Friday, December 28, 2018

Liberal England in 2018: Part 2


It was revealed that the Conservatives had decided not to electrify the Midland main line north of Kettering before the 2017 general election, but had not made the decision known until afterwards.

Ray Wilkins was my second Chelsea hero after Charlie Coooke. Even so, I was surprised how his death upset me.

I reviewed Chris Rennard's autobiography, not least for its description of the old East Midlands Liberal Party office in Loughborough:
The East Midlands Regional Party was considered to be one of the most viable in England because it owned a (near-derelict) house in Loughborough. The house did not even had a functioning loo and visitors had to rely on the facilities at the nearby railway station. This was the regional office and home for the administrative secretary, a man called Maurice Bennett, who also hailed from Liverpool. 
Much to my surprise, I found that I had been quoted by Richard Branson in his latest memoirs.

Most of my readers, I suspect, voted Remain, but I did find the perfect anthem for Brexit.

I remembered the 1960s, when Fab, in a campaign fronted by Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds, was marketed as the first ice lolly for girls: "as a small boy in those days, you were desperate to try one but daren't be seen eating it."

This wonderful photograph of J.W. Logan and the East Langton ladies cricket team turned up on Twitter.


I formulated Calder's Fifth Law of Politics:
Beware of arguments that involve expressing indignation on behalf of a third party.
Brixworth proved to have been taken over by Men in Black and a rare diesel locomotive spent some weeks at a Leicester siding. A Class 27, since you ask.

I argued that we Remainers should not use the concept 'gammon' - it might so wonders for our self-esteem, but would it encourage anyone to change their vote in a second referendum?

In Kettering I photographed a surprisingly charming tin tabernacle: St Michael and All Angels.

The most widely read post I have ever written on this blog was written in May. It was a short one about the later career of Jeremy Thorpe's son Rupert.

That post, of course, was popular because of the BBC Drama A Very English Scandal. Another post written this month may have influenced developments in the Thorpe affair that happened after it was shown.

Planning to say something disobliging about Rinka's assassin Andrew Newton, I thought I had better check that my impression that he died some years ago was correct. A little googling suggested that he was almost certainly still alive - a fact that had escaped the police.

I don't know whether it was because of my blog post "A 2015 encounter with Andrew Newton", but Fleet Street's finest were camped on his doorstep a day or two later.


The month began with a visit to Shardlow - an inland port on the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Former Lib Dem MPs Lembit Opik and Parmjit Singh Gill went into space.

Talk of Labour Live reminded me that the Liberal Party had got there decades before with a fun day at Knebworth.

I was not impressed by Sir Christopher Chope and his blocking of Wera Hobhouse's bill to criminalise upskirting:
There is something of the school bully about Chope. He takes a delight in coming across shiny-eyed new MPs who are ardent to change the world and showing them that the Commons is no place for such ambitions. 
He's like a prep school tough who raids the junior dorm on the look out for teddy bears and photographs from home that he can taunt younger boys with ever afterwards.
A Harborough Conservative councillor joined the Lib Dems, while I pondered the strange transformation of Darren Grimes.

In a guest post, James Tarry remembered drinking with the Soho legend Daniel Farson.

Back in Kettering I mourned the loss of backstreet shops and found a derelict Sunday school.

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