DIARY OF AN OCTOGENARIAN
- John Copeland -
Friday 2nd October - Thursday 8th October, 2015.
Sheep have now been put in the field at the bottom of our garden. Hearing the bleating, it sounds like something out of the Archers.
"If you your pen would keep from slips, these things observe with care:
To whom you write, of whom you write, and how and when and where."
Advice my late father had on a blotting pad.
FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER
With an elderly neighbour I watched the DVD of the old film "Easy Rider" yesterday evening. Although I liked the 60s music, so much better than the rubbish played today, especially that awful melancholic rapper droning, I am not sure I enjoyed the film all that much.
With considerable help, I have managed to get my Facebook to work again, having been unable to access it for several days. Apparently, the trouble was with the browser "Chrome", somehow having altered all the settings. Goodness knows how that happened, for I have never made any changes. It sometimes seems that computers have a life and mind of their own, playing silly buggers from time to time without any logic or warning, a bit like the present Government.
A large number of sheep, said to be about 300 in number, have been put in the field at the bottom of our garden, where we can now enjoy seeing the creatures grazing between the avenue of oaks, as shown in the opening photograph of this week's diary. Hearing them bleating makes it sound like something out of the "Archers", certainly reminding us of the splendid environment in which we live, yet we are only a mile from Lincoln's boundary.
Eventually, as the immigrants continue to swarm in unchecked by a Home Secretary who is out of her depth, Lincoln will take in our village, the avenue of oaks, said to be dangerous on account of their old age, being be felled for an "Oaklands" estate. Thankfully, having seen the best of times, I will long since be gone, buried in the graveyard of the mosque that replaced the church.
A family gathering at a tapas bar in Lincoln to celebrate granddaughter Chloe's new job.
A quiet morning and afternoon at home, and in the evening we had a family gathering at a tapas bar in Lincoln called "Ole Ole" to celebrate granddaughter Chloe's new job, which starts on Monday of next week. I always greatly enjoy these family occasions, making me so thankful that the members of my immediate family live not so far away, all having the same LN1 postcode. Not for us the miseries of the nuclear family, the offspring over the hills and far away. It was a most pleasant occasion. Fortunately daughter Caroline provided transport to the restaurant, enabling Mrs. C and I to have a drink. We hired a taxi to take us home.
SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER
I was recently reading a review of Bill Byrson's latest book - "The Road to Little Dribbling", which I have duly ordered from Waterstone's in Lincoln, available next Thursday. Having returned to England after many years, Mr Bryson, who said that England is the only country in the world where it rains every day and has a housepipe ban, writes about the many changes that he has seen, especially the marked decline in the manners of the new middle classes.
I would certainly agree with this, for whereas my generation of middle class members was generally cultured and well educated, mercifully without mobile telephones and iPhomes, albeit a bit snobbish and racist, they did at least have good manners, qualities that are not so evident today. On the other hand, it could be argued that for the upper classes, notorious down the centuries for their arrogance and vulgarity, manners were primarily expressed for enforcing social class values, rather than for any consideration. to other people For example, the Burlingdon Club, made up of upper classes among Oxbridge undergraduates, including Cameron and Osborne, who went round smashing pubs during university days is a classic example of the irresponsibility of the class. In the pretentious manners there would, for instance, be hoots of laughter if you passed the port the wrong way, and "noblesse oblige" is one of our great myths, like the belief that the politicians care for our environment.
Now that the recent fault on my Facebook has been corrected, I was interested to see a discussion on giving young children iPhones and other such appliances, the subject having been started by a contributor putting in the photograph shown below, one person taking exception to it, writing: "What a very out of date comment and one that a lot of parents would take exception to. Both my children are exceptional readers but are also computer literate."
This brought the response: "A lot of parents see an iPad as a modern day dummy, used to keep a child quiet, because they are too lazy to interact with the child. The are numerous reports of children starting school without being able to read or write their own name, and there are even some cases of children still being in nappies when they start nursery school at the age of four. That is nothing other than lazy parenting."
