Friday, 5 May 2006


Writing at the end of a week rather than at the start, makes a change.

Quiet week. Was very tired early on in the week, despite quite a lazy weekend last time around. Tentative plan for tomorrow is to go over to Southampton to see The Pink Panther at 11am - we'll see whether Alice wants to come over too.

Jacqueline has just opened an ISA account with the Portman, and in doing so took her passport as id, whereupon the nice lady at Portman pointed out that it had expired! Not good news, with our holiday looming! So she scurried off to the Post Office and got all the forms, so hopefully it will all be sorted. In reality, there's ample time before we go on holiday so unless something goes very seriously wrong..... But it is a godsend that she went to open this account because otherwise we'd probably have found out on the way to the ferry!

It has started feeling summery this week for the first time. We had a maximim temperature of over 24 degrees yesterday. Strange, the highest daily temperature seems to be occurring at 4:30 - 5pm, I'd have thought it would be earlier...

On to news, yesterday was local election day, and Tony suffered heavy losses as predicted. We didn't have an election, not that it would have made any difference because our names have now dropped off the register due to years of ignoring their forms. Still, on the plus side it means no-one will ask me to do Jury Service.
Anyway, as a result of the elections Bliar hashad an instant reshuffle, firing Charles Clarke (Home Secretary) who has really suffered in the headlines over the last few weeks. Purely and simply seems to be incompetence - not acting when made aware of issues, etc., not that I feel in any way sorry for him since he proved his illiberal credentials by continuing Blunkett's nasty work. Certainly Clarke was pushed. Straw (Foreign Secretary) has gone too, although I can't help feeling that he must have decided to jump - he keeps his nose clean and is fiercely loyal to Bliar, both of which would I have thought guarantee him his job given the quality of the people waiting in the wings. So now the Home Secretary is John Reid and the Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, both of whom come across as completely lightweight. Beckett has hashed about in Defra and if I'm not mistaken I think I read somewhere (could have been Galloway's autobiog) that Reid started out in life as a Communist Party apparachnik. But I could be wrong...

Can't help thinking that it has taken Bliar only nine years to run out of talent, took the Tories nineteen years. But then if I'd have been elected as a Labour MP in '97 and found myself having to toe the line on tuition fees, foundation hospitals and schools, Iraq, not to mention all the illiberal bumbling which did for Blunkett and has now done for Clarke, I think it must have been so demoralising..... I think the good people would have made alternate plans, leaving of course the politicoes behind.

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