Welcome to my day: 15 November 2021 – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Good morning, gentle readers, as the days get shorter and the nights that little bit gloomier. Certainly, they’re not short enough for the Conservatives, even as they are definitely gloomier.

I have to admit to wondering whether there was anything that the Government could do that would shake the British public out of its apparent lethargy. A botched Brexit? Apparently not. A shambolic management of the pandemic? Seemingly, no. But, as it turns out, they had found a “long fuse” means to undermine themselves – greed.

It does astonish me that some Conservative MPs are so wilfully negligent of conflict of interest issues – it is very “Government 101”, one of the first things you have impressed upon you when taking up a position even at Parish Council level. That’s why there are registers of interest. Unfortunately, the impression being given is that some of them really don’t care about the ethics of it all. And when the Daily Mail is outraged, you might think that it might trigger some sense of reflection…

Apparently, on this day in 1533, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro entered Cuzco. It didn’t end well for the locals. And, in 1818, the Congress of Aix-le-Chapelle concluded. Representatives of Britain, Austria, France, Prussia and Russia had met to discuss and take common action following the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It seems that we don’t do that sort of thing any more unless there’s a photo opportunity in it for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. And, finally for those of you who play Civilization VI, on this day in 1889, Emperor Pedro II of Brazil was deposed in a military coup.

Curiously, although there’s a lot happening out there, you’re apparently all too busy doing it to write anything. C’est la vie, I guess. So, the day is a bit of a mystery but I’m sure we’ll cope…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and an exponent of the dark arts of bureaucracy.

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  • Thanks for this, Mark. Perhaps it’s not so much that ‘la vie’ nowadays is dominated by lethargy, and more that we don’t know where to begin. However, regarding sleaze, I think the debate last week kicked off by Wendy Chamberlain was effective and has drawn a line in the sand. Rees Mogg looked stony-faced throughout, can’t have enjoyed it, and won’t want a repeat. Although Johnson simply ducked out and to some degree got away with doing that, the number of times he has evaded facing the music is mounting up. At some point people are going to realise that there is a reason for his talent for bluster (he gets a lot of practice), and stop finding it amusing. There was a genuine hilarious moment this week however, when the government attempted to stop trying to defend Patterson’s lobbying, but couldn’t even get that right – no-one noticed that Chopper Chope had accidentally been let out of his cage, and he promptly did his usual ‘business’ on the floor of the house.
    Botched Brexit is more problematic, because the message about a bit of pain being a necessary part of regaining our ‘sovereignty’ has sold well among the deluded 17.4 million (or the smaller number still alive today), especially those who aren’t either out of work as a result or running a nearly bankrupt business or farm. Inconveniently, despite that cover story being blatantly at odds with the upbeat messages pumped out during the Leave campaign, there is some truth in it. By accident or design, we found a very comfortable fit between not wanting to do low-paid work ourselves, and having a free entry system for workers from Eastern Europe who were happy to do it.
    If we are honest, that system wasn’t really right, either for us or for Poland, Bulgaria, Romania etc. Nor is it right to poach doctors and nurses from Spain, and it’s even worse to poach them from India, the Philippines or Southern Africa, places where their need for such people is probably greater than ours.

  • Peter Hirst 22nd Nov '21 - 5:14pm

    Perhaps the people of North Shropshire will realise they have an opportunity to send a message to Westminster that at least they are not going to accept the present political quagmire and shake the remainder of the country to their senses.

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