Saturday, September 30, 2006

The True Firepower of Norwich South

Today we started a big new survey campaign across the constituency asking people what local issues Norwich City Council should be tackling - we're following up the issues from last year, like parks, recycling, tax and roads. We're also collecting views on the Unitary issue.

We had 10 people (ten!) out delivering across the constituency - that is the biggest force on the ground since the general election. Teams went out in the South Park estate, Bluebell Road, Eaton village and in different areas in Town Close. We're doing the same tomorrow so I hope we get as many volunteers. It's not only great to get so much done but you get a better feeling of being part of a team.

We've already had some filled out responses through my letter box at home. So fingers crossed this is a big survey!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Well Done Jane

Whilst some people bitch throughout blogworld, I'd like to congratulate Jane Ellison for being selected as Conservative candidate in ultra-marginal London seat of Battersea. Elected on an open primary (with the vote of BBC reporter Michael Crick, I believe) Jane is the choice of the constituency.

I met Jane during her massive efforts in the 1997 Uxbridge by-election and we've enjoyed drinks at conferences since. Jane is fun, hard working and good value - unlike some on the so-called A-List. I'm thrilled that she'll be on the green benches soon, and Jane is exactley the kind of person the party needs to push forward.

Well done Battersea, and well done Jane!

Is Sue Sands really an assasin?

I like Sue Sands. Sorry, but I do. I've met her frequently on the doorstep (before I knew she was a Labour candidate and at at least 2 election she said she'd vote for me). I'm assuming that she lied, but I cannot help but like her still.

Sue is now the newly elected Labour Councillor for Sewell Ward in the North of Norwich, better known as the Silver Triangle. At Tuesday's Council meeting she laid down a rather vicious question regarding our policy on traveller's - only she seemed to make up our policy and then asked the Labour executive to cost it. A waste of taxpayers money went into researching that, another opposition Councillor declared very loudly during the meeting. Now, I'm very thick skinned and she clearly asked the question without any sign of malice and so I have to say ... I still like Sue Sands.

But, following an interesting conversation with a local journo it has come to light that Labour is now officially "out to get me". Oh dear, I'm terrified. Perhaps Cllr Morphew's piss poor efforts on Tuesday were the start of that policy? No, I'm told Cllr Sands question was. I'm not sure I care either way. But even more interesting is that I am told that Labour are targeting the Tories, rather than either LibDems of Greens.

Why? Because we're the only real opposition they get in the chamber. They are annoyed by us a great deal. But mostly because we stand to pick up their seats at the next poll.

A totally bizarre choice of assasin ... but I still can't bring myself to care about it ... and I still like Sue Sands.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is Morph losing it?

Steve Morphew is the best leader that Labour have had in Norwich for many, many years. Unlike the collection of weak trolls who went before him, Steve has proved himself time and time again - culminating in his election win last May. However, his performance in the Council Chamber last night has raised eyebrows - on all sides of the political divide.

I understand that Morph (as he is affectionately known around City Hall) has bene storming the corridors telling anybody who would listen that he was going to crush us two mere Tories and that I personally was on for a pounding.

So why did he put up such a piss-poor performance on the floor of the chamber then? As he attempted to attack the Unitary Referendum Motion, his own side held their heads in their hands (for all to see) and afterwards the talk around the place was how he managed to fluff this. He sounded barkingly odd - a bizarre speech that made very little sense. Although Cllr Bremner's speech was, I believe, designed to make Morph's look intelligent and well thought out.

I'm afriad that, save one blast against the Greens economic policy and a great line about the City only being able to cope with so many Organic Greengrocers, Cllr Morphew looked pretty limp last night.

His colleagues, and other Councillors, not only noted it but saw fit as to speculate why.

One Fantastic Day at the UEA

Today was the Fresher's Fayre at the UEA in Norwich. It is always an amazing sight at the various clubs and socs attempt to get students to part with £3. In recent years it has been tough going for the Tories at these events with students tending towards a left leaning option. Our previous membership high, I think, was around 50 under the Chairmanship of Ian Mackie, who is now a Tory Councillor in Thorpe St Andrew.

