Failing Grayling

Even Tory blowhards do not think that all economic activities should be nationalised. The police, for example. Chris Grayling, idealogue mate of Witney’s passionate MP Robert Courts, privatised large parts of both the prison and the probation service. Offenders were to be degraded rather than helped. Now, probation for low- and mid-risk offenders is being returned to the public service.

Failing Grayling has cost the UK economy a fortune. Hardly a one nation Tory, he has been particularly vindictive in the treatment of prisoners, denying them legal aid and even books. UK jails are now such disgusting places that the Dutch authorities have refused to extradict prisoners to human and degrading conditions.

And yet he survives as a minister. It is an indirect cost of Brexit obsession that complete incompetence is overlooked in ministers of state.

What A Bone To Pick

Whatever is that strange Tory MP Peter Bone doing with pictures of the passionate MP for Witney, Robert Courts? A piece in the Sun in January last year claims that Bone

“… has been ranked as one of the ten most active MPs in Parliament, although he was criticised in 2006 for “boosting” his ratings “by saying very little, very often”.

Perhaps Courts learned his skills at the Bone knee.

Is Anybody Listening?


Eynsham residents turned out in droves last Saturday, as they always do when councils and developers tell them that the A40 and a Garden Village are good for them.

They did battle in Eynsham scout hall; the good folk of Eynsham versus an unholy alliance of West Oxfordshire District Council and Grosvenor, the developers.

Grosvenor and the council fronted up mob handed with consultants and PR people, buoyed up from two days of charette (don’t ask) at Witney Lakes Resort. This had yielded armfuls of butcher paper and Post-it notes intended to impress simple villagers. The scribblings had quite the opposite effect, and the consultants’ efforts to mollify the crowd only fanned the flames

Eynsham simply does not want to be attached to a Garden Village and yet separated from it by a massive A40 dual carriageway. The District council wants housing at any cost – any cost to the good folk of Eynsham, that is.

The District council has a responsibility to listen to the good folk of Eynsham: instead, it sends its officials and hires PR consultants to indoctrinate them.

Our Caroline In Oxford

Caroline Lucas will be in Oxford on Tuesday 21 May for the Rally for Europe and for climate action.

Join Caroline and Oxfordshire Green’s very own Elise Benjamin, number 2 candidate on the South East Euro list.

Tuesday 21st May, 4pm, Broad Street, outside the Clarendon Building.

Time For Public Ownership

A new report from the Oxford pressure group We Own It. The argument is that privatisation has failed in the UK and it is time to give public ownership another chance. It had better be much superior to the last public ownership.

Witney – The Clochemerle Of The Cotswolds – Bum On Seat

Last year, the Witney Gazette and this very Facebook page protested about the new seat installed by Witney’s Tory town council in the Staple Hall bus shelter. The seat was too narrow and slanted for sitting. The council explained: the seat was not a seat at all, but a perch. Perches were for perching, What fools we felt!

The perch proved to be far too sharp-edged for perching with an average bum. It remained, however, the very latest in anti-homeless street furniture, perhaps always its main attraction for Tory councilors.

Some 18 months on and David Harvey, the town council leader, has been persuaded to show bus users how to perch. Harvey is a Tory with every perching advantage. Well, the perch failed even the Harvey arse test and has now been converted into a seat.

The lesson? Life is too short.

Larry Sanders – Still Fighting

See the premiere screening of Larry Sanders – Still Fighting, a documentary from 3rd Strike films.

14.30 Saturday 15 June 2019 at the Amey Theatre in Abingdon School, Park Road, Abingdon OX14 1DE

Tickets available here.

The £7.50 ticket price includes a £2.50 donation for the Green Party, free wine and refreshments,and a chat with both Larry and the principals of 3rd Strike Films, Keith and Paul Hoult.

Larry Sanders is the UK Green party spokesperson on health and social care, and the elder brother of Senator Bernie Sanders, who hopes to be the Democrat candidate for the US presidency in 2020.

Larry recalls the key moments in his long life that led to his political awakening and to his passion to improve lives in the Oxford community through his roles as an Oxford City councilor and as a social care worker.

Since his brother’s 2016 campaign, Larry has become a spokesperson on political media on both sides of the Atlantic.

Baah Lamb To The Slaughter

And yet, still a fairy tale ending with the Greens gaining a seat and the Tories coming an ignominious last.

Green Zoe Nicholson 929
Green Adrian Ross 810
Lib Dem Janet Baah 733
Lib Dem John Tregea Lamb 609
Labour Matt Ken 216
Labour Joy Beverley Mercer 175
Conservative Frances Tufnell 165
Conservative Colin French 152


Courts Cornered – Passion Will Out

Success! Our passionate MP, Robert Courts, has had his passion recognised by an under-secretary. In a recent Commons debate, Courts asked yet another Dorothy Dix question:

“What are Ministers doing to provide a national strategy to ensure that our young people have the skills they need for the future?”

And then, at long last, this in response:

“I congratulate my hon. Friend … he is extremely passionate about this subject …”