Article - Civilised Conversation

Another week at Westminster, another turn in the extraordinary saga of Brexit. The battle that some of us are fighting to ensure that Britain does not crash out of the EU without a legal agreement on 29 March continues.

Article - Life goes on

At Westminster and in the national media, all the talk is of the prospects for Brexit. Each “historic vote” in the House of Commons, each phase of discussion with Brussels, and each strand in the complex fabric of Brexit politics is analysed and dramatised. 

Article - A common challenge

The last few days have been rather full of news - and, anyone sent to Westminster by the electorate, as a member of Parliament is bound to have spent a high proportion of their waking hours thinking about how best to secure a prosperous future for our country. 

Article - Brexit

I have almost never used this column to comment on national political issues. But this week the elephant in the room is so elephantine as to make any effort to write about something else seem positively bathetic.

I refer, of course, to the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

Article - Flu jabs and vaccinations

Normally, my criteria for including a particular topic in this column are that it should be reasonably topical and possibly of interest to readers in our part of the world. 

Article - Remembering Jeremy Heywood

Normally, on a Friday morning, I set off from London at the crack of dawn in order to be in West Dorset by breakfast time so that I can get in a full day of meetings and surgeries.

Article - Local Council Unification

As any regular reader of this column will know, I have written on several occasions over the past few years about the coming unification of the County Council and a set of District Councils, including our own West Dorset District Council into a single “unitary” council for rural Dorset. 

Article - the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project

Last Friday, I found myself doing something that people normally do only in their own gardens: planting trees. 

But, on this occasion, the trees in question were not being planted in my garden. They were being planted at Dorset County Hospital and at Damers School in Dorchester. 

Article - Local schools

I was delighted to see, the other day, that Dorset schools in general, and West Dorset schools in particular, had performed well in the new measures of both educational attainment and educational progress.

Article - Tin tabernacle

After nearly a quarter of a Century as the local MP, I sometimes suffer from the illusion that nothing in West Dorset will now be able to surprise me. But, whenever this illusory feeling sets in it doesn’t take long for something to strip the illusion away.