Tuesday, 1st February, 2022

[Day 687]

Well, it is always nice to get rid of one of the ‘winter months’ and here we are in February with having had a pretty good winter so far. The last week or so has been dominated by a high pressure system which has generally meant blue skies, coolish mornings and the absence of snow, hail and rain which is often our lot at this time of year. I am sure that the water companies will not be particularly happy as they rely upon precipitation in the winter months to fill up the underground aquifers and their profits will be adversely effect if they have to build or maintain overground reservoirs or if we have a long, hot summer that restricts demand. On Pilates days such as today, we tend to take the car into town as much to save time as anything else. So we collected our newspaper, made a lightning tour of Waitrose for some supplies and then treated ourselves to only a 15 minute stay on our normal bench. Then it was a case of scampering home and having a quick turn around before I walk down for my Pilates class. I needed to sear off some chichen thighs before I adjudged that they could go on cooking slowly in the oven in the remains of the sauce from yesterday.

Last night, when I was up in the middle of the night and consulting my emails, I did receive one that was a pleasant surprise. Regular readers of this blog will know of the battles I have been having with the bank that looks after the communal affairs of our residents’ association to comply with their safeguarding procedures. Well, the email I got sort of indicated that we are now in the clear but they do not say as much. All that we do know is their admission that ‘We recently contacted to you to ask for further information as part of your Safeguard review, however we have all we need. Thank you if you already responded to our initial request, any information provided will be added to your profile, but for now, there’s nothing else you need to do.‘ I suppose this is a roundabout way of saying that we have complied with their procedures but it seems a bit like a weasly worded email, particularly as later on they say they might jump upon me at any time for more information. The next thing will be an augument with them over fees as they now have started to charge us for each item which is a change to how the ‘free’ account has operated for the last 8 years or so.

In the wake of the Sue Gray ‘partygate’ (truncated) report to the PM and to Parliament, yesterday there have been two ‘U’ turns emanating from No 10 Downing Street today. The first one was an admission (after an initial refusal) that Sue Gray’s report will be published in its entirety once the investigations conducted by the Met have been concluded. The second ‘U’ turn is a reluctant admission that if the PM is subject to a fixed penalty fine for transgressing COVID regulations, that this fact will be released to the public rather being kept as a ‘secret’ with Downing Street. However as the names of members of the public who have been fined are not released by the police into the public domain, then the same would apply to Downing Street – despite the overwhelming public interest. So a policy of secrecy and non-disclosure – anything but transparency – will extend to all of the law-breaking personnel in Downing Street which may extend to some very senior figures indeed. The promised ‘new regime’ at Downing Street, promised yesterday by Boris `Johnson, has yet to be take place but certainly the ‘old guard’ are doing all they can to protect themselves. Mind you, it will be quite possible that leaks might take place emanating from some disgruntled staff. In the meanwhile, another Conservative MP has indicated that he has sent in his letter to the Chairman of the 1922 (backbencher’s committee) but we knew this already. Another Tory MP who is a suppoirter of Boris Johnson has indicated that the report needs to be published in full and immediately and that some of the interventions by Boris Johnson’s allies had been ‘so cack-handed that the best way they could be of assistance to the prime minister would be to disable all their social media platforms and cease carrying out media interviews‘. Another clip has resurfaced in which Boris Johnson categorically assured Parliament that no party took place on his flat on 13th November, 2002 – now that this has been documented in the Sue Gray report and is being investigated by the Met, we can assume that the Met are not investigating something that did not take place? So do we have here ‘prima facie’ evidence that Boris Johnson lied to the House of Commons and this one fact, be itself, is enough for him to be removed?