This reflective piece comes from stalwart campaigner Don Adamson on the occasion of his move from Kent to Yorkshire. I am proud to know Don.
We rose at 8 bells in the Middle Watch, which is 0400 for landlubbers. The moving men said they would arrive at 0500 and be gone by 0600. In fact they arrived at 0530 but were gone by 0600 so it balanced out. We then spent a long and dull day waiting for word to come thought that legal and financial matters had been completed satisfactorily. This was tiresome since there was so much to do at the Bradford end. Eventually we got the phone call that all had been satisfactorily completed and we could go.
We stayed the night at a motel in Newark. In our younger days we might have made the journey in one stage. Besides June’s knee was giving trouble so I had to do all the driving. The M62 is a pain in the neck. Rush hour traffic is heavy and there are navigational problems that our Satnav struggles to overcome. Before very long we will be familiar with it to the point of boredom but right now the M62 is the Bermuda Triangle of motorways.
June had gone to a lot of trouble marking the packing cases to indicate in which room in the new house each package should be placed. They could have got it more right than they actually did. Since then we have been unpacking. I am a great believer that slow is steady and that steady is fast. June has been planning this for three years. The Pandemic was a major complicating factor. With every day the house looks more like a well organised home. My role in this has been heavy lifting while June got things organised.
A few weeks ago we took the car for the annual Ministry of Transport roadworthiness test. The mechanics could only find one thing wrong with it: the tyres were showing signs of wear, no immediate action was necessary but the tyres would need to be replaced before winter. We decided to leave that for when we got to Yorkshire. Somewhere on the journey we got a nail in the rear offside tyre. We got the spare tyre fitted and, at the first opportunity, we had the worn tyres replaced. It could have been worse. If we had immediately changed the tyres we would have collected a nail in a brand-new tyre. What is interesting is that we had four standard tyres on the road but the spare was an emergency tyre that was all right for emergency use but not standard use. We had that tyre put back in the boot of the car as soon as we got the 4 new tyres. The mechanics reported that our brakes were showing signs of wear and advised us to be careful. I find it odd that that worn brakes were not mentioned by the mechanics that did the MOT check.
Next door to the tyre place where we got the new tyres fitted there is an “Adult Store.” I suspect that “Immature Store” would be more appropriate. The window displays were full of degenerate underwear for dubious ladies.
William is delighted to have two more willing slaves. The house is fairly new, barely 20 years old. It is on a hill and a bend and that makes reversing into the drive a pain.
William’s school has broken up for the summer holidays. He and I went to Knowles Park where the local council laid on events for children. This being Yorkshire cricket was a favourite and I was amused to see little girls batting balls all over the park. There was synchronised disco dancing in which William took no interest. There was a bouncy castle, a rock face that youngsters could climb so long as they wore safety harness. William and his friends had a wonderful time. I just wish I could spend more time with all my grandchildren.
Brexit has failed and has been seen to fail. Every day produces more evidence that Brexit is slowly throttling the economy. That can only get worse. Starmer talks loftily about “making Brexit work” but he does not say how he will do that. That is just as delusional as anything Johnson said. Starmer has nailed his colours to the mast of a sinking ship. Whoever becomes PM, either as a result of this idiotic Tory selection process or in the General Election in 2024 will preside over failure and fiasco.
