Friday, December 30, 2016

Liberal England in 2016: Part 4

Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 are also on this blog.


Remember Liam Byrne's "I'm afraid there is no money" letter? David Laws should have burnt it, not tried to make political capital out of it.

I blogged about the eight attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria, beginning:
My great great great uncle refused to shave his beard off for Queen Victoria. Penny Pepper's great great great uncle tried to shoot her.
I warned the Conservatives that chasing public opinion can end in tears.

When an obscure backbench Tory announced that Gary Lineker "needs to decide if he's a political activist or BBC sports journalist - he can't be both," I pointed out that there are plenty of precedents for doing just that.

Cliff Michelmore emerged as my hero of the month.

On the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster I posted his broadcast from the scene. And I quoted his prescient refusal to take part in an early equivalent of the dreadful Question Time:
"I will not be associated with a third-rate Palladium show."
I also liked William Davies' comment on the consequences of Margaret Thatcher:
It’s been said that Thatcher wanted a society of people like her father, but produced a society of people like her son.


A cutting from Liberal Democrat News showing Liz Truss in her days as a student Lib Dem activist appeared in the Mirror - it had appeared on Lib Dem Voice some months before,

I drew parallels between the popularity of the concept of 'U and non-U" language in the 1950s and the left of today's concern that people should use the right words.

The Homophobic Monk, this blog's resident folk devil, resurfaced in Dunoon.

Perhaps because I had just suggested he would make a better lord chancellor than Liz Truss, Kiron Reid sent me another Lib Dem News cutting. This one showed that I had been rude about Jacob Rees-Mogg long before it was fashionable,

Rather to my surprise, I found myself in the middle of the largest granite quarry in Europe.

In what proved a neat metaphor for his political career, Zac Goldsmith lost his trousers after being hit by his own car.


It wasn't fashionable even then, but I had time for Michael Gove while he was education secretary.
But no longer - trahison de clercs and all that.

I didn't have much time for the idea of a progressive alliance either.

Having read a nice anecdote about the Welland Viaduct, I repeated it without really believing it:
Before the extensive privatisation of British Rail, repairs were regularly made to the structure by the Kettering and Leicester civil engineering staff. 
Many of the older bricklayers reported having seen the imprints of children's hands and feet in the bricks, from where they had walked on the clay-filled moulds before firing in the kiln.
But a later post about the Grantham Canal suggested it may well be true.

Sarah Olney's victory in the Richmond Park by-election saw the party record their best opinion poll rating in five years.

I photographed the Duchess of Sutherland as she came through Market Harborough.

Oh,, and there's still time to catch Bob Monkhouse: The Last Stand on the BBC iPlayer.

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