Thursday, 30th May, 2024

[Day 1536]

Today being a Thursday, we put out our green bins (paper) and brown bins (garden waste) last night for collection very early on Thursday morning. I was delighted whilst I was getting the bins out to remove several large growing but easily removable weeds from the kerb verges to our roadways which were rapidly becoming an eyesore. I did most of the job whilst the bins were being put out and, fortunately, Meg seemed to fall asleep fairly readily last night which gave me a further opportunity to pop outside the to finish off the job. I have to seize my moments to do this if Meg is not having a nap but it was a source of some satisfaction to get this little job done. This morning was one when a care agency sitter comes round to sit with Meg giving me some space to shoot off and do my shopping. This all went to plan and I was delighted to see that my little Aldi store was stocking some single size duvets which is exactly what I felt I had in mind to have as a bed covering under my newly revised sleeping arrangements. I did feel, though, that I had better not use the duvet straight away tempted as I was so I got onto Amazon and ordered a couple of single duvet covers (one to be used, another for the wash) which all being well should arrive tomorrow. So this might mean that after tonight, I do not have to endure waking up in the middle of the night with blankets on the floor. The fairly young carer detailed to sit with Meg is a pleasant Psychology graduate with a very easy and engaging personality so once I got back from my shopping, she was a source of great assistance in getting my shopping unpacked and put away. Before she left, the District nurse called around and had a look at the dressing on Meg’s leg. After a combined effort, we eventually got the wound dressing removed and we were both delighted that the small blister type wound on Meg’s leg had completely healed and no further dressings were required. This was good news and the nurse gave me a telephone number so that I could contact the nurses directly instead of a web-based form going to the surgery which was very useful to have. I prepared one of those types of lunches where I cook together some onions, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and cubed meat remains supplemented by some diced apple, sultanas and a spoonful of demarara sugar served on a microwaved rice and with a topping of yogurt. Sometimes I add some curry powder to the mixture but I neglected to do this today as the mixture I had prepared was quite tasty enough as it was.

Yesterday, Meg and I actually watched some enthralling daytime TV which was the examination of another witness in the Post Office scandal public enquiry. The live stream today was examining a Post Office employee who had responsibility and oversight of Post Office branches and seemed to be the nearest thing to a ‘smoking gun’ of damning evidence that we have seen in the live streams so far. In the case of presumed malfeasance, this senior manager prepared an audit report which contained within it a collection of items in a ‘tick box’ detailing some failings which might have been discovered e.g. the safe being left unlocked, travellers cheques not properly stored and so on. When a postmaster was suspended, this took place very quickly and the full audit was often completed at a later date. But this audit report noted that one of the accused postmasters had detailed the observation that the postmaster himself expressed delight at seeing an auditor and indicated that he had been in contact with help desks and other agencies to help to resolve some balancing issues. The senior manager then had to complete a witness statement which was presented as Post Office evidence to the High Court when the sub postmaster came to trial. The witness statement, though, actually contained the complete checklist of presumed malfeasance as though every item had been ticked (although in practice none of them were) as was a largely a cut-and-paste copy of the audit report. The upshot of all of this was that information helpful to the defence of the sub postmaster (delight in seeing the auditors) was left out of the witness statement whereas the complete list of presumed deficiencies actually was included. In other words, the High Court had been presented with evidence by the Post Office which was either demonstrably untrue or severely lacking in evidence that might exonerate the sub postmaster. It is no wonder that a conviction followed in the face of this evidence which must have constituted a perjury. The senior manager when subjected to detailed questioning by the KC for the Enquiry and asked to explain the discrepancies could only lamely say that she could not remember why there should be this discrepancy. When the Counsel for the enquiry asked the witness if she had felt under pressure from the Post Office to produce a witness statement in any particular way, she replied that she had not felt any pressure from which one can only draw the inference that the decision to produce the witness statement in the form that it took was her responsibility alone and this must therefore be considered as an outright perjury. Whether this Post Office manager will ever be charged will be a long way down the line as the Enquiry needs to complete and then to report before the police can consider whether any individuals should be prosecuted. All of the omens from similar cases when it is shown that persons have been convicted on the evidence of clear perjury (Hillsborough, Miners dispute) is that such individuals never get prosecuted despite their perjury and I would expect that exactly the same would happen in this case.

The Labour Party is busy shooting itself in the foot as I write as the leader seems desperate to avoid Dianne Abbott, the UK’s first black woman MP to be allowed as a candidate in the forthcoming election despite having the Labour Whip restored. Dianne Abbott has apologised, undergoing an ‘Anti-Semitic training programme’ and showed signs of repentance but Keir Starmer seems determined to get rid of every single trace of Corbinism. But the sensible thing to do is to let Dianne Abbott stand for Parliament and let the campaign roll on instead of this issue dogging every single news conference from now on until the end of the election.