Sunday, 9th June, 2024

[Day 1546]

We woke up this morning to a beautiful and bright sunny day, so we thought this boded well for a little trip down to the park later on in the morning. After the carers had got Meg up, washed and dressed we had a quick lunch and started watching the Politics programs which were, of course, still dominated by the story of Rishi Sunak’s D-Day gaffe when he left the celebrations early. Naturally, the Tories are doing what they can to mitigate the damage by stressing the patriotism of the current Prime Minister but, of course, it is very much damage limitation territory. Trevor Phillips on Sky even was sufficiently bold to ask a Government minister sent out to defend Rishi Sunak whether the Tories would actually lose less seats in the forthcoming election were they to choose a new leader even at this point. Of course, this is never going to happen but it is instructive that a political interviewer can even ask the question. During the course of the Politics programmes, there was a news flash that indicated that a body had been found on the Greek island of Symi which must have been that of the missing TV presenter, Dr. Michael Mosley. I must confess that a tear sprang to my eye when I heard the news as it is pretty certain when the full facts are known that Michael Mosley lost his life at the age of only 67. The dramatic irony of all of this is all too evident to all of us and naturally the airwaves of full of the details as they gradually emerge. The latest news that we have is that a body has been recovered and was being sent to a mortuary presumably before a post-mortem examination. Given his popularity and the massive amount of TV programmes that Dr Moseley made during his lifetime, I wonder whether the broadcasting authorities will make a biography of his life. Although he was best known for his approaches to dieting, he was not averse to bouts of self experimentation when it came to demonstrating certain physiological characteristics and some of these seemed brave in the extreme. Above all, his work was always scientifically well-informed and researched and he sought to evidence all of his work rather than spinning a fanciful theory for the sake of it.

Our walk to the park did not turn out to be as pleasant as we had anticipated. Although the day started off brilliantly sunny, by the time we came to walk to the park it had clouded over and was quite chilly. Although I had obviously out an anorak on Meg she felt the cold quite intensely whilst we were sitting on our normal bench. Then I discovered, that although I had prepared a flask of coffee I had forgotten to load it into our little travel bag as I had taken down a smoothie for Meg to replace the coffee. We were just on the point of texting our friend to say that we were going to start to walk back again, he saved the day and gave us some of the coffee from his own flask which warmed us up a little. Naturally, on the way home then what is termed Sod’s Law swung into operation because half up the hill, the chilling cloud rolled away and it got almost warm again. I think perhaps I always need to take an extra jumper along with me because Meg does feel thew cold more than I do. So when we got home, it was back to the chicken soup routine to warm us up again, much as we did yesterday. Meg watched the concluding part of the Pilgrimage program in which a group of modern day pilgrims were traversing Scotland to reach Iona. I have enjoyed these programs of which the first was a journey from the Swiss Alps to Rome, the second a journey through Portugal to Fatima, the third being a pilgrimage encompassing the Celtic shrines across North Wales and then this final Scottish one. I am not sure if the BBC intends to make any more of a similar nature but for Meg and I they are highly appropriate Sunday viewing.

Robert Ford is a professor of politics well known for writing ‘Revolt on the Right’ documenting the rise of the right wing. Today, he is openly speculating about the plight of Rishi Sunak speculating this might be the week the wheels came off for Rishi Sunak. After two weeks of campaigning for ‘a clear plan of bold action for a secure future’ the verdict in the polls is clear: voters don’t like his clear plan, they do not want his bold actions, and they believe their future will be more secure without him. All of this was true even before the prime minister’s calamitous Thursday afternoon decision to leave D-day commemorations early for a pre-recorded media interview. So the possibility is being raised that the Tory party as we have come to know it might be almost completely annihilated in the forthcoming election. The same thing did happen to the Conservative party in Canada and some commentators are now openly speculating that if the Reform party continues to grow in strength as it appears to be doing, then the same fate might befall the Tories. The opinion polls in the next few days might prove to be illuminating when the full effect of the D-Day gaffe and Farage’s assumption of the leadership party are taken into account by the electorate. But the modern Conservative party really understands how to gain and then retain power aided not least by very compliant right wing press. If a lot of the press swings behind Reform the Tory party may well be doomed but it is very early days yet and we still have three and a half weeks of the polls to go. Election campaigns often contain unplanned incidents that send a campaign off the rails but not a single vote has yet been cast. But it could be that the electorate has already made up its mind weeks if not months ago and therefore we are in a situation where the campaign itself, disastrous though it might be, does not actually change many minds at all. Our own voting cards arrived in the past a few days ago and I suspect that those who have oped for voting by post will receive their postal votes shortly. So by the time that election day comes, a lot of votes will already have been cast and therefore the results baked in, whatever the latest onion polls say.