The attraction of newts as relief from politics

During a brief break from delivering today, I found myself peering down into our small pond at the numerous tadpoles and couple of newts there. It does amaze me that a small pond in a garden surrounded by six foot fences, can somehow generate such life. I found it a marvellous bit of therapy, as relief from pounding the pavements.

I can understand why Ken Livingstone enjoys keeping newts.

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Bobby "Boris" Pickett dies

I was saddened to read in the Telegraph* that Bobby “Boris” Pickett has died. It takes skill to come up with a record (i.e “Monster Mash”) which is played frequently 45 years after it is issued. I played it last Haloween to my daughter. I often played it (usually from the original 45rpm disc) when I was a radio deejay. Saying “Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers” always tested my limited skills of speech. Apparently Mr Pickett used to say that, although that one record didn’t make him rich, it “paid (his) rent for 36 years”.

Of course, Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s greatest contribution to civilisation was the wonderful line:

Whatever happened to my Transylvanian Twist?

*I didn’t buy it – it was on the coffee table at the local gym.

My predictions come back to me

A hard copy of my predictions blog posting for the election results for West Berkshire Council and Newbury Town Council has now come back to me in a sealed envelope via Royal Mail, postmarked for 27th April. I will be publishing that posting after the election results have been announced. I will leave the envelope sealed, so that anyone can check the fact that I did indeed make the prediction blog posting on 27th April.

Pictured: the sealed envelope.

Police arrest Conservative councillor over corruption allegation

Disturbing news from Portsmouth via The News (dated 25th April) and the Liberal Democrat Voice. Obviously the man is innocent until proven guilty. Councillors are not often held overnight by the police, as this Conservative councillor has been:

Tory Jezz Baker was arrested at 1.30pm yesterday after a month-long police investigation.

It is understood to be alleged that Cllr Baker, who sits on the city council planning committee, took money to support planning applications.

Police have been investigating since an allegation was made by a member of the public in March.

Cllr Baker was yesterday in Romford, Essex, visiting his baby daughter, but returned to Portsmouth by arrangement with officers where he was arrested on suspicion of corruption in a public office.

Police can hold him for 24 hours without charge which can be extended to 36 hours with approval of a superintendent. Any longer needs the support of magistrates.

He was then taken to a station outside the city to be interviewed.

He was still being held this morning.

"How's it going?"

This evening, I had a chat with a local Tory candidate and council colleague who I am quite friendly with. He was putting up the usual stakeboards in his garden. “How’s it going?” he asked. “Very well”, I said,”Lovely weather for it.”

I do wonder whether he was hoping I would divulge our detailed canvass statistics. Some hope.

"How’s it going?"

This evening, I had a chat with a local Tory candidate and council colleague who I am quite friendly with. He was putting up the usual stakeboards in his garden. “How’s it going?” he asked. “Very well”, I said,”Lovely weather for it.”

I do wonder whether he was hoping I would divulge our detailed canvass statistics. Some hope.