Tuesday, 9th July, 2024 [Day 1576]

We always look forward to Tuesdays as it is the day when we meet up with our Waitrose friends. We had to keep a sharp eye open for the weather as there were some showers early on in the morning but fortunately they had largely ceased and did not impede our journey down the hill before we met up with our friendly crew at about 10.30am. Fortunately, we were under no time pressure this morning and so could make up the hill in a more leisurely fashion once after elevenses were over. On the way home, we received a telephone call from the manager of the care agency to ask if I could assist the one carer who was due to call later on this morning as they had some staff shortages. With this I concurred but once I had Meg home and settled and given her a ‘smoothie’ drink, I received another call from the manager of the car agency. It looked as though every road into Bromsgrove was gridlocked and therefore the scheduled carer would be delayed, as he was by half an hour. It looked as though there might have been a police incident (which might have been someone threatening to throw themselves off a pedestrian footbridge onto the dual carriage way below) which had caused a total close of the A38 trunk road that runs down the east side of Bromsgrove and which can create total traffic chaos if the traffic on it is disrupted. Today was, in theory, my Pilates day and I had in intended to make a quick visit to town to buy some essentials whilst the carer was sitting with Meg but in view of the traffic disruption and his lateness in arriving anyway we had to change our plans. So I cooked a lunch for Meg which was our customary fishcakes and some stir fry vegetables left over from yesterday. Today whilst in the supermarket, I decided to indulge ourselves with some oven chips which I doubt I have bought for a decade or so but which I suddenly fancied and thought that a small quantity of them would not cause us any significant harm. We had a wonderful of these with our lunch, served as the Dutch are liable to do with a dollop of mayonnaise (which sounds a bit bizarre but the Flemish cultures seem to like their chips this way)

There is an extraordinary post-election story emerging today. Reform UK are coming under pressure to provide evidence its candidates at the general election were all real people after doubts were raised about a series of hopefuls who stood without providing any photos, biographies or contact details. Reform insists every one of its 609 candidates on 4 July were real, while accepting that some were in effect ‘paper candidates’ who did no campaigning, and were there simply to help increase the party‚Äôs vote share. However, after seeing details about the apparently complete lack of information about some candidates, who the Guardian is not naming, the Liberal Democrats called on Reform to provide details about them. As the election was called at an unpredictable time, we knew that Reform UK being such a young organisation would have a real scrabble around to try to find candidates. I suppose the other political parties where Reform UK were standing could provide information to the Electoral Commission if an investigation is to made about the candidates who did not bother to attend for their own count and this might help to document how many of the candidates were real or phantom. But of all of the types of stories liable to arrive at election time, this is one of the more bizarre.

This evening, the Euro football competition will continue with France vs. Spain. being played tonight as the Holland vs. England match will be played tomorrow night. For some reason, the strongest European teams were all put on one side of the draw which is why we see a semifinals without Germany or Italy, the previous winners. The match this evening could well prove to be a more exciting contest than the final itself which will be played next Sunday and I wold not like to predict a winner. I expect Holland vs. England will be another nail biting contest but on the evidence of England’s play so far I would be amazed if they got past Holland. Sometimes the finals can prove to be of an anticlimax as both teams are nervous and a little tentative, not wanting to make a critical mistake and so sometimes the semi-finals present us with a more exciting spectacle. No sooner do we have the Euro finals out of the way than we will have our airwaves filled with news of the Olympics to be held in Paris.

Meg and I have started to watch the Parliament channel this afternoon as it is the first meeting of the newly constituted House of Commons. The very first job of the House of Commons is to elect a Speaker but before this takes place, an MP is selected to make a speech to the whole house before the Speaker is actually voted into his position by the House. The task of electing a Speaker starts off with a speech which, by tradition is given to a fairly junior but promising MP who, by tradition gives a very witty and amusing speech which is not interrupted but starts off the proceedings in a rather lighthearted fashion. This is always quite an entertaining tradition which is well worth watching but it is also the occasion in which the new Prime Minister makes his very first speech as Prime Minister to the House of Commons as a whole. Then follows the swearing in of each individual MP which evidently takes up quite some time. There are various procedures associated with a new Parliament one of which is to acknowledge and attest to the ‘Father of the House’ (the longest serving male MP) and also ‘Mother of the House’ who is the longest sewing female MP. The Mother of the House is actually Dianne Abbott which is quite fascinating given the way in which the Labour party to their shame kept her out of their fold for so long but she has now been restored to her rightful place in the Commons. Initial speeches are made both by the Father and the Mother of the house who pay tributes to their immediate predecessors and these speeches are also lighthearted and jocular in tone before the more serious business of politics resumes when the formalities have been completed.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *