In but a few short days… tennis and strawberry fanciers will gather on hallowed ground to watch another game we invented, and go through between one day to a week and a bit of agony, gasping as Brit wild card players disappear fairly early and pin their hopes on a young Scot. Why we expect, these days, to win any game we invented is one of the great paradoxes of the British character.
Henman Hill will be replaced by Murray Mount. Strawberries will be eaten. The middle classes and corporate hospitality wallahs will gorge themselves on the rain racked, wind blown, tennis part of the summer season – and thoughts of stagflation, recession and doom will be placed on the back of the metaphorical Aga. All will be well. For a few weeks after Wimbledon, the leafy streets of West London (and other parts of the country) will be awash with enthusiastic people carrying tennis rackets, wandering off to play a few sets of an evening and some of those will be making visits to chiropracters and physiotherapists soon after.
It matters not… it is part of the pattern of life…. and it is unlikely that any of our tennis players will be embarrassing themselves or the nation, by engaging in ‘spit-roasting’ and other sexual antics in hotel rooms with young women.
Burnham apologies to Chakrabarti
Culture Secretary, Andrew Burnham, has apologised to Shami Chakrabarti. This is sensible, if rather unfortunate for the litigation side of the legal profession.
Judge tells Brown to delay ratification of EU treaty until result of court challenge
While we work on the theoretical premise that the Lisbon Treaty cannot operate until all 27 members have ratified – and, of course Ireland has said “NO” – we completed our parliamentary process last week – but then, a bolt from the courts. The Mail has the full story. It is too tedious on a Saturday night to quote.
Briefly: Government writes to Court to let them know that Britain is about to ratify. Lord Justice Richards writes back inviting the government to stay ratification until the court hands down judgment on a case brought by a millionaire who objected to the fact that we did not get a referendum. The only interesting thing, from my jaded perspective, was the wonderful statement that … ” If ministers declined to issue such an assurance, the judge said he would be ready to hear an application from Mr Wheeler for an injunction to prevent ratification.”
And now is the Winterton of our discontent… made glorious summer…
“The mortgage on the Winterton’s Belgravia flat purchased in the mid-nineties was paid by the taxpayers for a decade. However the generosity of the taxpayers wasn’t enough for them… By 2002 they were the owners of a now mortgage free property in very good repair (we paid for the repairs) worth some £700,000, yet the Wintertons had a problem. There was no longer a mortgage to justify a housing allowance, meaning that tens of thousands of pounds that they had been claiming annually would no longer be claimable.”
I was at a bit of a loose end tonight so I popped over to “Lords of The Blog” – a blog from various members of The House of Lords. The Blog does not have the immediate ‘grippability’ of The Apprentice – but it does provide a bit more nourishment than Ant & Dec on a Saturday night or Britain’s Got Talent. I enjoy reading the blog – some rather interesting posts.
Tonight, Lord Norton was posting about the 42 Days detention without trial issue. Lord Norton reminded us that “The House of Lords does not exist to act as a conduit for public opinion, but neither is it oblivious to what people think.” He went on to state that it was unlikely the Lords would get round to dealing with the matter before the summer recess. Fortunately we have David Davis and his by-election against some woman called Lady Madcow to keep the matter before the public. Kelvin “Gotcha” Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun, seems to have dropped out.
Lord Norton ended his post with the statement: “Given that, we could always take the line ‘well, let us pass it and leave it to the courts to deal with’. That would be an abdication of our responsibilities. If we believe it to be unjustified, then we have to vote accordingly. We may be wrong, and unpopular, but unless there is a strong case made, which we have so far not heard, I for one will not be supporting the provision.”
Right… enough for the moment. It is time to reflect… with a glass of Rioja.