Presumably the argument, as with so many issues, is a question of balance between time spent reading and using an iPhone. In the former quotation the parent obviously has achieved the best of all possible worlds, as Dr. Pangloss would say, yet I also agree with the comment about lazy parents, some disgracefully giving their children one of these appliances at the tender age of 5 to keep them quiet. So many teachers nowadays complain about children using the appliances in the classroom, spending far too long on them.
It obviously has to be recognised, especially by my geriatric generation, that childhood has changed a great deal over the years. During my childhood long ago I would go off with friends from about the age of 10, cycling to the fields and woods way beyond home. I particularly remember a sunken tree-lined area called "Bluebottle Grove" (now surrounded by a massive housing estate), where we would play cowboys and Indians, and make traps for girls, not that we knew what to do with the appalling creatures when we caught them. Those were the days when we stayed out for hours, our parents not worrying, as they do now, about paedophiles lurking behind every tree.
Today childhood is more circumscribed, now regulated by all manner of compulsory weekly activities, such as ballet, pony riding, gymnastics, judo, and piano lessons. Playing with friends away from home is now a forbidden activity. But who is to say which is right? It could be argued that the appliances have many merits, especially the games that stimulate the mind. And is it really true to say that our parents spent so much time reading to us while we sat on their lap long ago?
I certainly cannot recall my parents spending much time reading to me, though I nevertheless did have a deep love of reading books, a pastime that is maybe now going out of fashion, not helped by teachers who do not encourage a love of Shakespeare and the classics. Few of the state schools teach grammar and punctuation, with the consequence that many firms have to devote time to giving English lessons to bring about a degree of literacy. Texting probably makes things worse.
Times and values change in successive generations, and perhaps that is all for the good. Nevertheless, given a choice, I would prefer the freedom I enjoyed as a child, not being regulated by my parents every hour of the day, being forced to go off to pony riding or pianoforte lessons. I suppose the other consideration in our freedom was that there was not so much traffic around in my days, therefore not so much danger.
An item put on my Facebook that promoted an interesting discussion on childhood and the use of iPhones and other such gadgets.
There were several books reviewed in today's "Times" that I would have liked to buy, including "Now Is The Time" , Melvyn Bragg's latest novel; "Railways - Nation, Network and People" by Simon Bradley; and "An Eagle in the Snow", by Michael Morpurgo. However, I have had to place an embargo on further book purchases, having spent about £960 so far this year. The problem is that there are so many splendid books now being published. Perhaps I may just buy two. After all, I have not long to live, so I might as well enjoy the days - "Carpe Diem", as the old adage has it.
In the evening, Mrs. C. and I went to the "Venue" to see the first-rate film "45", about a couple who are about to have a party to celebrate their 45 years of marriage, only for the husband to receive a letter relating to news of a former lover, which puts the cat in amongst the pigeons. A splendid film. Although rather slow-moving in parts, it illustrated the perils of old age, especially when the husband remarks: "The trouble with decrepitude is that life is so pointless."
This is certainly a very true comment on retirement, on the so-called "Third Age" that has precious little involvement, no discipline, hardly any stimulus, and definitely no future, life having been shunted up a siding, there to slowly rot and rust away. Of course, there are joys especially the distinct advantage of being relatively free from the machinations of the politicians, not having to worry about losing a job, and no longer having to attend worthless strategy review meetings.
It is predicted that the Cameroons, faced with the ever deteriorating state of the economy, will bring in another Geddes Act, savagely cutting back state pensions. However, I do not believe that this will happen, for it would be electoral suicide, the old age fraternity being a large voting contingent who would not forgive the Cameroons for such a cutback. A more likely possibility is that the winter fuel allowance and free idiot lantern licence will not be allowed for newcomers.
Back home, I switched on the lantern to see the thugby match in which England were playing Australia. In the top left-hand corner I saw a notice saying England v Australia, underneath of which was written 59.10. Goodness, I thought: our boys were really thrashing the Aussies, just as manager Stuart Lancaster said they would. Alas, after a few minutes I realised that this was the time the game had been in progress, whereas at the end of the game our boys were soundly thrashed 33-13. I watched an England player being given a yellow card and sent off the field after arguing with the referee, just as in football..
