November 1988

Our children made good progress at school and we had a few outings with the Kimbolton Fireworks being the highlight. I progressed my conservatory/koi carp pond and games lawn top-dressing during some very variable and strange weather. I swapped my trusty Comart micro-computer for an Apple Mac to work on my Little Paxton History book. A busy month for dealing with financial matters and winterising our boats. Much time on political matters, FOCUS newsletters and Parish and District Council meetings whilst publicising my campaigns and holding the Tories to account, enlisting the help of Labour colleagues. I encouraged three new Parish Councillors to volunteer and responded with help and sympathy for some of my constituents’ problems, being the prime mover in ‘saving’ the Little Paxton Village Hall from a crisis of governance and driving forward my own St Neots SLD colleagues to campaign for election.

The UK economy is suffering, a raft of controversial and extreme measures is introduced by Thatcher’s government. Britain’s nurses, miners and now TV technicians and journalists are all on strike as Thatcher plays on the world stage in Poland, the US and Russia. Many public safety issues are highlighted with chemical spillages, the Kings Cross Fire report, the Pipe Alpha Inquiry and widespread deaths from AIDS. The Northern Ireland troubles have been exacerbated by the governments ‘Shoot to Kill’ policy, IRA suspects cannot be extradited to the UK because of our contravening the European Convention on Human Rights for detention without trial and now Welsh extremists are suspected of fire-bombing five London Estate offices over second English homes there.

Significantly, for Middle East affairs the right-wing Likud party in Israel under Jitshijk Shamir wins the national election after their recent violent excesses with the Orthodox Jews sustaining them in government. George Bush wins the US presidential election, as the US venue of the UN comes into question and united condemnation from all other United Nations countries after The US bans Yasser Arafat from entering to speak in the Middle East debate. The biggest human disaster is in China where the toll has risen to nearly 1000 dead after large earthquake on their border with Burma. Benazir Bhutto is re-elected in Pakistan. Nelson Mandela is giving more liberalised conditions for his South African political imprisonment as ANC anti-apartheid activists and bombers face death sentences each side of the border with Zimbabwe

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November has been a month of strange weather. Starting dry, fine sunny and cold for Bonfire Night, then snow and sleet before frosty mornings and dreadful freezing foggy weather that led to deaths and injuries on the roads. Then mild weather and some heavy rain completed the range of experience. A busy month for me which left little time to see anybody but my most immediate family; who are doing well enough.