Tuesday, 8th November, 2022

[Day 967]

Tuesday morning is the day upon which we typically repair to Waitrose and meet with some of our pre-pandemic friends in the coffee bar. Today was no exception and we met with a couple of them and exchanged gossip of the day. We do not spend too long over our coffees as it is my Pilates day so we need to get home and then I change into my track suit bottoms before I walk down into town. Despite the fierce winds and rain that swept across the country in the last few hours, the weather had cleared and we were treated to some blue skies and quite mild weather, so the walk down to my class was not unpleasant. On my way down into town, I just managed to sneak into Poundland and managed to purchase one of those units used to supply power to a mobile low on power – I believe that the generic term for these is a ‘Power Bank’. When I got it home, I set it to work to charge up (although the first charge takes some hours) and am going to use it to power a little portable bluetooth speaker which I had purchased some years ago but had fallen into disuse. Being ‘Bluetooth’ means that I can play some of the 200-odd classical tracks on my old iphone through an audible speaker so this, too, is going to add to my range of music options in the days ahead.

This afternoon, I have been quite enjoying myself as the Labour party are debating a motion of their own choosing which is a motion critical of the appointment of, and actions, of the current Home Secretary, Suella Braverman. The latter had been appointed to the role of Home Secretary by Rishi Sunak six days after she had been sacked by Liz Truss for breaking the Ministerial Code for transmitting government documents using her own private email. Of course, there is a certain amount of posturing by the Labour Party and the Conservative members of the Commons are sustained by the fact that Suella Braverman’s harsh, if not draconian, treatment of asylum seekers meets with the great approval of Conservative Party members. Of course, there is also the issue of Gavin Williamson who is similarly under a shadow, not least for telling a senior civil servant that he should ‘slit his own throat’. One has to ask why Rishi Sunak appointed these two errant ministers to his government in the first place. The short answer is that in the case of Gavin Williamson, he was dependent upon him to (successfully) run his election campaign. The case of Suella Braverman is less transparent but is probably a case of keeping the darling of the Tory right wing in the ERG group more or less on side as he attempts to unite the Tory party, currently riven by many competing factions.

Today is the day of the mid-term American elections, the importance of which is almost impossible to overestimate. The results of the elections will not start to percolate through until the very late evening and probably the wee small hours of the morning. According to reports, though, Donald Trump has been dancing on stage in Ohio, all smiles and clenched fists. Trump has labelled Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, an ‘animal’. This is despite the fact that her husband was recently attacked by an intruder with a hammer inside their home. One has to wonder if there not new lows to which political discourse has fallen in the US and no wonder that all Democrats and some Republicans fear for the future of democracy in that country. But some news emerging through this afternoon is due to the tightness of the election in several states and the varied arrangements, state by state, for both the counting of votes and the possiblities of recounts, the definitive results may not be known for days or even, in extreme cases if the courts get involved, for weeks. Of course, this will only happen if the Republicans are deemed to have narrowly ‘lost’ because if they were to get their noses ahead in various states, there will be no problems of recounts or recourse to the courts.

Some sports news with which to conclude today. The regional news is informing us that ‘Perry’ the huge mechanical bull which was a symbol of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is being ‘weather proofed’ so that he can can go on a permanent display in central Birmingham. Mowever, these games are in credit and are donating used equipment to local sorts clubs. On an international level, the Qatar football world cup is to start in a couple of weeks and I could not be less interested. The whole choice of venue was the result of a corrupt process and tonight an official amabassador to the games has been spouting forth homophobic nonsense that many feared. More positively, the England women rugby team are playing New Zealand in a final on Saturday evening so this will be a match well worth watching – I think it’s going to be shown live on ITV.