Earlier in the day I received a text message from O2, my mobile telephone operator, saying: "Today's game is a must win for England rugby. Your support can make the difference so get your shirt on, paint your face and wear the rose." What a good job I didn't get out the paint, and how sad it must be for England's manager with egg all over his face. I gather that it is the first time that a host nation has been beaten so soundly and so early in a tournament.
SUNDAY 4 OCTOBER
Another wonderfully fine and sunny day, this Autumn obviously making up for the dismal summer. I undertook various household maintenance and repairs, and spent quite a lot of time on the computer. The printer, as I mentioned last week, is making an awfully loud and quite frightening clicking noise when it switches on and off, though it seems to be printing out all right at the moment. I fear, though, that it is not going to last all that long. More expense!
It seems that trouble is brewing up between Russia and the West over Syria, the Russians supporting Lt-Gen Bashar al-Assad, who was elected in June 2000, whereas we and the Americans are backing the rebels. Bearing in mind that Assad is the elected leader and that the rebel forces, probably involving a hefty contingent of ISIS, could never form a stable government, I take the view that the Russians are probably right in their support.
We usually back the wrong horse, as we did when we removed Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi, those countries now being in a far worse condition than under their tyrannical leaders. Alas, the Western politicians have never understood that these countries need firm leadership, even if despotic, there being about as much enthusiasm for democracy as there is for hygiene in those countries where there is no such thing as honesty and trust.
Hydrangea Peniculata in the garden.
Daughter Caroline called in to see the old folks at home during the morning, which made for a pleasant time. We went to the Club at 4 p.m. instead of the usual 3.30 p.m.. Unfortunately, I did not stay for more than 20 minutes, going home while Mrs. C stayed behind. None of the usual people I converse with about economics and politics were present, and I have no ability to engage in small talk, not being interested in the price of provisions at Waitrose, so I departed. I realise I ought to make more effort, but at my great age I just cannot be bothered.
After a duck dinner, the evening was spent by the blazing log fire in the parlour What a delight it is to sit by such a living fire - something that can never be enjoyed in the grimness and austerity of an "eco" house that is about as cosy and cheerful as a doctor's waiting room, making me wonder how anybody with any education and culture can live in such grim and austere surroundings, sitting by a radiator in the evening instead of a living fire.
I made a start on reading "The House by the Lake - A Story of Germany" by Thomas Harding - a book based on successive generations in the troubled and turbulent history of that country, now the undisputed leader in the Europe Union..
On the 10 o'clock news on the radio I heard that there had been a massive demonstration at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester today, the numbers said to have amounted to an incredible 100,000 protesters. According to the report, the demonstration turned nasty when Tory delegates were spat upon, while others had eggs thrown at them. Police had to drag away protesters as they chanted "Tory scum" outside the entrance to the Conference hall. I gather that the protests related to the austerity cuts and the proposals to place greater curbs on trade unions.
It is a worrying development in any country, especially one in which there is such an unhealthy and severely indebted economy such as ours, when there are such massive protests against an increasingly unpopular and hated Government, a Government by the rich for the rich, described as the "Nasty Party", that is now the most right-wing ever seen in this country, making the days of Thatcher the Terrible seem almost liberal. Goodness knows what people abroad will think of these ugly scenes when they see the pictures on their television screens, probably rightly believing that the UK is in deep social trouble, increasingly divided between the supported rich and the hammered poor.
What is so frightening is that as the UK economy worsens next year, having already shown signs of a recession that will be far worse than the one we have supposedly come out of, the Conservatives will undoubtedly make even greater cuts in the welfare budget, bringing about further angry protests.
The problem for the Cameroons is that they have stupidly promised not to have any income tax increases during their administration, which is the only fair and reasonable way to deal with a grossly indebted and unbalanced, unhealthy economy. All that can now be done as the recession develops is for the Bank of England to fiddle around with interest rates, while further hitting the sick and the poor in an even more extensive austerity programme.
One thing is certain: 2016 is going to be an interesting year: "The Year of Widespread Unrest", probably seeing extensive fighting in the streets and racial violence as a result of the unchecked swarm of immigration. Significantly, the Channel Tunnel had to be closed last week because of immigrants trying to force their way into this country for the generous and readily available welfare benefits.
