It’s over at last By the time you read this it is practically certain that he will have ‘Got Brexit Done’. It won’t be done, of course, we will have no idea what Brexit will mean but, at least, there will be no going back. The result of the election is such that we now have ‘an elective dictatorship’ that, unless Boris’s own Party rebels against him, will be fixed for the next five years. We must hope that he will stand-by his honeyed words and that we will all enjoy a happy and prosperous next five years. It was interesting the way in which Boris conducted his campaign, apart from Brexit he claimed that he was going to put right the wrongs of the previous government, as though the previous government were the opposition, apparently losing sight of the fact that it was his own government. The result of the election was no surprise to me, the Labour Party got the result it deserved. I think it to be a great shame that we did not have a second referendum before the general election, in that way we would have had a clear idea of what the nation wanted. I think the evidence is that the result would have been in favour of leaving, but we would have known for sure and it would have helped heal the divisions. As it is there is little doubt that ‘Get Brexit Done’ tended to dominate the debate, thereby restricting discussion of the important domestic agenda. In my opinion we will not be better off economically outside of Europe, although much depends on the arrangements that are yet to be negotiated, but I cannot see us getting a better deal than we had as a member of the EU. I very much regret our leaving and the close association that we had with the Europeans In a previous ‘ramble’ I talked about how undemocratic our democracy is; this election demonstrated the point once again – 56% of the voters did not vote for the Party that now has an 86-seat majority. If we had had a more proportional system, even a ‘half-and-half’ one like the Germans have, the conservatives would not have had an overall majority, not even with the help of the DUP and the Brexit Party. Boris talks of one nation and healing divisions, but knowledge that 56% did not vote for him will make his task quite difficult The Labour Party It seems to me that the core of the Party became too introspective, talking among themselves they produced a manifesto full of grand socialist ideas. They liked their manifesto and assumed that most people would, but talking among themselves they failed to listen to others. Wiser people told them that a Labour Party that went too far to the left never won an election. The polls told them that their Leader was not popular. People within the Party urged them to adopt a clear position on Europe. Voters and commentators were querying the financial credibility of their plans. They ignored every word of advice, telling each other how good their policies were. They failed to recognise the very fundamental fact that before they could implement any of their policies they had to win the seats in the election and to do that they had to appeal to a wide section of the electorate. They also failed to understand that, having lost Scotland, they are never likely to have an overall majority. The current impression that I have is that they have not learned from their mistakes and are continuing along the road that led to their defeat, but it is early days and a long way to the next election, although not long to their choice of leader. Mrs Sacoolas The tragic loss of their son Harry is a terrible thing for Mr and Mrs Dunn, one cannot but feel the greatest sympathy for them. For the woman that caused the accident to skip the country and thereby increase their suffering is unforgiveable. It is almost as bad as a ‘hit-and-run’ driver. There is no question that she should be required to come back and answer the questions and face any charges that may be brought. Any prosecution would appear to be an open and shut case, she was driving on the wrong then offence that would normally result in significant punishment. But these were not normal circumstances, Mrs Sacoolas was an American over here, she had only just started out from the US base and, presumably, in the absence of any other traffic, she had a momentary lapse and started out on the side of the road that she was always used to. I suspect many a Brit has done the same on the continent or in the USA before quickly realising their mistake. We don’t know how the accident occurred exactly but it is very unlikely that Mrs Sacoolas’s actions were wanton disregard for British road laws. Mr and Mrs Dunn are seeking justice but what do they think justice should be? They are greatly upset with the knowledge that Mrs Sacoolas is able to lead a normal life with her family, but what do they expect? I am sure that, if she is a normal person, she will be greatly traumatised by the experience and will suffer with that on her conscience for the rest of her life. But I would think it most likely that a reasonable judge would impose a significant fine, perhaps a suspended sentence, and ban her from driving in the UK for ever, then allow her to return to the USA. Would that satisfy Mr and Mrs Dunn I wonder. There is no doubt Mrs Sacoolas should come back and answer to the charges , but I doubt Mr and Mrs Dunn would be content with that sort of judgement. I was witness once to an accident caused by one driver driving on the wrong side of the road. At first there was no other traffic in front of him but then a Jaguar came out of a right fork ahead and was heading towards the other car. For a moment the Jaguar driver continued on course, assuming that the other car would move back to the correct side, but he did not. The Jaguar driver then tried to avoid a collision by moving to his right, just at that moment the other car realised he was on the wrong side and attempted to steer to his left. The two cars hit head on, neither was doing more than 30mph but the relative speed of near 60mph resulted in a big impact. The other car was an Austin/Nash Metropolitan, smaller and lighter than the Jaguar and suffered the most damage. The woman passenger in the Nash died at the scene. It looked bad for the Jaguar driver because, at the time of impact, he was on the wrong side of the road. It was quickly established, however, that the Nash diver was very drunk. It did demonstrate how, when confronted with an unexpected situation, the average driver takes a second or two to understand what is happening before taking necessary action. Perhaps poor Harry and Mrs Sacoolas reacted in the same way that those two drivers did. Harry and Meghan I can readily understand that they would not wish to spend their entire lives as actors in an anachronistic Victorian/medieval pantomime, constantly persecuted by the venomous British press. I wish them all the luck in their efforts to escape. They cannot escape who they are and will always be vulnerable to terrorists seeking to obtain the maximum publicity for their aims. Harry could not help being born into the ‘family’, the nation has a duty to try and ensure that he, Meghan and Archie come to no harm. Of course they should retain the protection of the Met. How have the British public come to be so bitchy? Vacuum cleaners. Regular readers will know that this is a favourite topic of mine. In the past I have been highly critical of the move, started by Dyson, to have cleaners using a centrifuge to filter the dust out of the air. The result has been cleaners less able to filter out the smaller particles than the old disposable bags could, even with the foam back-up filters, and cleaners much more difficult to clean out. Many people fail to clean the back-up filters often enough, leading to a reduction in the vacuuming power. I have noticed from the recent ads that G-Tech have recognised this at last and have now introduced disposable bag filters on their latest models. They are advertising it as a new break-through! The only query that I would have is how fine their bag filters are because they do not have the power from their rechargeable batteries that the old mains powered machines had. Nevertheless the next vacuum cleaner I buy will be one with a disposable bag filter.
Driving in fog Every year, it seems, I make the same comments about people driving in fog with no lights or, even worse in my view, driving with side lights (or parking lights) only. Anyone that is observant will see that a car with dipped headlights is visible at a much further distance than one with no lights or just side lights. To make a conscious act of switching on lights that are totally useless is unforgiveable. Disappointingly even some of these excellent LED running lights are not good enough in heavy mist or fog without dipped headlights. In fairness I think the number of offenders is diminishing.
Best wishes Ron