I have not posted on here for some time. Everything seems to have got so complicated that I found it hard to think what on earth I would actually post about that wasn’t one long trail of doom and gloom. The Brexit trail seems to have gone cold. All the indications, after the first round of Withdrawal Agreement talks started at the beginning of March were that the so called British Government were adopting a, “Them as oppressors, us fighting gallantly for freedom”, attitude, although M. Barnier in his post talks bulletin seemed to be, as usual, far more constructive whilst acknowledging that this thing wasn’t going to be easy, and pointing out the anomalies in the British position.
Things then fell into abeyance pending the next round, but enter the “deus ex machina” in the form of coronavirus 19 which has successfully got Boris off the uncomfortable hook of ignoring the agreement to which he added his signature, but has hung him on a more painful and immediate hook of having to try to think and make decisions that matter. This is not the Oxford Union, nor is it standing at the despatch box waving his arm and shaking his fist at the Leader of the Opposition, which is Boris’ conception of what being a Prime Minister is all about. He appears at Press Conferences looking as though his latest child has already arrived and that he has been up all night trying to pacify it and get it to sleep. He must be regretting that he ever conceived the notion that being Prime Minister was going to be heaven come down to earth. He claims to be a worshipper of Winston Churchill but people like my parents knew instinctively that although flawed, Winnie was the man for the job, and when he became Prime Minister in 1940, they and others heaved a collective sigh of relief and knew that now we would get on with the job even though there would be blood, sweat, toil and tears – which there were, in plenty. Being the Prime Minister in a time of crisis demands real mental ability. The stamina to work long hours, a clear view of what is needed, similar and trustworthy colleagues, and where to go and how to get knowledgeable advice rather than ideological fantasies.
Out of this melee comes Chris Whitty, our hitherto unknown Chief Medical Officer who some people from overseas have taken to be our PM, and an outsider, Rishi Sunak, newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer who astonishingly seems to be able to master his brief and to get a grip on his job. And meanwhile to restore a bit of a the shine to the rather tarnished appearance of those our MPs and Officials of Asian extraction who have appeared in recent times.
So, here we are learning how to be in the world but not of it. Trying to get hold of a bit of food and other household goods from time to time, classified by the economically inactive, Prit Patel, as being “economically inactive” and by others as “elderly with underlying problems”. Local businesses and individuals are showing that decency, neighbourliness and good old fashioned “love” still exist and can be brought into play. And it is these people who matter, not the twerps in the Cabinet Room at No.10 Downing Street.