US: It's all kicking off with Bush and Kerry

I sense the hand of Karl Rove in the latest pathetic attempt by George Bush to deflect attention from his disastrous Iraq policy. It’s the usual Rove strategy: “When in a hole: BLAME JOHN KERRY”.

I have just watched John Kerry’s remarkable response to this puerile rubbish from Bush. It has to be seen. Go to this page and click on where it says “Watch Kerry say he won’t apologize for criticizing the president and ‘his broken policy’ ” (I’m sorry but I couldn’t manage a direct link here.)

US: It’s all kicking off with Bush and Kerry

I sense the hand of Karl Rove in the latest pathetic attempt by George Bush to deflect attention from his disastrous Iraq policy. It’s the usual Rove strategy: “When in a hole: BLAME JOHN KERRY”.

I have just watched John Kerry’s remarkable response to this puerile rubbish from Bush. It has to be seen. Go to this page and click on where it says “Watch Kerry say he won’t apologize for criticizing the president and ‘his broken policy’ ” (I’m sorry but I couldn’t manage a direct link here.)

Misty eyed moment on M4 – passing the Sharps van

I had a misty-eyed moment on the M4 this afternoon near Yattendon (I’m a local, I know where these places are and I can lead you to both Vodafone’s artifical trees. There must be something missing in my life that I have to point this out….I know.)

I passed a Sharps van!

How is an exiled Cornishman meant to keep his optical water-works under control with this sort of temptation being wafted under his nose! It is bad enough not being able to find Doom Bar on draught up in Berkshire, without seeing the vans. And where was the van coming from? This indicates that somewhere east of Yattendon is being supplied with draught Doom Bar! Why didn’t anyone tell me! And where the heck is it being supplied to up here?

I need to know, now.

Benn Junior's cobblers on Iraq inquiry

I have just heard Hilary Benn on XFM News (blimey, I surprised even myself that I could slip that in so easily, me a TOG too) saying that an inquiry into the Iraq war would be bad for our troops’ morale and give succour to the enemy.

Tony Blair’s spokesman said the government might agree to an inquiry once troops have left Iraq. He said: “Of course we continue to learn the lessons all the time and there is no doubt that at the end of our period there people will want to look back.”

The problem with that is where do you draw the line? If we get bogged down in Iraq for thirty years, do we have the inquiry in year 30? If we don’t wait that long how long do we wait? Until year 5, 4, 3 ? Surely the longer our embroilment goes on, the stronger is the argument for an inquiry, is it not?

As for the troops’ morale being impacted, what a load of cobblers! Our service personnel are surely reassured by the fact that they are defending democracy, if they are defending anything (and even that is debatable). Part of democracy is getting all the facts and opinions out in the open. If facts and opinions are covered up, then mistakes happen and troops’ lives are put in the line of fire unnecessarily. In the Commons’ debate on this, it is worth noting where MPs speaking come from – and how many troops originate from their constituencies. Often along the years, a very large proportion of our troops in the line of fire have come from central Scotland and Wales. I wonder whether we will hear any Celtic voices in the debate asking for an inquiry? (yes, I know the Scots Nats and Plaid thingme asked for the debate – I was being trying to be ironic – I think I botched it. I know – it wasn’t worth it)

As for giving succour to the enemy, nothing gives more succour to the enemy than the abandonment of democratic procedures.

Although Hilary Benn’s voice sounds a bit like his dad’s and his eyes sometimes threaten to have the same whirling properties of his father’s eyes, the paternal similarity stops there. I cannot imagine Tony Benn arguing some obvious cobblers as his son did today on XFM news. Thank goodness for the new single from the Feeling played soon afterwards. It washed away the bad taste of Benn Junior’s cant.

Benn Junior’s cobblers on Iraq inquiry

I have just heard Hilary Benn on XFM News (blimey, I surprised even myself that I could slip that in so easily, me a TOG too) saying that an inquiry into the Iraq war would be bad for our troops’ morale and give succour to the enemy.

Tony Blair’s spokesman said the government might agree to an inquiry once troops have left Iraq. He said: “Of course we continue to learn the lessons all the time and there is no doubt that at the end of our period there people will want to look back.”

The problem with that is where do you draw the line? If we get bogged down in Iraq for thirty years, do we have the inquiry in year 30? If we don’t wait that long how long do we wait? Until year 5, 4, 3 ? Surely the longer our embroilment goes on, the stronger is the argument for an inquiry, is it not?

