Friday, 27 January 2023
Saturday, 14 January 2023
Friday, 13 January 2023
Monday, 9 January 2023
Thursday, 5 January 2023
Monday, 26 December 2022
I like to think that the royal Carol Service in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Eve and the King's broadcast on Christmas Day itself gave a clear message as to who we really are , or at least should be aiming to be. These were in sharp contrast the nastiness of this article in one of the Sunday Papers, complaining of an alleged shift of the Tories to the centre(stress on the "alleged") and treats from one of their chief donors and other supporters to pull their funding unless they put a stop to migrants crossing the Channel and sent those who succeeded on to Rwanda or back to Albania.
The Christmas Eve carol service was put together by the new Princess of Wales, stressed the work of organisations designed to be helpful and come to the rescue of people in need. In particular it included, apparently be order of our our made-it-at-last King Charles, the reading of poem:Malcolm Guite’s poem Refugee:
We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
Or cosy in a crib beside the font,
But he is with a million displaced people
On the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
Glancing behind and shouldering their load.
Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,
The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
And death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.
I can’t comment on the quality or the poetry (to me it seems a bit “gushy” – especially the bit about Christ’s “fingers tightly curl. . .” but the sentiment is clearly: ”Up yours, Suella Baverman.”
The royal onslaught on the current values the Tories feel compelled to adopt continued with the King's Broadcast on Christmas Day, in which Charles stresses his continuity with his mother and their shared support of the values of human togetherness and helpfulness.
A strong contrast to what increasingly seems to be the Tory belief in "come and join us by pulling yourself up by the bootstraps if you can, and grab a bigger share of the pie.
And, if you can't, tough."
I know what vision I want to be part of. The next election will tell us which has got it right, the Royals or the Tory donors.
Friday, 23 December 2022
Government cheerleaders frequently boast of how we are poised to take advantage of the opportunities available to us now that we are released from the constraints of membership of the EU.
Soi far they have been pretty damp squibs: a few minor trade agreements organised by Liz Truss when she was the responsible minister and were merely "roll-overs" of agreements we already had within the EU. There was an allegedly more major one for trade with Australia which analysts claim makes far more concessions to Australian farmers than it doses of ours, leaving British farmers feeling let down and likely to make minimal impact on our GDP.
This morning's newspaper reports an "opportunity" of a different kind. The UK has 3 651 "water bodies" - including rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters. All are in danger of pollination, the two main polluters being untreated sewage discharged into them by the Water Companies, and chemical and animal "run off" from agricultural land. While we were still members the EU required that all of them would be brought to a "good" state of chemical and ecological status by 2027.
Only 4% of them are actually on track to achieve this status.
So Brexit Opportunity 1 was to reduce the target from "all of them" to 75%.
However, even this looks as though it will be unachievable so:
Brexit Opportunity 2 is to put back the target year to 2063.
For for further an better particulars see see: