Tag Archives: Launceston

Diary Blog, 26 April 2021, including a few personal reminiscences

Afternoon music

[Chopin Memorial, Lazienki Park, Warsaw, last seen by me in 1988]
[Lazienki Park, Warsaw]

Memory Lane triggered

More memories were triggered when I saw that my one-time home, a house of which I had a lease in the years 2002-2004, has come up for sale for the first time in 55 years: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/105899483#/

I suppose that I could buy it, and its surrounding small estate, were I not short of about £7 million!

I have to say that the estate agents have had the place photographed beautifully:

Funny to think that my present humble home would fit twice, I suppose, maybe even thrice, into the ballroom alone.

Looking idly at the estate agents’particulars, it is clear that there have been changes since I lived there. For one thing, even the main house has been split into no less than 17 flats! I see, also, that two wind turbines now exist somewhere beyond sight of the house.

106 acres. My own lease included only the main house, with 4 acres of gardens, ornamental ponds and Victorian grottoes.

The person who owns or owned the house was the son of the farmer who bought it in 1966 for the land; the farming family never lived there (I think) but built a modern house halfway down the mile-long drive.

I think that at that time far more land surrounded the house, and I was told that, in its pre-First World War heyday, there was an estate of 5,000 acres. Maybe.

I was told when I lived there that the sale price in 1965 was £65,000…but I have now seen an interview which puts the 1965 auction sale price at only £21,500!

The person who owned the house when I lived there was a bit of a scoundrel, locally notorious. His idea (I heard) after my time there ended, was to maximize revenue via splitting up the main house into different rented units. There were already “hippies” living in the stables when I was there.

The man who owned the house prior to 1966 was an apparently very nice man called Leslie Major, whose father had owned the house before him, and who also owned the mill at Lifton, Devon (a few miles away across the Tamar), and which is still a food plant, now owned by Purina.

Mr. Major founded the Devon Bird-Watching and Preservation Society, and wrote on daffodil growing. In the 1930s, he also raced cars.

Sadly, Mr. Major became financially distressed, and sold the house and park to the farming family mentioned (the Tucker family) in 1966, and they were out of place in such a setting: see https://www.scribd.com/document/132741300/Daffodil-Cultivation-in-Cornwall-and-Isles-of-Scilly-Leslie-Major.

I could write a possibly amusing memoir of my time there. Such as? Well, such as the time that it turned out that the “hippies” from the old stables were running a cannabis farm in the attics and, to disguise any interest by the authorities in the electricity used to keep the temperature high, had put an enormous tropical snake in there!

I was told that by the owner one day, after he discovered the “farm” and told them to get rid of the lot (cannabis plantation and snake!). He was a scoundrel of sorts, but more someone who sailed close to the wind rather than an out-and-out villain, and pleasant enough to talk to. A rural Arthur Daley, if you like.

In fact, long after I left, the hippies or others tried it again, as I read in an online local newspaper, I think around 2010. The police raided the place and made arrests, apparently…

In fact, I heard that some “businessman” (who turned out to be a drug dealer) took on the lease, or rented the house, some time after I left. His dead body was found in the drawing room, or so I heard. For the full Agatha Christie effect, of course, it should have been the Library!

[the Library when I had the lease of the house; some of my books]
[Library cat…]

It was rather a magical place all the same (and haunted: my wife saw the ghost once or twice, or at least one ghost, I think the young girl noted in this local history: https://www.scribd.com/document/132741300/Daffodil-Cultivation-in-Cornwall-and-Isles-of-Scilly-Leslie-Major).

I imagine that it will be hard to sell (except to someone wanting the revenue stream from rentals of the various houses, cottages and flats). To reconvert the main house would, I am guessing, be rather expensive.

I shall buy a Euromillions ticket. Who knows?…

Tweets seen

A big step forward for Spain.

At one time, in the UK, there were real journalists. They had opinions. They sometimes expressed them. They still, however, reported the news. Now? Politically-correct semi-literates and/or Jewish Zionists. There are a few exceptions (mostly sidelined or not much broadcast or printed). The others form a kind of ZOG-oriented cabal, which does not just include political journalists (most of them), but extends more widely, even beyond the news media, to the wider msm: commentators, even comedians and TV presenters. A corrupt, decadent, and largely self-serving cabal who work to a spoken or unspoken agenda.

Someone should tell, or whisper, that to the “Black Lives Matter” (nonsense) people.

The closure of the majority of the UK’s railway system was indeed scandalous. Beeching and Marples were and remain the obvious villains, but there were widespread closures even before that, both from 1945-1965 and in the interwar period 1918-1939. Indeed, railways were closed even before the First World War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeching_cuts.

In the United States, the decision was made to keep the tracks even where railways were closed. A strategic defence decision. How much better off would Britain have been had it too done that! New, high-tech rail (ultralight, robotic etc) might have used the same track, or relaid track. Instead, rail lines were taken up and the land, in many cases, built upon.

Interesting article

“Now free us from this crazy dogma: It is high time the Prime Minister allowed the country to begin the long process of recovery from a disaster which his policies are needlessly prolonging, writes Professor ANGUS DALGLEISH” [Daily Mail] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9510619/ANGUS-DALGLEISH-free-crazy-dogma.html

“Data not dates, the Prime Minister famously said when he announced our ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown. It turns out that there was no road out and no map.

In truth, Government policy is now being driven by nothing more sophisticated than a deranged dogma.

