Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Had a riotous time this morning. Up at 6am to go to the BBC to judge the shortlist for the Today Programme's Listener's Law competition with Labour MP Steve Pound and my friend Julia Hartley-Brewer, the glam political editor of the Sunday Express. We chose a representative selection from the 8,000 emails and letters the programme received, rather than necessarily the suggestions we agreed with ourselves - although I do agree with four out of the six! Personally I would introduce a law to outlaw all new legislation for the next 12 months. We have far too much of it. I liked the suggestion of someone who said that for every new regulation we introduce we must commit to abolish two others. My own suggestion for a new law would be to fine people who think it is 'cool' to show off a bare midriff when quite frankly they haven't got the figure for it. More seriously I would like to introduce legislation to force the government compensate people who lose their houses and livelihoods through coastal erosion. Only this week I went to see the decimation at Happisburgh, where several local people face losing their properties in the next few weeks.
Monday, December 22, 2003
Attended a delightful Christmas lunch yesterday in the gloriously named North Norfolk village of Trunch. For the uninitiated it's near Mundesley. About 60 local Tories gathered to listen to some festive carols from the local Salvation Army Band. This was my last constituency engagement before Christmas. In the New Year the campaign really cranks up a few gears. Mr Lamb, beware!
Last Thursday I visited Fakenham College, which teaches sixth form students from the Fakenham area. I was horrified to learn that part of the building was burnt down the night before last in an Arson attack. It destroyed the Conference Hall, swimming pool and two mini buses. What kind of sick person would do that? I hope the Police catch the culprits. The Conference hall was going to be used or exams in early January so the school authorities will have to find alternative accommodation. I just hope the insurance pays out quickly so the College can get back to normal as soon as possible.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
I had to laugh this morning. The Independent have a diary piece today decsribing my Liberal opponent Norman Lamb as "obscure". Apparently he has put down an EDM urging MPs to wear bright clothes to support a Cancer charity. What a waste of time and money. EDMs are not known as Parliamentary graffiti for nothing. He's cost the taxpayer up to £500 for doing this as the EDM has to be printed in every House of Commons Order Paper for the rest of this session. Pity he hasn't got better things to do.
A day in london today. An early start to do the early morning newspaper review on Sky News and then onto Oneword Radio to record three half hour programmes which will go out over the Christmas period. Exhausting stuff! Today I am interviewing Boris Johnson and Simon Hoggart, among others. Boris will be coming up to North Norfolk in June. I'm driving up to Norfolk this evening after attending a Policy Exchange reception which Michael Howard willl be at. Michael came into Politico's yesterday to buy Xmas presents for his staff. Money woulddn't drag from me what he bought!