Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Fingerprint All Six Year Olds"

According to the Observer:

British children, possibly as young as six, will be subjected to compulsory fingerprinting under European Union rules being drawn up in secret. The prints will be stored on a database which could be shared with countries around the world.

The prospect has alarmed civil liberties groups who fear it represents a 'sea change' in the state's relationship with children and one that may lead to juveniles being erroneously accused of crimes. Under laws being drawn up behind closed doors by the European Commission's 'Article Six' committee, which is composed of representatives of the European Union's 25 member states, all children will have to attend a finger-printing centre to obtain an EU passport by June 2009 at the latest....

....The use of fingerprints and other biometric data is designed to prevent passport fraud and allow European member states to meet US entry visa requirements, but the decision to fingerprint children has disturbed human rights groups.

Statewatch puts it more strongly:

EU states will be free to fingerprint children from day one of their life as soon as it is technologically possible

- "scanning of fingerprints: up to 12 years of age.. if provided for by national legislation... from 12 years of age: Compulsory" (EU doc no: 9403/1/06)

I'm rather surprised that nobody else has blogged about this yet. Having secure passports may be a better idea than compulsory ID cards. But it's being arranged in secret, with the ostensible purpose of allowing six-year-olds to travel to the USA. (I'm forty-seven and haven't been there yet)

Seems darn suspicious to my liberal instincts. Governments seem to have the idea that our identities belong to them., and that whatever privacy they grant us is at their discretion.

A Good Blogging Weekend for Music...

Have a look at Blognor Regis - it has loads and loads of You Tube gems, my favourites being Jane Wiedlin, the Boomtown Rats and Bananarama.

And Troubled Diva is still doing it's excellent Which Decade Is Tops For Pops?. To join in at the start, scroll down to July 24th. You get to hear a medley of , say, 5 number ten hits from 5 different decades and vote on them. What strikes you is just how mediocre ordinary chart records have been over the last 40 years or so. We only remember, and the the radio stations only play, the good stuff. But there's some nice surprises as well, including an extraordinary Cilla Black song that I'd never heard before - and believe me, if you'd heard it , you'd remember it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How Many MPs' Children Are In The Armed Forces?

I see that the youngest son of Senator John McCain is joining the US Marines:

According to

This September, Senator John McCain's youngest son, Jimmy, 18, will report to a U.S. Marine Corps depot near Camp Pendleton in San Diego. After three months of boot camp and a month of specialized training, he will be ready to deploy. Depending on the unit he joins, he could be in Iraq as early as this time next year, and his chances of seeing combat at some point are high....

..... McCain's personal influences on Jimmy appear to have outweighed the privileges that came with being his son. McCain is rock-star famous, and his wife Cindy came to the marriage with money as the daughter of a Budweiser distributor. While others have signed up for duty — the sons of both Senator Kit Bond of Missouri and Tim Johnson of South Dakota have served combat missions in Iraq — it is nonetheless unusual for children of that background to enlist. By comparison, a recent study by Public Citizen's Congress Watch found at least 32 examples of congressional family members who were lobbyists.

I wish Jimmy McCain all the luck in the world out there. Inevitably ,as a side effect this will change the US electorate's view of his father if he puts himself forward again as a presidential candidate.

But it got me thinking - we've had some distinguished ex-military people in the House of Commons - not least being Paddy Ashdown. But does anybody know how many children of MPs are serving in our armed forces at the moment?

Hat Tip : Andrew Sullivan (again)

Friday, July 28, 2006

I have signed up...

.... to James Graham's Pledge

But time's running out!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

She's blogging publicly now

Christine Axsmith was fired from the CIA because of her "classified" blog. As the Washington Post explained:

Christine Axsmith, a software contractor for the CIA, considered her blog a success within the select circle of people who could actually access it.

Only people with top-secret security clearances could read her musings, which were posted on Intelink, the intelligence community's classified intranet. Writing as Covert Communications, CC for short, she opined in her online journal on such national security conundrums as stagflation, the war of ideas in the Middle East and -- in her most popular post -- bad food in the CIA cafeteria.

But the hundreds of blog readers who responded to her irreverent entries with titles such as "Morale Equals Food" won't be joining her ever again.

