I’ve been avoiding commenting publicly on the leadership election since I fell slightly between two posts. Of my former party employers, one was a candidate and another was a key campaigner for the other guy.
But now it’s all over, I’m delighted it’s Nick Clegg, my former MEP, and my former employer.
I have to say Nick inspired me the first time I met him. Writing it now seems fawning and mawkish, but it’s true. He came to Nottingham University and gave a speech to a student society. I can’t remember what he said, or who he said it to, but I can remember feeling uplifted. And for the very first time I felt I’d heard a politician who didn’t say a single thing I disagreed with. I had already joined the Lib Dems at that point, but it wasn’t until then that I became active in the party.
I just hope he has the same effect on hundreds more people. He has said upfront he wants to spend a day a week in the nation’s town halls talking to real people. this is exactly what needs to happen.
Happy Christmas, Lib Dems – here’s your new leader.
This is overstating things somewhat, I fear.
Another trip to London tomorrow on a minibus for a tour around the Houses of Parliament. Hopefully we will have secured tickets to sit in Parliament and hear the debate. It is a Lib Dem Opposition Day debate, so will be of particular interest. Our itinerary looks good. In addition to the tour, we also have three meetings scheduled along with photo-ops with both leadership candidates and Paul Holmes MP.
Last Tuesday I went down by rail to a conference about housing and building new houses in the future, which was an excellent event… but the real highlight of the day for me was a chance to wander around the new St Pancras station, now fully open. I snapped happily with my phone camera, but I really must go back and take some piccies with a real camera. I was excited enough last year when they opened the new ticket hall, so you can imagine the thrill of seeing the completed station.
Champagne bar along the side of the Eurostar trains
And the full majesty of the restored canopy above the platforms.
Space age thingies holding up the Eurostar wires
World’s largest advent calendar
I am itching for an excuse to hop on the Eurostar to either Brussels or Paris – particularly since I probably have enough Nectar points to get a ticket for free. It was highly tempting to try and cash in my Nottingham return ticket. Cost of Nottingham peak ticket: £117.50. Cost of return to Paris (if booked in advance, admittedly): from £21.
Here are some really scary statistics from a press release sent out by Notts Fire and Rescue today.
The fire service attends more than 700 road traffic collisions in the county every year, releasing trapped casualties and making vehicles safe. Figures for 2007/08 so far suggest that these figures are likely to be replicated this year, with 337 attendances already recorded between April and September. East Midlands Ambulance Service attend approximately 10 road accidents in the county every day.
Most accidents happen on the county’s ‘A‘ roads, with one-third of these taking place on the A52 and the A46. The majority happen on Sundays and Tuesdays – Wednesday is the quietest day – and the busiest time for emergency services is between 8am and 10am, and 2pm and 8pm.
“The Fire and Rescue Service has more call-outs to road traffic collisions than to fires, and we see more deaths and injuries as a result,” explained Watch Manager Rick Cropley, of West Bridgford Fire Station, who has organised Monday’s event.
“Many of these accidents are caused by inexperience, inappropriate speed and drivers under the influence of drink or drugs. It isn’t always that driver who comes off worst in the event of a crash. Sadly, it is often the passengers or occupants of a different vehicle entirely who suffer the consequences.
“I would urge people to ‘Think!’ about the risks they are taking and the danger they may put their friends in if they take the bend too fast or mix driving with taking alcohol or drugs. The consequences are all too obvious and a conviction has the potential to ruin your life. “
They’re having an event on Monday when they’ll mock up a collision with multiple cars and a lorry.
Today’s factoid: “Polish/polish” is the only word in the English language whose pronunciation changes when you capitalise a letter.
Sorry for all the short posts in recent weeks – I’m struggling to find the enthusiasm to write anything more noteworthy.