Every now and then an event takes place that is so compelling, so newsworthy, and so captures the public imagination that it can’t be ignored. We have had our own event, and it’s been called “The Curse of Sekhemka”.
The Sekhemka statue was gifted to Northampton in 1880.There were two conditions: it had to be looked after; and it had to be displayed. When it came off display for four years these terms were considered broken and it went to auction. This was controversial.
Northampton now has a hindsight committee. They came to see me. The occasion was Zac Goldsmith's recent ashen-faced and dramatic loss of a twenty-three thousand majority in the Richmond Park by-election. He lost his seat, which was considered an impossible feat.
During this last week Northampton's free paper the Herald & Post published for the last time. The Chronicle & Echo has gone from a daily to a weekly, and as a consequence of these seemingly minor things local news, alternative viewpoints, and accountability via public opinion are all but dead. When the Press died in Northampton local democracy died with it.
It's a tragedy for all concerned: townsfolk; local leaders; and journalists alike. The leaders can now get away with murders that previously would have been picked up - but wish they couldn't. Townsfolk can't write star letters or get their views across, and journalists have to look for new jobs.
I’ve always been a big believer in coincidence.A few coincidences have had a big impact on my life.But I haven’t always spotted them at the time, and I look back now and I think why didn’t I listen to that inner voice?So the key with coincidences is firstly to spot them in the first place, and then perhaps even more importantly, to figure out what they mean……
Last Tuesday the UKIP leader Nigel Farage was due to visit Northampton Market Square, where several hundred supporters had gathered, in pouring rain, to greet him. But the visit did not take place.
Back in 1975, when we had a trade agreement with the EU, I voted to stay in. But the world has changed since then, and the EU has changed immensely.
First as agreements, then as imposed regulations, often now as laws, the EU has insidiously taken control of much of our everyday world, binding trades and businesses alike with masses of red tape. Most of it imposed without any consultation with the end-users, often imposed by unelected plush-seated bureaucrats who seek to justify their own existence.
I meant to campaign on this issue in the recent General election. I didn't stand because, like millions of others, I expected to see a hung parliament. In which case there would have been a second General Election called shortly afterwards, in which I intended to stand. But mysteriously, against all the odds, all the opinion polls, and all the views of the experts, the Tories got in with an increased majority. Cheesed off? You bet I was!
Politicians don't live in the real world. Look at Blair trying to intervene in the Labour Party - have the Tories come up with a plant?
As I may have mentioned before, I'm seriously considering retiring in the first half of next year. Hopefully by April, if things go well. But I'd like to keep my hand in on the Market, with a completely different line. Doing something the Chronicle used to do, when it was a serious daily paper. Daily advertising, in a couple of words.