Monday, 17th April, 2023

[Day 1127]

Monday dawned as rather a dreary and gloomy day. We were promised a little bit of sunshine but none actually materialised and it stayed gloomy and threatening all day. Meg and I were in two minds what to do after we had breakfasted but eventually, we opted for a walk along Bromsgrove High Street which does not sound terribly exciting. We made our way to the cobblers in Bromgrove who install new batteries into watches and even give a warranty with them. We had a couple of watches, one of my son’s and one of my own, which have needed a new battery in for a week or so now so I was pleased to take this opportunity to get this done. Whilst we were on the road, we passed a cosmetics and toiletries shop and popped in for a few supplies. As our watch batteries were going to take a few minutes to fit, we were encouraged to wander up and down the High Street for a few minutes which we did, taking in some of the Bromsgrove generous collection of charity shops en route. This turned out to be quite productive because we managed to buy a couple of skirts for Meg of a plainish design, which are needed because we have no end of flowery tops to go with them. Whilst we were at it, we bought a new shirt for myself of a good make so that has gone into the wash ready to be worn in a day or so. When we eventually got home, we knew that we were due for a bit of a rush round because our chiropodist was arriving at 1.30 so we had some late elevenses and did some vegetable preparation so that the minute our feet were done, we could press on with our lunch. All of this worked out to plan and then we decided, in view of the weather, that there was no way I felt inclined to go mowing this afternoon. So we had a quietish afternoon and I got Meg settled down in our music room where they were playing some soothing Beethoven piano music whilst I got busy doing a little repair job. Then I got Meg to try on her new skirts and worked out what was going to be our evening viewing schedule.

A fascinating court case is due to be heard in Delaware, USA tomorrow- Fox News vs. Dominion Voting Machines might not sound the most exciting of court cases but the implications of this case cannot be overstated for the Trump case. Fox News had claimed that voting machines manufactured by Dominion containd an algorithm that systematically turned votes for Donald Trump into votes for Joe Biden during the last presidential election in 2020. Fox News just say that they were reporting ‘a story’ but Dominion, who are suing for $1.6bn, say they have incriminating emails which show some of the leading, naturally right wing, anchor men knew the story to be false but reported it gleefully anyway. The case should have been heard today but has been delayed for a day, presumably as the lawyers are fighting out over an out-of-court settlement. If the Dominion case is basically proved, then this proves that ‘The Big Lie’ (that Joe Biden actually lost the election and that Donald Trump won it) is itself the big lie. If Fox News were to win the case, then this might actually prove Trump correct and the consequence for his reselection are horrendous. If the lawyers come to an out-of-court settlement, then perhaps we shall never know wherein the truth lies as each side will no doubt ‘spin’ the lawyers conclusions to put themselves in the best light and we shall never know whether Fox News is sanctioned. The case has tremendous implications for the burgeoning right wing media outlets in the US who have repeated Donald Trump’s claims ‘ad nauseam’ One is reminded of Goebbels, Hitler’s propagandist, whose dictum was ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.’

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is himself under investigation by the parliamentary authorities for not being sufficiently frank over his wife’s shareholding in a childcare firm that benefitted from announcements in the recent budget. Before a Select Committee of MPs, Sunak himself said that he had made all of the necessary declarations in the Director of Ministerial Interests (I think it is called) but this has not been published for more than a year now so how are journalists and MPs meant to check whther Sunak was correct or not? Naturally, the Labour Party are crying ‘Tory sleaze’. This may, or may not, be the case but the point is that none of us in a parliamentary democracy will never know unless these directories of ministerial interests are accurate, comprehensive and then published. It is possible that Rishi Sunak is ‘squeaky clean’ but in a couple who are so wealthy and with so many shareholdings in diverse companies, perhaps it might be the case that there are multiple examples of shareholdings that can be shown to profit from government business. Perhaps we have never had a Prime Minister and his wife who are so incredibly wealthy that a case like this has not seen the light of day before.