MONDAY 5 OCTOBER
In a desperate attempt to balance the Budget, the Chancellor is selling off more of the family silver, this time shares in Lloyds Bank that is partly publicly owned, having earlier been bailed out by the Cameroons when it got itself in a complete muddle, like the rest of the greedy banking sector. Presumably it can be argued that the money will still remain in the country, which is some consolation.
To town during the morning to withdraw some money from the bank and to purchase a book from Waterstone's, having given up the proposed austerity programme relating to book purchases. I am so glad that I gave up my account at Amazon for book buying, for I can now look at the books in advance of purchase, seeing whether they are suitable after a brief inspection. Waterstone's in the High Street in Lincoln is an excellent bookshop, having an extensive range of new books, including many on the First and Second World Wars.
I was rather annoyed that I would have had to pay 5 pence for a bag, the ridiculous legislation insisting on this payment for firms having 250 or more staff having come in today. The aim is said to be climate protection, but the more likely reason is to help the supermarkets avoid the cost of providing bags, several of the stores having had a rough time lately.
Much to my amusement, the "Daily Telegraph" today has a banner advertising part three of the authorised biography of Thatcher by Charles Moore, one of her few remaining admirers. Who on earth would want to read such a book, being reminded of that terrible woman who, with her little shopkeeper economics, did so much harm to the social and economic foundations of this country, from which we are still suffering
In the loathsome newspaper, Osborne, the Chancellor, is quoted as proclaiming: "I'm going to shake Britain out of inertia", but omits to say how this wake-up call is going to be administered. How you have to laugh!
Although we are a country in relentless social and economic decline, now steadily heading towards an even more severe recession, the hopeless Cameroons nevertheless really make us laugh, always providing, of course, that you are not sick or poor. Everything is in a state of chaos, everything falling apart in "Broken Britain" that is now returning to our default setting as the "poor man of Europe".
It was not so funny, though, to read in the "i" that our Defence Secretary is about to allow airstrikes against Isis in Syria "to make our streets safe". Oh, dear: does this silly little man not realise that we are going to make our streets more unsafe if we meddle in the affairs of another country, inviting retribution?. When you think of the politicians who rule over us now, some of them hardly having a brain in their head, it becomes very frightening. As it is, the Tories can never resist a fight abroad, not that Blair was actually reluctant in that area.
Some indication of the sheer nastiness of Tory policies was to be seen on the BBC News website today, which reported that a very vicious Think Tank had recommended that "Ministers should waste no time in making unpopular cuts to pensioner benefits" Maybe we need Mr. Corbyn after all, if only to return to a more decent and caring country, the pendulum having swung too far in favour of the rich.
Last of the summertime flowers. As it says in that wonderful song "Danny Boy" in which an Irish mother laments the death of her son: "All the summer flowers are dying."
Today I was asked to complete another "Customer Satisfaction Survey", this time from a petroleum company, having bought some of their petrol last week. Nowadays we are bombarded with these surveys, making me wonder why they are issued, especially as nothing is ever being done to improve matters. However, when I looked at this survey I saw that at the end of it
I was asked: "Please provide the information below so we can enter you in the prize draw". The information requested my name, telephone number, and e-mail address. In other words, they can use this information to market items to me, and my guess is that in some instances the information is sold on. Advice: never complete the surveys.
In the post we had three charity appeals, all of which went straight into the recycling bin, except for one in which I retrieved the free pen. I suppose these appeals help Royal Mail, as well as the printing industry, so all is not lost. Even so, I pride myself that I have never given a penny to any of these charity appeals, but I will gladly sponsor people who are raising money to provide items locally for needy people. In that form you know the donations will go to the intended beneficiaries, no massive administrative fees being deducted with chief executives outrageously on 6-figure salaries.
Apart from the visit to town, it was a day at home generally pottering around and updating and backing up items on the computer. The evening was spent reading some more of "The House by the Lake", a book dealing with the turbulent and violent history of Germany, which I am enjoying. One of the main advantages of the European Union is that now Germany is the supreme leader, the Germans are not likely to attack anybody again , having achieved their mastery through economics rather than warfare - something Hitler should have done.