On July 13, after she posted her views on torture and the Geneva Conventions, her blog was taken down and her security badge was revoked. On Monday, Axsmith was terminated by her employer, BAE Systems, which was helping the CIA test software.

Now she's blogging here, and is worth a look. Her latest post has 121 comments..

Hat Tip to Daniel Drezner and Andrew Sullivan.

Just a rumour, but...

I was very grateful for the informative comments left after my post about Duddridge v Prescott.

A local observer tells me that certain developers are seeking to spend large amounts buying up everything they can in Southend - budgets of 40 billion pounds have been mentioned, which seem excessive, unless they've found oil under Southend Pier.....

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Most Suitable Clothing for an Iranian Woman

A long time ago I had a brief chance of having an Iranian girlfriend. She lived in Britain, spoke fluent English, was strikingly intelligent, an electronics expert, attractive in a sort of Italian way , and had very good legs. All in all a very nice lady. The first date was pretty good, the second date was a bit awkward and well, that was it.

However I was reminded of her by the news that another Iranian-born woman, Anousheh Ansari, is going to become a space tourist. According to the Sunday Times:

AS a girl growing up in Tehran before the Islamic revolution, Anousheh Ansari watched repeats of Star Trek and dreamt of becoming an astronaut. She never tired of telling friends that one day she would “see the stars”.

Nearly three decades later, Ansari’s childhood fantasies are about to come true as she prepares to become the first female space tourist.

Now a multi-millionaire in the United States, Ansari, 39, who made her fortune from telecommunications software, has secured a flight in a Russian Soyuz rocket to the international space station 220 miles above Earth.

She is scheduled to fly next year but could make the trip — which will cost her about £10m — later this year if a Japanese businessman who is due to become the next space tourist drops out.With a fortune of several hundred million dollars, she can easily afford the fare, which works out at nearly £50,000 a mile.

No other tourist has done more to develop commercial space travel than Ansari, however. She recently signed a contract with Space Adventures and the Russians to develop a fleet of sub-orbital spaceships for commercial use.

Now I'd normally say spending 10 million pounds on a holiday is obscene. But I'm not going to complain about this - she's doing for love of space, love of adventure, love of the future. And if a Liberal Democrat isn't going to support someone doing something obscene out of sense of love, who is?

The flip side of this is another report in the Sunday Times:

AFGHANISTAN’S notorious Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which was set up by the Taliban to enforce bans on women doing anything from working to wearing nail varnish or laughing out loud, is to be re-created by the government in Kabul.

The decision has provoked an outcry among women and human rights activists who fear a return to the days when religious police patrolled the streets, beating or arresting any woman who was not properly covered by a burqa or accompanied by a male relative.

President Hamid Karzai’s cabinet has approved the proposal to re-establish the department, and the measure will go to Afghanistan’s parliament when it reconvenes later this summer. The conservative complexion of the assembly makes it likely to be passed.

Afghan women recall with horror the department’s religious police who ruthlessly enforced restrictions on women and men through public beatings and imprisonment under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

Women were publicly beaten for wearing white shoes or heels that clicked; using lipstick; or going outside unaccompanied by a close male relative.

“They haven’t even bothered to change the name,” said Malalai Joya, a courageous female MP whose outspokenness means she has to travel with bodyguards and move every day because of threats to her life. Joya, 28, was physically attacked in parliament in May after she criticised warlords.

“The situation for women in Afghanistan has not improved,” she said. “People in the outside world say Afghan women don’t have to wear burqas any more and yes, it’s true that in some provinces like Kabul, Jalalabad and Herat, women can go outside without a burqa.

“They can go and work in offices, and we have 68 women MPs. But more and more women are wearing burqas because of the lack of security. Look at the high rate of suicide among our women — Afghan women prefer to die than live because there is no security.

So there in a nutshell are two views of how women from that part of the world should behave.

My mind's clear on this. I can't wait for the day when Ms Ansari has to take off normal western clothes and put on a costume that covers her completely from head to foot.

It's called a spacesuit.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

2 more webcams

Without anyone telling me, I know that this webcam is looking south.

