Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

[Day 1438]

We got ourselves up, washed and breakfasted although we had only one of the usual pair of carers to cope with Meg this morning. Nonetheless, I and the carer did things OK between us and I do appreciate that the care agency is under some stress at the moment as they have several members of staff out of action. Thursday is generally my shopping day and we another carer that turns up in the morning so that I can shoot off and do some shopping. I decided to go to the bigger Aldi store this morning because I thought this might save me a few minutes but some of the things I normally buy were either not stocked or had run out, which I found a little frustrating. But I managed to get the shopping done and be back inside the house within about 45-50 minutes which is fine. After watching some of the political news, I then set preparing a simple lunch (quiche and a few diced vegetables) but rather unusually, I ate it on my own. Meg felt quite tired at the end of the morning so I set her down on the settee in our Music Lounge together with a weighty blanket and she feel into quite a deep sleep rather than a doze. Rather than wake her up, I decided to let 'sleeping dogs lie' and I concentrated upon some editing work on my laptop. The task I set myself was essentially quite a simple one and involved getting all of my website and domain names in good order. As well as having an alphabetical list, I spent some time creating another but this time sorted by renewal date rather than alphabetically. This sounds a simple enough job and, in theory, all I needed to do was to cut and paste the name and its associated renewal date into a document and take things from there. But the cut-and-paste technique did not work very well on the supplier's website so what should have been essentially quite a simple job finished up with complexities which I did not anticipate. As we suspected, the political airwaves have been filled all day with the consequences of the dramatic scenes in the House of Commons last night. The Speaker of the House of Commons decided last night to allow three amendments to be debated in the Gaza debate with the intention, so he said, of allowing expression across all shades of opinions in the Commons. But had he followed the strict precedents, then the Scottish Nationalist party (whose 'day' is it was) should have been allowed to debate and vote upon their own motion and when this fell, which it undoubtedly would, then the government amendment would be accepted. But this put the Labour Party in an acute dilemma because MP's would either have to vote for the SNP motion (which made reference to 'collective punishment' in Gaza and thereby accused Israel of a war crime) or for the Conservative motion which suggested a 'pause' in the hostilities. Many Labour MP's, mindful of the heightened tension in their home constituencies, might have been tempted to vote for the SNP amendment as the alternatives were pretty dire i.e. to vote against it, to abstain or even to vote for the Tory motion. This would have split the Labour party down the middle but, in effect, the Speaker saved the Labour Party from massive embarrassment. The scenes in the House of Commons last night were dire as first the Scot Nats walked out of the Chamber (as the Speaker was in effect denying a vote on their own amendment) whilst the Tories were equally indignant that a major opportunity to embarrass the Labour party had been denied to them. Today, there have been discussions and recriminations all day long and the position of the Speaker is looking extremely tenuous. But there is quite a consensus view building throughout the day that we have seen quite a lot of low politics, masquerading as principle. Practically every party has a vested interest in the shenanigans in the Commons last night and at the end of the day it is a very sad conclusion that the reputation of the UK as the Mother of Parliaments is now sadly tarnished and the UK's influence upon global politics which is never great these days has diminshed almost to the vanishing point. I must say that now that the weekend is practically upon us, we can look forward to another round in the Six Nations rugby competition. It has now been a fortnight since the first matches took place and I have always imagined that the rugby authorities put in a two week pause at this point so that battered bodies have a chance to recover. The scene was stolen a fortnight ago not by any players but by a young Irish eight-year old singer who belted out the National Anthem with much gusto and self confidence. I am not sure how this young lad made it to the top of the pile but I was quite looking forward to seeing a repeat performance. Having said that, he probably only sung as Ireland were playing at home. It never ceases to amaze me how tuneless rugby players happen to be when it comes to their singing of the national anthem but I would except the Welsh from this stricture where the players always sing their hearts out.