Monday. It’s traditionally a day to do the washing and so it was chez IsobeletChat. It was dry, much milder than the last few days and, best of all, windy. I actually woke in the night because I was too warm. Chris called me just after breakfast, and it was only later in the day I realised I hadn’t read the paper, realised too that without being aware my morning routine is now to get stuck into The Guardian (online edition) while I drink my coffee.
There was nothing exciting about my day. It was one of domestic chores and waiting for the ONS person to turn up so I could take swabs which will go to the Covid study. The news regarding the pandemic is fairly unrelenting in its grimness. Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, numbers of people infected are still dying, the young as well as the old are dying, there are temporary mortuaries in Surrey and NW London. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still a long tunnel.
We are told to stay local. Boris Johnson was seen cycling seven miles from his home in Downing Street. OK it’s not that far, and a bike ride of seven miles is not great, but it does make you remember Dominic Cummings and his interpretation of stay home involving a very long car ride followed by another car ride to a famous beauty spot in order, he claimed, to check his eyesight. Johnson’s cycling suggests a tin ear at the very least. Government has to be seen to be practising what it preaches. Most of us interpret stay local as staying in an area less than seven miles from our homes. The Cummings fiasco did untold damage. The Prime Minister telling reporters that more vaccinations have been given here in the UK than in any other country as though we are in some strange international vaccination race (and it’s GB going for Gooooooold) is as bizarre as it is irrelevant. Yes we want the vaccines, and we want them as fast we can have them, but I am really not going to be dismayed if another country administers them more quickly than we do. This is a global pandemic. We want everyone, everywhere to be vaccinated.
postscript 12th January. I just read this piece in today’s paper on the subject of bending the lockdown rules. Food for thought.
I am still mesmerised by events on the other side of the pond. Also disgusted by a Tory politician who saw fit to equate the mob violence in the Capitol with peaceful protests by Remainers asking for a second referendum on the EU. Is that how they are going to play it? It would be awfully nice if, seeing how Trump’s lies and divisive tactics have lead to a DisUnited States, other politicians around the globe might decide that countries would be better served by honest politicians who have more than a passing acquaintance with honour, humility, justice and patriotism. Instead we have the same unedifying spectacle of politicians seeking power for themselves, and apparently persuading themselves that their countries will be best served by this self-aggrandisement. I watched Lindsey Hilsum interviewing Yoweri Museveni the other night. He will probably still be Uganda’s president after the elections at the end of the week, not because of free votes and fair play, but because somewhere along the line he has rcome to regard the role as his personal property, and evidently intends to be President for life. Hilsum, is normally the gentlest of interviewers, though no push over. This was the first time I have ever seen her look utterly fed up. Unless I am very much deceived, she also deployed sarcasm. Again this was the first time I have witnessed her doing this. I’ll see if I can find the clip. Here it is.She wrote a piece in the Guardian which you can read here.
Back to Trump. Part of me thinks he’ll be out of office in ten days, let that be an end to it. Then I think back to last Wednesday. Shocking though it was it could very nearly have been much worse. There were those in the mob who went armed with intent to kill. Some have been arrested and charged. They will almost certainly spend time in prison, so why should Trump walk away from it with his liberty unchallenged? If the US says, well he was very bad, but he won’t have to face the consequences, what message does that give to any future would be insurrectionist and dictator? Imagine the mob had got hold of Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi and strung them up, as some undoubtedly planned to do, what would the situation in the US be today? So although I think it’s a pity the first weeks of Biden’s administration should be dealing with this, I believe it has to be done, or a green light is given to the mob who will redouble its efforts and make the rest of the country its prisoners, and the head of that mob is Trump so he must be made to face what he has done and pay a hefty price for it. Democracy needs to be defended.
I am going to leave you with a photograph I took on Saturday while on my walk with Octavia. Maybe there is hope for us after all.
Stay safe. Keep well. Remember it’s not a race.