Friday, 13th November, 2020

[Day 242]

Despite the date, on which I shall not comment further, today was another fine, bright day with a clear sky and just a light cooling wind. We collected our newspapers and could not wait to get them home for a prolonged read because they would probably be full of the Dominic Cummings/Lee Cain story which rumbled out into the media spotlight yesterday afternoon. When these events happen, the TV channels are often very good at showing what is happening but when it comes to the explanation of exactly how these events have come to pass, then the traditional print media comes into its own. Few of the general population consulting their iPads and smart phones want to sit down with their phone for a good quarter-of-an-hour’s hard analysis and this is why, in my view, there is no substitute for a quality newspapers and a steaming hot mug of tea.

I decided to make a risotto using kipper fillets as the main ingredient to give some bite. I used to make a risotto week by week but rather abandoned it to cut down on too much rice/carbohydrate in our diet. Since then, I have discovered the packets of cauliflower rice which is very low in calories and hence I make the risotto in my traditional fashion. This involves browning a couple of finely diced onions before adding some chicken stock (cheating by using chicken gravy granules) and then adding a good dollop of plain yogurt nd some grated cheese when I judge the rest of it is cooked. The whole of it only takes about 15-20 minutes and our domestic help (whom I inveigle into trying some of my prepared lunches) which my son declared to be the equivalent of hot cat’s vomit (but then it didn’t taste it) as it was delicious)

Just before lunch, I went down to our medical centre by car after it had phoned me up early this morning to re-arrange a slot I had for later on in the day. Although it is a bit of a palaver going to a medical centre these days (ours holds you at the door and only allows 1-2 people in at any one time), I got in and out and had my routine blood-test within the allotted 15 minutes which means that I escaped a parking fee by a few seconds in my reckoning. From here, I made my way as in the car to a Sainsbury’s Express outlet (which sells only food) in order to take back an article of clothing recently bought for Meg which doesn’t quite fit. As it happened, they refused to take it back, much to my chagrin, which means that we will have to make another longish car journey in order to get a refund for the same.

After a delayed lunch, we settled down to watch the rolling news channel in the afternoon when I learned that Arizona had finally been ‘called’ by the news media for Joe Biden and the Democrats. This news had apparently been posted late on Thursday evening so it wouldn’t have hit the British news media until 5-6 hours later but I suppose our news media had much bigger fish to fry first thing in the morning and that is why I hadn’t heard the news. I did discern, though, that the Republicans were now offering money for any disaffected Trump supporters to come forward with tales of any electoral malfeasance (but what an American court would make of evidence acquired in this way one can only conjecture) I also saw a clip of film of a ballot box being transported with a tweet from Trump suggesting that something illegal was going on – whereas in practice, the filming of the ballot box being removed demonstrated that everything was perfectly legal and conducted according to the correct procedures. The final bit of American news I received was that the USA equivalent of our Electoral Commission had declared the election fairly won and lost.

There is “no evidence” the Nov. 3 election was compromised, committees within the Department of Homeland Security that worked on protecting U.S. voting systems affirmed Thursday. In a statement, they also called the 2020 election the “most secure in American history.”

And now to British political news. It transpires that after the departure of Lee Cain as the would-be Downing Street, then the ‘villain in chief’ i.e. Dominic Cummings, the PM’s most loyal adviser and organiser of the successful ‘Vote Leave‘ campaign, had decided not to wait until the end of the year but to walk immediately. All of the TV images were of the said Dominic Cummings leaving Downing Street by the front door (why not the back foor?) and walking disconsolately down Downing Street with all of his personal possessions in a cardboard box!

To those who may have forgotten, it was due to Cummings Svengali-type influence that Boris Johnson withdrew the whip (i.e. threw out of the Conservative party) such grandees as Kenneth Clark and Philip Hammond (both previous Chancellors of the Exchequer) as well as trying to organise the illegal prorogation of Parliament to get around some of the difficulties associated with Brexit. I doubt that ANY special adviser has ever had so much influence over a British PM as Dominic Cummings raising the question for the body politic of ‘Who (really) runs Britain?’