Firstly an apology for 2 birthdays missed. Laura Marling, I have no excuse for as it was 1st Feb, which of course makes her 21 not 20 as stated in my last blog. And Deb, oh dear, missed completely whilst wallowing in self pity. A belated happy Birthday Deb xxx. I was reminded by many of the imminent sale of tickets for Laura Marling’s UK forthcoming tour. I would have loved to have gone, but sadly it coincides with a date I have with a surgeon. I was gutted not to have seen her on her recent Cathedral dates, it would have been great to hear her in the wondrous setting of Manchester Cathedral had she included it on her itinerary. I will have to satisfy myself with the knowledge that I will see her again. Laura is going to be around for many years, and I have to regard myself as fortunate at having seen her at each of the last three Glastonbury festivals. None better than when she performed on the Pyramid stage in the Sunday afternoon sunshine this year, just prior to Paul Simon. An afternoon that will stay in my memory forever.
I can’t hide my anger at the way Cameron dealt with the Euro zone crisis, I was awake through the night and so heard the drama as it unfolded. He went in with all guns blazing and ran straight into a Franco/German ambush. This was no bulldog spirit, it was a demonstration of how not to negotiate. No matter what your opinion is of Europe, the one thing for sure is we cannot afford not to be an integral part. Cameron has now thrown that away for the sake of saving a few bank bench votes. So what did Cameron win – absolutely nothing. Britain’s position in Europe has changed dramatically, for the worse. Britain is now more distanced from Europe than ever before, on the premise of saving the financial sector, and probably at the expense of many thousand jobs in other industries. Are we really protected from the transactions tax? I doubt it, unless the banks don’t do any business with the remaining countries in the Euro zone. Cameron has not thought this through properly, although I don’t believe for one minute that this was the outcome he expected when he left for Brussels. Meanwhile ministers rush around trying to think of reasons for backing his decision , whilst Eurosceptic back benchers have a taste for European blood as they call for yet more withdrawals and vetoes in the expectation of a referendum. Nobody knows what will come of the Euro, which makes Cameron’s blind gamble even more dangerous. Whatever the eventual outcome, it looks certain that the very industry that Cameron was trying to protect, will suffer from his moment of blindness. This wasn’t about protecting the single market or the financial services industry, this was about protecting the Conservative party.
Overall, I fail to see how the LibDems can continue to prop up this minority government. Europe is such a central part of LibDem policy, and if party members didn’t have enough reasons to desert them before, they certainly will now. You can’t disguise Clegg’s horror at Cameron’s behaviour, however much he tries to put a brave face on it. I’m not even sure I know what Labour would have done if placed in the same position, but at least I know that if in a position to negotiate, they would have at least done that.
We keep being told that the financial services sector brings so much to the economy of the UK, but how many of them dipped their hands in their own pockets when they came crawling to the rest of us for a bail out. Who is it that keeps telling us that the financial services industry must be protected – you guessed it, it’s the bankers themselves. You would have thought by now, that among all the bankers and city traders earning millions, or getting millions in bonuses, that at least one, just one. Might have stood up and said “well actually, I don’t need £2m a year to live on”. I’m hoping that at least a few might be making sizeable donations to charity, but it would be nice to see one or two stand up and speak out. Instead all we hear of it cuts in benefits, tax credits, services, and cancer patients being forced to go through rigorous checks to see if they are well enough to work.
Sister No. 1 is coming over later in the week, and rather stupidly I suggested she could take me supermarket shopping. This means I’ve now got to do a list. A list which I will probably forget to put the most essential items on, and a list I will probably forget to take with me. Seriously it will be good to get the opportunity to do some shopping, but at the same time depressing knowing I can’t buy what I really want. Well I suppose I could buy it, just not eat it. Sister No. 3 is permanently annoyed that I won’t let her fly over from Ireland to see me, so to compensate I am adding the collage below. 40 faces of chemoradiation. A photo taken every morning during my treatment. I hope you like the hats.