Posts Tagged ‘Bluebells’
Another lovely morning. As we strolled down to the allotments the ground seemed swathed in a low fog of bluebells, here and there punctuated by spikes of yellow archangel. Overhead the bud-burst of the oaks said that Spring is truly here.
Our mood of quiet calm and oneness with nature was ended the moment we arrived at the hen-runs for the evidence of egg-eating lay all around. We will soon have shares in Colemans given the amount of mustard we are buying to fill empty shells! I was having a quick rant about ingratitude – as if dull-witted hens could possibility have such a characteristic - when Albert slouched in Compo style. “Calm down dear” he said, but coming from him it sounded ludicrous. Cameron used it yesterday to patronise Angela Eagle and it seemed appropriate since Cameron is little more than a born-again Michael Winner.
And it seems that he not only patronises, he assumes that we are all three pence short of a shilling. He proclaimed the news of a 0.5% increase in GDP as good news. In fact the tiny increase merely offsets the same deficit for the previous quarter and demonstrates that growth in the econony has ground to a halt. And this is before the majority of the cuts and redundancies have begun. It is potentially very bad news indeed for without growth the deficit will remain and employment will fall.
The economic picture then is of one in a perilously weak condition even before Whitehall, town halls and other parts of the public sector started on their biggest cuts. Yesterday, Jonathan Portes, former chief economist at the Cabinet Office, called for a “scaling back of the fiscal overkill”. Mr Portes worked in a senior capacity with coalition ministers until recently; his intervention deserves to be taken very seriously.
Other eminent economists, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, have called for a “plan B”. They point out that the greatest threat to the economy is insufficient demand – of families not buying things (for fear of job losses) and businesses not investing. Fiddling with the supply side will not help and all the talk of “bonfires of red tape” is merely an encore of the Blair and Thatcher “bonfires” which made no difference. The only realistic solution is another shot of government spending to re-boot industries such as construction and to get back consumer confidence. And a much harder line on EU payments and corporate tax avoidance could make an enormous difference too.
Cameron and Osborne claim that the “economy is broadly on the right track”. What sort of economics do they teach at Eton, what would they consider the wrong track? One just a few feet nearer the cliff we are heading toward perhaps?
The most galling thing of all is that senior politicians no longer seem capable of telling it as it is in the way that Churchill once did. We don’t care about Cameron’s patronising approach to women who are more than capable of putting creeps in their place. We care about the prospect of economic collapse and all that it will bring to the poorest members of society. But the elitist ministers continue to assume that we are green and will believe anything they care to dream up.
And they continue to rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic!
SPORTING THOUGHTS FOR TODAY: ” We know what we need to do now so I think we’ll either win, draw or lose”….Ian Rush “We got the winner three minutes from time, but then they equalised”…..Ian McNaill “Whoever wins today will win the championship no matter who wins”…..Denis Law “Graeme Souness went behind my back right in front of my face”…..Craig Bellamy “I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one”…..Brian Clough “For the benefit of Anglo-Saxon viewers, I wonder if Sky would consider using subtitles when interviewing Kenny Dalglish”……letter to Evening Standard “Alex Feruson’s weakness is that he doesn’t think he has any”…….Arsene Wenger “Mourinho turned down the position of Pope when he heard that it was only an assistant position”…..Harry Pearson “I would have thought the knowledge that you are going to be leapt on by a load of congratulatory but sweaty team-mates would be an inducement NOT to score a goal in soccer”….Arthur Marshall
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S QUIZ; 1. Dinara Safina 2. Geremi ( at Chelsea, Middlesborough and Newcastle respectively).
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. Who directed the film ‘Star Wars’ ? 2. Dame Barbara Hepworth died in 1975. Was she known for singing, painting or sulpture?
The daffodils are out and the Bluebells under the trees are preparing to join them. The snowdrops are everywhere and the birds are scavenging for moss as their thoughts too turn to the Spring. In fact morale on the allotments should be high for the worst excesses of winter are over and more and more members are returning to their plots. Sadly there is a constant shadow cast by members who have grandsons, or in one case sons, in Afghanistan. Two of them are themselves ex-army men and the term armchair generals is in regular usage. In fact it reached its peak when Cameron’s warlike stance on Libya coincided with news of yet more cuts to our armed forces. And today we learn that more redundancy notices are on their way, the long-awaited armoured vehicles are to be cancelled as is the fleetof Reaper and Predator unmanned drones that spy on and attack insurgents.
Military experts are calling for a halt to the programme of cuts before it is too late They point out that the only reason HMS Cumberland was able to help rescue British citizens was that it was on its way home to be scrapped. Our one remaining aircraft carrier is now at Portsmouth awaiting the same fate and our Harrier force awaits a similar fate. Yet even the oldest of the prematurely retired GR77 and GR9 Harriers have only used a third of their planned airframe hours.
What it all boils down to is the stark fact that our troops are now exposed to mortal danger and the defence of the realm is now dependent on the support of the French and American governments. One imagines that the tranquility of Bladon churchyard is disturbed by the sound of Winston Churchill turning in his grave!
For he not only understood a great deal about military strategy, he had experienced the sound of shots fired in anger. But like Blair and Thatcher before him, David Cameron has never served or experienced the consequences of decisions made by armchair generals. Would Thatcher have been quite so quick to pack off her Task force to the Falklands if she had ever witnessed a ship and its crew on fire? Would Blair have been quite so gung ho about invading Iraq if he had actually seen what just one smart bomb can do to a village community?
And now we have Cameron – another donkey eager to send lions into battle for a cause that has nothing to do with us, and for which we no longer have the military strength. Fortunately no other world leader took his posturing over Libya seriously and hopefully he now realises that playing politics with the lives of servicemen is immoral.
For generations our prime ministers have sent young men and women off to fight and kill and die. Many have returned in coffins, many dreadfully burned, many severely wounded in body or mind. Many who returned have faced an uncertain future as the armchair generals tear up the promises to employ or help them. Toy soldiers like Thatcher, Blair and Cameron have abused their bravery, casually thrown away their lives, all for the sake of their own preening vanity.
Of course there was no alternative in 1939 when these Islands face imminent danger. But that was then, now we have few planes, ships or troops. But we are not facing danger from without and Cameron should stop playing politics without understanding the awful outcome of what he does!
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY; ” A man without a woman is like a neck without a pain”….W C Fields “The more I see of men the more I admire dogs”……Marie de Rabutin-Chantal “A man in the house is worth two in the street”….Mae West “I once had a large gay following, but I ducked into an alleyway and lost him”……Emo Philips ” I remember when outing meant a family picnic”…..Rodney Dangerfield “” I was dating a younger man. I asked him where he was when Elvis died. He said he was in amniotic fluid”……Robin Roberts ” Cleanliness is next to impossible”…..Audrey Austin “Alimony is the screwing you get for the screwing you got”….Jim Davidson ” My best friend ran off with my wife, and let me tell you, I really miss him”….Henny Youngman ”Bagpipes are the missing link between music and noise”…..E K Krugar
ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S QUIZ; 1. Wimbledon 2 Virginia Wade (1977)
TODAY’S QUESTIONS; 1. What kind of animal is a Kermit? 2. Was Gilbert O’Sullivan American, British, or Irish? What song gave him his first big hit?