Saturday, 6th August, 2022

[Day 873]

Today was the most glorious of days with a brilliant blue sky but just a few puffy white clouds and the gentlest of breezes to ensure that we did not get too hot. We had a leisurely start to the day and then went down into town by car to pick uo our newspaper and then we made our way, a little earlier than usual, to the park and our favourite bench. Whilst we were drinking our coffee, we bumped into someone we know by sight and we indulged her by throwing a ball for her cocker spaniel. She let us know that her dog spotted us from quite a fair distance and made for us like an arrow from a bow, anticipating that we throw a beloved tennis ball as far as we could ready for the dog to retrieve. Actually, it seems like an animal day today because I went outside just after breakfast wondering if the sound of my sweeping the path would be picked up by Miggles, our adopted cat and indeed it was. After a gap of nearly a week, the cat seems to have rediscovered us (or rather a saucer of rather delicious cat food to which he/she is partial) We also met our old acquaintance, Seasoned World Traveller in the park and we spent some time talking about mobile telephone technology and then, inevitably, the Conservative party leaders election. Then we made our way home and prepared a lunch with some TVP mince, broccoli and baked potato. As it such a beautiful afternoon, we took a load of washing and soon had a lineful drying in the sun. The washing today was a little fuller than usual because I had bought a pack of five socks yesterday and thought I would give them a wash today before I start wearing them.

On consulting the TV schedules, I notice that there is a showing of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ this evening – the downside of all this is that it starts at 6.00pm which is just the time when we will be attending church. I thought I would see if I could make a recording of this to ‘timeshift’ this but when I tried the control on our TV set I just got a message saying ‘PVR’ and nothing else at all. I don’t know and cannot tell if there are other buttons I should be pressing of if the PVR unit as a whole has failed. Later on, I am going to try and catch it on i-Player which may or may not be helpful to me. In the event, I did manage to get it in iPlayer even though the original transmission was still continuing at the time.

The Tory party leader hustings are carrying out with various meetings across the country. What is interesting about the Liz Truss campaign is that be common consensus with all economists (except the radical right Patrick Minford) is that the Truss nostrum of ‘tax cuts now’ will only add to the inflationary spiral. Nonetheless, her message seems to be well received in the conservative membership as a whole. If these are overwhelmingly white, male and middle class then perhaps they are quite pleased to get tax cuts – and increased rates will only add to the returns on their investments so perhaps what is good for them is dire for the rest of the country. After Liz Truss is elected, she will have to make actual decisions and one wonders how rhetoric and ideology are going to square with the pragmatic business of running a country going into one of the worst economic scenarious that any of us can remember in our lifetime. Whilst on this subject, it appears to be that the country is heading for the most severe of economic downturns whilst there is no Prime Minister or Chancellor of the Exchequeur in evidence as they are both on holiday. So we have a zombie government and no government action or steer whilst it looks as the country is speeding downhill. Given the state of the crisis ahead of us, perhaps it is time for the most radical of measures somewhat similar to that experienced in the 1970’s when we had the power disputes that put the country into a three day week. I think there is scope for measures that parallel those that we experienced during the pandemic. How about reducing thr national speed limit to 50mph to save fuel for the nation, reducing all street lighting and turning it off where possible, having a crash insulation programme all over the country, a massive raid on the unearned profits of the power and utility companies with all of the taxes raised going to all of those on UC (Universal Credit) and so on. I am sure that there must be imaginative ways in which the population as a whole and their political leaders can navigate their way through this particular crisis but it will take some imagination, intelligence and political flair none of which will be manifest when a new Prime Minister emerges.