Today, fortunately, was just a little bit cloudier than yesterday and consequently the heat was just a little bit easier to bear. But today being a Tuesday we go down to Waitrose and meet with our usual crowd of people – well, some of them anyway. As usual, we had a jolly good time and also took the opportunity to buying a few things of which we were short. Then we made our way home and I got prepared for my normal Pilates class later on in the morning. This was rather a strange class as there was only myself and one of the faithful regulars who has been attending the class for years now.
A few weeks go, I was ‘volunteered’ onto the Parochial Church council of the church I attend together with Meg on a weekly basis. We have had one meeting already but this was largely procedural concerned with getting some of our number into the leadership roles, followed by a lengthy discussion of how we were going to go about our task. Our church has had a Parochial Church Council at some time in the dim and distant past but COVID and changing philosophies about the role of the laiety makes for a new situation so we are almost starting ‘ab initio’. But tonight was our first real business meeting and the discussions ranged from the procedural (how do we make our own Council more representative of the congregation in terms of gender, ethnicity and age distribution), to the chatechismic (how do we best prepare our young church members for Confirmation) to the severely practical (does the availabillity of hand sanister in the porch of the church have deleterious effects upon door handles and the wooden furniture within the church). There was no animosities or ‘grandstanding’ involved but a genuine desire to see how we could individually and collectively fulfil our mission and play our part in the community of Bromsgrove. Once we settle down, we will meet about once every two months but one source of discussion was how we could ensure that the whole of our parish community could be better informed about the different voluntary activities that are already being undertaken. Incidentally, next Saturday we are going to have a concert of ‘bite sized’ classics performed in our Church as part of the Bromsgrove festival so it will be rather strange for Meg and myself to turn up, as we will, not for liturgical but for essentially entertainment purposes. The concert next Saturday is ‘free’ but nonetheless a collection plate will be passed around with contributions invited to help the people of Ukraine.
Today has been the day when the nominations for leadership of the Tory party had to be submitted. The number initially indicating that they intended to put themselves forward numbered 11 but this figure is already reduced to 8. One ‘no hoper’ failed to get any nominations whilst another two withdrew as they suspected that they would not meet the criteria of having their nomination papers supported by at least 20 MPs. One of the candidates who withdrew was our own MP, Sajiv Javid, who I suspect withdrew because he was in danger of falling short of the required number. What is particularly ironic in this case is that it was Sajiv Javid’s resignation which helped to start the gradual abandonment of Boris Johnson by the rest of his party. But Javid made the issue of integrity and honesty the main thrust of his complaint against Boris Johnson but in the event it appears that this does not cut much ice with his fellow Tory MPs. There is a saying, of course, probably drawn from Shakespeare that ‘he who wields the dagger never wears the crown‘ which explains why in any revolt against established leaders those who seek to depose them are very anxious not to be the ones discerned as striking the first blow. Now that the total number of candidates hs been reduced to eight, then voting will start tomorrow and the outcome is bound to be bloody in the extreme. One of the criteria that governs the voting tomorrow is that anyone failing to achieve 30% of the vote will be eliminated so it is possible that two more candidates may be gone by tomorrow night. Then there will be further votes on Thursday and more next Monday with the aim of cgetting the candidate list down to two as soon as possible. All kinds of machinations are now taking place – it has been said the the Tory party electorate is the most duplicitious in the world. Rishi Sunak appears to be the front runner but there is a determined ‘stop Risihi’ campaign from Johnson acolytes swinging votes behind Liz Truss. In the meanwhile, Penny Mordant an ex-defence minister who Boris has sacked in the past, seems to be very popular with members of the Tory party in the country so the results of the first round of voting, to be announced at about 5.00pm tomorrow afternoon, will be fascinating.