And that this webcam is looking north. (It's not going to be very interesting for a month or two)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Adding new Names

I've been expanding the non-Lib-Dem part of my blogroll. Most of the usual names are there, although still not Mr Fawkes, for reasons explained here.

There are two particular blogs I'd like to mention. The excellent Ministry of Truth is presumably written by a Labour Party activist in Brighton. He isn't exactly a Blair loyalist! It has a lot of good stuff, including an investigation into a BNP councillor that I've mentioned before and some opinion-changing background material on that horrible school face-slashing.

Meanwhile Gary Monro is a Tory councillor in Redbridge, and spasmodically blogs under the name "English Conservative". He's what I'd call a right-wing Tory, and I doubt if we'd agree on many issues. But an exchange of comments on his site usefully shows the clear distinction between people like himself and the BNP:

BNP supporter: "Congratulations Gary. You should defect to the BNP. Because your policies are BNP policies -- Tories like Cameron like uncontrolled immigration, and the Tories have contributed to the multicultural mess we see in Britain today."

Munro: "I'll decline the offer thank you. I regard the phenomena of large-scale, uncontrolled immigration to be damaging to our society. Coupled with the left's appalling attitude towards ordinary people's ordinary opinions and concerns it amounts to an absolute disgrace. But the immigrants themselves are often decent people, many simply looking to better themselves through work and education. That's called enterprise and I respect enterprise. My enemies are not immigrants; my enemy is the liberal-left. I suspect the BNP despises the immigrants too which will be one of several areas where we could never agree."

As an aside, perhaps we have to come up with a word for people who are appalled by the current immigration shambles but are not racist. It's amazing that this government - which likes to micromanage local councils in every way it can - is unable to know the number of failed asylum seekers to within the nearest 100,000.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Prescott v Duddridge

There was a nasty clash in parliament on Wednesday between John Prescott and James Duddridge, Tory MP for Rochford and Southend East. Duddridge is a new MP (the successor to Teddy Taylor) and not known for being particularly aggressive towards Labour. However this exchange over Southend Council's attempts to get a casino, as reported in Hansard, ends with a lot of shouting...

5. James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend, East) (Con): What discussions he has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government in relation to casino bids? 6193]

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. John Prescott): None.

James Duddridge: How can the Deputy Prime Minister not have had any discussions, given that Office of the Deputy Prime Minister civil servants, attending a Thames Gateway meeting in February, stated that Ministers would appreciate some joined-up thinking and would like a single bid for the Thames Gateway? Are those the same ODPM officials who received briefings from the Deputy Prime Minister following his meeting with the dome’s owner?

The Deputy Prime Minister: The hon. Gentleman has made accusations in the press and in the Chamber about the feeling in his constituency about whether we interfered with its application for a casino. The former Tory mayor said that we had: the present Tory mayor has made it clear that that was not true—

James Duddridge: It wasn’t the mayor.

The Deputy Prime Minister: I shall quote what the Tory leader of Southend says— [ Interruption. ]

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (James Duddridge) cannot shout after he has asked his question. He may not be happy with the answer, but he should not shout.

The Deputy Prime Minister: The Tory leader in Southend said:

“There wasn’t any pressure put on us”.

I accept that man’s statement and that is exactly what happened. I know that the hon. Gentleman takes a keen interest in casino policy himself. I understand that his constituency party in Rochford and Southend, East receives funding from a company that wants to build a £15 million casino and hotel complex in Southend.

James Duddridge: That’s a lie.

The Deputy Prime Minister: It sounds to me as if the hon. Gentleman is a busted flush—[Hon. Members: “Withdraw.”]

Mr. Speaker: Order. It is difficult for me to be fair if I cannot hear what is going on. I shall take advice on what has just been said and make a ruling —[ Interruption. ] Order. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Hall Green (Steve McCabe) should be quiet. I understand that he is a Whip and I do not want Whips shouting from the Back Benches. The Deputy Prime Minister has made an allegation, but allegations have come from both sides of the House. The best thing to do is to ask questions and hear the answers without any allegations being made. That includes replies, which should not incorporate any allegations.