However, things looked better this year. Labour are collapsing, the LibDems are a joke. We has gorgeous Boris posters and T-Shirts around the place. Richard Davies is proving to be a pretty dynamic Chairman of UEA Conservative Future. And importantly the polls show a big rise in Tory support, even amongst young people.

The result of the day was outstanding even given those positives. We recruited 86 members - by far the most ever! The stall was swamped all day and people from all backgrounds seemed determined to sign up to Cameron's Conservatives.

Labour won't have an official society this year as they had less than 30 paid up members. The LibDems struggled also, even with (or despite) the presence of Fakenham Councillor Simon Wright and his two giant LibDem correx posters.

We await the news, but we even think we out-did the Greens.

It was one amazing day to be a UEA Tory and I think that things can only get better for us. We have Harwich MP Douglas Carswell coming to speak on Friday and I will be doing a small section on political life in Norwich too.

With the age of being a candidate set to fall to 18 soon, I hope a lot of our new recruits apply to stand in May 07 as well.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Full Council tomorrow night

What's on the Agenda tomorrow - meeting 7.30pm at City Hall:

1. Presentation on Norwich in Bloom
2. Lord Mayor's Announcements
3. Presentation of Long Service Awards
4. Declaration of Interest
5. Questions from the Public (always interesting if there are any)
6. Petitions (ditto)
7. Minutes
8. Questions to the Executive (I am asking about parking in Three Score and Eve is asking about the cost of the Unitary Bid).
9. Statutory Accounts for the Year 05-06 (watch the sparks fly)
10. Report of the Joint Waste Committee (very interesting)
11. Waste Alleviation
12. Constitutional Report (a public yawn)
13. Post Offices Motion (moved by LibDem Cllr Lubbock)
14. Referendum on Unitary Motion (moved by Conservative Cllr Little)
15. Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change Motion (moved also by Cllr Little)
16. Development of Sport Motion (moved by LibDem Deputy Leader Cllr Watkins)

Still nothing much from the Labour benches.
SHould be a good meeting, do come along if you can.

Will Luntz do for Reid what he did for Cameron?

Frank Luntz is a former US pollster who does work with focus groups. His work is highly regarding and he is extremely sought after. Almost this time last last, he took a mix of rock solid Tories and swing voters and displayed the Tory challengers for Howard's crown. They dismissed Sir Malcolm Rifkind, disliked Ken Clarke, boosted Liam Fox and threw cole water on David Davis. However, they put a rocket up David Cameron's campaign and that episode of Newsnight was said to have been the lift-off that Campaign Cameron needed. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tonight he did the same for 6 potential Labour leaders - 4 cabinet ministers in Chancellor Gordon Brown, Education Secretary Alan Johnson, Home Secretary Dr John Reid and Environment Secretary David Milliband. They also included Blairite former Health Secretary Alan Milburn and left-wing backbencher John McDonnell. At the start they seemed to plump for Brown and Reid as the two people they had heard of. But after they were given biogs, the group split between Brown, Reid and Johnson. After watching videos, they slammed Brown for being old, Scottish and assoicated with the past. They said Johnson was too left-wing, but Reid was tough and speaking their language. By the end, Reid was the run-a-way winner.

I'm sure that people have their views, but I strongly dislike this form of focus group. There was definitely a bandwagon effect, with Reid gathering votes by being popular. They also seemed to suffer from voters having no idea what was going on - or making strange switches. All this means that we have to doubt their part in this exercise. Two examples spring to mind.

First of all was the guy in black who said how impressed he was with Brown, but began by saying he'd back Johnson. He ended up with Brown ... via Reid.

The second was the elderly lady at the front. She began by backing McDonnell on the basis of his photo and biog. Then she said Alan Johnson was too much like a trade union leader ... and ended up voting for Reid.

All nice stuff for us political hacks, but I'm afriad I don't believe a word of it.

If you thought ConservativeHome was bad...

There are a lot of people in the party who believe that ConservativeHome is just about Tory members venting their spleen against Cameron in public. It has been attacked for being negative.

Well i urge you to read LibDem Forum and see what they have to say about their Leader, policies and performance. There are lots of brown nosing threads called "LibDems winning everywhere - hurrah!" but the ones with loads of posts are about Sir Ming's leadership and their dire 06 poll performance. Read this one, for example.

