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Camden New Journal - One Week with JOHN GULLIVER
Published: 19 June 2008
Julian Fulbrook celebrating 30 years as a councillor with his wife, Mary
Julian Fulbrook celebrating 30 years as a councillor with his wife, Mary
Well-prepared for Julian’s party

JULIAN Fulbrook is a bit unusual as a politician. He’s quietly spoken, self-effacing and, as a good lawyer, can often see the devil in the small print of any seductive argument.
On Saturday evening he was the centre of a magnificent party held at the Knights Templar hostelry in Chancery Lane, Holborn, to celebrate his 30 years as a Camden councillor – and 100 years of scouting in Holborn.
For many years he has led the 8th Holborn scouts.
In between all that he has managed to bring up a family, helped, of course, by his wife, Mary, who somehow finds time to run the German department at London University.
Scores of local
residents tucked into a fine spread, laid out by the scouts. Among them was an old comrade of Julian’s, Brian Woodrow, a fellow Camden Labour councillor.
Among the guests was Jack Olden, aged 85, who joined the scouts in the 1930s.
“It’s only now we realise how much scouting has taught me,” he said.
“Looking back on my life I realise everything I did was because I joined the Holborn scouts at the age of eight.”

How did Louise go from ‘decking officials’ to the Order of the Bath?

I WAS on a No 11 chuntering along Fleet Street thinking about Fulbrook’s party when I glanced at a newspaper announcing that Louise Casey had been ­honoured with a Companion of the Order of the Bath (COB).

Order of the Bath? I would put her on the wanted list as a polluter of the English language, and an offender against the esprit de corps of the Civil Service.
I had just left a band of fine men and women who, in old-fashioned language, would be described as the salt of the earth – people who spend a lot of their time helping to run the scouts or doing other worth­while voluntary work.
I could easily say if honours are to be given to anyone they should go to the people I met that evening. But I’m sure they probably wouldn’t think they deserve public recognition.
That’s not what drives them to become the unpaid public ­
servants of society.
One day when, instead of the Queen, a publicly elected body hands out awards, I would like to recommend not a few of the people I talked to at the Knights Templar.
I would like to know who on earth thought Ms Casey was deserving of the Order of the Bath?
She was a leading government figure behind the use of anti-social behaviour orders – a device embraced by Camden councillors to curb crime, and now regarded by a growing number of local authorities as ineffective.
Three years ago Ms Casey, appointed by Tony Blair as the “respect Tsar”, told a group of police officers that ministers might perform better “if they turned up p*****”.
It’s not the sort of language I would expect a leading government figure to use, especially someone who is supposed to be a moral exemplar to the young, but then who am I? Hideously out of date, I suppose. Almost in the same breath she told the police officers that she would “deck officials”, presumably, civil servants and elected politicians, who talked about “evidence-based policy.”
I note this week from leaks in the broadsheets that a report by Ms Casey recommends that people serving community sentences should be made to wear visible jackets, and that criminals should be named and shamed in posters.
It’s back to the stocks for the avenging Casey, who wants to drag us back to the Middle Ages.

Sir Patrick is still sailing through life in good spirits

A MAN I got chatting to at Fulbrook’s party wouldn’t have been alive – if he hadn’t been in hospital when he ­suffered a stroke.

The nearest hospital is 21 miles away from his Hampshire home.
If he had a stroke at home, he would probably have died in the ambulance on the way to the A&E department.
The stroke occurred as he was preparing to leave the hospital after being fitted with a
Doctors told his family he was lucky it all ­happened in hospital.
The argument by ­government reformers for big specialist hospitals – often far from small towns – doesn’t make sense when measured against the life of this remarkable man.
I took an instant liking to this cheerful 72-year-old man, though he spoke with difficulty and couldn’t move his right arm or leg as a result of the stroke which has now left him wheel-chair bound.
Let me introduce Sir Patrick Sinclair, a scion of an ancient Scottish family, a former successful advocate in the Chancery division of the High Court, and a man whose family have lived in New Square, Holborn, since, almost unbelievably, 1711.
His wife Lady Susan Sinclair was known for her support of the Holborn scouts and served as a parent governor at St Clements Dane primary school in Covent Garden.
The irrepressible Sir Patrick told me he had always loved sailing, often to the Baltic and around the Mediterranean shores.
And because you can’t keep a good man down, his wife told me this week, he still intends to go sailing with friends.
Recently, the family checked to see if he could swim at a local swimming pool, and found he did it with the cheerfulness and courage he’s displayed all his life.
“He’s an extraordinary and wonderful man,” said Fulbrook. “He’s too modest to tell you but, he was one of the most successful Chancery barristers in the profession.”

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