This week’s quotes: “Britain is in a dangerous state … it is poorer than it imagines … it could stumble into a crisis … with Johnson’s departure politics must become anchored to reality … Tories are ill prepared to fix the damage … whoever succeeds Johnson will inherit a monstrous in tray … a deeper question: is the Tory Party still capable of governing … the exhaustion may be too deep and the rifts too many for the party to recover … It will take years to get clean … a list of parliamentary scandals reads like a concupiscent ‘Cluedo’ … more details will only deepen the mystery … In the Corporate world good employees will quickly leave for other firms, consumers will boycott tarnished brands. Neither force operates in Westminster … Theresa May reinstated two sexual predators to win a vote … nobody’s reputation could survive contact with Johnson … That Johnson is a serial liar and lacks the self discipline to apply himself was well known … the extent to which Johnson has poisoned the reputations of those he works with is less appreciated … consider some of the people tarnished by exposure to Johnson … politicians sent out to defend Johnson’s integrity only to find their own impugned … at best such politicians look like idiots … reputations for honesty and competence were irradiated by Johnson … Steve Barclay was feted as a fearsomely efficient manager … a few weeks with Johnson and he had as much grip as a tea tray on a ski jump .. a parade of people with distinguished reputations were infected … Simon Case was meant to be the brightest and best civil servant of his generation … now he is just a guy who partied with Johnson … Johnson’s misconduct and tolerance of it in others leached straight into body politic … Johnson is not the cause of all that ails Britain … his flaws tarnished good people … they poisoned the government and the country…
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This week’s quotes “Tory brought a major realignment of economic relations without considering the strategic implications … Brexit saw the exacerbation of foreign policy errors; particularly not listening to expertise that does not align with ideologically dominant views …. genuine experts were ignored and individuals with no experience were elevated to positions of high influence … two emerging themes of US Foreign Policy; neither of them valuing the “special relationship” with the UK as in the Blair era … Britain needs to forget the extreme ideology of Brexit … Johnson will go down in history as the most dishonest, most corrupt, most incompetent, most disgraced PM of all time … they think Brexit is going badly because it is not radical enough; all the evidence points to the opposite … but that is what they want and that is what candidates for Tory leadership will give them … the idea that the fall of Johnson will lead to a better Brexit is for the fairies … little to do with economics … just another Brexit fantasy … reckless… government excuses are ridiculous … we need certainly and a blind man on a galloping horse can see that we do not have it … government’s claim is rubbish … Government signed the Northern Ireland agreement knowing what it meant and wants to rewrite for political reasons … Government is breaking international law, damaging the country’s reputation and opening itself up to action by the EU; which is not going to sit idly by … government is walking into a sea of troubles … it is almost as if the EU did not trust UK government to keep its word or think the PM’s signature was worth anything … it is the hardest of Brexits. The one the ERG dreams of but which strikes fear into every sensible economist, politician, firm and business in the UK … UK is rapidly approaching a recession which is expected to make it the worst performing economy in the G20, except Russia, this is economic lunacy … this is the policy that will win the Tory leadership … If you think getting rid of this PM would make Brexit better, wait till you see the next one … every serious economist is aghast … government budgets face a painful crunch. Tory leadership hopefuls seem oblivious … none of the candidates has given a credible account of how they will finance their giveaways … this is an especially bad time to be increasing government giveaways … Tory claim is based on a tentative official forecast of the economic outlook. To erect your fiscal policy on it is reckless … expect a final attempt to heave some benefits of Brexit … turning the role of the PM into a rotted presidency … MPs do not have a monopoly on wisdom; they often lack it … party leader can have the support of only a minority of the party and still be PM …
Labour activists thrust Jeremy Corbyn on an unwilling Party twice; misery ensued … there is no point in backing somebody good if you know they will be beaten by inept rivals … it is not right that members of Richmond’s local Tory Party decide who gets handed the nuclear codes … a dereliction of duty by MPs … a recipe for constitutional stress … competing mandates poison the British constitution … Brexit turned into a mess … number of people ill enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is sharply on the rise … PPE, ventilation and filtration equipment … unable to stop transmissions … NHS and Care Staff are contraction Covid (again) leading to severe shortages and increasing their risks of long Covid … Omicron is far from harmless … currently 6.5M people are waiting for NHS treatment and an estimated 117,000 died while on a waiting list last year … NHS clearly needs more capacity and staff and less Covid … no honest or sensible person would count these as new hospitals … the pledge was bo****s from the start … government seems unlikely to give it much thought … SureScreen diagnostics was big hope for ending UK dependence on China for lateral flow tests … a turnover of £7.8M became £151M thanks to government deal … accounts show an unusual level of financial disarray … lack of documentary evidence … major winner for testing contracts was Randox Laboratories … made a jackpot … much of the bunce has headed offshore … Tory donor Lord Ashcroft has had a bountiful pandemic … both from Government Covid contracts and poor government policies post pandemic … Impellam did well from government mismanagement … bad news for the nation but good news for Lord Ashcroft … donated another £50,000 to the Tory Party in February … abroad and at home Johnson stands revealed as failed, petulant, shabby and arrogantly heedless of the defeat to which he is taking his party … ‘look on my works, ye mighty, and despair’ … Starmer, who happily served in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet) came over censorious about ministers who served a leader who was unfit for office … Cabinet was a ‘Z-list of nodding dogs’ … David Davis rubbished Johnson’s integrity … period 2004 to 2019 was the weakest for growth of GDP since 1919-1934, and that was before the shocks of Brexit and the pandemic … Brexit throws an awful lot of sand in the gears … until Tories stop using Brexit as a test of political purity, its economic costs will grow … ‘Charismatic Mr Johnson’ … charisma used to be understood as an exceedingly rare characteristic of leadership .
