Sunday, December 30, 2018

Liberal England in 2018: Part 4


The month began with my MP (a Tory) fearing that the Conservative Party could go out of business. An enticing prospect.

Then I learnt that the employees of this blog's hero J.W. "Paddy" Logan had once tried their hand at archaeology at Hallaton Castle.

I welcomed the re-emergence of utopian economic thinking and wondered at the disappearance of Adur Liberals.

Snatching a crafty drink on the way home from a work event, I learnt that there had once been hares in Bloomsbury:
After the opening of Woburn Walk, the newly laid paving stones became a magnet for the local hares, who could easily be seen late at night resting peacefully along the walk. 
Indeed, famous poet W. B. Yeats who lived on Woburn Walk in the 1920’s, wrote of "a handsome old grey hare taking rest" outside number 6.
Back in Leicestershire, I found King Charles's Well near Tur Langton on a perfect autumn day. Then I went to the pictures and saw The Little Stranger.

I walked the Nottingham Canal from the station to the Trent and found it changed, and yet in some strange way not, from the landscape of industrial decay it used to be.


I found evidence that I had helped Leicestershire win a county chess title in 1996 and mocked Jeremy Corbyn as "Centrist Grandad" for his timid tax policies.

Harborough would now vote Remain, said a massive opinion poll.

I looked back with nostalgia on the day when the secret state thought the Young Liberals were worth keeping under surveillance.

The Brampton Valley Way makes a good walk in late autumn  - and the photograph above rather reminds me of Rowland Hilder.

New jobs were in the air. Lembit Opik wanted to be President of Estonia and Nick Clegg went to work for Satan Facebook.

Alastair Campbell, whom time and Brexit have made an ally, gave the Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture.

I  discovered an unexpected link between M.R. James, the master of the ghost story, and the Glee Club at Lib Dem Conference.

Remembering that I am meant to be a radical, I argued that New Labour's tough rhetoric on immigration boosted the right.


The way Remainers swooned over a video narrated by Stephen Fry made me worry that they had learnt nothing from their defeat in 2016.

Vince Cable came to Market Harborough and I recalled that when I was young all my favourite books had maps.

Stephen Lloyd resigned the Lib Dem whip so he could vote for Theresa May's Brexit deal. Then Theresa May pulled the vote on it. How everyone laughed!

As it has been replaced by a (yet to be opened) footbridge, I pulled a photo of Little Bowden level crossing out of an old album.

The year ended on the saddest of notes with the death of Paddy Ashdown. I recalled:
He never gave the impression when he talked to you that he was looking over your shoulder for someone more important.
And there was good news. David Howarth is at the heart of the campaign to force a second referendum on EU memebership and Zuffar Haq, three times our candidate in Harborough, has been awarded an MBE.

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