TUESDAY 6 OCTOBER
One of our neighbours with the family and a dog, plus another relation, is driving all the way up to Scotland to spend a week's holiday in a remote farmhouse, braving the endless rain and the coldness. It makes me realise how lucky I am not having to go on holidays, especially those foreign ventures; indeed, the very mention of the word "holiday" tends to fill me with paroxysms of despair, especially when I see those catalogues with grossly inflated prices.
In a way, going abroad makes you feel somewhat disappointed and disillusioned, seeing other countries that have advanced, whereas we in this country have relentlessly declined. Nations abroad even care for their environment.
The newspapers today are full of the speech on immigration that Mrs. May will be making at the Conservative Party Conference today, saying that the current levels of migration in the UK are "unsustainable" and that mass immigration is making it impossible to build a "cohesive society". Fine words, but what has she ever done to control immigration into this country?
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary who gives the impression of not knowing his posterior from his elbow, has offensively and unthinkingly pronounced that the low- paid lack dignity and self- respect and should be made to work as hard as the Chinese. Yes, they should be made to work harder, Britain having the lowest productivity per man hour than any of the G7 nations, but maybe it would stimulate their efforts if employers invested money instead of pocketing all the profits and paying themselves immoral and immense bonuses, usually for incompetence.
Mr. Hunt's comments are the silly, unguarded and unthinking kind of remarks that develop Socialism, leading to a greater support for Jeremy Corbyn. They are the kind of remarks that Mosley would have made when addressing his Brownshirts. All political parties have their loose canons, and obviously Mr. Hunt is among the fraternity, not thinking what he is saying while trying to dismantle the National Health Service. He will no doubt always be remembered for this daft and irresponsible remark, just as Thatcher is remembered for saying that there was no such thing as society.
Meanwhile, the loathsome "Daily Telegraph" - a newspaper I despise more than the "Sun", has an editorial today insisting that the "George Osborne must stay true to Tory values", by which is presumably meant reducing the taxation of the rich while taking away the benefits of the sick and the poor; attacking the BBC because it is not right-wing enough; harassing single mothers; and selling off profitable parts of the National Health Service to chums in the City; and taking us out of the European Union, making us more insignificant than ever.
As I tiresomely state in this diary, I am essentially a Conservative supporter, not much caring for the enthusiasm of the Socialists in freely spending other people's money. Nevertheless, I do not like the present right-wing mob whose extreme and very nasty politics could easily develop into a form of Fascism as the economy steadily deteriorates next year. Those of us who are interested in studying history will know what happened in Germany during a period of relentless economic decline.
A young Conservative having been pelted with eggs at the Conservative Party Conference. It seems such a terrible waste of eggs, especially as thay are so good for us. The manager of the England thugy team could be similarly adorned.
A morning and afternoon at home, some of the morning spent writing out monthly payments, mercifully all by cheques, which I continue to use extensively, regarding them as the safest financial transactions, having the advantage of a note of the item in the stub. Thankfully, I have still managed to avoid having one of those diabolical direct debits in which you lose control of your banking account, allowing firms to take out as much money when they like. Getting your money back if there has been an overpayment takes weeks and weeks before a refund is eventually made.
In today's "i" I saw that Rolls Royce were laying off 400 workers in its maritime division, on top of the 600 redundancies made earlier, and that a "shock setback for the UK's dominant services firms cast doubt on the sustainability of the recovery yesterday, amid the slowest pace of growth in more than two years". One of my great interests, obviously deriving from my degree in economics, is to study recessions, looking at the manner in which they develop, and how they intensify to a full-blown recession. I am therefore going to have an interesting time studying the present descent into recession, especially in the months ahead.
Perhaps not surprisingly, there are three main stages of a recession. In the first stage, which can develop over many months, possibly six or more, and which we are now starting to see, various job losses are announced, beginning in manufacturing, and then extending to the services sector. Then, in the second stage, these job losses bring about a marked fall in consumer expenditure, and thereby a diminution in Government taxation revenues, necessitating cuts to the public services, which in turn lead to further job losses. In the third stage, there develops a full-scale recession, house prices falling substantially and employment rising dramatically, these cutbacks feeding upon one another to deepen the recession, forcing the Government to adopt austerity measures.