If the word can be applied to Johnson then it has truly lost all meaning … Johnson might be a good case study of failed leadership but not of charisma … Britain’s political climate is another problem … scale matters … A standoff between Britain and Brussels over Northern Ireland has jeopardised Britain’s involvement in the world’s largest research and development programme … Britain’s stock market has accounted for less than 1% of the capital raised this year … largest firms in London have been dwarfed by those choosing New York or Hong Kong … Liz Truss was raised by nuclear disarmament activists … she turned right at university … her critics see in her a bizarre tribute act to the Tory party’s most deified figure (Thatcher) … these tepid reactions bode ill for party unity. The contest is bitter and personal. Whoever wind, their share will be the lowest of anyone since Ian Duncan Snot in 2001 … Johnson is an accomplished storyteller who could disguise the holes in his agenda. Neither of the candidates to replace him is as skilled … John Stuart Mill once labelled the Conservatives ‘the stupid party’ … when asked to explain why he support Sunak one Tory grandee highlights Sunak’s tendency to read policy briefings … sounds like praising somebody for putting their trousers before leaving the house. But it would be an improvement on the current occupant of Downing St … stupid policies are needed to win the support of the stupid party … with the Tories wandering towards defeat the soundest, cleverest politician would struggle … With her plans to ramp up borrowing to pay for £300B in tax cuts – supported only by “an economist,” Patrick Minford who said Brexit would improve the nation’s finances to the tune of £135B per year Liz Truss shows a conveniently flexible view … surely she understands that being voted Tory leader by 0.3% of the population and being advised by one of the more swivel eyed economists does not give her a mandate to tear up economic principles … Rishi Sunak cited Brexit as giving opportunities on the necessary scale … he cited Teesside Freeport … ‘that is the type of radical thing we can do’ … er, not quite General Electric had pulled the plug on plans for a wind turbine plant … Sunak might want to check if everybody is as fired up as he is by his answer to Britain’s economic woes as he is … Huge fire in London – source discovered (a pair of Johnson’s pants) … a joint editorial by British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal argues that living without Covid preventative measures other than vaccines is killing the National Health Service … a George Cross will not compensate for this … without sufficient clinical and care staff in good health there will soon be no viable NHS or social care system … at no time in the last 50 years has the NHS been so close to ceasing to function effectively … even if measures had been introduced a year ago the NHS would still be in crisis. It was clinging on by its fingertips before the pandemic, after a decade of austerity … because of staff shortages many work so hard they do not get regular food and drink breaks. Many have got badly dehydrated and suffered urinary tract infections during the pandemic … ‘we were so overloaded I did not realise that one of my patients was one of our nurses until she died. I was devastated. … Frontline staff are usually the first to notice serious problems, too often their concerns are ignored or they are vilified for raising them … staff are under huge stress and are unable to deliver high quality care … ambulance trusts have been doctoring their data to cover up failure and avoidable deaths …
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