Richard’s Blog

Agriculture: it’s showtime

One of the biggest and most popular events of the year is the Royal County of Berkshire Show, formerly the Newbury Show. Between 60,000 and 70,000 people come to see a proper agricultural show and to be entertained by a huge diversity of activities and spectacles. The...

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Making sense of the silly season

It seems that the silly season is no longer silly. There’s been no room for those headlines about cats on Segways or dogs on surfboards and the ‘news’, both real and fake, continued unabated throughout the long hot summer of 2018. But amongst all the noise there was...

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The A34: keeping up the pressure

As we reach the second anniversary of those tragic accidents on the A34, I wanted to update you on what has been happening. The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project is gathering momentum and a decision will be announced later this summer on the ‘corridor’ that this...

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Joy and sadness

Before joining the madness of Westminster last Monday I had a morning of joy mixed with great sadness. I started by visiting the soon-to-be-opened renal and cancer care unit at West Berkshire Hospital. Whilst this is being staffed and run by the NHS, it has been built...

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On parade

It was Armed Forces Day on Saturday which is a chance for all of us to show our appreciation to the Armed Forces, past and present, for their service and dedication. This event, now in its tenth year, is a way of extending thanks to serving personnel, reservists,...

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Action on loneliness

Two years ago last week I wrote my blog about the shocking murder of MP Jo Cox. As the anniversary of her death came around again on June 16th, along with continued outrage at that senseless waste of life and sadness at the loss of a mother, sister, wife and one of...

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How not to flounce

I have made a study of flouncing. Some do it well and some don’t. The Scottish Nationalists got it wrong in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday. The best flounce is at a table. You stand up, ostentatiously throw your napkin on the table, gaze down pityingly at...

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Two steps forward

Two good news stories for the environment and environmentalists emerged last week. One was the introduction of the Ivory Bill in Parliament on 23 May which will ban all commercial dealing in ivory in the UK that ‘could directly or indirectly fuel the poaching of...

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Apprenticeships for the future

This is the time of year that applicants for apprenticeships look to sign up. There have been sweeping changes to this crucial area of further education and training and although the Government’s ambitious target of 3 million new apprenticeships has not yet been...

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The right to be offended

At a recent question and answer session with a local sixth form, a pupil asked me, “what do you think of the state of free speech in Britain today?”. I started to answer in a general way about free speech but then moved on to what is happening in our universities....

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