In the evening Mrs. Copeland and I went to the Steak Night at the local pub/restaurant "Woodcocks", for which there is a charge of a very reasonable £20 for two steaks and a bottle of wine. A most enjoyable occasion, certainly helping connubial felicity.
It made me laugh that a photograph of "Mon Strosity" that I put on my Facebook brought an entry from an American saying that the house was "the sort of item that pops up fairly often in Dallas." This truly hit the nail on the head, as they say, for I am sure that in the plains of Dallas, far away from other properties, the eco edifice would look very fine indeed, the owners wearing cowboy hats, swinging in a hammock on the balcony as they watched the sun going down in the west.
But in our historic community the house is a fish out of water, out of place and out of keeping, the unpleasantly aggressive people and their property never likely to be accepted in our community, especially as a peace overture was so rudely and arrogantly rejected. Another name that has recently been given for the ugly edifice is "The Shed", which I think will catch on in the neighbourhood, rather than "Mon Strosity".
There is the argument that architecture has to move on; that we cannot keep repeating the glories of the Georgian period that are seen in our historic community. Additionally, it can be argued that there are advanced thinkers who will like this type of property, believing that they are the arbiters of current architectural fashion, but the point is that with more intelligence and consideration for the environment, our area deserved something better than a crude and ugly wooden box. A one-storey development in a pleasing brick would have been quite acceptable, one that we would have readily welcomed.
WEDNESDAY 7 OCTOBER
After having a meal at "Woodocks" yesterday evening, Mrs. C. and I sat at home sat drinking until about 1.30 a.m. No doubt these late night sessions are bad for our lives and liver, but what the hell. Do we want to give up drinking to supposedly live for a few more years in a retirement home, watching daytime television and believing with the gaga inmates that Mrs. Thatcher is coming to rescue us?
I liked an e-mail that was sent to me regarding the mayor of the Montreal suburb of Dorval who, on the subject of immigration, has said that "Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, and its way of life, because that's where they chose to immigrate. Muslims must understand that they have to integrate and learn to live in Quebec. They must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle, not the Canadians who, so generously, welcomed them".
Amen to those wise sentiments, far removed from the weasel words that our Home Secretary mouths as the immigrants continue to swarm into this country, her latest pronouncements being that they do not help the country in any way. This negative view brought forth angry comments from employers who want cheap and disciplined labour, and from liberally-minded thinkers. It is argued that we need the immigrants to serve as nurses and doctors in the National Health Service, but why cannot we train our own people to take these posts? Presumably because undergraduates are studying media studies, psychology and other such easy, non-subjects.
Fallen leaves in the garden. I am thankful that I have managed to pay somebody to clear up the leaves every fortnight, my arthritis making it impossible for me to undertake the clearance.
Today's "Daily Mirror" has a front-page headline: "Top Tory: Half of NHS beds face axe - fears over the scale of plans to dismantle the Health Service." As we all know, the Cameroons hate the National Health Service, almost as much as they loathe the BBC, single mothers and the European Union, even wanting to spend millions on Trident that will never be used, for what country would ever want or be bothered to attack us in our deplorable social and economic condition?
Not surprisingly as this country heads towards recession, the IMF in its latest global growth forecast has lowered its prediction for the UK, taking it down from 2.5% to 2.2% for this year. Bearing in mind that the IMF has consistently exaggerated growth by 1% in every forecast, this effectively means that the UK this year will have a paltry 1.2% growth, and negative growth next year. According to the IMF: ""Downside risks to the world economy appear more persistent than they did a few months ago."
Although I do not much care for Mr. Cameron, I cannot help feeling sorry for him having to present his speech to the party conference this afternoon at a time when the country is falling apart, its economy in tatters, well on the way to recession; 330,000 immigrants having swarmed in unchecked to the country during the past year; having a poor Home Secretary whom he cannot get rid of because she is a woman, not wanting the fierce feminists to rise up in anger; property prices making it impossible for young couples to buy a house; there are more people in work, though they do not seem to work as hard as the Chinese; the National Health Service that the party hates so much now under extreme pressure; and we are about to spend millions on Trident that will never be used, nobody wanting to attack this rundown little island. So what on earth can he say in positive vein? Er....
