Sunday, 7th May 2023

[Day 1147]

So today is ‘post Coronation day’ and the weather is said by the weather forecasters to be the finest of the weekend. We have come to expect wet Bank Holidays (which is tomorrow) and, of course, yesterday as Coronation Day was a rainy day but we are hopeful this afternoon which is the day of our communal garden party, the weather will be better. Meg and I got up and breakfasted in front of the Lorna Kuennsberg Politics show held from 9-10 on Sunday mornings. Evidently there were two big events for discussion one of which was the Coronation yesterday and one of which was the dramatically poor local election results for the Tory party but within the one hour allocated, there was not really enough time to have either enormous topic discussed adequately. About the one definite new bit of information to come from Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, was a commitment never to prop up what is seen as a failing conservative administration after any General Election held within about 18 months or so from now. A similar commitment was not forthcoming with respect to the Labour Party which means that the Liberal Democrats may give tacit support to a minority Labour administration on a so called ‘Confidence and Supply’ basis. The Labour and the Liberal parties have been here before because we had what was known in the 1970’s as ‘Lib-Lab’ Pact. In this arrangement, the Liberal party did not oppose policies or legislation which were broadly consistent with their own whilst some matters were ones in which the Liberals would definitely vote with the Conservatives. The grey areas in between were to be thrashed out in an Consultative Committee. There are some commentators who have argued that in constitutional terms this worked out quite well and gave the UK a period of stable government and ‘sensible’ policies and legislation. If this has happened once before within recent political memory, there is no reason why it should not work again. Meg and I made our Sunday morning pilgrimage to Waitrose where we met with our University of Birmingham friend and for some of the time we were discussing some practical arrangments where the three of us and another friend could meet up for a lunch time or afternoon repast. After consulting with some of the Waitrose staff, we may avail ourselves of their party platter service where everything is ordered over the internet and Waitrose do the rest.

Meg and I had a light lunch of mussels in a tomato and garlic sauce because we suspected that we were were going to party all afternoon. We got a quick telephone call from our Italian friend down the road who was suffering from some sinus problems and was unsure whether she could make the party or not. So Meg and I walked slowly down the road where we discovered that our friends had already organised a long line of three long trestle type tables all decked out and ready to sit down and socialise. We started drinking our supplies (in our case, Newcastle Brown and some Prosecco) before the grub started to flow- sandwiches, samosas, quiche tartlets and similar party food. This was followed up by scones wih cream and jam,trifle, fresh strawberries and cream followed by some hot beverages. We even found time to toast the new King (and the party organisers) with some fizz at the end of the afternoon. Then we were given a lift home by our friends (Meg was feeling a little tired by this stage) but we had had about four hours of wonderful partifying and lots of chats amongst the 16+ of us present. Half way through the afternoon, our Italian friend (known to nearly all of us) turned up having felt a smidgeon less poorly so we were all pleased to see her and this occasioned even more chats and drinks.

This evening is going to be the large Coronation Concert to be held at Windsor and this is promised to be a real ‘potpouri’ of musical offerings. We know that we are going to have some ballet, Andrea Bocelli, Bryn Terfel and perhaps a surprise appearance of Winnie the Pooh/Paddington as well as lots of ‘popular beat combo’ stars (in the immortal words of Spike Milligan). This goes on most of the evening so may be ‘wallpaper type’ TV in which can doze through some bits and wake up for others.

Evidently, normal politics is suspended for the day. Nonetheless, there is some concern that the police may well have over-reacted in their stated intention to keep yesterday’s Coronation demonstration free. For example, it has been revealed that one of the leading lights of the Republican party was arrested before he could even start to reveal the ‘Not My King’ lettering on his tee-shirt and was then held away from the processions for about 16 hours. There are some who are arguing that the right of Britons to protest peacefully has just been removed (or severely abrogated) so what will the Courts make of all of this if it ever come to Court (which I doubt in some cases) There is always the possibility of suing the Police for unlawful arrest and/or detention but I am not sure what the legal precedents are in this case.