Author Archives: Francis Glibbery

At last …

The British people have voted. The general election result is known. But what are we to make of it?

What we do know beyond all reasonable doubt is that the Conservatives, led by Boris Johnson, now have absolute control over Parliament. That suggests an extended period of austerity rather than a much-needed spend and borrow programme as set out in the Labour manifesto. I know which I’d rather have!Ballot Paper Cross 2

Of course, we don’t know for sure what an administration under Johnson will actually do. But, if the pundits and opinion-formers are to be believed, nothing Johnson’s administration does will go far towards healing the broken feeling that is so evident across much of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Are our country roads’ potholes to be fixed? And what about the dropped drains to be encountered almost everywhere? Will my car have to suffer many more knocks and blows to its suspension?

Will someone tell us what’s going to happen to our National Health Service? Will parts of it be sold off to some private enterprise so that they can make money out of it? Or will the new administration find some way of making the whole thing viable instead of ‘in crisis’, as we are so often told it is?

What’s going to happen to our schools, many of which are a disgrace to anyone who believes that a fair education can lead to a fair, well-paid career?

And what about our police force? It seems to be very short-staffed at the moment, all over the country. I can’t remember the last time I saw a local policeman or policewoman ‘on the beat’.

As to the nation’s social services, they seem stretched beyond belief. People are sleeping on the streets of our cities, because there is little or nowhere else for them to go. Others are suffering from severe deprivation because the system cannot cope with their physical or mental health problems.

As you can see, the election result seems to raise more questions than answers, all of which are relevant to a broad society that includes the less-well-off as well as the comfortable rich.

I live in a retirement area, so I probably won’t see much of the horror that seems about to be perpetrated on our nation. My pension and investments will shield me from the worst of it all. But I can’t help feeling that we – the liberal-minded community – are in for a rough ride over the next little whiles.

Let’s hope that Boris proves to be more of a “one nation” Tory than his recent election performance suggests.

Let’s also hope that he is less in the pocket of what looks like his hard-right cabal.

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What’s he up to now?

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Boris Johnson. Now there’s a name to conjure with.

He wants to be Prime Minister, again. This time by winning the public vote in the election on December 12. And he has a chance.

However, if he goes on being seen as he is here – on a visit to a crisp factory in Northern Ireland – he has to do better than play the fool. Which he is – on current form – good at doing.

He doesn’t even seem serious in Parliament, describing one MP’s remarks as ‘humbug’. And he has the temerity to prorogue Parliament whenever it suits him, and for as long as he deems fit.

Don’t vote for him.

Mind you, the alternative doesn’t look wonderful. Corbyn has the air of a misplaced schoolteacher; a man who would just about be at home in front of a roomful of 15-year-olds.

The answer, in my opinion, is either vote independent or vote for no one at all. In other words, DON’T VOTE.

 

I’ve never seen anything like it!

The scenes in Parliament when Boris Johnson made an appearance after he’d returned from America were awful.

MPs shouting at each other. The Speaker almost unable to control them. Some jumping up and down from the benches, waving their fists and wagging their fingers at the others on the other side of the House and yelling. It was, to quote one of the more excitable of them, “disgraceful”.

I’m all for a properly representative Parliament – one that reflects the true nature of the people of Great Britain – but not for one that behaves like a group of people gathered in a pub for an argument. And all of them – well, most of them – dressed as if they were going to church. It’s as if putting on a suit will make them respectable. Jacob Rees-Mogg has a lot to answer for.

And all the while Boris (whose suits look as if they were made for someone else and whose hair looks as if it should be growing on a blonde Dennis The Menace) has a stupid expression on his face which seems to suggest that, once his ‘turn’ is over, he’ll revert to being a serious person again. If that’s possible.

I’ve no idea who should take Johnson’s place. Gone are the days when more thoughtful men like Ken Clarke could hope to take charge and be the figurehead for a well-behaved bunch of people.

As it is, all of it beggars belief.

What does he think he’s up to?

The Supreme Court seems to matter not a jot to Boris Johnson. Even as I write, he’s probably plotting how to wriggle out of whatever they may conclude.

To me, he has conspired to prorogue Parliament just so that he can call an election, which he probably thinks he will win. On the surface of it all, he may be right. He might just win – even with an outright majority.

Personally, I can no longer decide which side I’m on: in or out. Part of me wants to remain in the European Union, because we’re stronger in it by being part of a large market, and because we may be able to influence how it [the EU] should be reformed. And reformed it should be. The other part of me wants to be out of it all together, so that they [the other Europeans] can get on with it, whatever it may be.

Either way, I am utterly fed up with people talking about Brexit when they don’t even know what kind of Britain they want – or what they’re being offered. Those who want another referendum based on questions about a future Britain – and there are many – have my sympathy. Especially when they say they will abide by the result. I don’t feel strongly about any party, let alone one that says what it would do if it were in power.

What does bother me is that Johnson and his cronies don’t seem to understand anything about what’s happening in the country, outside the Westminster village.

I live in East Devon, which is – by turns – prosperous and down-at-heel. Goodness knows where the local farming and agricultural communities think their money will come from, once they’re no longer able to enjoy EU grants. That’s to say nothing of the retail sector, which is facing its own problems.

But, of course, Boris knows best! We shall leave the EU at the end of October, come what may. Or to use his own words, “do or die”.

I’d rather die than listen to any more of his blustering rhetoric.

What the people of this country want is to get on with it, or so he says. Get on with what, I ask? We live in a broken society and nothing, but nothing, he has ‘promised’ will fix things as they currently are.

He is, it seems, beyond predicting.

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What will he do next?

Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 13.49.02To suggest that Boris Johnson is mad is not unusual. But his behaviour lately seems to indicate that he is, at best, delusional.

The way he carries on is typical of his class: behave as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist. He seems to think that he and his ilk always know best and that the rest of us can go hang. At least Mrs May lived her life in politics by tradition and did things according to the book. Not Boris. No way.

Now he is suggesting that Parliament should be suspended, and all the while grinning as if anyone who speaks to him – journalist, politician or anyone else – is an idiot who doesn’t know bombast from bananas.

Personally, I think he’s full of the former and may just be a living example of the latter.

Gawd knows what he’ll do next.

He could countenance bombing Washington, DC, for all I know!

I can only hope he doesn’t, and that he stops short of some other madness born of his misplaced notion that he was born to rule.

Looks even worse …

With Boris Johnson at the helm of the good ship Britannia, things look even worse than they did the last time I blogged.

I saw him at a cabinet meeting on tv and he was behaving almost like a fairground barker: all finger-pointing and table-thumping.

We can’t go on being governed by a man like this, surely. He doesn’t even look like a Prime Minister. Instead, he sort of smiles all the time, as though he thinks the person – or people – he’s talking to are morons and he – Boris – will sort it all out and we have to do is be more gung-ho.

Fat chance, when so many people are feeling less than gung-ho.

 

What next, I wonder

I’ve just finished reading The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes, former speech-writer and latterly confidant to Barak Obama, and I can’t help thinking that we shall come to see something of Obama in Theresa May, now that they are both former world leaders.

Obama was dignified, principled, full of integrity and was succeeded by what some folks would recognise as (and others believe is) a charlatan.

Against my better judgement, I believe May was all those things – though she did lack some of Obama’s charm and principled behaviour and was equally stubborn, among other things – and has been followed by a charlatan.

Alexander ‘Boris’ Johnson [to give him his proper name] was never my choice of Prime Minister – not that I know who should have been – but he was the outright choice of the Conservative Party members.

What happens over the next few weeks, months and even years is anybody’s guess. We may all be glad he’s in charge and that, instead of mind-numbing inactivity, decisions are being acted on unthinkingly, if not swiftly. Or we could all be wringing our hands, wishing and hoping that he won’t, or even can’t, be around for very long.

What’s certain is that it will not be easy. Those in work will find themselves worse off; those looking for work will find it even more difficult to come by than it is now.

As someone who’s retired from work – and from looking for it – I am not hopeful; I anticipate taxes and the cost of living will rise; that I am likely to be worse off than I was before Donald Trump took charge in the US and Alexander Johnson did the same in the UK.

It doesn’t look good.

Who’s going to win?

It could be Boris. It could be Jeremy. Or it could be England.

Either way, we’ll know by the end of the month. And we could be in for a summer of rejoicing (if it is the England women) or a season of hand-wringing longing for the past (if it’s either of the other two would-be Prime Ministers).

Me? I’ve almost lost interest, now that the Maybot has gone. Of course, she’ll still be with us as an MP, which is true, until we have a general election.

Then we will see who is the real winner.

Now that she’s almost gone….

It seems a long time but, at last, she is going. Or, by the time you read this, she may have gone.

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Who comes next is still anyone’s guess. It could be any one of more than half-a-dozen. The Tory party seems to be in that much disarray.

Ah, well. We shall know soon enough. But that’s not really soon enough for me. I’d like to know now, so as to end all the uncertainty. After all, we don’t really know who will be Prime Minister through 2020 and beyond. And business, as well as everyone else, would like to know.

Is it too much to ask?

At last!

Theresa May 3So, it has taken a long time, but she will have gone by the time you read this.

By ‘she’ I mean the dreaded May. The ridiculous woman who once said it was her role to reunite the United Kingdom and has led the British Conservative party since David Cameron left his job as Prime Minister in 2016, almost three years ago.

The woman who has consistently shown us that she is unbelievably stubborn; won’t under almost any circumstance compromise; who consistently sat on the fence during the run-up to the 2016 referendum; and has ever since lived by her own twin mantra of ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and ‘doing it all for the sake of the Party’. The woman who seems to be working towards a much-hoped-for legacy of being the Prime Minister who took the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

Some hope!

She seems mad. The only thing that has changed in the last few years is that she now looks like a very tired woman and, in her resignation speech on the steps of Number 10, actually showed us that she has an emotional side. Who wouldn’t have? After what she has put herself through? God knows what her husband must be thinking.

I am sorry, but I have no sympathy for her whatsoever. She brought it all on herself, accidentally or otherwise.

No one in her cabinet seems to support her, not even those close to the idea of leaving the European Union. She is utterly on her own, having set out promising ‘strong and stable’ government that ‘works for everybody’.

And all this is self inflicted, caused by her being so utterly unbending over the past few years. Yet, in her speech, she quoted Sir Nicholas Winton, who told her that compromise was not a dirty word.

I could say more – about how she keeps on endlessly repeating herself; won’t answer anybody’s questions directly; constantly grins in the face of all adversity, so that she seems to have only one fixed expression; always looks completely eyeless, as if she’s sizing people up as being with her or against her – and much more. But I won’t. Most of it has already been said by people more qualified and cleverer than me.

What – or who – comes next is the big question. I can only hope that it isn’t a dogmatist, of any political stripe – left, right or centre – or an ideologue. It looks as if it will be someone who ‘plays well with the voters’. Someone people can ‘relate to’. Which means we may be stuck with Boris Johnson (who’s suspiciously popular with the pink trouser brigade), Angela Leadsom (who probably endears herself to all those women who are mums) or somebody else from the far right.

What a prospect.

Aaaaaaargh!

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