Truely I have achieved a certain something when one of my postings can be included in an Iain Dale Daily Dozen.
It was on the Total Politics blog so the enormous volume of traffic suddenly heading towards it failed to upset this host.
But below is the post (you'll have to go to the original to find a couple of helpful comments left by readers). I can offer this extra tidbit though. The Lady in question is Lady King, wife of former Tory MP Tom King.
So you’re on the parish council and you are
bombarded by complaints from residents because a combination of crap
SatNav, poor signage and a company which doesn’t care means HGVs are churning up your village.
You complain to the company (they refuse to take your calls).
You complain to your district councillor (he doesn’t respond and hasn’t been seen in months)
You complain to the district council planners (they take months to respond and then decide there is nothing they can do)
You complain to the highways authority (they can help but it’s going to take time and it’s a bit complicated)
You complain to your county councillor (she’s sympathetic, nothing is done)
You complain to the police (oh, sorry are you still on hold?)
You are a Lady and your husband is a Lord and you live on a route
which these HGVs use and you are not at all happy about these dirty
great vehicles crashing round the roads at all hours.
You complain directly to the leader of the county council
who you know and a meeting involving the police, highways officials and
the company responsible for these HGVs is arranged at a week’s notice.
From this evidence do I understand that the feudal system in rural
areas is still with us or merely that all the people who should take
responsibility only jump when the biggest foot connects with their 'no
Perhaps recruiting some landed gentry on to the parish council is the answer; but it seems a touch regressive.
Got 5 minutes of fame on Radio 5Live this morning talking to Victoria Derbyshire about the songs you sing to lull your babies to sleep. Apparently there is some new study showing parents are more likely to play Guns n Roses than Baa Baa Black Sheep. As I explained to Victoria, my favourite is singing Neil Young's The Needle and the Damage Done. Yes the lyrics aren't too appropriate but frankly I don't think 12-month-olds read too much into them anyhow - it's just a beautiful song. As you can see below.
At a recent Green Party election training
event members were exhorted to find people who could stand as paper
candidates in the forthcoming local authority elections.
The rationale behind paper candidates is clear: better exposure,
promotes your agenda, has knock on effect in other areas etc etc.
For small parties such tactics are a necessary part of the game in a first past the post system.
It was clear, though, that some Green Party members didn't feel
happy with the idea. In some way they felt it was defrauding the
electorate. If you're not making any effort to win votes then you're
being hypocrical - and their party should be above that.
Funnily enough I shared a long journey to work with the local Lib
Dem agent the other week and we were discussing who their candidate
might be in the new unitary elections. Their present district member
has been invisible for two years and only turns up for meetings to
avoid being struck off for six months of no shows. It's likely the Lib
Dems will need a paper candidate simply because if no-one is on the
ballot their vote might collapse and take a long time to recover.
Are paper candidates hoodwinking the electorate if you don't make it
clear what you are doing? Or does that assume people are naive about
how parties operate to get elected?
PS: When asking people to be paper candidates a common concern is
that people don't want to 'accidentally' get elected and they cite some
Conservative councillor this happened to. Is this an urban myth or has
a paper candidate ever been forced to make good on his or her