Yes I did

but I did not expect to enjoy a real life murder related story based near Peterborough.

There are quite a few all too dreadful crimes connected with our area, some of them still under investigation, but I hadn’t come across this particular one prior to spotting the drama documentary in the tv schedule. I gritted my teeth and started watching, expecting at best a bit of a civic heads up for me. It looked as if it was going to be grim.

I used to go to the odd police panel (they preceded the introduction of the PCC) and here you can read my previous blogs about the new role of Police and Crime Commissioner and its disastrous roll out in Cambridgeshire (the quality of candidates selected for election by the Conservatives has been terrible). Sitting through meetings (whether they are community based panels or the meet-the-latest-commissioner-in-the-town-hall type) does give you some insight into what issues the police face and how their priorities are decided. So I know exactly why Mr Plod isn’t strolling down my street in his size elevens any more – but unlike many people I don’t have a problem with that.

But this docu-drama gives everyone stuck at home and not at all interested in going to meetings a view onto what police work is really like.

It turned out to be riveting. I am a huge fan of detective fiction on the telly. Obviously this isn’t fiction: anything but. But the story had me on the edge of my seat and nobody watching it needs to know a single thing about Sherlock, Miss Marple or Morse.

Hats off to everybody who helped put the case together and then: just as remarkable, the story about the investigation. Not easy at all. Well done.  Cambridgeshire is really good at the investigation of abuse: one of the toughest and least well understood let alone appreciated aspects of policing.

Very strongly recommended. Available for 30 days here:

Backing the Greens in Peterborough

There are just hours left now to donate to our parliamentary crowdfunder:

Local Greens are helping voters to get Green Party councillors elected onto Peterborough City Council. You can vote Green all over Peterborough. We raise money to pay for leaflets so that local people know they can vote for us. You can vote Green in Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire constituencies. This all costs money.

Go here to see how we are doing.

Contrary to what the public assumes, our activists work for free: they volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, a financial contribution is the quickest and most effective way to support us. Back our Crowdfunder now.

In between our big appeals, go here for other ways to donate to our campaigns and keep our activists busy.

Peterborough Council Chamber

Council Chamber on the day what we now call Peterborough Town Hall was opened. This photo was taken from the Spectators Gallery which is currently closed. Elected councillors are (I think) sitting at the long tables with some very strange headwear at rest on them. None of them is female, although there are a few women sitting behind them, one with a dark cloche hat and most of the others sporting dark berets. Headwear is not flashy. The gallery (behind the photographer) is probably full to bursting. Guests and public are seated around the councillors very tightly, leaving “the floor” clear. Slender tables are unencumbered with lights and mics. The room is shown at its best: lit by daylight. The Mayor’s parlour is packed with what could be a choir in uniform (door to the right) and so is the balcony of the foyer (door to the left). The principal uniform is the man’s suit, worn with greater or less formality. One or two of the men may be wearing gowns and one on the left side may be wearing a chain of office. High table is court like. The chair’s chair is a proper throne and whoever sat on it would have a commanding view of the entire room, including the whole of the Spectators Gallery. (The current layout – I’m not sure when or why the room was turned around –  is not at all as clever from the point of view of the chair.) Still familiar today: the person in clerical garb. The architecture is happily and joyfully calling on medieval precedent within a confident classically formatted & commercially alive building (rented shops were built below this room, the income to the council intended to keep rates as low as possible). This photo is on public display in Peterborough Town Hall.

Why it’s good to vote Green in NW Cambs (or any safe seat!)

North West Cambridgeshire is a historically extremely safe seat. It is where the Conservative Party stand the candidates they really don’t want to risk losing. Brian Mawhinney (eventually CON Party Chairman) was MP for Peterborough  but was moved to the neighbouring North West Cambridgeshire constituency when Peterborough started to look a bit too risky.

A “safe” seat presents a number of challenges to residents but also to opposition parties, one of which is that voters who know their vote “doesn’t count” (in terms of securing democratic representation) are inclined to think that their vote “isn’t counted” (but watch this video to see why this is an entirely different thing!).

Why it’s good to vote Green in NW Cambs from Julie Howell on Vimeo.

Please browse back a few posts to find more about tactical voting and seat marginality.