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18 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 19 November 2011 in Diary |

I meant to say yesterday, when I was discussing having published an entry without checking it through, that if any entry does not make sense then it must have been published before I checked it through and I would be very grateful if the reader could bring it to my attention. It takes a matter of minutes to correct it.

I had a good night once I got into bed but for the whole of the evening my nose ran like a tap and it was very exhausting raising my arms every 30 seconds or so to wipe it. ‘My lovely’ is convinced that it was as a result of the alcohol I had at lunchtime, which, as I said yesterday, was really quite modest. I suppose anyway I can test out this theory very easily by cutting out, for a week or so, my whiskey and the my small glass of red wine which I take most evenings. It out altogether for a week or so and see if the runny nose stops. I did this some two or three months ago and there was a really no noticeable improvement so it may well be to do with the quantity of the wine rather than the alcohol itself.

I was horrified last evening to hear two pieces of news. One, that 14 of the Dale Farm travellers caravans have returned to the site from which they were, only a week or so ago legally evicted. This after a ten-year battle in the courts. They are parked in a long continuous line on the approach road to the old site but say it is their intention to return to their previous sites. They claim to have nowhere to go but we have been given to understand that they have been offered housing which they say is “culturally unacceptable” and an alternative land site a mile or so away from Dale Farm, which for some reason or other, was also a unacceptable. However, we have also been led to believe from the BBC Panorama programme, that a number of these so-called travellers own beautiful villas in a small town in Ireland. Having just spent around £19 million at the end of a 10 year battle in the courts, and heaven knows what cost, to legally evict them, surely these returning travellers are in contempt of court and can be summarily removed. Yes, there will be battles with the police, or bailiffs, initiated by the agitators. Elderly people and young children will have to be removed with the other erstwhile Dale farm residents and these groups of people will ,no doubt, be used to try to bring shame on the police or the bailiffs. But frankly I think public opinion will be against them. Otherwise what are we going into, nothing short of anarchy. If it takes an emergency legislation to stamp this out once and for all, then I for one, would be in favour of it.

We have a not dissimilar situation arising now with the protesters around St Paul’s Cathedral. Initially there were a small crowd of protesters going about their business in a peaceful way. I would always defend the right of anyone to make a peaceful protest provided it did not obstruct or inconvenience a lot of other people. I gather that as this protest grew and attractive numbers of the unemployed (and unemployable)’ professional’ agitators they only opted to use the land around St Paul’s as it was the nearest they could get to the London stock exchange against whom, I gather the initial protest was being made. Then the full-time agitators moved in. of course Capitalism in Crisis has a great ring about it but what on earth do they expect the authorities to do other than what they are currently doing. Do these protesters really believe that capitalism will crumble overnight and be replaced with what, communism?. Then someone had the bright idea of pitching tents and the whole business has growing like Topsy from there, until every inch of the land around St Paul’s is covered with tents .

We now have the ludicrous situation where there are three distinct areas of land. around or adjacent to St Paul’s church yard., all of which are governed by different legal rules. First of all the land immediately in front of St Paul’s which is part of the cathedral from which the cathedral authorities have made it clear they will not get involved in any form of eviction. (Big mistake in my view. It would been far better to have waited and watched events before deciding on this once said, impossible to go back on, decision.) Perhaps the church authorities were thinking of Jesus turning out the money lenders! No doubt this particular piece of church land will be smothered with tents in no time and, as before obstruct the entrance to the cathedral which may well mean the end of any services until the matter is resolved. Will this mean that the normal Christmas services will not be able to be held this year due to this bunch of anarchists?

Then there is the pavement that runs around the front of the cathedral. We are told that this is subject to different laws then the actual churchyard itself , which lies on the other side of the pavement, on which the courts have granted a 28 day notice of removal.

Why are these people being treated any differently from someone, who for example, decides to set up a fish and chip van, on the road or pavement next to the Cathedral? They would very quickly be moved on for obstruction. Why is it then that these campers are not able to be moved under the same law ,many of whom had vowed they intend to stay there’ for ever’. This surely is anarchy and must be stamped out before it takes hold. Certainly not through serving 28 day notices on people who have no intention of moving and will, no doubt, make more appeals to the court and drag the whole process out.

I heard, on the radio, during the night ,that common sense is beginning to prevail at last. The Justice Minister, Kenneth Clarke, is discussing with the powers that be, in Strasberg, making our Supreme Court the last court of resort for all Human Rights. In other words we would no longer be bound by the European courts on such matters. Thank heavens for that. Since the introduction of the Human Rights Act almost everything can be reduced to an infringement of one’s human rights giving the right to go to the European courts of Human Rights, which is, no doubt, expensive and time-consuming. (Who pays the protesters legal fees? I hope to goodness it does not, and of legal aid paid by the taxpayer) I have every confidence in our own judges to decide what is sensible in terms of individuals human rights without having to go to Europe to a court made up of judges from all parts of Europe many of them having different views on human rights as they start from a different cultural base to us..

Another interesting piece of information that came through the radio waves during the night was that there has been an increase, admittedly not a large one, only 4%, in the number of people getting divorced in their middle to late age, compared with other divorces, the percentage of which has gone down. So much so that is has been described as the silver divorce syndrome. Presumably the silver refers to the 25 years of marriage. It seems that the general opinion is that people believe that they probably had enough of each other by that stage and they would like a new start. Frankly I suspect a large majority of them find that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence and lived to regret having divorced someone with whom they have invested the first 25 years of their married life.

In my view, in many ways marriage becomes better and better if you have the right partner. It becomes more to do with companionship and the closeness of your best friend than the volatility heat and passion of the earlier years. Certainly in my case where we are only 16 months away from our 50th anniversary, I would not swap ‘my lovely’ for ‘all the tea in China‘ or for anyone or anything else for that matter. I cannot imagine another person caring for me in the way that she does. (I suppose the reference to the tea in China was when it first came to England it was incredibly expensive. Even today you can pay a great deal for one of the rarer of the 1000 or so different varieties which I saw on my last trip to China)


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