Duddridge came back later to say

James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend, East) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. During questions to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister this morning, I asked a question about casinos. In his reply, the Deputy Prime Minister accused me of receiving money from casinos via my Conservative association. That is wholly and totally untrue; it is a very concerning accusation that has no substance. What advice can you give about how I can place it on record that the accusation is untrue? Does Mr. Speaker have the power to call the right hon. Gentleman back to the House of Commons to set the record straight?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I think that accusations of any kind, from any side of the House, should be thought through very carefully before they are made. They should not be made as often as they are, but the hon. Gentleman has succeeded in putting the matter on the record.

So who is lying here? . The local Tory councillors I have spoken to say they know nothing about any money from a Casino compnay.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Britain and Europe - and for once, no mention of the EU

I don't have a holiday until September. Until then, I'll just content myself with reading Kim Ayres' account of his travels this month from Castle Douglas to Brittany.

"Ten miles from Dover I was feeling pleased with our progress... In the sweltering heat I asked Maggie to pull out the directions I’d printed off to find the Premier Travel Inn motel I’d booked for us to stay in the night before taking the ferry to France. “Is it supposed to have tomorrow’s date on it?” she asked."

Another Look At Nome

I hadn't read the whole of the local news in the Nome Nugget before posting on Sunday. If you want to read it all, there's a lot of scrolling down to do.

If you go past the Independence Day parade
The pictures of the Wheelbarrow Race and the Eskimo High Kick competition
The results of the Slowest Bike Race
The Herbie Locke Memorial Pie Eating Contest

Right at the bottom you get to a photo with the caption:

HEADING TO IRAQ— Danielle and Tom Stokesberry and their daughter Laura enjoy a community dinner at the VFW Post in Nome. This was Nome's sendoff for the men and women from Nome and the surrounding communities who will be going to Iraq with the National Guard for a year.

The juxtaposition of all these small town festivities with the departure of these part-time soldiers from of all places, Alaska, to the heat of the Iraqi summer is almost heartbreaking. And there are plenty of Brits as well in Iraq and Afghanistan who are missing out on school fetes and village fairs this year...

May they all get home safely.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

News from Nome

The latest edition of my favourite online local newspaper , the Nome Nugget, is particularly good.

There's a photo of the Fourth of July 25-feet dash for the over 80s.

There is an excellent letters column , with an intriguing view on a local reckless driving courtcase:

"I was surprised to see reported that Travis was allegedly traveling at a speed up to 25mph. Not once throughout the three days of the trial did I hear witnesses testify to seeing Travis traveling at that rate of speed."

And best of all for the outsider, a link to the Nome webcam.

In all seriousness, I don't know of a better online local newspaper anywhere. They have a lot of problems in their town, but most of the people really seem to care about their community.

I'm With Graham Parker on This One...

I've been making fairly inconsequential comments on Paul Walters Blog about 70s and 80s musicians. As Paul mentions in the comments "Talking about music is a lot more fun than politics isn't it?".

It certainly is today, especially regarding the Lebanon situation. My gut instincts are with the Israelis. One comment somewhere that I've read resonated with me. "Think what would happen if the Palestinians were suddenly deprived of their weapons. And think of what would happen if the Israelis were suddenly deprived of theirs." Like several people, including Iain Dale I'm afraid of this becoming another August 1914. Although there are some folk in America who apparently would welcome Armageddon.

In Baghdad , things seem to get worse. According to Baghdad Burning:

Buses, planes and taxis leaving the country for Syria and Jordan are booked solid until the end of the summer. People are picking up and leaving en masse and most of them are planning to remain outside of the country. Life here has become unbearable because it's no longer a 'life' like people live abroad. It's simply a matter of survival, making it from one day to the next in one piece and coping with the loss of loved ones and friends- friends like T.

It's difficult to believe T. is really gone… I was checking my email today and I saw three unopened emails from him in my inbox. For one wild, heart-stopping moment I thought he was alive. T. was alive and it was all some horrific mistake! I let myself ride the wave of giddy disbelief for a few precious seconds before I came crashing down as my eyes caught the date on the emails- he had sent them the night before he was killed. One email was a collection of jokes, the other was an assortment of cat pictures, and the third was a poem in Arabic about Iraq under American occupation. He had highlighted a few lines describing the beauty of Baghdad in spite of the war… And while I always thought Baghdad was one of the more marvelous cities in the world, I'm finding it very difficult this moment to see any beauty in a city stained with the blood of T. and so many other innocents…

But two weeks holiday in Cyprus and a reading of a few blogs doesn't justify me pontificating on the Middle East.