Here are some examples ... you'll never moan about CH again!

sorry for sounding like an angry football fan, but its the manager. ming is so uneclectable, charismaless and on the whole a bad move for liberal democratic thinking.

followed by...

"we need someone to shout liberal democrats where ever he goes. that is camerons best asset. he has told everyne n this country to vote conservative, has ming?

next GE i think ming will step down. not suprised by the election results we didnt actually campeign on any issues that a larger party wasn't supporting so why would people vote for a smaller party"

and this one...

Ming is a pathetic leader for a fantastic party. We need someone who says the words Liberal Democrats in evey damn sentence.

He is old, talentless, no charisma and is certainly the wrong person to lead us into a general election. I didn't vote for him to be leader.

Whoever did, needs to explain their actions !!

It gets worse...

As a shellshocked candidate who was pushed into 4th place by the BNP we need to address the following issues now:

1. I voted for Huhne in the leadership contest fearing Ming just wouldn't cut it and I'm sorry to say he hasn't. Lacklustre PMQs, poor soundbites and a lack of humour. He may not lose us votes but he ain't winning us any folks. All the Tory lealfets had Cameron on - he's their great electoral asset - yes he's false, yes he's a chameleon and yes he cycles to Westminster with a car following on 50 feet behind him, but the punters like him and they feel as they know him. They see Cameron as the man to challenge Blair.
On a similar theme - yes it's great our young MPs are getting media opportunities but Sarah Teather was completely out of her depth last night on the BBC - where's the likes Phil Willis? Why wasn't Simon H doing the biz - sorry they might have been later but I went to bed at midnight.

2. Policies - the voters are bored of ID cards, Iraq and tuition fees. Come on let's be brave and distinctive. Are we soft on crime? What do we think of mass immigration? (Questions I was repeatedly asked)
We're not even seen as the strongest party on green issues now.

3. Leafleting - the Lid Dem way is to deliver half a South American rainforest in Focuses, leaflets, blue letters etc but such is the level of junk mail that I think it's effectiveness is rapidly diminishing. Let's get media savvy.

I'm off to spend more time with my wife and kids

Oh dear, it just carries on...

For god's sake tell the voters what we stand for. Oh, that's right, even we don't know!! Tuition fees is old and Opposed to Iraq is even bloody older !! Howver, not as old as our leader. It's like a supply teacher with his students. However the students know more and are much better at the subject than their substitute teacher! Lets get a decent Captain to save this gradually sinking ship !!!


HERE'S THE GOLDEN RULE: Always assume the national party / leadership / election campaign will be crap [a safe assumption - they usually are] - and win it with your own LOCAL campaign

I know this is all knockabout stuff, but I really think it is great. Not because it is LibDem members doing their own side down, but because they are willing to be honest.

The point about the policies is what a lot of LibDems have said in private for a long time - they are seen as being only about fees, the war and ID cards. They need to be more than a catch all giant protest party. And also the acceptance that the old campaigning ways don't work anymore - mainly because the Tories have copied them and made it work better. The LibDems need to go beyond simply whacking hundreds of Focus leaflets through each door.

I said previously that the LibDems are very bad at splits - they'd prefer to shut up and put up with something they don't agree with rather than rock the boat. This is the first bout of honesty I have sene from them and long may it continue!

Michael Brown jailed for 2 years

The biggest LibDem donor in the UK, Michael Brown, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for perjury and passport deception.

I won't interfere in private family grief (LibDems take note, you gloat rather too much when Tories and Socialists get into trouble) but I do think it is right to ask if the £2.4m he gave before the last election will be paid back.

A Norwich LibDem seems to think not: "It'll bankrupt up completely" he said, rather too honestly.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I hate these things ... but I do them anyway

You Are 60% Capitalist, 40% Socialist

While you are definitely sympathetic to a free economy, you also worry about the less fortunate.
Wealth and business is fine, as long as those who are in need get helped out too.
You tend to see both the government and corporations as potentially corrupt.

And that's the reason why I hate them. I am an economic liberal and capitalist through and through, but I do believe there is such a thing as society and people do have responsibilities outside of their own zone. Didn't somebody once tell us that we're all in this together??? Oh dear, because I rate the environment and education I seem to have been mistaken for some kind of weirdo trot. I could handle those surveys that tell me that I am Toby Ziegler or Gonzo from the muppets ... but 40% socialist? One Nation Toryism should never be mistalen for socialism!