Still, in the speech he vowed "to have an assault on poverty", so that's nice of him, possibly making us wonder why he did not do this earlier with his magic wand. Unfortunately, he had to resort to personal abuse during the speech, accusing Mr. Corbyn of "having a "Britain-hating ideology". That is just silly and childish, indicating that he is "rattled" about the Labour leader.
This personal abuse is always counterproductive, and as a former member of the Bullingdon Club he should know better. There was also an announcement of "dramatic planning reforms to increase home ownership", presumably meaning that developers will be able to build wherever and whatever they like, no account being taken of the environment, certainly not of any Green Belts.
Today's "i" had a report that "The press standards watchdog had upheld a complaint against 'The Daily Telegraph' after it claimed that senior Labour figures viewed Jeremy Corbyn as an 'anti-semite'". I just cannot understand how anybody can read such a horribly biased newspaper that panders to the Mark II generation of middle classes, its judgement biased to the detriment of all reason. I would prefer to read "The Daily Mirror", which at least has some interesting reading, not pandering to people who boast about ever rising price of their house.
The evening, while Mrs. C. went to the cinema with our granddaughter, I spent the time reading some more of "The House by the Lake", dealing with several generations of German families facing the turmoil and tragedies of that troubled country, now the supreme leader of the European Union that we will soon be leaving, becoming another Switzerland, but somewhat more overcrowded.
THURSDAY 8 OCTOBER
It amused me to learn that there was an editorial in today's loathsome "Daily Telegraph", saying that "After the surprising and welcome electoral victory, David Cameron outlines a bold domestic agenda", presumably meaning further cutbacks hitting the poor and the sick, with more welfare benefit cuts and reductions in tax credits. How can anybody take such a horribly biased paper? I can imagine a hostess, an avid reader, saying at a middle class dinner party: "Isn't it wonderful - Cameron's going to see that our house continues to rise in price, and he's going to sort out those beastly social security scroungers. Could you please pass the sushi, darling."
Difficult though it is to put political prejudice aside, essentially as I am a Conservative supporter, it is nevertheless difficult to credit this Government with any successes. We are more indebted now than Cameron came in, and the chances of balancing the Budget by 2020, even by selling off the rest of the family silver, are about as likely as the England football team winning the next World Cup. More children are now living in poverty than ever before according to a recent survey; the economy is in tatters, heading back towards recession; and the party is completely muddled and divided over the European Union. It would therefore not surprise me if the "Daily Mirror" after the election in 2020 has an editorial saying: "After his surprising and welcome win, Jeremy Corbyn outlines a bold policy to bring back fairness to the nation".
Significantly, indicating the economic troubles in store for this country, the IMF yesterday warned that "vulnerabilities in the global financial system have left the world economy at heightened risk of another major financial crisis and a new recession." Bearing in mind the UK's excessive dependence on the financial sector, this really spells trouble ahead - just as I have been predicting in this diary. This time next year the UK economy will be in real trouble.
The kittens belonging to granddaughter Chloe, causing havoc in her house.
I require a passport-style photograph for an application I am making, and this morning I scootered in to Snappy Snaps" in Lincoln, where I have my photographs printed. It is by far the best service in Lincoln, the staff immensely cheerful and pleasant. I then went on to purchase a copy of Melvyn Bragg's latest novel "Now Is The Time" at Waterstone's , being served by a very pleasant young lady. I am so glad that I now buy all my books (hardbacks, of course) locally, rather than from Amazon, having a chance to look at the book before purchase.
On a sunny day it was a delight riding to town on the scooter - by far the best form of urban transport, having no problems in parking and being able to overtake tail-backed cars. It is the wonderful feeling of freedom when being on two wheels. My present scooter will be 3 years' old come March, when I think I will replace it with a new model, seeing it as the last one I will have in my declining years.
Pottering around at home during the morning; a siesta in the afternoon, and this evening I will be reading some more of, and probably finishing, "The House on the Lake" dealing with successive generations living in Germany. In East Germany, the horrors are recorded of the Stasi, little better than the Gestapo. A fine book.
Lincolnshire 8th October, 2015
Diary of an Octogenarian
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