25 March 2021
Diary of a Corbynista
An Unnatural Silence
by Don Urquhart
Legend has it that the people of Hartlepool once hanged a shipwrecked monkey considering him to be a Frenchman and therefore mortal enemy.
Mike Hill’s resignation as Labour MP for Hartlepool necessitates a by-election which will take place on May 6th along with local elections of various kinds. The CLP have selected Dr Paul Williams as their candidate. Whatever fine qualities he has, he is also Sir Keir Starmer’s nominee so there will be a few Socialists out to see him defeated. It would be fun if the Tories could put up a monkey as their candidate. He or she would have a fighting chance. After all, the town once elected Peter Mandelson.
Question Time gave us a first. Never before had the presenter felt it necessary to pose a question rather than leave it to the general public.
SNP MP Kirsten Oswald was on the panel. Eleven minutes in Fiona interposed:
Kirsten, while I’ve got you….there are reports out tonight that Nicola Sturgeon misled Parliament about the Scottish government’s mishandling of allegations of sexual assault by Alex Salmond. Does Nicola Sturgeon now have to resign?
It is clear from the newspapers and broadcast media that the Tories are keen to keep this issue front and centre so it’s no surprise that the state broadcaster would take this opportunity, particularly when none of the 25 people on their Zoom panel had it as a big enough issue to raise.
The Hancock/Van-Tam Press Briefing was a car crash. The big news was Ursula threatening to suspend vaccine exports to the UK while National Health England was emailing vaccinators to advise them not to book customers in for April. Hancock mumbled about us having to find the people in earlier cohorts and jab them before moving on. I remember thinking “Is this how they plan to explain the lack of vaccinations in April?” JVT confirmed this in my mind by bizarrely comparing football strikers with defensive midfielders (the real heroes) linking this to the task of inoculating early cohorts first.
No surprise that Johnson was out with Whitty last night to give us a breezy optimistic take – meeting all deadlines, cooperating like mad with Europe and grateful to the Indian supplier rumoured to be holding back a few vials.
Even the Tories are now talking about Broadband as if it’s a basic human right. Corbyn was going to nationalise Open Reach and was mocked by the commentariat.
Yesterday an Open Reach engineer came to sort out our Broadband. Our feed comes from a telephone pole and he replaced the superannuated cable.
We had asked our neighbours if they had Broadband problems and soon had around 20 responses. I pointed this out to our engineer who suggested that they each raise a complaint.
Now all of our neighbours are connected via telephone poles and there has to be a strong chance the cables are not up to snuff. Trouble is they have contracts with BT, EE, Sky, Virgin, PlusNet and many others. So for each complaint an Open Reach engineer will come and replace a single cable.
I am nobody’s commercial wizard but I am sure that it would be more cost-effective for Open Reach to come and replace all of the cables in one hit.
And wouldn’t it be great if the companies who send out bills were not taking a slice for doing very little?
Message Board responses to Corbynista in Shaw Sheet 271:
I’m a big fan of Peter Frankopan and found his books very readable filling0 in a lot of gaps in my history knowledge; I would also recommend Tim Marshall’s Prisoners of Geography for those with time to read.
As for the Clapham Common vigil I think the Police got it wrong but it would have been good if people hadn’t rocked up with ‘Free Julian Assange’ and other completely unrelated posters and just let people gather in a respectful vigil.
I, too, was rather incensed by Raab’s comments re who we do business with.
I was particularly disturbed by the implication that our soft power may influence these regimes, when the reality is that they actually don’t give a stuff and just want the money.
Those countries, like Saudi, don’t seem to have changed their positions at all. So much for “soft power”.
Great news today that Gibraltar is fully vaccinated, I’m sure you rejoiced when Matt made that announcement.
The older I get the more I become aware that we are educated to see the world through a narrow lens. Books such as The Silk Road are very often an eye opener and reading such material has prompted me to widen the lens, the internet is invaluable for learning too.
If you’re interested in an economic perspective then I’d recommend https://www.principles.com/the-changing-world-order/#chapter1 by Ray Dalio. Lots of people are put off by his reputation at https://www.bridgewater.com/ and his wealth but I have found it to be extremely educational on ‘money’ and to see the big picture, particularly interesting having worked within finance for so many years!
Great to see in the news this week that Uber will be treating drivers as workers, so at least there was some good news even if the government had absolutely nothing to do with it!
Johnson’s election was cheered on by compliant media dedicated to maintaining the privileges of the few.
Yesterday’s protests in Bristol are symptomatic of a society where people are constantly lied to by an incompetent and corrupt government.
You can tell yourself it is the action of a few troublemakers but many in the population feel impotent to defend themselves in a hostile environment for the poor and vulnerable.
It’s instead of implementing policies that save people’s lives.
I am all for remembering the country’s heroes in war and peace, but the minute’s silence planned for today is too soon. After the promised independent inquiry would be better. But of course this will never happen.
On the broadcast media we see a repeating loop of Johnson telling us exactly a year ago that we needed to lockdown immediately. An independent inquiry would tell us whether this was triggered by President Macron threatening to close the border unless the UK government acted. Here’s how inews reported it:
An official at the Elysee Palace, Mr Macron’s official residence, told French newspaper Liberation: “We had to make a clear threat so that he would finally budge.”
The handclapping for the NHS was instead of treating our heroes properly.
Here we go again.