Was this really ever "popular" culture?

I wandered across this - the little known B side to the more famous Spitting Image Chicken Song. It has some startling lines about South Africans. Did Mr Cameron say something about this recently? Put into the context of the 1980s it must have been fine, but to watch it now makes you cringe. It is a wonder it ever made it into the mainstream of anything. I am putting it here for you to see and make up your own mind - for historical perspective. Only click if you don't mind being offended. You have been warned!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tory news stories

If you don't read the news section on the Norwich Conservatives website, you should do! It is regularly updated with important stories regarding the City Council and the party nationally.

Two stories of note from today - Tory motion causes Labour U turn on climate change policy and the strange disappearance of the whole street sign budget.

Green Taxes: More LibDem hypocrisy

Oh dear, they've done it again.

Whilst dear old Sir Ming pontificates all week about how jolly "green" the LibDems are (despite having a total of no energy saving lightbulbs and being forced by media pressure to sell his gas guzzling Jag), a senior member of the Norwich LibDems appears to be leading the hypocritcal charge from the grassroots.

As I was filling up my Astra family car with petrol this week - note to all, I use a tank per month on average - up pulls the most enormous 4x4, a veritable monster truck of a vehicle. It overshadowed all other cars and nearly took up 2 lanes in the petrol lanes. Surly the owner was some Tory landowning toff? Not a bit of it, out stepped a certain former LibDem Councillor and a gentleman once described as a future leader. Until he lost his seat ...

And to boot, I nearly chocked when I saw the self righteous LibDem PPB later that week - full of gloating that they are an eco-party!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Why was Sir Ming so vile towards Cameron?

I had the deep misfortune to watch Sir Ming's speech. It was a dull but worthy effort, and rather overshadowed by Charlie's contribution earlier in the week. If Sir Ming had asked my advice on what he should have done, I would have told him not to have given Kennedy stage-room and to have stuck to serious policy issues in his speech. Sir Ming always had a certain gravitas as Foreign Affairs Spokesman, but always sounds out of his depth when he moves into knock-about stuff.

Most bizarre was his attack on Cameron. He seemed to have far more venom saved up for the Tory Leader than even for the government. With Labour in their current disarray, you might have thought that Sir Ming might have had enough of a barn door to hit. So why bother with Dave?

Is it because Sir Ming realises that it is Cameron, not Blair/Brown/Reid/Benn/Johnson, who holds the key to his electoral fortune? If Cameron does well, then no matter how many gains the LibDems make from Labour, then the party will move backwards (because they are far more Con/LD seats than LD/Lab ones).

But I fear it doesn't matter what Sir Ming says or does ... it is clear that of all the party leaders, it is Cameron who's the winner.

I'm on Wiki!

An old school friend informs me that I have official landed on planet politics - I have an entry on Wiki!

Oh the joy.

Fantastic Blog!

I smile a lot, I appreciate humour, but I very rarely laugh out loud.

But this blog, about somebody who likes to monitor queues, made me gaufaw to the point where the children realised I wasn't really marking their books...

I'm back!

After my family difficulties and technical problems (the lap top blew up) I am now back blogging. I have to say that very little seems to have happened whilst I was gone.

Sir Ming attempted to relaunch his failed leadership (again). The bizarre story about Kennedy's failure to shake Campbell's hand shouldn't really worry the new Leader - not after he saw BBC One's Question Time. Kennedy could not have made it clearer that he seeks the leadership again.

John Reid was shouted down whilst delivering a message that Muslim parents should (shock horror) keep an eye on their children. Meanwhile, Party Chairmwoman Hazel Blears had been forced to call for calm. Is there any Labour MP at the moment who isn't seeking 44 signatures?

Cameron continues to lead in the polls - and has changed the party logo. I actually quite like the tree and, unlike the torch, I can do a pretty good free hand sketch. Cameron seems set to have a bust up over the size of his next government's tax cuts. But watch this space - if a senior CCHQ aid didn't leak that story I'd eat my own hat (after purchasing one). It reminds people that we are in favour of tax cuts whilst making Cameron look strong for standing up for public services.

