Friday, 11 July 2008

You must come to Tea!

I have just received a complaint from a regular treader of my blog that I have not added any tit bits for over a week. I must offer my apologies for this laxness but I have been very busy the last few days. I had no sooner finished with the Henley by-Election than I was straight into the last stages of UKIPs selection procedures for MEP Candidates. As a member of the Political Committee this has taken up a great deal of time. I went to London for a meeting on Tuesday and didn't get home until Thursday evening, unfortunately I was expecting to be there and back in a day so didn't have an overnight bag with me! The first thing I did when I got home was have a long hot shower.

I then went down with a vicious sore throat, felt like I was gargling broken glass, not fun. According to the doctor it was "a virus" so all I could do was sweat it out. I surfaced briefly to visit the Maritime Festival but after a short visit I headed back to the warmth of my bed. My son was there for the full two days in his Sea Cadet Uniform, very damp he was most of the time. I really felt sorry for the organisers of the event and remembered being told a story about Napoleon considering the appointment of a new General. After experience, qualifications, training etc were all taken into account the Emperor only had one question “Is he lucky?”

The “General” in charge of the Hartlepool Maritime festival must obviously fail that vital test. No mater how good her qualifications, experience, the attractions she lined up, the car parking arrangements, the preparations and the contingency planning it all ultimately came down to the weather! One must feel very sorry for her and her team. This event was scheduled to attract 150,000 visitors (according to the event website) in preparation for 1,000,000 plus for the Tall Ships in 2010. We can therefore only hope that in two years time the Tall Ships Weekend will pass Napoleon’s key test.

Some brief discussions on the school closure program with several concerned residents and I must admit to a small amount of amusement a the Labour Party and the hole they dug for themselves. All 23 Labour Councilors felt i was important the public knew where they stood, wonderful, of course there is now a fight going on to see how far some Labour Councillors can distance themselves from their party's position. Interesting that several Labour Councillors now feel it is acceptable to stand ass Labour Candidates, on labour party manifesto's, presumably to get Labour votes, but feel they can then ignore those manifestos once they are elected. Vote for me. I'm Labour, unless of cursed I get offered a Cabinet post with the extra money and then I'm not Labour really I make decisions based only on the cabinet position! Have your cake and eat it more like.

TS Trincomolee had its annual Royal Navy Inspection on Monday, outstanding performance and a burgee recommendation was made by the inspecting officer. A member's seminar on Tuesday about the Tall Ships Organisation resulted in the admission that only £750,000 of private funding has so far come forward for the race, however as this is from ONE North East I felt the definition of "Private" funding was stretching a bit. I unfortunately wasn't at the seminar, I was back in London attending a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Apparently two Councillors go every year, I've been on the Council since 2002 and it was the first time I'd heard about it. Maybe its another of those little jollies the public aren't supposed top know about? Paid all my own expenses I must add, including travel and overnight accommodation, plus £3.50 to get my suite dry cleaned. Very nice experience, cucumber sandwiches were served and at the Palace the tea goes into the cup before the milk.

Missed Planning on Wednesday as it included the Hartlepool 6th Form College application for a new college building. I'm a Governor at the college so it would have been a conflict of interest to have attended. Thursday went to the Central Estate Management Committee Meeting and today (Friday) I'm trying to catch up on paperwork and get a newsletter put together. One piece of good news in my Green Bag was it looks like the Anhydrite Mine is holding up OK for the next 80 years so that will be a relief for those people worried that their homes were going to fall into a hole in the ground. Headland heritage event at the weekend and then week after that I'm going on my holidays! Looking forward to it very much.

So there is a whistle stop tour of the last ten days or so. I haven't spent more than three consecutive nights at home since mid April and so sleeping in my own bed is a bit of a luxury! I've been told its tough at the top! If I ever get there I'll let you know if its true, at the moment I know its tough enough where I am without worrying about those at the top.

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