For he might have been a Roosian, A French, or Turk, or Proosian, Or perhaps Itali-an! But in spite of all temptations To belong to other nations, He remains an Englishman!

POOR old Jonathan Farmer. Jolly decent sort of chap, likes the �occasional pint with his chums, and popular, too, with the voters.

In fact, just the sort of gregarious and colourful mayor of whom someone like Thomas Hardy would have been mightily proud.

So why, one wonders, does t�rouble follow him around the council �chambers of Fenland like a �bloodhound on the scent of swag?

Monday proved to be no exception as Cllr Farmer came before the overview and scrutiny panel of Fenland District Council to explain what he’s been up to since May when he was given a new role in charge of �tourism.

Since committee chairman Pop �Jolley is on Jonathan’s group and since he would have been aware they had only met the once – for an hour at that – then the response was pretty obvious.

And since PJ had a conflict of interest he had to hand it to his deputy, Cllr John Chambers, to progress matters.

There then followed, and �various attendees have offered interpretations, one of those rarefied moments in local politics when, in the absence of a �journalist, those present could snort, snivel and sneer to their hearts’ content.

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JF is, I’m assured, not popular with some of the committee and he light-heartedly described it to me as “akin to a Chinese show trial” which it was not, of course, but clearly the committee had a problem.

Not least of which is the fact that a tourism partnership involving the council already exists – chaired by Councillor Simon King – and which some would like to see disbanded and only the one committee remain.

Some have an agenda to rid themselves of SK, some would like JF out on his ears, and the O and S (overview and scrutiny committee ... do keep up), through JC, will probably recommend one committee is left standing.

JF says he’ll “wait with bated breath” for the recommendation since in the heat of the concluding moments he wasn’t sure what the recommendation will be.

“I don’t think there a problem – both committees are going to be successful in what they do,” reflects JF, who sees his committee as “strategic” and SK’s more to with event planning.

But, says JF, like his great political inspiration WC (Winston Churchill) he will not be tempted to stand down.

“I will never resign from anything,” he says. “If I go from anything it will be because I get sacked.”

UPDATE: The vultures are hovering. Expect them to pounce soon.