Friday, 1st June, 2022

[Day 837]

Well, today is a ‘White rabbits! White rabbits! White rabbits!’ day being the 1st of the month. But Meg and I had a special treat lined up for ourselves today as we had promised our domestic help that we would have a jolly day out enjoying ourselves in Alcester, which is a pretty little Georgian town not too far from us here. Meg and I have been there about three times before and there are two particular attractions to the town. The first of these is that there are about six or seven really high quality charity shops up and down the High Street and we a share a weakness with our domestic help of loving to browse for clothes, bric-a-brac and whatever other bargains seem to be going. Secondly, there is a very old coaching inn with parking just outside which does the most magnificent home cooked lasagnes and other similar meals which it makes available in the middle of the day at ‘pensioner’ prices which cannot be much more than cost price. So we set off for there mid-morning and after collecting our newspapers, we got there in good time and treated ourselves to a super coffee and stem ginger cookies at a venue along the High Street. Then it was time to get our shopping done in earnest. We bought Meg quite a stunning dress whilst our domestic help bought herself a decanter and glasses set. I treated myself to a lightweight outdoor rainwear jacket which will go nicely over my leather jacket if I happen to get caught outside in a shower, as well as a little case for a laptop which will be marvellous for the occasions when we go away and we need to take our MacBook with us. By now, it was lunchtime so we did go off to our restaurant down the road and, true to form, we did have some magnificent lasagne and a crunchy salad which filled us up so much that we had no room for the delicious sweets they were throwing in for a couple of pounds extra. Then it was off to another charity shop or so and then we popped to a shop at the end of the High Street who always has a magnificent display of pot plants to buy and, once again, our domestic help had to have some of her favourites. A slightly disconcerting thing is that all during the day I have had my phone next to to me expecting to get a call from a BT manager somewhere in the country to resolve my comms problems from yesterday and, of course, the phone call never came. So eventually we got home having had a really enjoyable ‘day out’

During the course of the day, some political news has been developing. The Deputy Chief Whip of the Tory party, one Chris Pincher, resigned last night from his post as Deputy Chief Whip after a drunken spree at the Carlton Club (hangout of many Tory MPs). Wikipedia tells us that the Carlton Club is a private members’ club in St James’s, London. It was the original home of the Conservative Party before the creation of Conservative Central Office. Membership of the club is by nomination and election only. In the drunken spree,Chris Pincher had groped two other men. The reaction from No. 10 and Downing Street was to accept the resignation and let the matter rest there, which of course it did not. After several MPs, both Tory and Labour, had complained to Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance body, then eventually the whip was withdrawn from Chris Pincher so that he is, in effect, no longer a Tory MP. Some Tory MPs fear the Pincher fiasco could be more damaging than partygate for Boris Johnson – confirming, critics claim, his blind devotion to mates, terrible judgement and lack of ethics. Of course, the loyalty is due to the fact that Chris Pincher had helped to secure Boris Johnson’s election and subsequent survival of the vote against him but has has the effect of making a sleaze-ridden party appear even more sleaze-ridden. It may be the case that Pincher is forced to resign as an MP – after all, a fellow MP was forced to resign for watching porn and surely groping two other men in a drunken spree must outrank this in terms of severity. That would mean in the fullness of time yet another by-election which the Tories would find hard to win under the circumstances but we shall have to see how the story unfolds in the days ahead. The finger is still pointing firmly towards Boris Johnson, though, as Pincher has had accusations of inappropriate sexual contact before, which he managed to brush off. So Johnson reappointed him as Deputy Chief Whip knowing that this MP had ‘form’ as it were, so it points to an incredible lack of judgement on Johnson’s part.