Would someone give Tim a dictionary!

IT seems to be my lot in life to be an Aunt Sally. A few weeks back, BBC Radio Suffolk took great delight in offering me up as a sacrifice by those who contested my contention that there was little civic pride in Suffolk.

Graham Dines

IT seems to be my lot in life to be an Aunt Sally. A few weeks back, BBC Radio Suffolk took great delight in offering me up as a sacrifice by those who contested my contention that there was little civic pride in Suffolk.

I can only think it was a slow news day.

But why should I complain? It gave the EADT shed loads of free publicity on the airwaves and set up a debate which may one day see the council wake up from its inertia and realise that the noble Suffolk Punch should become the representative symbol of this gentle, genteel county.


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There'll always be some people around who scream “bias” when journalists have the temerity to question the capabilities of our party leaders. The more they whine, the more journalists take heart that they must be doing a good job.

That's why I enjoy winding up Colchester Labour councillor Tim Young, who goes puce with rage every time I pen that, if he's ever given the opportunity by the electorate, David Cameron is more than capable of making a good fist of the office of Prime Minister.

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Such sentiment is not intended to be an endorsement of Cameron and the Conservatives. I don't' know which party will win the election but for the first time in more than a decade Britain has an opposition leader primed and confident enough to take over the reins of government.

Mr Young appears not to know that when I use the expression “Mr Cameron may well now be unstoppable” - my apologies for the split infinitive - I do not mean “Mr Cameron is unstoppable.”

And Colchester's finest ought to be careful about his liberal use of the word “vacuous,” which means unintelligent. The opposition leader is unlikely to sue for libel because accusing an opponent of being vacuous is part of the squalid political name calling which so debases our political debate, but in other contexts people might just take issue with being described as a sandwich short of a picnic.

The virtual wipe out of the Labour Party in Colchester in recent years may not be down to Mr Young's personality, but I suggest he would be better spending his time trying to drum up support for a lame duck Prime Minister rather than rushing into print with words and expressions which, at best, are inaccurate.

MORE woes for Mr Young. The Government's chief adviser on welfare has resigned to become a Conservative frontbencher amid concern over Gordon Brown's handling of the jobs crisis. In a damaging political defection - oh yes it is, Tim - David Freud, architect of Labour's plans to privatise job training, is being appointed a Tory spokesman in the Lords and will join David Cameron's council of economic advisers.

And in another coup for the Conservatives, celebrity chefs have lined up behind a Tory campaign for more honest food labelling. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Antony Worrall Thompson and Clarissa Dickson-Wright are all backing a bid to ensure that only meat products which have been “born and bred” in Britain can be labelled British. Current rules mean that meat from animals reared abroad can be brought to the UK for processing and then be packaged as British.

I don't make the news, I just report it.

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