It is dogma of the worst sort, for it is shaped by political cowardice and burnished by discredited scientific advisers who no longer seem capable of reviewing the evidence in front of them.” [Daily Mail]

Boris Idiot

I wrote, before “Boris” was “elected” as Conservative Party leader, that it really did not matter what unpleasant acts emerged about him. He was already known to be a moneygrubber, an incompetent, a constant liar, completely unable to actually run anything, as well as being part-Jew, part-Turk, and rather nasty altogether. So what new scandal could destabilize him?

“Boris” had (and has) weaponized his incompetence and lack of ability. No-one really expects even basic decency from him, let alone integrity, still less the ability to properly fulfil his office. That lack of any public expectation is like a suit of armour for him.

In any case, the Labour Party is now considered so useless by the white British that nothing short of a “nuclear”-level scandal would push them beyond the Conservative Party. Is the present kefuffle that? Probably not.

Late music

Deadhead MPs, An Occasional Series: The Scott Mann Story

A Few Preliminary Words

I have blogged in the past about a few MPs in the present House of Commons who stand out even in that —at best— mediocre ensemble for their stupidity, deadheadedness and general uselessness. My most recent targets have been Kate Osamor MP and Fiona Onasanya MP. I move now to examine Scott Mann, Conservative Party MP for North Cornwall.

Scott Mann has made so little impact in Parliament since he was elected in 2015 that I was entirely unaware of his existence until today, despite the fact that, in the years 2002-2004, I myself lived in the North Cornwall constituency and had a lease of one of the largest country houses there [seen below in a 1940s photograph]

Polapit-Tamar-in-the-1940s.-768x467

The North Cornwall Constituency

The constituency is largely rural, though it contains some fairly small towns (Launceston, Bude, Wadebridge, Padstow); it has a significant, mostly coastal, tourist industry. It was held by the Liberal Democrats from 1992 to 2015. The national collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote in 2015, which continued in 2017, was reflected in North Cornwall. The Conservative, Mann, increased his vote share from 45% in 2015 to 50.7% in 2017. It can now be considered a safe Conservative seat.

Scott Mann

I am not someone who is biased against those who drop out of school or education; after all, I myself did! (and then had to do it all myself later). There are several possible reasons (apart from sheer lack of ability) why someone gets a university degree late or (as in Mann’s case) not at all (and in any case the “degree” label is so devalued these days anyway), but Mann’s background, like those of so many MPs now, does not inspire confidence.

Mann was educated locally before becoming a postman, working out of the sorting office in Wadebridge (Cornwall), the town in which he had been both born and brought up.

In 2007, Mann was elected as a county councillor. In 2016, he resigned after having been criticized for poor attendance. He remained a postman until he became an MP.

Mann employs his girlfriend as “part-time secretary” via Parliamentary expenses (she gets about £30,000 a year for a part-time job). Apparently, they do not live together. He also claims, or has done, for other personal items, such as Amazon Prime [see Notes, below], and for his London accommodation. Well, after all, he lived for years on a modest Royal Mail pay-packet, and the opportunities to make hay, as a county councillor, are far more limited than those open to an MP.

Now Mann has come to public attention as the idiot who says that all knives should be fitted with GPS (!) and that anyone carrying one should be severely punished unless hunting, fishing or shooting! P.G. Wodehouse meets Common Purpose? I have some sympathy with the tweeters who asked “how are you even an MP?”

“Scott Mann admitted his idea was “s—“, but added: “ultimately we do have a problem, and no one’s coming up with any solutions, we need to sort it out.”” [Daily Telegraph]

I fear that the answer to the above question (as to how this idiot ever became an MP) is the same as applies to all other “deadhead” MPs (and they are many) in the Westminster monkeyhouse: they get through a selection procedure which is often a joke, or rigged, then get “elected” in circumstances where only one candidate (sometimes two, very occasionally three) has a realistic chance, because of FPTP voting, dominated by 2 or 3 System parties.

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Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Mann_(politician)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Cornwall_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/150608/mann_scott.htm

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25383/scott_mann/north_cornwall

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/11/nine-mps-used-parliamentary-expenses-fund-amazon-prime-subscriptions/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-47572133

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/tory-mp-ridiculed-after-saying-all-knives-sold-in-uk-should-be-fitted-with-gps-trackers-a4091791.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/14/mp-mocked-suggesting-knives-should-fitted-gps-trackers/

The tweet that exposed Scott Mann MP as a deadhead…

 

The twitterati respond…

 

Update, 4 December 2019

Unusually, especially for a Cornishman (I would suppose anyway), Mann cannot swim. He nearly drowned in 2016 and had to be saved by fellow-MP Johnny Mercer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Mercer_(politician)#Personal_life

Update, 26 February 2020

The General Election 2019 confirmed Mann as MP for North Cornwall. In fact, Mann received the votes of no less than 59.4% of those who bothered to vote, the largest winning percentage in the history of the constituency if one leaves out the unopposed victories of Liberals in 1918 and 1923.

In 2019, Mann managed to more than double his 2017 majority to 14,752; he also doubled his majority in percentage terms. Interestingly, the LibDem candidate’s percentage share (30.8%) fell not only compared to 2017 (36.6%) but even as compared to 2015 (31.2%). Another sign that the LibDems are on the way out even in former strongholds.

Update, 2 March 2020

In February 2020, Mann was appointed PPS to Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education (formerly —and risibly— Secretary of State for Defence), who himself has featured in these pages as a “Deadhead MP”: https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/deadhead-mps-an-occasional-series-the-gavin-williamson-story/