Well, what a waste of a week. I mentioned last time, when writing about our cruise, that I had Covid and the Prime Minister had just resigned? Well, that was Thursday 20 October. It is now Wednesday again and the days in between have just disappeared in a haze of fever and unbelievable political mayhem – half the time I didn’t know if I was asleep having nightmares, or awake. Today I feel better although I am still testing positive. Yesterday, Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister – for now. Some of the tattered and worn old Tory things like Gove and Raab – and OMG do I read right even Gavin Williamson – have been recycled off the wardrobe floor and hung over the back of the cabinet room chairs. The vile Rees Mogg has gone, but there’s still a garish, scratchy and unwearable neo-Fascist nasty in place – Suella Braverman. Now look, I’m starting with this picture to make an interesting change. It is the partial eclipse of the sun, taken yesterday on a brief windy outing to the Country Park.
You can see the sun kindly stayed partially behind the clouds, so we could see it and photograph it without going blind. The weather has been very mild but very stormy – I’ll put more pictures to brighten up this rather gloomy post as I go along. This one is of our outing the day before – down to Rock-A-Nore. We are so lucky to have the sea.
Well, Covid was no joke. It was pretty much like having quite bad flu. I started with a sore throat and runny nose, then started coughing, then developed fever. Stayed in bed, wiped out, pretty much all Friday and Saturday – would you believe we should have gone to Glyndebourne on Saturday, to see The Marriage of Figaro with friends Peter and Jenny. We gave our tickets away to Mike from the Conquest Friends and his wife Sorrell. We were both mightily fed-up because this would have been our first visit since the pandemic. For the hypochondriac catastrophiser Battleaxe, (wow look at those big words – I can’t have brain fog at least) Covid feels worse than flu because of worry that I would suddenly find myself unable to breathe or collapse with a stroke or something… and then not be able to get an ambulance cos there aren’t any and then A & E would be full etc etc…. But none of those things happened. My temperature is now normal, although I still feel a bit tired and bunged-up. But I could still get Long Covid – oh shut up… Philosopher has so far escaped infection – he has already had it once – but he has got debilitatingly angry and downcast about the state of the nation.
Life is also currently hard for our next door neighbours Angela and John. She just had a hip replacement operation while we were away, and John is not well either. I went round there when we got back on Tuesday to promise help and support – but huh, fat chance – I was already getting Covid. Angela’s daughter Jacquie was also there and I was afraid I’d infected them both, but seemingly not so, thank goodness.
All sounds great, doesn’t it?
I don’t know how often I’ve written in this blog that the political situation couldn’t get any worse, but it seems to, over and over again. The country is falling apart. People will starve and freeze this winter. I have signed what feels like countless petitions around Calling a General Election NOW but of course it achieves nothing. This lot could struggle on for another two and a bit years!
Just to summarise what’s been happening – while we were away Truss sacked the impossibly useless Kwarteng and rummaged out another Chancellor from the dirty clothes bag – Jeremy Hunt, who promptly overturned Truss’s tax cuts and reduced her precious promised energy price cap thing. The markets rallied a bit, but then this time last week Braverman resigned and Tory MPs got into some sort of fracking fracas in the voting lobbies. Truss rummaged once again and pulled out a slightly soiled Grant Shapps to replace Braverman. This was obviously going nowhere so she resigns. They announce a greatly shortened leadership contest. Sunak was favourite with Mordaunt hanging about in the wings but then blow me who should appear but Boris Johnson. He obviously scented the rotten whiff of power and an opportunity to make himself the centre of attention once again, so he dragged himself onto a plane from a holiday in Dominica, Next, would you believe, numbers of craven, clueless Tory MPs actually support the loathsome, bloated lard-sack. Had they lost their minds and memories? But by Sunday night Johnson had thrown in the towel and totally f****d over his hapless toadies, saying of course he had the necessary support but ‘now was not the right time’. Hah. Any fool know that he had’nt actually got enough supporters, and decided that the job looked far too disagreeable and like hard work. So, then Mordaunt gets nowhere, and now we have Sunak… a shifty little man who is apparently wealthier than the King… Why does he wear his trousers so short round his ankles? But at least he can do his sums – we hope.
Agrh. Time for another picture – look at that wave…
So, back to Sunak. I’m not someone who believes that someone who is wealthy necessarily can’t understand the problems of the poor. I’ve been a bit in that situation before – no, sillies, not being wealthy, but when I worked with problem drinkers I often got asked how I could do the job when I had never had a drink problem myself. Well, I could. It is about being able to empathise and being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Funny that, I didn’t discover the sorry truth until very late on in my career that there are perfectly ordinary people who are actually incapable of putting themselves in other’s shoes… I’d say to housing folk: ‘Can you understand how your tenants must feel when you do such-and-such?’ They’d gawp at me blankly. Do they have no imagination, no interest or what?
Anyway, I have no idea about Rishi’s capacity for empathy, but in his case I do find it hard to imagine how someone as incredibly, immensely wealthy as him can truly understand the issues faced by a family living in a dilapidated tower block in Cumbernauld… or a small business person in Hastings trying to keep themselves afloat… or a chronically ill pensioner in Penzance. He couldn’t go and find out first hand without getting dreadul stick, and I guess when you are Prime Minister it is hard to find people who will tell you the truth who aren’t arse-licking sycophants. Anyhow, maybe he doesn’t want the truth. I dunno.
Ah well, what next, we ask ourselves…. Storm clouds ahead.