The King of Bahrain, Rebekah Brooks,
and me

If you’re in the public eye, you have to be very careful who you choose as your friends. Our Queen is currently being castigated for inviting the King of Bahrain to her Jubilee lunch. David Cameron is criticised for being too close to Rebekah Brooks and for having snubbed François Hollande. Personally, I try to associate only with those whose behaviour is beyond reproach.  Which, in the light of the hysterical fracas on the Jubilee committee this morning, is becoming increasingly difficult. (I am not angry. Just disappointed.) In the very public forum of a ‘blog’ with a strong and loyal following from the residents of Fitton (and mindful of the laws on libel), I mention no names. You know who you are.

Red cards

A referee has shown red cards to five players following a post-match brawl  –  but in the dressing room rather than on the pitch.  I know nothing about football, but this is apparently unusual.  ‘I have never been in a situation before where a ref has come into the dressing room, pulled players on one side and sent them off,’ Bradford manager Phil Parkinson told the BBC.

But I believe this idea has potential. If leading members of the Fitton community were allowed to hand out red cards for bad behaviour wherever they happened to see it  – in St Jude’s churchyard, for example, where the gravestones are littered with crushed lager cans  –  society as a whole would benefit.

I would be happy to spearhead the initiative. With a good supply of red cards in my bag, I would be able to achieve a great deal. I would stop perfectly fit and healthy people parking in the disabled bay outside Tesco Metro. I would point out to dog-owners whose pets suddenly squat that it is wise to carry plastic bags at all times. I would remind drivers who react to the spring sunshine by winding down their windows that not everyone appreciates amplified music, and I would suggest to those attempting to crowd into Franco’s café in the high street that it is not particularly polite to flatten passers-by in the rush.

Our local police force can only do so much. It is our civic duty, as ordinary members of the public, to help promote orderly behaviour.

Our island history

Education secretary Michael Gove is encouraging English Heritage to compose a list of historically interesting sites. It’s to foster a love of history in schoolchildren. (I don’t suppose Fitton will be on the list, even though we have an oak that probably dates from the English Civil War.)

I do wonder about this love of history that leaps in at convenient moments. Most of the time, the government of the day couldn’t care less. The third runway at Heathrow would have obliterated quite a few ancient houses with medieval beams. The high speed rail link  HS2 will zoom through areas of outstanding natural beauty, demolishing listed buildings and altering historic landscapes forever.

You do need big national projects, of course. I mean, where would we be without the M25? But I don’t quite see the point of getting prissily breathless about the wonders of Leeds Castle when, at the same time, you’re busy bulldozing centuries of heritage in the name of progress.

Either historic sites matter, or they don’t. Particularly as, once you’ve razed them to the ground, it’s too late to wish you’d thought about it a bit more carefully.

I am. Are you?

I would just like to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed in these ‘blogs’ are entirely my own. I am independent of all political parties and all community groups. While I hope to be helpful to local residents, this ‘website’ is not the voice of the Fitton Preservation Society, St Jude’s (church or primary school) or even the Fitton Book Group. I do not, therefore, accept that Annie Laurence’s criticism is valid.

I notice that the ‘comment’ section at the end of my ‘blog entries’ has called itself ‘Speak Your Mind’. Not being entirely ‘au fait’ with the inner workings of CSS code, I am not quite sure how this happened. But I entirely approve. All of us should speak our minds. Strong opinions are vital to a healthy democracy.

If Annie Laurence would like to put her objections in writing, I will gladly publish them on the site. I believe in open and honest debate.

The Leveson enquiry would be proud.