The *Is It Safe Yet Diaries?* 19th June 2022

So busy. It’s like the old days. I am working. Due the current economic climate I hardly dare to turn anything down, just like the old days, but boy it makes me tired. Today was a welcome day off. Colm returned the book table yesterday. While it’s been at his workshop I have realised how much bigger the room seems without it. In the long term it’s a piece of furniture I could part with. In the short term it’s much too useful. Still, I felt inspired to cull some of the books normally housed in it. They have been taking up an impressive amount of space in their strong carrier bags in the corner of the living room.

I carried as many as I could to the Oxfam bookshop in Bloomsbury. Since coming home I have filled another bag, and put a selection aside for my great nieces. Some of the books are too old for them now, but they are growing up fast.

Others are old in a different way. Two big books on natural history belonged to my great grandfather and he has written his name on the flyleaf. How do others part with inscribed books like these? I foresee a day when the only books I own will belong to long dead relatives, most of whom I never met.

The news: Could it be bleaker? The war in Ukraine goes on with no end in sight. News of atrocities have become everyday. Here, the government says it cannot provide for everyone as the economy goes tits up. Which means what exactly? Will we become accustomed to mass homelessness and starvation, and primed to accept it as the only option? Dead people on the streets an everyday occurrence. Shrug and pass on until the day comes when we are those desperate, abandoned people. Laws are being passed which make the government unassailable. Those at the top cling on to power for power’s sake. They don’t even try to hide it, yet a compliant press published distracting non-stories on their front pages: family rifts between William and Harry as related by William’s ‘close friends’. He doesn’t need enemies then. Faux outrage that Keir Starmer has sympathy with striking rail workers. Who in their right mind wouldn’t have? Grant Schapps saying the last thing rail workers need to do is strike. Well Grant, what’s the first thing they should do then? Do tell. Strikes are not popular, they are disruptive, and that’s the point of them. And they are often the only effective way that continued grievance over pay and work conditions can be conveyed to an apathetic public, and a government which frankly does not care. Its indifference shown by its refusal to join last ditch talks. Cynical conniving bastards.

Boris Johnson has so far stayed out of prison, as indeed has Trump which seems daily more improbable, but surely it’s only a matter of time. Oh no, I’m forgetting the new laws. Johnson’s inviolate. Nadine Dorries (if you live in another country than the UK and have never heard of heard Ms Dorries, thank your lucky stars) will be the person who decides what should be censored from our news feeds. Read about it here. It seems someone has jumped the gun. A story about Boris Johnson trying to get Carrie Symonds a £100,000 per annum job when he was at the Foreign Office, a story which was reported in the newspapers, has disappeared both the Times and the Mail online. Well what a surprise.

Fortunately The Outlaws has returned for a second series, and as it’s starting in less than five minutes, I am stopping here.

Have fun.