Wednesday, 29th September, 2021

[Day 562]

Today proved to be an interesting day. We knew that our routine was going to be a little bit knocked out of the ordinary because I had a ‘webinar’ organised by the Worcestershire Association of Carers from 10-12 around the theme of financial support packages. As I suspected, none of the issues that were raised in the webinar were at at relevant to Meg and myself so I spent a couple of hours sitting in front of a screen that was to all purposes completely ‘dead time’ But the facilitators had tried to fulfill their brief fully and the technology worked for all of us. The only thing that I did learn was that the Citzen’s Advice Bureau were in breach of their contract with various local authorities because they were no longer offering face-to-face contact or support which the contract (and I suppose the monies that flowed from it) specified. Hence there had been lot of argument going behind the scenes.

After the seminar was over, I walked into town on my own because I had some business on the High Street. I went to the branch office of my bank in order to bank a cheque (rare these days – but the refund from my ex fuel-supplier which was rapidly issued) I then toured one or two of the charity shops in search of a cheap belt. I need this so that I can adapt to act as a ‘tie’ between the two straps of my rucksack which have an unfortunate tendency to slip off my shoulders – this should alleviate this problem and it means that I have an arm free so that Meg can link onto me which should help to prevent any trips or falls to which Meg is now prone. I acquired a belt and also a ‘pooch’s dog collar’ from Poundland so I shall have to see which one these these proves to be the most serviceable under the cirumstances. On my way home, one of our Kidderminster Road friends spotted me and offered me a lift home. Normally, I would have refused this, preferring to walk for the sake of the exercise but in a moment of weakness I gratefully accepted the offer of a lift as I was running a bit late anyway. After we had had a spot of lunch and as it was a really fine (but cold) afternoon, Meg and I made a little trip to the park to get in a little bit of our daily exercise. Rather than coffee, we consumed a bottle of iced peach tea which I just happen to have left over from some entertaining or other. As we were now so late in the day, the population of the park had completely changed its character and according we bumped into none of the friends and acquaintances that we might have expected if our trip had been earlier on in the day.

Today we see the continuation of the coverage of the Labour Party Confrence (to be followed by the Conservative conference in a week or so) As you might expect, the Labour Party conference is rather a fractious affair which the press (and the BBC) are always eager to exploit. Personally, I do not find the Labour party conference particularly interesting as one has grown to expect a lack of consensus in a party of the left. However, it does look as though the left wing of the Labour party has been well and truly ‘put in its box’ and they have been completely out-manouvred by Keir Starmer and his immediate followers. So we are having lots of anguished cries from the left as they enter their death throes and perhaps a realisation that they will never dominate the party again as they did in the Corbyn era. The feature of the party conferences are that they are alway driven by the extremes as the activists and the delegates are always way to the left of the parliamentary party (the MPs) in the case of the Labour party and well to the right of the parliamentary party in the case of the Conservatives. I personally find the Conservative party conferences much more fascinating affairs. This is because they are generally the party of government and therefore the spokesman are generally ministers. It is said that many MPs and particularly ministers really fear the party conference because they have to make the most blood-curdling threats (meaningless of course) to find favour with the delegates. To do otherwise, means that it does not look as though they are in touch with their grassroots and therefore they may be liable to demotion or dismissal at the next reshuffle. At the last Conservative party conference (two years ago), it was the Brexiteers who were creating all of the running but now that Boris Johnson has an 80 seat majority and all of the Remainers in the last government were sidelined, dismissed or even thrown out of the party so the modern Tory party is an almost completely Brexit party.