Both Reading's Conservative MPs were re-elected yesterday. Not a surprise. Victoria Groulef in Reading West was the better prospect for Labour, and there is no real evidence that the Reading party bigwigs put any effort or resources into Reading East, so nothing has changed there since approximately 1993. As recently as Tuesday this week the Reading Evening Post told us (so it must be true) that former MP for Reading West Martin Salter had personally written to everyone in Reading West asking them to support Victoria Groulef. Must have cost him a hell of a lot in stamps. Because he'd have to have paid the postage personally, and then it would have to have been declared as a donation, or - oh, please yourselves. However, getreading's @LindaAFort tweeted that Martin Salter had started briefing against Groulef during the night: this was confirmed by BBC South. Both used a picture, now mysteriously vanished from their Twitter feeds, showing Groulef leaving the count alone, apparently in tears, with a number of Labour councillors with their backs to her. All that is now to be found from that time from the sainted Linda Fort is "Labour's Victoria Groulef is now nowhere to be seen after looking close to tears". Well, yes. that's what the Reading boys are like, people. Victoria should have expected it.
Linda Fort also tweeted overnight "Former Labour councillor John Howarth said he predicted Labour's loss at the General Election a couple of months ago". That would be early March or so, then. Now usually I avert my eyes when Howarth tweets anything, as I have a sensitive nature and he seems to like tweeting revolting photographs of glutinous carb-rich meals, but I have taken the trouble to look back, and he has tweeted nothing of the kind in the last three months. So, perhaps he wrote it on his political blog? Nope. He doesn't write anything much on there. On 5th January he said Labour was "hanging on". Then nothing until 29th April, when he said Miliband was looking "more plausible". And - that is it. Silence. It was all lies.
I think I shall pay more attention to Linda Fort in future. She is often the bearer of delightful news, such as that Martin Salter is about to become a TV presenter. My first thought, as I am sure was yours, was that he is to replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear, Salter being a notorious petrolhead and lover of the blacktop and all things motorised. But, sadly, no. Still, nearly as good. He is the new presenter of a show called "Fishing Britain". You can find it on YouTube here. It's not actually about fishing, it's about Martin Salter. He tells us he's been to Argentina and he's going to a place he coyly calls "the foothills of the Himalayas". So there you are, fans, it's not all politics, the delights just keep on coming. He shakes hands with someone in a shop! He walks past the camera wearing an anorak! This is cutting-edge
Now, in newly Tory Britain, wish the new MPs well. It's not an easy job. I was doing it back before social media, when all we had was email and letters. This is what the people said they wanted when they voted, so give it to them, please. A better Britain. Er...