So conference season is over. Poor old Ed Miliband might be relieved. On a human level I feel for him. But it really was an extraordinary howler to fail to mention the deficit once in his hour-long speech.
The Union has survived. After weeks in which it seemed that our country was on the point of break-up, the Scottish people voted decisively to reject nationalism and separation. I was one of millions who breathed a collective sigh of relief as 55% of Scots voted to stay in the United Kingdom. I believe that ours is one of the most successful political unions anywhere in the world. To wreck it after 300 years would have been abject folly.
We all want Cheltenham’s economy to thrive. A strong economy brings jobs and opportunities close to home, particularly for our young people. Prosperity also offers a pathway out of the deprivation which still exists at unacceptable levels in parts of our town. But if we are going to make Cheltenham a town of opportunity for all we need a plan - one with a clear vision and clear goals.
''Over the next 25 years I am sure that Gloucester will overtake Cheltenham on a number of criteria. We will carry on going up, Cheltenham will fall behind.” So said Richard Graham, the energetic and business-minded MP for Gloucester in an interview last month with the Citizen.
“They think it’s all over. It is now”. An iconic phrase that entered England’s consciousness back in 1966. I know it grates on some of our Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish countrymen as much as it cheers and inspires the English.