Saturday, 4th September, 2021

[Day 537]

Today was one of those ‘nothing’ like days – there was some autumnal sunshine and a few clouds but it felt neither warm nor cold. Having said that, I was very pleased that we got the lawns cut yesterday evening because my neighbour and I concurred that when the weather is a little muggy then the grass seems to grow much faster. So it always a source of satisfaction to look over our communal green area between our houses (sometimes nicknamed ‘Meg’s Meadow‘) and see that is always has a particularly tidy appearance the day after mowing. We walked down to the park as normal and I left Meg in the company of the Bromsgrove Literary and Philosophical Society (aka known as our University of Birmingham friend and a mutual friend with whom we tend to discuss geopolitics at the drop of a hat). After we had set the world to rights (I think we were looking at the world from the perspective of a Russian submarine captain who surfaced near the Arctic Circle and for whom the actual map -and mental map- would have been a Russia surrounded by hostile forces – America, China. Europe.) You really need to look at a globe looking down on it to fully appreciate the point we were trying to argue. Anyway, having discussed our little geopolitical problem for today, I went off to collect our newspapers. There I handed in a little bit of card to exactly tell the newsagent when our subscription to The Guardian runs out and I have to remember to destroy my remaining vouchers and not to use them. So it will be ‘The Times‘ during the weekdays, the Sunday Times on Sundays from now on and I will read the Guardian /Observer online. On our way home, we bumped into one of our Catholic friends whose wedding anniversary is practically on the same date as ours and we discussed some of the transport arrangements for the joint dinner which we are going to enjoy together with even more friends whose wedding anniversary is also proximate. Then it was home for a somewhat delayed lunch nd we had a generally quiet Saturday afternoon.

Each Saturday, we attend our local church for the 6.00pm service and tonight was no exception. We chatted for a little while outside the church and informed our priest that on Thursday we would have been married for 54 years and that we were married by a member of Jesuit religious order in the Church of the Holy Name just besides the Catholic chaplaincy in Manchester. Our new priest has quite a sense of humour which can occasionally be liberating when he quipped that ‘None of the marriages conducted by the Jesuits are now regarded as valid‘. So we got home and treated ourselves to a meal of strawberries and ice-cream which was bought on Thursday but we had been saving until tonight. Meg and I made ourselves made ourselves a little miserable by looking at ‘Today at the Test‘ (which just coincides with the time we are ready to eat) only to see the English bowling put to the slaughter by the Indian batsmen who seemed to have found just the form they needed when it was needed to win the match (probably) and the series (probably)

As I was getting up this morning, I heard a report from America which almost made my blood run cold. One of the enduring legacies of the Trump administration was to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court with (really) conservative judges and I think the present balance is about 6 conservative to about 3 liberal. As Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, then a 40-year old could serve for about 40 years until they die and so the balance of the Supreme Court far outweighs a presidential term of office (4 years in the case of Trump) Now that a really conservative Supreme Court is in place the Pro-Life ,anti-abortion Christian Right can try and get passed the most draconian legislation that they can rely upon not being overturned. A new law has been passed in Texas which allows anyone anywhere to sue anyone connected to an abortion in which cardiac activity was detected in the embryo as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before most women even realise they are pregnant. This means that any ‘bounty hunter’ can sue anyone connected with an abortion (e.g. a texi-driver taking a pregnant women to a clinic) for about $10,000 which they can then keep. This has the effect of almost, at a stroke, abolishing any abortion (even for victims of rape or incest). Normally legislation as draconian as this would be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court – by not intervening when they could and before the law comes in force, the Supreme Court has effectively condoned the type of legislation, which then be ‘cut-and-pasted’ into laws anywhere where the Republicans/fundamentalist Christian Right have a majority (many of the states in the whole of the USA)