Friday, 7th June, 2024

[Day 1544]

Today we had no firm intentions for the day as events had rather conspired against us. I received a text last night from our University of Birmingham friend with whom we had a vague arrangement that we might meet later on today. But our friend was having to go to the dentist for an emergency repair to a tooth this morning so we made a firmer arrangement to meet in the Waitrose cafeteria tomorrow morning. After we had breakfasted, we knew that the Eucharistic minister was due to call around at 10.30 which indeed she did and we were very pleased to see her. There was no real time to go down to the park as the late morning care workers were scheduled within the hour. Meanwhile, we received a visit from a District nurse who had been given a very unclear remit as to what was expected of her. But she confirmed to us that Meg’s leg seemed to be in a good condition so that is one worry less. Earlier on in the day, I had sent a message to our GP practice for some creams that Meg’s carers have suggested might be useful to her and suggested that I get onto the GP to request a prescription. By mid afternoon, I had received a reply not from a GP but from the community pharmacist who gave me the good news that he had added two items onto Meg’s prescription list so these ought to be working their way through the system but may take some days to arrive. But in the short term, I have some other creams that the care staff can deploy and it is part of their protocols that they know that creams have to be applied regularly to people who are vulnerable so I am quite reassured that this aspects of caring for Meg is not being neglected.

There is an absolutely massive political story developing today and it follows on from the Rishi Sunak ‘lie’ that the Labour party are going to tax every working family in the land an extra £2,000. The senior civil servant at the Treasury has rushed to declare that the costings for the sum of £2,000 had not been prepared or promulgated by civil servants within the Treasury and rested upon assumptions made by the Tory policy advisers. So this particular row has been rumbling on for days and has now collided with the D-Day celebrations. But the major political story is this. Whilst other world leaders (the Presidents of France, Canada, USA) all attended the D-Day celebrations and were present until the very end, listening to the stories of the veterans themselves. Given the demographics involved, many of the veterans are now aged 100 and very few will be around in the next few years to attend any future celebrations, for example in five year’s time. But Rishi Sunak cut short his attendance at the celebrations in order, ostensibly,, to give an interview to ITN in which he was to maintain the veracity of the £2,000 tax claim. But even this claim is disputed, as others in the Tory party have said that the logistics for this D-Day had been planned a long time ago and Rishi Sunak always intended to leave the celebrations early. The optics for this for the Tory party could hardly be worse. Firstly, it really does look as though Sunak did not appreciate the importance of attending these celebrations and seems to have demeaned the office of Prime Minister when every other world leader (including Jo Biden) stayed until the conclusion of the celebrations. So by returning to the shores of the UK early, Rishi Sunak seems to have demonstrated both a lack of patriotism, a massive lack of judgement and one of the most spectacular own goals that a Tory leader, some 20 points behind Labour and only 2 points ahead of Reform, could possibly make. Sunak has since issued a half-apology for returning to the UK early which has convinced hardly anybody and the opposition parties, of all kinds of political persuasions, cannot quite believe that a Tory leader could make such a crass mistake.

Last night, I rather wanted to watch ‘Question Time’ but it did not seem to be broadcast at the normal time – however, Meg and I are enjoying very much watching it on the BBC i-Player this afternoon. At the time of the broadcast, the D-Day blunder had not occurred but the audience was well aware of the £2,000 lie and seemed to be universally skeptical about it. I have to say, though, for the sake of political balance, that the Labour party did itself no favours by responding to the original Tory ‘dodgy dossier’ with an equally dodgy dossier of their own which only further demeans the whole political debate. But what I am rather enjoying about the present Question Time broadcast is that the Tory minister is being laughed at by many of the audience (in Chester) and I suspect that being openly derided by their electorate is something that politicians find particularly hard to bear. There is going to be an election debate this evening in which Penny Mordant, one of the Tory party hopefuls once Sunak loses the election, is going to go head to head with Angela Raynor, the deputy leader of the Labour party in a mixed party debate. But an opinion poll has been published this afternoon which indicates that Mordaunt may well lose her seat. Penny Mordaunt, has been tipped to lose her seat in Portsmouth North as bookies cut the odds on Conservatives winning the General Election. Ms Mordaunt, an MP since 2010, served as a Cabinet member under three of the UK’s last five Prime Ministers. One can only wonder what the effect of this will be on morale – the Tory party is showing every sign of imploding. Our visitor from church this morning actually told us about a website called ‘’ in which interested members of the electorate can put in their postcode and be informed which party is best placed to defeat the Tory candidate. So this is tactical voting in action and when I consulted the website and inserted the postcode for Bromsgrove, I got the news that the Tory candidate only seems to have a lead of 1%-2% and there is still the best part of a month to go. Of course, the Labour party must be secretly hoping that the Reform party go from strength to strength which can only be to the detriment of the Tories across the nation.