Sunday, 10th July, 2022

[Day 846]

As is customary on a Sunday, I got up early and treated myself to a little bowl of cereal before I collected our ration of Sunday newspapers. On my way down into town, I was greeted by a couple of our Catholic friends with whom I had not coincided for some time and I said that I would catch up with them both later, which we did. On my way down into town, I treated myself to a ration of Mozart on my trusty old iPhone and then got home to watch the Sunday morning politics programme with Sophie Raworth. Much of the programme was devoted to some of the election campaigns of the ‘runners and riders’ in the Tory race to replace Boris Johnson as leader of the party. We are currently at about 10 declared MPs and there may be one or two more than declare tomorrow. The issue that is emerging so far is absolutely nothing to do with Brexit, incomplete as it is at the moment. The big campaign theme which many of the would be hopefuls have seized upon is their desire to ‘cut taxes’. There are two problems with this particular approach. From a purely economist’s viewpoint, cutting taxes and thereby giving people more money to spend when inflation is running at 10%-11% is likely to add another twist to the inflationary spiral. But of much more significance is the fact that none of the contenders are saying what they would cut from public spending in order to fund the tax cuts. If one were completely cynical, it could be argued that cutting taxes is just a way of funnelling money towards the already rich and particularly Tory party donors. There is a particular irony in that two of the candidates were ex-Health ministers – in that role, they wanted as much public money as they could get for the Healh Service whilst simultaneously arguing for a lower tax burden overall. But what goes down well with Tory MPs and even Conservative party members in the wider society may well be at a sharp variance with the public as a whole. Some of the MSM (Main Street Media) have seized on this idea but there is quite a sharp divide between those who run their own businesses (and who would welcome a tax cut) and those employed in the public sector (for whom a tax cut may well be a reduction in services and in public sector jobs). When Meg and I walked down to the park this morning, we bumped into our Catholic friends again as they were out gardening and sympathised with our female friend who had broken her arm (or rather cracked a bone at the end of the radius/ulna) and was going to have to keep her arm in a sling for the next three weeks. Nowadays, they do not seem to plaster or even bandage a crack in an arkward place like this but A&E have given our friend a sling which is going to be her constant companion for the next three weeks.

AThis afternoon was the Wimbledon Mens final and although I was reading the Sunday newspapers, I started to watch the final stages as it became exciting. In a tense match, Djokovic finally overcame Kyrgios although there were a few outbursts on the way. When the match was over, the two finalists appeared to be on quite good terms with each and, of course, they are likely to meet up in championships all over the globe. When the match was well and truly over, I decided to go and give some plants in Mog’s Den (a strip of land to which one to descend where I indulge myself with growing this and that) a good soaking in water.This is because some of the plants are in tubs which therefore need a watering and the rest are on a slope where it is slightly more difficult for some of the trees I have planted to establish really deep roots.But I was encouraged to see that some that some of the tree roots are in quite a deep shade which will help to preserve moisture in these very hot conditions. I have not done any maintenance gardening in Mog’s Den for a few weeks now but I was quite pleased to see that after a period of benign neglect, some of the plants I planted last year are really coming on. For example, I purchased a ‘tri-coloured’ buddleja which does not seem to have flowered yet but has shot up to about 8′ in height. There are some large brambles that will have to be removed but some other plants seem to be establishing themselves, not least a little oak tree which is itself grown from an acorn from a little oak tree that I brought up to Bromsgrove from our house in Hampshire.