20/04/2010

Election news from a quiet target seat

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:21 pm by henrysgauntlet

The western half of Thurrock, the bit in the Thurrock parliamentary constituency, is a seething maelstrom of electoral inactivity.   It is a Labour/Conservative target seat, and I was told this morning that the Conservatives must win it to have any chance………

Yes, I know, I could get out there and campaign for somebody, but after all Henry’s getting on a bit, and his armour is rusty.

The Thurrock Gazette is doing its bit, and should feel proud of itself.   It has been publishing regular photographs of the Labour candidate for at least a year, before ever he was selected.   That’s the beauty of being a local councillor.   There is an excuse for the Gazette to publicise you.

Yesterday something very strange happened.   Henry was canvassed by the Conservative candidate.   There was a knock on the portcullis of his castle, and there she stood.   That’s the first time for many years, possibly ever, that this castle has been canvassed by the Conservatives.

Several bits of red paper have arrived by hand delivery from Labour, and the Conservatives are the first off the block with the freepost election address which arrived several days ago.   No communications from anyone else.

So now Henry awaits the Whigs, (he means the Liberals who are not a shiny new untried party, but have actually been around for as long as the Tories), the BNP and UKIP.

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17/04/2010

Manhole madness

Posted in Crime at 2:55 pm by henrysgauntlet

There seems to be an epidemic of manhole theft going on.   Strange, but apparently the metal is worth selling for scrap.

59 covers have just been stolen in the Maldon area, some of them from quiet villages.

What a shame it is that those who perpetrate these crimes  –  because that’s what they are  –  never think about the consequences.

A car hits one of these spots, may end up grounded in the hole as manholes are quite large, or could bounce and shoot across into an oncoming vehicle.   At the very least might burst a tyre or damage the springs.   Motor cyclists and cyclists could be thrown off their machines.   Pedestrians trip and injure themselves, or fall down the hole.   So could cats and dogs.

Not just property crime, but very dangerous.

 

09/04/2010

A host of golden daffodils – not if these people nick them

Posted in Crime, Life at 9:11 pm by henrysgauntlet

As I drove through the Avenues area of North Grays today I thought how lovely the gardens looked.   Spring bulbs in full bloom, and above them, magnolias and cherry blossom.

After that, on the way back from Chadwell St Mary, I saw two cars pulled up in the layby at the big roundabout near Palmer’s College.   Two women and several children were milling around.   At first I thought they were feeding or just admiring a number of horses in the adjoining field.

Then I saw what they were actually doing.   All of them were holding large bunches of daffodils.   There is a considerable area of grass between the field and the layby, and at the moment it has swathes of daffodils nodding in the wind.   And these people had taken it upon themselves to pick them.   I don’t suppose they intended selling them.   They were probably for their own homes.   They just thought they would take them for free rather than grow their own or buy flowers at a shop.

But that isn’t right.   The flowers are on public property, presumably supplied and planted by the Council.   Being public, does not mean people can cut them and take them away for their own use.   That denies the rest of the residents the pleasure of seeing such a splendid sight.   And the women are setting a shocking example to the children in letting them think they can just take whatever they want, whether from private owners or from publicly owned sites.

07/04/2010

Last PMQs for Andrew

Posted in Andrew Mackinlay at 2:48 pm by henrysgauntlet

Watched Prime Minister’s Questions this morning, the last of this Parliament.

He didn’t speak, but there, sitting in his usual place on the front bench just below the gangway, was Andrew Mackinlay.   And it struck me how odd it is that I shall not see him there again.

Henry has known Andrew for a long time, both locally and at Westminster.   We do not support the same political party, but am pleased to say we have been good friends.

Andrew Mackinlay has been a fine MP for Thurrock, and a strong, fearless, independent voice at Westminster who was never afraid to speak and vote against his party if his conscience demanded it.   He will be sorely missed in Thurrock and at Westminster.   There are now hardly any independent, difficult (for the whips) characters left, and it’s unlikely there will be many, if any, in the new Parliament.

Henry sends his very best wishes for the future to Andrew, to Ruth and to their family.   Henry is proud to have known him.