Monday, 16 July 2018


The recent report on the national mood by Deloitte shows we are more confident and happy than we’ve been since 2011.

Rather surprising this given the gloomy news commentaries. The improvement is put down to the Royal Wedding, the World Cup where we did less badly than expected (and with some style) and, of course, the weather - 58 days without rain in the south east.

Meanwhile one rather sparsely reported event has stood out for me. Peace has broken out between Ethiopia and Eritrea after 20 years of war and on-off border conflict. This was a real cause for celebration.

It also occurs to me that people are clearer about what really matters and are becoming immune to complex and legalistic arguments. I watched a typically ill-tempered Question Time on BBC1 last week partly to watch Barry Gardiner, Shadow Secretary of State for Internal Trade because I’d read he had the voice of the late serial murder, Dr Harold Shipman.  Barry has the charisma of a GP for sure and one who’s about to smile and give you very bad news.

As the panellists beat each other up in shrill discord I was struck by Claire Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

She said two things that stood out:-

Unravelling a relationship that had taken 44 years to put together was tricky and would take time

Of course they were working on a plan B “no deal” worst case scenario

Fellow panellist Gina Miller, the remain activist, was aghast with her honesty. I meanwhile enjoyed her teasing Piers Morgan and her sheer bubbly enthusiasm. She was smart and a lot of fun. She has been characterised as “colourful” (that’s as dangerous as being described as  “courageous” - code for “reckless”.) Hence a political commentator describing her thus:

Claire could be brilliant, but there’s a danger she could self-destruct at any point,

She made me laugh and listen. I predict Claire will go far but break a few glasses and hearts on the way. I learnt more about Brexit from her than anyone else so far. Her attitude mattered most. It’ll sort of be OK whichever way things roll provided we keep our sense of humour.

Enter Mr Grumpy - Donald Trump. Yes he’s ghastly, rude but playacting and increasingly he asks the question no one else dares to ask. He’s beginning to make me laugh. He’ll make a great TV personality (again) when he ceases to be President which I’m afraid he increasingly enjoys. He knows he can actually say anything he wants and deny it despite it being on tape (“fake tape”).

I think we’re becoming immune to him and Brexit. Like Boris they’re infuriatingly tiresome. Claire at least shows life can be funny too.

This has been some summer as we discover walking on sunshine beats shouting and makes various conflicts seem irrelevant. Life goes on: humanity is recovering  - and don’t it feel good?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hmmm - Claire Perry is our MP here in Wiltshire Profonde. She was a Remainer, but her deeply blue-rinsed constituents voted Leave. She is a very good constituency MP, but any rebellious instincts have been bought off with a series of minor ministerial appointments, plus membership of the Privy Council.
Educated at Brasenose, her tutor was Vernon Bogdanor, who also tutored David Cameron.
Don't expect too much of her!!