Assistant Chief Constable John Stalker

The river very high and receding slowly in foggy and frosty overnight weather as I worked steadily editing my Little Paxton History, Daniel and Debbie were at school and Della now happily at Play School and then Di to Slimming Club, Debbie practising her recorder and Daniel doing a lot better with his sinus condition but doing as little homework as he can. Uproar in the Commons over the Stalker enquiry into the Northern Ireland forces ‘shoot-to’kill’ policy as two explosions take place in the Falls area of Belfast.

A restless night, feeling warm and also looking out of the window as I made each of several visits to the toilet. Still, woke up reasonably OK and got through my bathroom routine, which included a shampoo for my hair, but took it rather too casually and came down to breakfast on my own. Quickly made out some financial transactions for Diana to do in town and then I settled down to read the newspaper in my office. Not much there of interest, but a bearish tone pervaded throughout the FT. Out to feed the ducks and doves. No chance of the ducks going into their sodden hutch overnight, but they needed feeding anyway. The water was gradually receding, but very slowly. Morning coffee and then the start of a daylong session on my history book.

I was comparing the various interview transcripts and combining them and I managed to do the Hall Cottages, Church Farm and the Post Office, as well as the row of 1945 cottages today. I had a call from the publisher of the RREC Advertiser and heard that they safely received the inserts this morning, which was a relief. Had a salad lunch to continue my diet and heard about Diana’s morning shopping expedition, whilst Della was at playschool, where she is happy these days. Later, tea with the whole family. Daniel is a lot better with his sinus condition improving, but he has not had very good exam results so far. This evening he worked on as Debbie practiced her recorder and Di went to her slimming club. Later, I took a break and sat in the lounge with my TV and my journal and heard a Thatcher interview on TV. The news tonight is centred on Northern Ireland, as the Stalker enquiry reports and the announcement is made by Sir Patrick Mayhew that no prosecutions will follow. The enquiry had looked into a ‘shoot-to-kill policy’ where Republican IRA victims had been killed with lack of discrimination. There is uproar in the Commons and discussion in the Province over the outcome. MPs had waited years since 1982 for the outcome and opposition members claim a cover up, which is in the government, not the national, interest. A building contractor was shot dead in his office in Northern Ireland, as part of the IRA’s intimidation programme, but the RUC deny that either the man, or his company, were involved with the security forces. Better news for the Royal Family, as the Duke and Duchess of York announce that the Duchess is expecting a baby. Nurses at Guys Hospital have rejected a strike call for February 3rd, but nurses from four Leeds hospitals are to hold a ballot on Thursday to decide whether they should join in. Health union leaders gave evidence before a pay enquiry today and complained that the management side had given their evidence late due to Treasury attempts to influence their views. The Kings Cross underground fire was probably started by a lighted match according to a preliminary enquiry today. Late news tonight of two explosions in the Falls Road area of Belfast, aimed at army patrols. Actors are up in arms over new Government legislation designed to suppress publication of material promoting or featuring homosexual activity and they feel that several plays and books will be banned as a result. Locally, a Cambridgeshire man and woman drowned in a flooded dyke in St Ives, after they tried to save a young boy. Ironically, the boy clambered ashore and survived with his older sister. They say someone may have fallen in the river at St Neots and police are searching. The flood water is staying high and there will be a fog and frost overnight to add to our discomfort. Even so, the conditions do not upset me, as it enables me to get on with my work without distraction.