Thursday 15th December – The struggle back North. Very heavy laden. Then Xmas shopping. Am knackered.
Wednesday 14th December – Breakfast meeting with Ed Richards and OFCOM. He thinks local television can get off the ground early 2013. Grimsby is one of the contenders. YIPPEE. So we should be though, Channel seven is the only English local television station to have stayed on the air. All the others went bust. We should get a contract on past record and without any contest.
Evan Souliotis with news that New York Mellon Bank is being sued for billions for exactly the same practices of point skimming we revealed to Eddy George and the Treasury in 1992. They denied it.
Public Accounts, Olympic Preparations all going well except the security bill has doubled. The place will be thronging with men and big boots, soldiers toting machine guns, cops and security guards. No room for the public. We won’t try invading any small countries for two months. I think they panicked with the talk of ground to air missiles – which causes me to cancel my entry for the pole vault. They’ve gone mad.
Tuesday 13th December – Lunch for Richard Hall who’s stood down as editor or House Mag. They want to reduce us to fortnightly in view of financial stringency.
Afternoon Stroke Prevention meeting. They take my blood pressure and tut tut. Eat less, exercise more, no salt and report to my doctor.
Yorkshire Group. The Labour campaign for electoral reform to which I’ve returned to find it’s under new management. I resigned from the Electoral Reform Society in protest against their support of AV which is useless. Electoral reformers should now concentrate on the main issue – getting the party to commit itself not to PR but to a referendum.
7pm - Dentist. Got tooth ache. I would have stayed, gone back to the House to vote for the Ulster Unionist motion supporting the veto but decided to abstain and go home suffering.
Monday 12th December – Prime Minister reports on his EU walk out. It looks like petulance. Queue questions was he right to impose a veto and act alone. Nick Clegg has gradually stood on his head, agreeing to the negotiation brief then saying PM had no alternative then Sunday morning (and looking ghastly) coming out against it finally, Monday disappearing from the scene.
Sunday 11th December – Back down to London again. Hate it.
Saturday 10th December – Quiet surgery though. Just that their cases are more complicated. My grandson, Sykes, comes up from Sheffield. He’s now got to write an essay which will count towards his degree. He’s written it but it looks very conventional to me i.e. look what the reference books say and reheat it. I’m sure they’ll be looking for something original – they certainly would in politics but the law might be more conventional.
Friday 9th December – Busy day in Grimsby –Seafox enterprising new group to attract business. Prof. Hugh Bochel from Lincoln University visits and we go to lunch. I was at Manchester University with Hugh’s father John in 1956 – Hugh wants to discuss the security about which I know little not being paranoid. Linda starts doing Christmas cards, an enormous pile which gets bigger every year. We should review the lists to prune people who’re dead and might not appreciate getting a card and to change things like Ina Fraser in New Zealand, a mispelling which has lingered for 15 years. Poor Ian.
Sue tells me that so many people are now calling with problems that we’re going to have to apply for an extra caseworker. Does IPSA provide extra money or do we have to turn people away? All the advice services are under growing strain as things get blacker.
Thursday 8th Dec – Drive up to Grimsby. Fish and chips at Steel’s. Ominous news Youngs have bought a modern, new factory at Seaham. Will they transfer production from their old plant at Humberston Road – losing us 400 jobs?
Wednesday 7th December – PAC on direct aid. I don’t see why we can’t give our aid in the form of tractors, fishing gear, land rovers and agricultural equipment and prefab schools all made in Britain. That benefits both ends.
Children’s Christmas Party, 5 Mitchell grandchildren run wild. Ed Ball's is Santa giving out presents according to age but nothing for the over 75s. My grandson wins the drawing competition though I suspect that Mrs. Osborne was pointing at a boy behind him but he rushed forward and claimed it.
Tuesday 6th December – Economic debate. Osborne nervy. Balls brilliant. Wish I’d taken part but its 6 minute speeches – too short to expand my revolutionary new economics. And I have to chair the Consumer Groups meeting at 3. And the NUJ meeting on BBC cuts at 6.30. Latter is very good. Gloom for every part of the country and a universal finding that the BBC caved in too easily.
Monday 5th December – Lunch with Darren, former NZ LP chief whip hounded out of office by the great NZ clobbering machine.
PAC Overall government accounts to show total spend and assets. A gold mine for Tories.
7.30 – Housing meeting in Wandsworth. We drive round for three quarters of an hour trying to find it. My speech was poor, John McDonnell’s inciting revolution was very good. Wandsworth has the lowest social build in the world (probably three tents). And the highest sales –which allows them to fiddle the figures because sale of a council property counts as a new affordable house built. Genius.
Back to H of C for a vote that doesn’t happen on deportations.
Sunday 4th December – Drive to London. Another waste of a day. Why can’t Parliament meet in Cleethorpes?
Saturday 3rd December – Another speech in York to Yorkshire Dialect Society. On Yorkshire Humour so it was very short. Followed by fiasco. Sykes was supposed to come from Sheffield and meet us in York. His fool of a friend hid his keys so he missed the train and had to catch a later train to Huddersfield when I went to collect him. But all roads to the station were closed for a festival. Pouring rain. I parked, blocking traffic outside a pub and told him where I was. He missed me. Took an hour to find me and in the rush I’d scratched the car on a wall. I hope his friend chokes on his own vomit.
Friday 2nd December – A speaking engagement – Whitby Labour Party –They’re rarer as I get older but I still hate them. Wastes a day to write a speech. But it goes down well and they’re a lovely party. Horrified to learn that the Holding tank we got them when I was Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Seafood group at a cost of £1 million is closed. They pumped in river water and the crabs and lobsters all died!
Thursday 1st December – Kick off 3 hour debate on BBC cuts which we won from Backbench business group (who’ve been given more time because the government has nothing for Parliament to do). It’s a great idea. As lead Speaker you’re Minister for a day (after 35 years in waiting) and wind up at the end. La Beeb is as gutless as a Damien Hirst sheep. Say it can’t be done and then do it. Yes sir three bags full of “efficiency savings” sir while regional managers go round inciting MPs to oppose it.