Thursday 27 June 2013

Spend, spend, spend

How stupid are our politicians?  I don't suppose that ours are any worse than any others, but that doesn't excuse them.  Tonight I'm at the House of Commons for a drinks reception...I feel like I'm walking into the lions den.

George (henceforth known as Jeffrey) Osborne tweeted out a picture of him eating a burger whilst getting the Spending Statement ready.  Nothing wrong with that, except it was a bit of contrived nonsense to show he was 'with the people' by eating a burger.  Worse still, it was a £10 burger from Byron.  Very nice I can tell you...I've had one.  But I don't claim to understand what it's like trying to feed five kids on benefits because I'm an unmarried mother who's not had a job for a decade.  I would never, ever pretend to be something I'm not but our politicos can't help themselves.  They'd be much better off coming out and saying, "Yes I've had a privileged upbringing, I've been very fortunate in life and I shall use the experience I've gained to help people less fortunate than me."  Who knows, they might even be able to say it in a less patronising way.  Anyway Jeffrey, enjoy the burger, hope you don't choke on it.

In case you think there may be some political bias here.  This is a quote from scandal rag Popbitch,

"While Chancellor George Osborne ate his mid-market Byron burger last night, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls was sat in Rotary Bar, Shoreditch, enjoying a nice pack of crisps. And, as befits a politician sitting by Silicon Roundabout, it wasn't a packet of Frazzles. He was tucking into Leighton Brown sweet potato, cheese and jalapeno crisps. Like to see him burnish his man- of-the-people cred on Twitter with that."

When gas and oil were found in the North Sea, the Norwegians did something very clever.  They put some of their new found wealth into a fund.  It's something that your granny might have taught you to for a rainy day.  The result is that Norway is a wealthy country with a large social resource.  What happened in the UK?  We spent it.  We didn't save a penny of it.  There was no grand plan.  The treasury took what they could in tax revenues and spent it.  Some would say not very wisely.  I couldn't possibly comment.  I know that's a somewhat simplistic way of looking at it, but it's true enough.

The question today is, now that UK shale gas reserves are thought to be double the size previously thought, will the government tuck the extra revenue away for a future generation?  After Jeffrey has a plan to ensure our nation's finances are balanced, so extra revenue isn't something we need to spend is it?

Answers on the back of a postcard please.

If they don't we may find the whole country will one day end up like Wales

Tuesday 25 June 2013


There was a story that the Beckham's first born was called Brooklyn because that is where he was conceived.  At the time many eyebrows were raised because it all seemed a bit tacky, so in her biography, Mrs Beckham explained she liked the name Brooke and it made her think of Brooklyn.  All a bit far fetched if you ask me.  In Loughton, where we live, David's sister runs a hairdressing salon.  This is situated in Brooklyn Court.  Poirot has suggested this is more likely the true origins of the lad's name.  Just thought you'd like to know.

Last week we went off to see The Amen Corner at The National, a three-act play wit singing (of course) about Sister Margaret and her Harlem Church.  Except, Rufus Norris has turned it into a two-act play...which for me at least, meant a very long first half.  As ever with The National, the production was beyond compare...great staging that certainly helped enliven a tale of hypocrisy, betrayal and change.  It was well-acted, with a particularly strong performance by Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Lucian Msamati as her wayward husband.  I wasn't quite as spellbound as our companions, or as the reviews would have me believe I should have been, but it is an excellent show....and provides a platform for a slightly broader audience make up than you normally see at The National.

I enjoy a good's always my aperitif of choice when given the chance, and we have them regularly enough at home to keep the vodka industry profitable.  Mr and Mrs Muffin had invited us out to Dukes Bar and Hotel in Mayfair on Saturday night...the choice of venue being dictated by it being Ian Fleming's cocktail bar of choice, and by rumour where the phrase 'shaken no stirred' came into being.  They have a long list of Martinis to try, and I selected a 'Vesper'.  Not only does it include vermouth, it also incorporates both gin and vodka as well as a dash of Angostura bitters and some orange oil which may itself have contained alcohol.  It may have been a mistake.  It was certainly delicious.  And no matter how much I poured it down my throat, there always seemed to be more in my glass.  We staggered downstairs to the restaurant where I believe I had a more than passable meal.  I believe we entertained everyone as we were the only people talking above a whisper.  In fact we may have been typically Essex.  Sorry.  I was reminded on Sunday that I'd finished off with a cognac.  In actuality I got up Sunday morning, not early, and realised I was not hung over.  I was in fact still drunk.  Not tipsy.  Not a little the worse for wear.  I was completely inebriated.  I had to return to bed to sleep it off.  Anyway, thank you Mr and Mrs Muffin, I had a lovely night

There is no more school.  Friday was prize day, and the Boy and the Cat waltzed off with their share.
Today their books have been returned.  It is the end...and very sad too.  There is now a period of uncertainty and contemplation.  Exam results are awaited.  The Cat was due to head off to uni in September, but has the possible opportunity of a dream internship, so we're not quite sure; The Boy is due to head off for a ski season, but that won't be confirmed until September.  And for the parents there's the uncertainty of whether we will start our time as empty-nesters or remain as the people who nag, moan, prod and prompt.