Friday, 31st May, 2024

[Day 1537]

Last night, I was just preparing to get myself to bed when news started to filter through of the conviction of Donald Trump on each of the 34 counts for which he had been charged. The American court system always seems to make this a long and prolonged affair and there was no ‘live’ feed from the courtroom but the news was tremendous when it broke. Sentencing is not due to take place until July 11th, some days before the Republican national congress and no doubt there will appeals to a higher court and ultimately, perhaps, to the Supreme Court stuffed as it is with Trump nominees. The media have gone mad with the this news and evidently there is a lot of speculation as to what happens next but in the short term it looks as though he verdict will help in Trump’s fundraising activities. Yesterday, I had purchased a single duvet from my local supermarket and had also ordered some single duvet covers from the web but I thought it would be a shame to deprive myself of the duvet last night, So I hunted a double duvet cover that we had and I thought that this would serve until the actual single duvet covers arrived. But the duvet cover stayed on me all night and was neither too hot nor too cold so I was delighted to be able to make use of this last night. This morning dawned as a bright and cheerful summer day and so after our Eucharistic minister has called around from church, I thought that Meg and I would venture out down the hill. I texted our University of Birmingham friend to inform him that we would be down in the cafeteria in the late morning and I am delighted that he would be able to meet us then. What with one thing or another, we have not managed to meet for a couple of weeks so this makes our eventual meeting so much more pleasant. Incidentally, my son is due to meet later on today one of his life-long friends who was his best man at his wedding and they have not managed to meet for the last five years so I know that he too is looking forward to his lunch date.The carers were scheduled to arrive at 8.40am this morning so the start to our day was somewhat delayed compared with our normal rising time.

After we had the weekly visit from our Eucharistic minister this morning, we got ourselves ready to make the trip down the road to our Waitrose cafeteria. It was a beautiful day and we bumped briefly into our Irish friend from down the road as we progressed down the hill. Then we met with our University of Birmingham friend and spent well over an hour and a quarter in the kinds of conversations (often with ex university staff experience in mind) that we enjoy so much. Then it was time to get up the hill once again and we managed to make it with just five minutes to spare before our late morning carers were due to call. After they had made Meg comfortable and helped to get her into her comfortable armchair, I then started to prepare our Friday lunch which was a (bought) haddock pie eaten with some broccoli. After lunch, Meg did not feel particularly sleepy so we decided to watch the BBC catch-up of last night’s ‘Question Time‘ which we found particularly entertaining. Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan, each incredibly self opinionated were striking sparks of each other together with a Tory minister, the Labour shadow health minister and the Bishop of Dover. There is apparently an organisation called ‘’ which is an independent fact checking organisation and has taken last night’s ‘Question Time‘ as well as presumably lots of other broadcasts and subjected the claims made in them by independent fact-checking. This was news to me but I think I must certainly put it on my list of ‘sites that must be regularly viewed’. As I am writing, I am half listening to a Donald Trump post trial news conference which would keep an army of fact checkers busy for weeks. For example, one claim was that the population of all of Venezuela’s gaols had been emptied and their previous inmates ‘dumped’ or had made their way into the United States. When I consulted the web I discovered the following. Apparently as Trump started reeling off lies, many US channels cut away. A number of lies were told by Donald Trump throughout the news conference, prompting some US networks to cut away before it ended US correspondent Mark Stone notes lies such as a claim that criminals have been released from jail in the Republic of Congo and sent to the US. While TV networks in the US are partial, and some always repeat his statements, others threw back to the studio on this occasion.’The likes of CNN and others came off his speech before the end. They have got to be able to present what he is saying but also counter the lies.’ This is actually quite interesting because if the media channels as a whole start to tire of the Trump tirades and refuse the ‘oxygen of publicity’ in a phrase beloved of Margaret Thatcher, then this might be the start of a gradual disillusion with the Trump agenda. The USA is such a divided society at the moment that the Trump message is received avidly by his own supporters almost whatever he had to say. But the bit that remains pf ‘middle’ America is not convinced by the Trump message even though Trump appears to be marginally ahead in several key battle ground states. How this is to be played out by the Democrats is an interesting dilemma of political strategy. Evidently, the Democrats will wish to capitalise on the fact that Trump is now a convicted felon but too overt and concentrated an attack might actually drive some of the uncommitted into the Trump camp and the Trump agenda if it looks as though he is a political martyr.