A few years ago, I was thrilled to be asked to give a talk at the Glastonbury Festival, in the “Left Field” as they called it. But when I dialled the number given to organise the details, the man who answered was very curt and rude indeed, treating me as though I was trying to cadge a free ticket, despite the fact they had contacted me and asked me to speak. In fact he was so very rude, I declined to go.
I learn today that actually the VIP area at Glastonbury is swarming with minor Tory politicians who are chummy with David Cameron. I am sorry to hear one of them died, but if Glastonbury has become this cosy with the establishment, it is time to end it.
On Friday I took Nadira and Cameron on the train to see the wonderful old town of Sandwich, one of the best surviving medieval and early modern towns in England. It was as lovely as I remembered, but both the town and our experience were absolutely ruined ny the cars. The whole ancient centre is entirely devoted to throbbing traffic; streets with no or tiny pavement are premanently swished through by commercial vehicles and cars, and there is a permanent stench of exhaust fumes. It is impossible to enjoy the sight of any of the medieval town, because virtually every single old house has a permanent flow of traffic right past its doorstep.
The old tollbridge is no longer the only crossing of the Stour, so the failure to pedestrianise any part of Sandwich is simply appalling, and was to me quite unexpected. They must have the most dismal and undynamic council in the world. I strongly advise everybody against going there, unless you are interested in traffic.