Wednesday, 10th January, 2024

[Day 1395]

Today would appear to be a ‘lighter’ day than either yesterday or tomorrow. The carers for Meg were scheduled to come around at 8.00am this morning but Meg was quite keen to get up and going so I washed her and dressed her myself, just leaving the carers to do a little bit of finishing off when they arrived. The two who come in the morning are a very cheerful pair and we have a good laugh and a joke with them – they jolly Meg along although she did not need much of it this morning. After they had got Meg into our Music Lounge and made her a cup of tea (the second of the morning), they noticed some of the keyboards (the Casio and the organ) so I played them a snatch of Offenbach’s ‘Barcarolle‘ to demonstrate a little of my (one finger) prowess on the system. I do not really have the time to practice much these days but I do have one or two favourites and I refresh my memory of them every so often. Today being the second Wednesday of the month, it is the day when AgeUK put on a special club day so Meg and I braved the incredibly cold weather to go to a new venue. We have been ousted from the previous one by a Mother and Baby group so today we are meeting for the first time in the Bromsgrove Rugby Club HQ where they have a nice large hall even exceeding in size the village hall we have been accustomed to by now. Today was not a wholly satisfactory experience for Meg and I or for any of us for that matter because one volunteer had to do everything on her own (making the teas and coffees, introducing the activity which did not amount to much as it happened) but in a gathering of 2-3 dozen souls altogether, one really needs about 2-3 volunteers rather than one struggling singlehandedly. We left a little early and then cooked a chicken dinner or ourselves of chicken thighs, broccoli and jacket potato. Meg always professes not be very hungry and always suggests that I serve her a smaller portion but nonetheless she ate it all up and expressed her satifaction with it all.

In the early afternoon, I got Meg down for a rest which I am sure that she needed after braving the colder weather outside this morning. It was fortunate that Meg could take a rest because the dentist who we are due to visit tomorrow has been nagging me to fill in the three online forms which have to be completed before any treatment will be given but has to be done within 24 hours of your treatment day so this all takes a bit of time. I must confess that I ticked nearly all of the boxes unread as nothing has altered since last time and the system records all of your past entries in any case. We are going to have a bit of a rush around tomorrow because we have the shopping to do, then the dentist’s appointments and then a doctor’s appointment, postponed because of Monday’s funeral. People who are recently retired often remark that they do not know how they had the time to go to work and I know how they feel.

Today, Parliament has been dominated by the PM’s announcement of a rapid pardoning and compensation for the sub postmasters in the scandal which is now shaping up as the biggest scandal in Britain’s judicial system. None of the politicans came out of it well from any political party and all of the major parties seem to have believed the corporate lies of the Post Office instead of the heartfelt pleas of 700 sub postmasters. I learned last night of two further developments, each jaw dropping in their particular way. The first of these was the chief archiect of the now infamous ‘Horizon’ system was indicating that he would only give evidence to the official statutory enquiry if he was awarded immunity from prosecution. One cannot bargain with a statutory enquiry (which has the force of law in this case) and if he fails to present himself and to answer questions under oath, then he will almost certainly be found to be in Contempt of Court and then jailed. The other amazing thing that emerged from ‘Newsnight‘ last night was that about one third of subpostmasters was of ethnic minority status and treated appallingly by the Post Office. Some time in the past, someone had drawn up a crude racial classification scheme with terms such ‘Negroid type’ and then sub categories within each into which they tried to classify the ethnic minority postmasters. The Post Office now claims to be horrified that such a thing was done in its name but it surely was. Although there is now massive political pressures on the political elite to ‘do something’ about this scandal, I am not really convinced that passing a new law is the best way forward. There is a massive constitutional principle at stake here as politicans are directly overruling the decisions of the courts. A better solution might be a special panel of retired judges to fast-track all of the appeals within about a week and in this way the integrity and impartiality of the judical system is maintained. But we are living thrpough unprecedented times in all of this.