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DIARY - TOULMIN SMITH

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The British National Party may have worked hard at polishing its image, but there are still some rough edges. Some ...
The British National Party may have worked hard at polishing its image, but there are still some rough edges. Some really bad suits were in evidence at last week's counts. Also, a less than elegant approach was taken to the unwanted attentions of the media: One TV correspondent was told to stop waving his 'fluffy dick' in their faces. The BNP representative meant his microphone, if anyone was wondering.

It seems Lincolnshire CC's Jim Speechley may be a little confused. Appearing in court to hear charges against himself must have been stressful, but surely someone ought to have notified the Conservative leader the big red rose on his lapel was especially inappropriate on election day.

Watford mayoral contender Tristram Cooke has raised eyebrows with his call for the end of all pensions and public services.

West Herts College, where he teaches, asked him to refrain from referring to the college even though his manifesto includes the pledge 'To send all plump kittens to West Herts College.'

He wants to 'enforce zero tolerance on the streets of Watford and sweep them clear of all human vermin and to raze to the ground all council houses in Watford and allow their occupants to be sold into slavery.'

Despite these unorthodox pledges, Liberal Democrat mayor Dorothy Thornhill showed her commitment to social inclusion by praising Mr Cooke's stance. She said the Fat Cat policies highlight some people's fears about the real motives of politicians.

Christian charity was taken to giddy new heights by the Christian People's Alliance with a scam all councils should be aware of.

Their promotional literature explains the idea is to 'lobby central government for debt relief in a similar fashion to the Jubilee 2000 campaign'.

The notion of an inner London borough gaining the same status as a developing country suffering intolerable strain through the vagaries of big business may make perfect sense, but this is where the Alliance's arguments falter.

They would also like to see the already over-stretched metropolitan police test people charged with possessing cannabis for class A drugs, 'to prove or disprove the cannabis gateway drug theory'.

Figures from Neath Port Talbot CBC reveal just under half of residents are unwilling to trust their neighbours.

Results from a survey carried out by the council, along with the University of Wales College of Medicine and Cardiff University, showed a significant proportion of residents do not trust friends or family members enough to leave their house keys with them.

The survey is being carried out to find out why people living in some areas are happier than others.

Newham LBC has its first directly elected mayor and Labour have retained overall control of the council, but read the small print and it seems democracy has suffered a blow.

The council announced: 'Sir Robin Wales has been elected mayor and the Labour Party has retained overall control - 59 seats to one.'

That the council used e-voting for the first time will come as little comfort to Christian People's Alliance's Alan Craig who was the only non-Labour councillor.

The council added: 'The mayor will take office with the 59 new councillors on 6 May.' It seems Mr Craig may be left out in the wilderness.

Sinna Mani, Green Party mayoral candidate for Lewisham LBC, brought a whole new meaning to green issues.

Mr Mani took a five-car convoy round the borough to galvanise the green vote.

While he had little to say about the environment, Mr Mani was outspoken on education and related issues.

Even the Green Party would have been forgiven for thinking Mr Mani - a Labour defector - had forgotten which party he was representing.

If you wish to disseminate any gossip, please email me on

joshua.toulminsmith@lgc.emap.com

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