With the situation in India worsening by the hour, the title of these posts is not changing yet awhile. I watched the news tonight and Matt Hancock’s response seemed repulsive. He showed no evidence of empathy or understanding that while Covid is actively killing people anywhere in the world we are all at risk. He didn’t sound interested or concerned.
I don’t mean to suggest that Hancock is a colder fish than other members of this government. Boris Johnson’s dismissal of concerns about who paid for the redecoration of the Downing Street flat with an airy comment that the public isn’t interested illustrates how out of touch he is. The cost of the redecoration has also raised eyebrows and dropped jaws. Yet another example of how the poor are expected to exist on very little but someone who is already very entitled feels he should have more.
I happened to be Westminster at lunchtime today and saw these banners. They pack quite a punch. There were more police officers about than usual.
Seeing me looking and taking photos, one of them spoke to me, and smiled. Is there a demo? I asked. No, he replied, PMQs, these are here every week. Now I live not far from Parliament Square but I am not generally there on a Wednesday lunchtime, so I had never seen these before. But isn’t it the role of the press to show us things like this? Or is this just another example of how these events are excluded so that we don’t get to see the peaceful protests about the state of our democracy?
I felt quite thoughtful as I went about my business. It included parting with my OM-1. Although I have been thinking about this for some time, it was surprisingly emotional. I felt as though I had just given up a loved pet to the RSPCA. I’ve not used this camera in years, but I bought it nearly 42 years ago. It cost all my savings, and was worth every penny. Such a beautiful camera. It feels good in your hands, the sound the shutter makes is poetry. But like many I have switched to digital. My loved OM-1 has sat unused in my flat for several years. Each time I’ve looked at it I have felt guilty. So today I took it to the London Camera Exchange. It got a good bill of health. I felt proud. They gave me £80 for it. It feels a bit like blood money. Until the money, cash though not used notes, was in my hand I hadn’t considered what I might do with it. Now I am determined it will be spent on something camera related. A legacy of my OM-1.
The bus home took me via Parliament Square again. Several schoolgirls were on board. They had evidently just taken an exam, and were discussing how well they thought they had done. As we neared the Palace of Westminster the conversation turned to politics. They had a very low opinion of the government and had an admirable knowledge of current affairs. I was impressed. I felt hopeful that this generation will be politically and socially engaged. Maybe the country will recover its self respect one day.
Stay safe. Keep well.