March 1990

A mostly very mild month for the time of year heralding an early welcome for migrant birds from Africa during which the government was forced to make concessions on reducing chemical and sewage pollution of the North Sea.

I was recovering from my serious foot injury, spending almost equal periods of time up in Norfolk at Heronshaw, making repairs and improvements and back home in Paxton coping with the administration, paperwork and political activity.

The Paxton Princess was being well equipped and prepared for a good cruising season ahead, and Di had her first trip. Daniel’s old boat is with a broker for sales and the land, garage, shed and utility room at Heronshaw was cleared and restored for early use as a temporary accommodation by my sister and her family.

Steve Bloom had been a companion and local Jack Edwards also a help. I had my meeting with RYA instructor Tom Phillips about a trip for my RYA Day Skipper Certificate.

My own family had a chequered month: Della and Debbie were doing very well at school and at their riding lessons, though Daniel needed to work much harder at his revision. Earlier in the month, after passing his test, he had a depressing incident where he severely damaged his car and Diana had become very upset and depressed at all this before I intervened.

Fiona , after behaving in an accommodating manner, leading Della on foot for her first hack and planning transport and arrangements for Debbie to go to events on Sundance this Spring, she had fallen out with Debbie at the riding school later when she had let Debbie down once too often. Until Freda could get down to help with my Mum, I took every chance to drop into to see her in Stanton.

Apart from my political work, I was keeping up with my journal, looking after my conservatory fish and plants and preparing for the boating season. My political work was already showed good signs of me getting several more colleagues on the Huntingdonshire District Council soon, with comprehensive leafleting, press stories and interviews and, now, we had started canvassing. I was an active participant in Council meetings and I was also helping the Parish Council and Local History Society.

Nationally, there was a stunning defeat of the Tories in a by-election. Thatcher was in serious political difficulty as new opinion polls over the Poll Tax and the figures on inflation show the government in disarray; the Pound Sterling shares and Gilts fell sharply and there was a full-blown Poll Tax riot in Trafalgar Square as a well-attended peaceful demonstration then deteriorated into a violent protest. Thatcher now faces a rebellion in Parliament. The case of the "Birmingham Six" is to be re-opened with a new police investigation following more publicity proving their innocence.

The Chinese will not recognise the latest British plan to give up to 50,000 Hong Kong families British Passports when they take over the colony in 1997. Nelson Mandela has been elected deputy president of the ANC but political progress there is blighted as South African police open fire on several thousand black anti-apartheid demonstrators with 8 being killed and many more injured.

Despite the Baltic Republics pledge of solidarity to Lithuania in their fight for unconditional independence and the US threatening the Soviet Union over intervention, Soviet troops forcefully occupied party and government buildings. An aid convoy of 11 lorries carrying 120 tonnes of food has at last got through the civil war battle zone to feed starving Ethiopians.

Prolonged turmoil in the Japanese financial markets drove some investors to panic. A New York nightclub fire has killed 87 people and arson is expected.

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