May 8th, 2010


We were woken around midnight by a bunch of kids roaring and wailing in the street. The boys roared, the girls wailed. Ailz, whose night vision is better than mine, says one of the boys had a head wound and one of the girls was trying to staunch the bleeding with her coat. They moved off in the direction of Fitton Hill.

An hour or so later the phone rang. When one has elderly relatives and the phone rings in the middle of the night one assumes it's an emergency. Three rings.  Number withheld.  It was probably an insurance company cold-calling us from Mumbai.

Lembit Opik

I once shared a lift with Lembit Opik. He's not someone you forget. He radiates laddishness and self belief. When the Life Force was being doled out he got a bigger than average dose.

His defeat in his Montgomeryshire seat was one of the anomalies of election night. If national trends had applied he would have held the seat- or lost it to a small swing. There's no way he should have been trounced the way he was. Clearly this was personal.

I'm not sure what it was that did for him. Perhaps it was his appearances in Hello and the News of the World. Perhaps it was his imaginative expenses claims. The self belief carries with it a sense of entitlement.   The laddishisness can morph into sulky petulance. His private life lacks dignity.

But I'll miss him. They're a grey lot our politicians; the spotlight intimidates and flattens them. It's good to have a few cards, coves and geezers in the mix. We'll miss our cheeky boy.