We have returned from a weekend in Suffolk. Deborah was teaching in the town on Saturday, and in Huntingdon on Monday - and we decided to make a long weekend of it to celebrate my birthday (which is actually today). I'd never been to Ipswich before. It's a very nice town, with many old buildings remaining from its past. Cardinal Wolsey - Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor - and until his fall from the King's favour, the most powerful man in the land beside the King - was born and brought up in Ipswich.
We were in a hotel on the new marina - in a building which was once a salt house on the docks. If you've never been to Ipswich, I'd recommend a visit. A pleasant olde English town - lots of pubs & restaurants - and coffee shops. On our journey home we stopped in Huntingdon - birthplace of Oliver Cromwell. So a weekend reminding me of the powerful influence of East Anglia in the 16th and 17th Century. It was also the area that produced many of the early English emigrants to America.
Of course the weekend was overshadowed by the awful news from Tucson Arizona. A terrible reminder that with freedom comes responsibility. The language of hate and utter contempt, along with the availability of lethal weapons is a dangerous mix. I'm all for vigorous debate - and as a politician myself, I appreciate rhetoric , but America deserves better than this.
Politics Live - readers' edition - Friday 27 May
22 hours ago