Thirty years is a long time in politics

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

In the first general election after my 18th birthday I eagerly cast my vote. It proved to be one of the most significant polls in modern British history with Magaret Thatcher sweeping to power.

It was more than 30 years later before I marked my X again.

I quickly became disillusioned with politicians. They remain a breed I view with caution to this day – be they running for the presidency of the United States or bidding for a place on a Fenland parish council.

I don’t believe politicians are worse than any particular grouping in society – but because of their position they should be better.

It was interesting that Amber Rudd (not the worst modern politician by a long way) should be forced to resign as Home Secretary not because law-abiding British citizens were treated like criminals on her watch but because she told fibs (inadvertenly, she says) to her fellow MPs.

That sums up the twisted moral vacuum our elected representatives inhabit.

Yes, folks, its okay for MPs to lie to you and me, the voters, but woe betide one who is caught telling porkies to his or her peers.

I started voting again after my daughter was born on the grounds that I could no longer afford the luxury of not doing so when her future was being decided.

This was particularly pertinent when we had that horrible, responsibility-avoiding (by our MPs), diversive and costly referendum on the EU.

I voted Remain and despite the noise and bluster from those sore winners in the Brexit camp I would do so again. And, yes, before they shout me down I am entitled to maintain that view.

Despite my reconnection to the voting procedure I was relieved I wasn’t required to exercise my democratic rights last Thursday.

Like children copying the bad behaviour of Premiership football stars far too many local politicians ape their national counterparts. They assume voters prefer insults to policies, and rudeness to honesty.

I was told that during the Peterborough election campaign in one ward residents were told by rivals that one candidate had not paid council tax.

That was not a lie, so the story goes, because the candidate lived in a relative’s home and was therefore not obliged to pay any! A fact conveniently overlooked by the smearers.

I really hope that story is not true, or it could be another 30 years...

crime

Dark days

You may have read the story about thieves who stole solar panels worth £50,000 from a property near Market Deeping in the early hours of Monday, March 26.

The first case of daylight robbery in the middle of the night?

figures

It doesn’t add up

The shocking increase in crime in Cambridgeshire reported in last week’s PT saw both the police and the police and crime commissioner trotting out that lame old excuse blaming some of the rise in a change in how crime is reported. I’ve been a journalist for more than 30 years and I swear this has been used every time (by a variety of forces) there is a rise in crime.

The law-abiding public deserve better.

Fashion

Cut it out!

You know you’re getting old when you’re left bewildered by the latest ‘must-have’ fashion’.These jeans orginate from, where else, but the La La Land of Los Angeles and retail at an eye-watering equivalent of £122. They look quite good on the model in the picture... but then so would a used bin-liner.

I’m sure the ‘Extreme Cut Out Jeans’ must breach health and safety laws as you wouldn’t want to wear them near heavy machinery. But the most baffling thing of all is that the designer has gone to the bother of including a zip-fly.

police

Driving disgrace

Cambridgeshire police came in for some flak a little while back when they revealed they were investigating an incident when a driver drove through a puddle and soaked a mum and her kids. I defended the police against the inevitable “haven’t they got anything better to do?’’ and “go and catch a real criminal’’ jibes that came their way.

Last week the PT’s sister paper the Sleaford Standard reported a tragic story of how a 95-year old woman was killed in a similar incident.

Hilda Moore suffered a brain haemorrhage after she was knocked to the floor by a huge wave caused by a motorist driving through a puddle.

A witness told the paper how two cars driving through the puddle had already soaked her before a third caused her to fall and hit her head.

People who went to her assistance had to shield the stricken pensioner from more soakings as cars drove by. Sadly, she later died in hospital.

The police are investigating... and, before you ask, they really don’t have anything better to do.