On Monday afternoon I was in the dock at Westminster Magistrates Court, pleading guilty to having permitted an animal in my charge - to wit, Pebble the Jack Russell, age 11 months - to chase or worry another animal - to wit, 200 deer - in Richmond Park ‘without the written permission of the Secr
Down an unmarked track off the road that leads through a modern housing development on the southern edge of Devizes is a wood. This was the grounds of the old Roundway Hospital, formerly the Wiltshire County Lunatic Asylum.
The Government has a moral and a political obligation to ensure that British Army veterans of the Troubles in Northern Ireland are not hounded through the courts thirty, forty, fifty years after event, when no new evidence has come to light to prosecute them with.
It’s been a political few weeks, and I’ll come to that in a moment. The non-political highlight of the last fortnight was my visit to Stonehenge, which annoyingly is a few hundred yards outside my constituency. I shouldn’t be jealous.
It’s Parliamentary recess and the Easter holidays. Politics has momentarily quietened down. A good moment, then, to take the long view. I had a stimulating meeting in Devizes Town Hall with the Mayor, the Town Clerk, the boss of the Wiltshire museum and two of our county councillors.
The Union of England and Scotland is in peril. This 300-year old arrangement, perhaps the longest and most successful marriage between two countries in history, is close to breaking point as its two protagonists tire of each other.