So I think I'll go back to where I started - 1970s music. And the bitter Graham Parker and the Rumour's Don't Ask me Questions:

Well, I stand up for liberty, but I can't libera-ate, uhh
And pent up agony-y-y-y-y, I see you take first place
Well, who does this treachery
I shout with bleedin' ha-a-nds
Is it you or is it me, well, I never will understand

Hey Lord, don't ask me questions
Hey Lord, don't ask me questions
Hey Lord, don't ask me questions, Plea-ease, no-no-no-no-no-no
(Hey Lord) Hey Lord, don't ask me questions
(Hey Lord) Hey Lord, don't ask me questions
(Hey Lord) Hey Lord, ain't no answer in me

Friday, July 14, 2006

Some Recent Finds

I found a site about marine biology from Hawaii that I'm sure had Stephen Glenn on it's blogroll, but now I can't find it again.

I've found a list of 50 good science blogs.

And I've found a rather good website devoted to surviving without a parachute:

"Admit it: You want to be the sole survivor of an airline disaster. You aren't looking for a disaster to happen, but if it does, you see yourself coming through it. I'm here to tell you that you're not out of touch with reality—you can do it. Sure, you'll take a few hits, and I'm not saying there won't be some sweaty flashbacks later on, but you'll make it. You'll sit up in your hospital bed and meet the press. Refreshingly, you will keep God out of your public comments, knowing that it's unfair to sing His praises when all of your dead fellow-passengers have no platform from which to offer an alternative view.

Let's say your jet blows apart at 35,000 feet. You exit the aircraft, and you begin to descend independently. Now what?

First of all, you're starting off a full mile higher than Everest, so after a few gulps of disappointing air you're going to black out. This is not a bad thing. If you have ever tried to keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you know what I mean. This brief respite from the ambient fear and chaos will come to an end when you wake up at about 15,000 feet. Here begins the final phase of your descent, which will last about a minute. It is a time of planning and preparation...."

Don't Show This To Mel Gibson

I stumbled across a provocative piece at TPM Cafe: "The Tragedy of American Independence".

"File this one under 'why do liberals hate America?'but this time of year I'm always intrigued by the view that American independence was more-or-less a giant mistake....

The point is simply that, unlike a lot of superficially similar conflicts, there wasn't some kind of deep national antagonism between Americans and British nor was there an especially gaping ideological void. The issues at stake were eminently compromisable, had wiser leadership been available...

Consider that Canada and the other dominions entered the world wars at the same time as Britain rather than on the USA's leisurely pace. If we'd gotten into World War II in 1939 rather than 1941 the war, presumably, would have been considerably shorter and many lives could have been saved. Even better would be if American entry into World War I in 1914 rather than 1917 could have brought about German defeat fast enough to prevent the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. If that had turned out differently, the world would have turned out to be a much, much, much better place."

Hat Tip: Daniel Drezner

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Football Post

Well, I'm still seething about the World Cup, and I place the blame firmly on the shoulders of Mr Eriksson. We paid this man 25 million pounds and he can't even take enough strikers with him.

Let this be a lesson to all those who believe that you need to pay vast sums to get the right top people for a company or other organisation - Eriksson got about ten times the salary of the French coach.

I went to Lillywhites last night - England shirts have 70 percent off! I didn't see any Walcott shirts, but probably they're not ready yet.

Anyway, on a brighter note, Southend United are up into the Championship this season. The team have been out in Bermuda, as part of the "good-bye" to Bermuda and Southend player Shaun Goater, who is retiring. They've just beaten the Bermudan national side 3-2 in a friendly , and I've got to say it seems a very classy and thoughtful way to thank the squad for last season's efforts and to prepare for the season to come.