Anyway, I've got a few weeks of blogs to catch up on!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My views on Children's TV

I know I'm not exactly in the best frame of mind at the moment, but I cannot contain my utter contempt for children's TV any longer. The programmes made under the Tories are heavily weighted with an eye on educational outcome and are normally presented by some homely looking middle aged woman with an honourific title of Aunty. However, what really annoys me are those programmes made under Labour which look like they've been created by the Institue for Politically Correct Light Entertainment (IPCLE). It looks like they've spent longer putting the presenters and participants together to represent a good day out at the UN than actually bothering with the script. Even the programmes that involve animation or puppets are laden with regional accents. I don't suppose they are related but I really think that this desire to represent the face of New Britain is the reason why all these programmes are utterly crap. And now I hear ITV want to spend less on kids TV. Oh dear.

I'm not having a good morning.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sad News

I was told tonight that my Uncle has passed away, aged 46, seemingly from a heart attack. This has shocked and upset my family and I greatly and I will be in London for a while. Please excuse the lack of posts or if I fail to return your e-mails.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

LibDem Leadership: Runners and Riders

Councillor Hereward Cooke: The Sir Ming of the Norwich LibDems. Partisan to the extreme but with a reputation of statesmanlike qualities. He has a strong media profile and is very lucuid in the council chamber. Hereward is an experienced political player who was a major force in the LibDems winning the council first time around. However, his age is against him and so too is his wafer thin majority in Lakenham (where Labour hold the other two seats). Also, Hereward was very close to Ian Couzens and the blame for the financial mess at City Hall may fall as easily at the Deputy Leader's feet as it did at the Leader's. Add to that his public pledge to stand down in 2008, he'll be seen as the caretaker leader.

Councillor Brian Watkins: Seen as the thinking mans choice. Brian won re-election in Eaton last year but saw his majority cut by the Tories. He is intelligent, popular and thoughtful. More of a conservative-minded LibDem too, which may not play well with their left-wing membership. Add to that his current role of Deputy Mayor it may be difficult to stand. However, if he stands he stands a great chance of winning.

Councillor Judith Lubbock: The combative member for Eaton is thought to be the only female challenger. Judith is popular amongst LibDem grassroots and is a long serving councillor. She has been the most effective frontbencher in the chamber since May and has a great grasp of council policy. As she was a committee chair outside of the executive she could avoid the blame for the LibDem mess at City Hall. However, Cllr Lubbock is not well liked around the council and all of the other parties would find it difficult to work with her in the future. She also has few friends within the local media.

Outside chances of standing: Cllr Lowe

Who'll win? I have no idea, but whoever they choose won't be able to shake of their reputation for financial mismanagement.

Ian Couzens: Pushed or Jumped?

City Hall is currently buzzing with the shock news of Ian Couzen's departure, as predicted by this blog (several times) in the past. Councillors and staff now await the result of a leadership election. Couzens will shortly announce that he is standing down as Eaton Councillor in May 07 (again, predicted here some time ago).

The questions looming large and now, why did he resign and who'll replace him.

The timing of his resignation is odd. You might have thought that having been roundly humiliated in May, Cllr Couzens may have chosen to resign with some dignity and honour in the days following 5th May. That way the AGM of the Nowich LibDems could elect the new Leader as would normally be the case. However, if you remember at the time, his own Deputy made an attack in the press saying that the leadership was under discussion. Being pretty gutless, the LibDem Councillors who should have made a challenge didn't and he has since got away with being a pretty ineffective leader of the opposition. Since then, the plotting has been rife and rather open too. As I've said here before, Cllr Lubbock has been playing guerilla warfare in the council chamber and Cllr Cooke has been building up his own reputation. Then, a few months on, Ian finally resigns. Why? The best time had passed - does he think he won't hold his seat next May, or were there threats to revolt from his own frontbench team?

Either way, the LibDems now find themselves on the electoral slide, financially adrift, leaderless and with their reputation and media profile in tatters. I'm sure Charles Clarke is crying into his pint as you read...

With the Green Party now tied to the Labour apronstrings, you can be sure that the Conservatives will step up the mantle - what shall we call ourselves, the "real opposition"?

