Mrs Edith Avery's allotment is hers - for the foreseeable future.
The jobsworths on Rogerstone Council were forced to climb down in the face of a gale of public anger. The report I have had from tonight's meeting suggests that their about turn was anything but graceful. One councillor tried a sideswipe at me saying that I should be involved in more important matters.
There are few issues more important than defending a vulnerable lady of mature years against the small-minded bullying of puffed-up dictators. The leading members of this council should consider whether they are fit persons to hold public office. Clearly their judgement is hopeless.
Thanks to all those who have voiced their support.Your views counted. I am sure that Mrs Avery will be extremely grateful. Messages have support have come from far and wide. A facebook support site attracted 100 names very quickly. The Council should apologise for the unnecessary distress and worry they have caused. Perhaps a gift of flowers for Mrs Avery's allotment would be an appropriate gift.
I am sure the rates could afford that.
It was unplanned and settled in a conversation on the backbenchers after the vote had been called.
I sought the view of backbencher Andrew Dismore. He was against a clause that would end the centuries old right of of privilege of MPs. Gordon Prentice and three other MPs joined the conversation. The general feeling was to abstain or vote in favour and hope that the Lords would sort it out. I said that I wouldvote against.
In the NO Lobby I was surprised to see Margaret Beckett, John Reid and John Austin. Gordon Prentice, Andrew Dismore and the others in out backbench chat also voted against. For once we knew that our backbench chat made a difference. The clause was defeated by 250 votes to 247. Without our discussion the clause would have been adopted.
Jack Straw sensibly said that he would accept the will of the House. This bill is necessary but in many ways is an over-reaction to the expenses crisis. We must not be panicked into dumping rights that are the inheritance of centuries.
Compulsory ID cards scrapped, a railway line nationalised and the partial privatisation of the Royal Mail is off.
All the main worries of future conflicts among the labour ranks are gone. Cancelling Trident would move us from happy to ecstatic. That decision can be delayed but cash must be saved from some useless project. Nothing is more futile than the vain glorious Trident.
Anyone any idea in what circumstances we might use it?