The club have just made two new signings, who coincidentally have one international cap each - the Leeds striker Michael Ricketts, and Motherwell left-back Stevie Hammell. I must admit I hadn't heard of Hammell before. What's interesting about Hammell's signing was that it was the quality of life in Southend that clinched the deal. The Evening Echo quotes him as saying:

My little boy is just 7 years old and his eys just lit up when he saw the seafront and the rides and amusements. Equally importantly, my girlfriend liked the place too, especially all the shops in the High Street

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Posing the 100 Year Question: A Liberal Democrat Narrative

So the question is: Will the "human" race be around in 100 years?.

We'd like the answer to be yes, and to be more precise "yes for the world with a quality of life as good as we have in Britain now". (Although some would disagree)

But I think this question, and the paths it leads us down, links in with the discussions earlier in the year about a political narrative for our party - best explained here by Neil Stockley. Harold Wilson had great success back in the 60s with the phrase "The white heat of technological revolution" . My provisional title for this visionary political narrative is "Towards a Golden Age" (And yes, I know this is a crib from Dr Who)

"This century is going to give us huge scientific and political challenges- to find safe and secure sources of energy, to deal with climate change, to provide food and water for a growing population. Ordinary political issues will come and go, but these problems will be best solved by long-term planning and commitment. The Liberal Democrats will be the party that looks decades ahead, to try to make the latter parts of this century a Golden Age for our country - and for the world as a whole, because ultimately what is good for the planet is good for Britain.

Our party is fortunate in having some young gifted parliamentarians. We will appoint a couple of them as as environmental spokespersons , with the intention that they'd have that portfolio (perhaps with an occasional break) for perhaps the next thirty or forty years. Unprecedented? Maybe. But come 2030 or 2040, they might be among the most well-known, respected and influential politicians in Europe. And they will have achieved some valuable results.

As a party we understand the importance of the scientific approach. It will be needed to deal with many important issues, and a strong science base is part of the heritage of our country - we are the country of Newton, Faraday, Darwin, Crick, Fleming , Herschel and so many more great scientists. So we will not allow university science education to decline and we will not allow religious dogma to be taught as biology whatever happens in other parts of the world

Religious groups have an important role to play in our society, not only on spiritual issues, but in helping to deal with some of the social problems we will have and in philosophical arguments over the stewardship of the planet. However we won't consider that "Faith" schools have any kind of authority to teach science differently to how it is taught in "Reason" schools.

We are democrats as well as liberals, and our liberties as citizens must be protected. Global warming, energy shortages and environmental refugees will give governments around the world plenty of excuses to bring in authoritarian measures. As a principle, we will resist the temptation to introduce such measures when we are in government, and oppose them when we are not.

There will indeed be times when we are not in government - but we are looking at the long term , and will encourage all other parties to do the same. We will have a 'building-block' approach to the improvement of this country. These 'building blocks' might be major new construction projects, or new institutions. In the last century the NHS, BBC , RAF, Open University , the motorway system and the Channel Tunnel were all building blocks - the Millenium Dome and the Premiership were not. We will aim to see a new 'building block' completed every 5 years to improve or maintain the condition of our country.

Our long-term purpose as a party is to deal with these serious global problems that our country faces. A 100 years from now some of our youngest citizens will still be around as pensioners. We want them still to be living in a fair and democratic society , in a prosperous and forward-looking Britain."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

"Go negative on the Lib Dem candidate from day one. Trawl through the candidate's record. Don't worry about being unfair...."

"Go negative on the Lib Dem candidate from day one. Trawl through the candidate's record. Don't worry about being unfair. Labour were wildly unfair in Hartlepool and it still served them well. "

- apparently written by Conservative activist Sean Fear, on the Conservative Home Diary yesterday. So much for the moral high ground.

I think everyone generally prefers positive campaigns. This year in our ward, we wrote about out Tory opponent "We’ve known ..... for many years and we wish him well (but we don’t want him to win!)". It worked well for us ....

On the other hand , there are things you want to say about opponents that you can't put in a leaflet. In May one of our helpers spent an hour on telling duty sitting next to a Conservative councillor. Afterwards she walked away amazed, saying to me "WHO is that ARROGANT man?". End result is that she's motivated now to seriously campaign in a ward for the next two years.
Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

I write this blog in a private capacity , but just in case I mention any elections here is a Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Ron Oatham, 8 Brixham Close , Rayleigh Essex on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 8 Brixham Close.