Ian Couzens quits

Our media team have just released this:

Commenting on the news that Councillor Ian Couzens has resigned as Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Norwich City Council, Conservative Group Leader Councillor Antony Little said:

”First and foremost we should thank Ian for all of his work as a Councillor for a great number of years. Anybody that goes into public service – let alone being a party leader for 10 years or heading up an authority – deserves a pat on the back for their work.”

“However, Councillor Couzens did not enjoy much success as Council Leader and his legacy will be a massive financial black hole and a failure to progress on several key areas. His administration was plagued by problems which ultimately led to their election failure last May.”

“The LibDems must now choose a new leader of the opposition, but I fear whoever they choose will not be able to move their party away from a reputation for poor financial management.”

“With this new Labour council needing a strong opposition, it is increasingly clear that it is coming from a Conservative Party renewed by a strong leadership.”

Friday, September 01, 2006

Soapbox Councillor

I am grateful to one of the comments on the EN Campaign thread for pointing out that my recent letter to the Evening News was used as the Soapbox piece (sadly not available on line).

This is a coverted position in the newspaper, and only the second time I'd done it (the othet time was the launch of our Tax It, Spend It, Waste It campaign). David Cameron's stance on anti-social behaviour has won plaudits as has our local stance.

Tomorrow the Evening News will be covering the arson attack on a bin in Bowthorpe Southern Park too.

Top 5 Conservative Bloggers

THe forefather of Conservative blogs, Cllr Iain Lindley, has put me in his top 5 blogs here.

This all comes from Iain Dale's efforts to list the 100 best Tory bloggers in time for the Party Conference in October.

I won't be too obvious, in saying ConservativeHome, Dale himself or Cllr Lindley - but here are 5 that I read that are less "discovered".

In no particular order, firstly is James Cleverley, who recently made a brief run to be Tory Mayoral Candidate in the capital. He comes from Lewisham and is now on the A-List.

Then there is Gavin Ayling, self styled English rationalist and liberal conservative. He is also the unopposed district councillor for Buckingham on Adur Council. His blog is thought provoking and often very funny.

I was very pleased that former Tory Councillor Kevin Davis didn't stop blogging after he lost his seat (by 6 votes) last May. He was an excellent PPC for Kingston and I hope he goes for it again!

Also Stuart Penketh is one of my favourite posters on PoliticalBetting and has a blog of his own. Great read especially about the excesses of Labour in Bury!

And finally I have really enjoyed reading the thoughts of CF Chair candidate Mark Clarke - honest to say the least. Even though I didn't get a ballot paper (for reasons best left to CCHQ), I'd have voted for Mark if I had of done.


Having voted 'yes' on the Built to Last document via the internet yesterday I was pleased to be able to register my household to vote by telephone today. It was quick, efficient, secure and totally convenient. How unlike Norwich City Council...

Shoemaker: Action sooner rather than later

In a world where pubs are decreasing in popularity, one derelict pub site has stood empty for months. The Shoemaker, in West Earlham, has been vandalised, had its windows smashed and is now a source of litter.

I recently visited the site and has spoken to local people about the pub. What is clear is that this site is becoming a magnet for anti-social behaviour and is an eye sore that the neighbours have to live with day in, day out.

I am pleased that fences have been put up after I reported this to the property team at City Hall. But that is only a short term measure. Local people are desperate for action on this site.

I understand that there are plans for a community centre here, or maybe housing. Whatever goes here, the site is now so untenable that action must be taken quickly.

Morphew under pressure: Council Leaders rally against Unitary

My post below on the "secret" MORI poll that Norwich City commissioned to ask the people of Broadland and South Norfolk what they thought about unitary (without telling those councils first) has hit the headlines in today's EDP.

You may be unsurprised to hear that Tory County Council Leader Shaun Murphy, Tory Broadland Council Leader Simon Woodbridge and Tory Leader at City Hall (me!) are all against this biased propaganda exercise. But what is most telling is LibDem Leader of South Norfolk Council, Vivian Clifford-Jackson, has also slammed the scheme.

Oh dear. The Tories are in full flight on this and the media is interested - if the left cannot unite on this, then the scheme is dead in the water.

p.s. It's not only South Norfolk LibDems who are splitting on this issue - I have been told by a reliable source that the Norwich Greens won't be able to support this scheme for much longer. Oh dear.