As for the troops’ morale being impacted, what a load of cobblers! Our service personnel are surely reassured by the fact that they are defending democracy, if they are defending anything (and even that is debatable). Part of democracy is getting all the facts and opinions out in the open. If facts and opinions are covered up, then mistakes happen and troops’ lives are put in the line of fire unnecessarily. In the Commons’ debate on this, it is worth noting where MPs speaking come from – and how many troops originate from their constituencies. Often along the years, a very large proportion of our troops in the line of fire have come from central Scotland and Wales. I wonder whether we will hear any Celtic voices in the debate asking for an inquiry? (yes, I know the Scots Nats and Plaid thingme asked for the debate – I was being trying to be ironic – I think I botched it. I know – it wasn’t worth it)

As for giving succour to the enemy, nothing gives more succour to the enemy than the abandonment of democratic procedures.

Although Hilary Benn’s voice sounds a bit like his dad’s and his eyes sometimes threaten to have the same whirling properties of his father’s eyes, the paternal similarity stops there. I cannot imagine Tony Benn arguing some obvious cobblers as his son did today on XFM news. Thank goodness for the new single from the Feeling played soon afterwards. It washed away the bad taste of Benn Junior’s cant.

US: It's all kicking off with Bush and Kerry

I sense the hand of Karl Rove in the latest pathetic attempt by George Bush to deflect attention from his disastrous Iraq policy. It’s the usual Rove strategy: “When in a hole: BLAME JOHN KERRY”.

I have just watched John Kerry’s remarkable response to this puerile rubbish from Bush. It has to be seen. Go to this page and click on where it says “Watch Kerry say he won’t apologize for criticizing the president and ‘his broken policy’ ” (I’m sorry but I couldn’t manage a direct link here.)

Benn Junior's cobblers on Iraq inquiry

I have just heard Hilary Benn on XFM News (blimey, I surprised even myself that I could slip that in so easily, me a TOG too) saying that an inquiry into the Iraq war would be bad for our troops’ morale and give succour to the enemy.

Tony Blair’s spokesman said the government might agree to an inquiry once troops have left Iraq. He said: “Of course we continue to learn the lessons all the time and there is no doubt that at the end of our period there people will want to look back.”

The problem with that is where do you draw the line? If we get bogged down in Iraq for thirty years, do we have the inquiry in year 30? If we don’t wait that long how long do we wait? Until year 5, 4, 3 ? Surely the longer our embroilment goes on, the stronger is the argument for an inquiry, is it not?

As for the troops’ morale being impacted, what a load of cobblers! Our service personnel are surely reassured by the fact that they are defending democracy, if they are defending anything (and even that is debatable). Part of democracy is getting all the facts and opinions out in the open. If facts and opinions are covered up, then mistakes happen and troops’ lives are put in the line of fire unnecessarily. In the Commons’ debate on this, it is worth noting where MPs speaking come from – and how many troops originate from their constituencies. Often along the years, a very large proportion of our troops in the line of fire have come from central Scotland and Wales. I wonder whether we will hear any Celtic voices in the debate asking for an inquiry? (yes, I know the Scots Nats and Plaid thingme asked for the debate – I was being trying to be ironic – I think I botched it. I know – it wasn’t worth it)

As for giving succour to the enemy, nothing gives more succour to the enemy than the abandonment of democratic procedures.

Although Hilary Benn’s voice sounds a bit like his dad’s and his eyes sometimes threaten to have the same whirling properties of his father’s eyes, the paternal similarity stops there. I cannot imagine Tony Benn arguing some obvious cobblers as his son did today on XFM news. Thank goodness for the new single from the Feeling played soon afterwards. It washed away the bad taste of Benn Junior’s cant.

Solar panels for Newbury Town Hall


Liberal Democrat-run Newbury Town Council has decided to install solar panels on the roof of Newbury Town Hall. The installation will save around a tonne of harmful carbon dioxide emissions every year. Installation is planned for 2007, once planning permission has been given. The solar panels will be out of sight, to preserve the character of this important listed building.

Tribute to Paul Walters

I was very sad to hear of the untimely death of Paul Walters, famous latterly as Terry Wogan’s Radio 2 producer. He pioneered a unique form of half-off-mike grunts, uhms, aahs and chuckles which acted as the perfect foil for Terry Wogan on his “Wake up to Wogan” show. As such, Paul became much loved as a quiet, unassuming and jovial chap who, nonetheless, was skilled at choosing the music and emails for the programme, helping to make it an overwhelming success with listeners.

He will be sadly missed. Terry’s tribute show yesterday was a masterpiece – the music was beautifully chosen and Terry approached it with exactly the right tone.

As the writer of a few letters read out by our Tel it will be sad not to be able to write in as “the real Paul Walter” or “Paul Walter singular” or some such unfunny joke anymore.