Category Archives: Uncategorized

And they’re still there!

It doesn’t seem to matter what they do, the Conservatives are still in power.

Only today Gavin Williamson is reported as being “sorry” for all the mistakes that his Government department has made that have led to thousands of young people being left with an uncertain future.

It beggars belief that he has not resigned immediately. In fact, it goes further than that. His department’s failure in this matter requires his removal. But he won’t go, because he’s a Johnson man.

And that is the root of the problem. They all seem to be Johnson men. Or Johnson women.

I guess we won’t see the back of them until he either loses the Conservative leadership or we have an election that puts them all – the lot of them – out on their ears.

Maybe then we’ll have a Government that listens to ordinary people who want to see the UK returned to being a country fit for everyone, not just the well-off.

Where now?

Last time I blogged it was in response to the Government’s ridiculous assertion that it will be “all over by Christmas”.

What on earth did they mean, and had no one responsible in Government thought that many would think that, like the First World War, our collective privations from Covid-19 would be “all over by Christmas”?

What bunk! And some foolish people believed it. They still flock to the beaches in the sunshine, often leaving their litter behind them.

Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is reporting that the British economy is facing the worst recession of any G7 country since records began. According to the ONS, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a favoured economic benchmark, has fallen by more than 20% during the most recent quarter and looks like it’s still falling.

What then for the unemployed?

Where this is all headed beggars belief. We were the slowest out of the blocks to respond to the global pandemic and now we seem to be the most tardy in our response.

One can’t blame the Prime Minister, although all this has happened under the Conservatives and his leadership. The Cabinet must take collective responsibility. There are those among them who, despite Boris Johnson’s bluster and his gung-ho attitude, must have seen all this was coming.

It will not be “all over by Christmas”.

What will the Government say next?

A few days ago the Government of the UK introduced a new slogan, or at least a new[ish] catch-phrase: It’ll all be over by Christmas.

How many times have we heard that before? It’s been repeated endlessly as we have been remembering the outbreak of WW1. People believed then – as many of the country’s men marched off to be slaughtered – that it would all be over by Christmas. But war went on for four or five more years, with a dreadful loss of life on both sides, and uncertain consequences.

Now were are in much the same boat, with the present-day ‘donkeys’ in Whitehall, led by a man who looks at best like a clown or a buffoon, telling us that it will all be over soon, and the rest of us seeing no end at all to the encroachment of coronavirus on the lives we used to lead.

Does no one in Downing Street learn anything at all from (recent) history? You’d think that someone alive or at least thinking could remember that it really would be ‘all over by Christmas’. But not a bit of it. It’s as if all sloganeering – or memory of a catchphrase – had been forgotten by the authorities.

It’s enough to lead one to despair. The Government is already disgraced throughout much of the Western World for its tardiness in handling the pandemic. This latest piece of self-delusion ought to be enough to tip them into a pit marked “Total Uselessness”.

But it won’t. Rather like Donald Trump, Boris Johnson is determined to hang onto power for so long as he can, and will say anything to hold onto things as they are, so long as they keep him in office. The only difference being that it’s quite a while before the next Parliamentary election. Although we may see a leadership contest before then.

We should to be glad of that. Anyone would be better than Boris and his blustering manner with its dreadful slogans and catch-phrases..

It’s still with us

It seems it won’t go away. But, like everything else, this too must pass.

The question is: when.

I’m sure you’re as fed up with it all as I am. Stuck indoors (because of my age group) except for very short walks or time spent in the garden.

The people I feel sorry for are all those many in high-rise blocks with small families; no access to the outdoors for any of them, expect via a flight of stairs or a lift, if they’re lucky. No wonder people keep on likening it to being in prison. It must be very like that.

But it will pass; we just have to be patient and read as many books as we can, when we’re not watching old films on television, or trying to finish the multi-piece jigsaw puzzle (hard) that we started ages ago.

 

So, it’s going away

The outbreak of coronavirus is on the wane in the UK, or so we are told by our government.

But what is it, really? For me, it’s like a mist that’s been slowly drifting across the country. Sometimes you can see it clearly, creeping up on you; at others it’s almost invisible it’s so thin on the ground. And its appearance changes where you are. It’s not so  easy to see it in prosperous well-off areas, and easy to see in already economically hard-hit places like the Midlands, the North West and North East of England – though it looks as if it reached near-epidemic proportions in the London area, perhaps because of the high density of the younger population and the number of vulnerable elderly people living there.

But here in Devon, where most people seem elderly, it can hardly be made out; especially when – like me – you’re in that age-group that’s been told to stay at home. I have rarely been out – other than to sit in the garden with my beloved wife – since sometime in March. That’s a long time! So much so, I hardly know what Budleigh Salterton and the surrounding area actually look like. Oh, we’ve been out once – on one of our fine days – but only for a short drive to the Bicton Park area, with my wife doing the driving. And that’s it.

Still, I’ve read a number of books, and been able to get on with my Open University history course and learned quite a lot. So, it can’t be all bad.

But I do wish it would go away!

What if …

Big BenWhat if the British Government was competent enough to, and capable of, managing the economy and bringing an end to austerity?

What if the same government was capable to negotiating a smooth transition from European Union membership to political and economic independence from the EU?

What if the same government could manage the NHS and its care services without thinking that ‘NHS’ was just a set of letters and instead realising that it means ‘National Health Service’?

What if the same government could solve what is often called the ‘housing crisis’ and give young people a degree of independence  and a chance living away from their parents and grandparents?

What if the same government could do something about Britain’s infrastructure and fix the potholes in all the roads?

What if the same government knew about life outside the ‘Westminster village’?

What if the same British government could find a way of operating without fighting itself?

Fat chance.

 

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They’re all at now

What is it with this government?

As well as seeming to be unfit to manage Britain’s exit from the European Union, they don’t seem to be able to control things in the House of Commons.

Admittedly, the place has too many bars, too many darkened corridors and too many opportunities for indiscretions. But the recent spate of stories of members propositioning young people of both sexes is little short of unreasonable, even disgraceful.

I say ‘unreasonable’ because most people expect their MPs to be above such things. It’s unreasonable to expect them all to be paragons of virtue (there are, after all, plenty of opportunities for un-virtuous behaviour) and they can’t all be whiter than white. Moreover, it’s true that such infidelities have been going on for years. So what’s new?

MPs are supposed to be sensible people. To judge by the current headlines, that’s something that should be on a wish list.

He’s at it again

It’s hard to believe, but last week he put his foot in his mouth again.

For one who supposedly wants to be leader of his party, George Osborne is making a pretty poor go of it. And it gets worse and worse.

His Budget last week was, in itself, a bit of a mishmash of old ideas muddled with new thinking. He had trailed some of it already. Not much of it came as a surprise. He continued to favour the better-off in British society and failed to help those less able to help themselves.

As result, the present Cabinet has lost one member – Ian Duncan-Smith, for whatever reason – and may lose more before his Master, it’s chair, David Cameron, decides enough is enough and retreats to whatever ‘retirement’ he choses.

Meanwhile, George seems to think that all he has to do is grin and we’ll like him.

Personally, I’ve always been a little circumspect about people who grin too much. They seem to be hiding something else behind the façade of friendliness.

Sometimes it’s no more than politesse. At others it’s malice; it could be idiocy.

In George’s case, it seems to be a combination of the last two. He looks like a malicious idiot.

And he did it it again last week.

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