Good morning all, the sun is out and I’m off to London later to catch up with John, Andreas, Yat and Ben. We’re coming up to 30-40 years of friendship and our last meeting was too long ago, January 2016. Friendship nourishes the soul and it’s an essential part of my battle to maintain positive mental health to stay in touch with all I know and love.
I will be thinking of my friend Robert Lucas who is on the other side of the world and perhaps we’ll have a toast to him.
Thursday was a good day this week. Nothing to do with the Tory manifesto being published. Shocked as you no doubt are by that snippet the reasons are elsewhere. Myself and my colleagues had a meal out to celebrate Sam’s birthday and Anna’s imminent departure. Then later in the day I visited our local laundry with our too-big for our washing machine duvet. Whilst there I met a lovely little boy who was tumble drying his family’s clothes. We chatted about the relative merits of IPods and IPhones and he told me that he gave one of his phones to a relative that lived abroad because she didn’t have a phone of her own. And he demonstrated his athletic prowess by jumping off the machines onto the floor with great gymnastic ability. ‘Goodbye, and keep on helping your mum’ I told him as he left to go back home.
The BBC are showing the first series of The Detectorists on BBC2 on Monday nights at 10. It stars someone you might recognise from The Office.
It’s a lovely gentle comedy and I can’t recommend it enough.
Also on tv this week was a 3 part documentary on the abuse of young girls in Rochdale called Three Girls. Very powerful and upsetting to watch.
At home Yazeed continues to make progress, I wish he would have breakfast before leaving the house, I will try and tackle this with him as well as a number of other matters in order to further his education and understanding of western culture. I introduced him to corned beef hash the other week. It was a success. It is confirmed that he will be staying with us till August and he will be joined by four girls 15-16 years old in early July. It should be interesting. I prefer the company of girls. They talk more. Boys say little and only when essential. I should know. Ask anyone who knows me.
The General Election campaign rumbles on and people are climbing trees to see Jeremy Corbyn.
Teresa May, meanwhile, continues on her tour of empty warehouses, filled with a handful of party members outnumbered by journalists and photographers. I fear the result will be a Tory re-election. I think people generally make up their minds not in the 3 or so weeks of a campaign but before that. And I get the sense that people are wiping the slate clean for Teresa May and are not associating her with the government she was a member of for seven years. The Tories called a referendum on the European Union in order to heal the divisions within their own party and have transferred the divisions to the rest of the country instead whilst they have united behind Mother Teresa. What I also sense is that people are now falling in behind either the Tories or Labour and that the Greens, Liberals and UKIP are going to get squeezed out. Tough times call for tough choices.
And what of the Tory manifesto? Five or so years ago the Tory – Liberal coalition introduced free school meals for all primary school children. The Liberal’s boasted about their influence in government.
It’s going to go. The Tories are going to scrap it if re-elected. And I hope the Liberal’s realise how stupid they were to prop up such a shameless bunch of shysters for 5 years between 2010-15.
Another pledge is to scrap fixed term parliaments. Again only introduced by the Tory- Liberal coalition.
And there are changes to social care, a field I work in and have knowledge of. There is some good news. If you are in a care home and have sold your house to pay for your care you will be left with £100,000 instead of £23,250 before your local council pays towards your care.
But if you are cared for at home and have less that £23,250 in savings but own a house you are shafted. You will now, if your house is worth over £100,000 pay for ALL of the costs of your care.
Earlier in the week there was this exchange between Teresa May and Kathy Mohan who has learning disabilities. ‘We’ve got a lot of plans for people with mental health’ she said.
Whatever plans she’s got were not revealed on Thursday.
What’s clear is that the public have a clear choice on June 8. They can continue with a government that will protect the interests of the rich. Or they can vote for a party that will attack them.
Two things this week have reminded me what sort of a country we’re living in. Kenan has had to pay a £400 administration fee to be able to rent a property he is intending to live in. In Scotland these have been banned. But the Tories haven’t been in charge there for some time. Another was when I was with one of my carers and she said her son, who is smart and hoped to become a lawyer, has decided not to pursue that path and is instead going to work in another industry. Tuition fees were a factor in why he hasn’t gone to university. On June 8 you have the opportunity to vote for a party that will abolish tuition fees and allow children to fulfil their potential.