuse to delegate any turbine decision to officers and want to debate each and every one of the wretched things.

WHETHER you like UKIP police commissioner candidate Paul Bullen for his views on allowing British citizens to be sent “to rough justice abroad whilst allowing known-terrorists to flout deportation back to the Middle East” is obviously a matter of personal preference.

Likewise you may or may not warm to his opposition to the “the one-sided treaty which sends innocent British people to languish without trial in United States jails, when the USA has never sent one of their criminals in return.”

But Brakespeare, having waded through much of his biography and rambling verbiage to encourage us to vote UKIP, remains vehemently neutral.

Though I must concede I find his campaigning style tempting. He’s to have ‘open house’ in six pubs on six Sunday nights kicking off at The Griffin, March, on Sunday at 7pm.

“Independent Police and Crime Commissioner is a big job,” he says. “It needs vision, competence and common sense. It is not a job for the faint-hearted but for someone with a track-record of punishing criminals and a man who has inner conviction and true integrity:”

All best discussed in a pub too. What style.

EVEN The Daily Mail thinks Steve Barclay, the MP for NE Cambs, deserved at least something in the Cameron re shuffle.

One Mail political columnist, writing of Mr Barclay and MP Dominic Rabb, described them as “two of the brightest MPs from the 2010 intake and who should have been given high flying ministerial jobs by Mr Cameron but instead languish on the backbenches.

“They loyally maintained that while they can make the case for traditional Tory values, Mr Cameron and his ministers are constrained by Coalition government.”

Now the pair have signed up for something called Conservative Voice which seemingly is to campaign for small government, lower taxes, re thinking public services and a more robust approach to Europe.

Big hitters in the group include former frontbenchers and champions of the Tory right-wing such as David Davis and Liam Fox, in the group called Conservative Voice.

Rebel MP Nadine Dorries was in the audience for the launch but Mr Barclay has rounded on anyone suggesting she might be part of it.

Just as well really. Nadine suggested this week that what the Conservatives needed most of all was a “kill Cameron strategy”.

A PSYCHIC who Jonnie Peacock’s mum Linda consulted two years ago told her that her son would become a Paralympic gold medallist but she only told her boy after he did indeed become one.

“She went to see a psychic two years ago after my grandfather died and somehow this psychic knew about me doing sport,” said Jonnie.

“The psychic said I would go to the Paralympics and when my mum came back she told us all I was predicted to win a silver medal.

“My mum told me after I won gold that she had lied and the psychic had actually told me I would win gold but she just didn’t want to tell me at the time.

“This was just when I had started and I was only running 12-second times. The psychic told my mum, via my grandfather, that I was going to win gold and go to the Paralympics. The psychic had no idea who I was but she just figured it out somehow.

“It’s hard to believe in things you can’t see. I’m a very factual person but there’s some things on that list she said that have all come true.”

FORMER Health Secretary and Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley admitted he “didn’t want to go” in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Lansley was sacked by David Cameron after coming in for heavy criticism about changes to the National Health Service since taking up the job after the General Election in 2010.

He will now take on the role of Leader of the House of Commons, managing the Government’s business in Parliament, but told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Bigger Breakfast presenter Paul Stainton: “I didn’t want to go”.

Mr Lansley and the Prime Minister had a “very good conversation”, he said, adding: “I think we were clear, and I was clear, that the things that we had set out to do, improving the health service, delivering efficiency savings, and reforming, were all established, and very much on track.”

That’s all right then.

A CALL from March mayor Jan French protesting about the smell from the anaerobic digestion plant nearby came shortly after she had been forced to abandon a family barbecue and eat indoors instead.

Not good news for Local Generation who had invited Jan’s boss at Fenland Hall, Councillor Alan Melton, to cut the ribbon at the plant at Fenmarc a few days earlier.

Dawn Terry from Local Generation has now written to all local residents – including Cllr French- explaining what the problem is and how a number of potential solutions have been identified and many already implemented.

“We will continue to implement the remaining necessary remedial fixes they have suggested to help alleviate this problem as soon as possible,” says Dawn.

The company says it would like to thank residents “for your patience and understanding whilst we work towards a speedy resolution”.

Community visits are planned for next month to allow residents to quiz bosses at close quarters.

IF ever local radio legend Ronnie Barbour and I were to combine on a book we would probably entitle it “Skating on Thin Ice” reflecting our love of the Fens but more accurately our past careers!

I met Ronnie for lunch in Ely last week and most pleasant it was too – though perhaps we should have popped in to Ely Museum afterwards where a real life exhibition of skating has opened.

The museum’s Passion of Fen Skating exhibition aims to show why people today enjoy such an old tradition.

Sara Brown, assistant curator at the museum in Market Street, said: “Fen skating is often considered to be an historical pastime but this exhibition shows that this sport is still enjoyed locally today.”