Thursday, 30 August 2007


The Insider

Is it us, or are councillors getting more exotic with their holiday destinations? Oxford city councillors Caroline Van Zyl, Stephen Tall and Mary Clarkson have all just returned from well-earned family breaks in Morocco (Tall and Van Zyl) and Melbourne (Clarkson).

Lovely. We just hope the jet-setters offset all their carbon emissions.

IT IS now 39 days since self-proclaimed freelance political commentator, writer and broadcaster Ed Vaizey updated his much-loved blog.

If only the Conservative MP for Wantage knew just how much heartache his online absence was causing...

On the other hand, Labour city councillor Antonia Bance blogs for England (well, anyone who bothers to read her rants actually).

And in her latest dispatch she lays into the media for being pessimistic about change in the light of recent high-profile criminal acts.

One of the Government's key responsibilities is to tackle antisocial behaviour, but limp-wristed Asbos and acceptable behaviour contracts are laughed at by those who cause misery to decent and hard-working people.

It could be just a perception, but we think people would answer 'yes' if asked whether they thought criminal and antisocial behaviour was on the increase.

So is it any wonder people are pessimistic?

Liam Fox, Theresa May, Jonathan Aitken and Peter Lilley are among the Tories lined up to speak to Oxford University Conservative Association next term, we can reveal.

A membership push is planned for freshers' week and those unsure about joining might be persuaded by the frequent port and policy meetings, held by the association.

As OUCA president Alexander Stafford gushes: "Always a forum for views both considered and ridiculous - and with complimentary port - this promises, as in the past, to be a thoroughly pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening, followed by a trip en mass (sic) to the pub."

Cunning Labour city councillors are continuing to make political hay out of the depleting numbers of Liberal Democrats.

While the Lib Dems take the stick over the need for a multi-million-pound investment in crumbling playgrounds and the soon-to-disappear Peers Sports Centre in Littlemore (part of a run-down leisure service), it is worth remembering which party was in charge of Oxford Town Hall for the lion's share of the previous 25 years. Yes, that's right - Labour.

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