Boarding @ Home: Day 49/84: PM Boris tells us how it's gonna be @ 7pm.
Road Map with Traffic Lights .. What a Premiership he's having. Euphorically elected less than five months ago to Get Brexit Done and set everyone north of the Red Wall on multiple paths to a much improved future he's had a near death experience and sent the nation home from work and play for six weeks; even closed the garden centres and the pubs although he held belief in police monitored exercise outdoors. Decision making driven by "science based" hypothetical models of death tolls and pressure on the NHS IC beds that were never going to happen has been disastrously compounded by a flawed strategy towards care homes and hospitals too where infection has been spreading. What comes next? First Ministers in Scotland and Wales, both drawn from opposition parties but empowered to set their own rules, sought to pre-empt Boris yesterday; but he seems well content to see them enjoy their politically devolved moments with their matching responsibilities.
Well, that went well at 7pm; not much new news except the garden centres will definitely reopen and we can all take as much exercise as we want! The critics say that STAY ALERT is not specific enough. For us it means Use Your Common Sense. The notion that some government guy tells me how to make a factory or a shop safe is ludicrous. And the Unions are revving up to make mischief in schools and on public transport. Please … just tell the guys who run the show and the customers who come to use their common sense; and ideally don't travel by train or bus or underground. But whatever you do, get back to work and start the economy moving again asap. Up in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is wanting to STAY HOME for next three weeks rather than STAY ALERT and don't take too much exercise. The implications of Scotland's discrete approach c/p to England means no change on where we are in our plans for the 275th Anniversary.
Yesterday was Europe Day. It was the 70th anniversary of the date when Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, speaking in Paris, proposed a European Coal and Steel Community [ECSC], precursor of Euratom/ Common Market/ EEC/ and the EU today via the EEC founding Treaty of Rome in 1956 and subsequent Treaties in Maastricht and Lisbon. The ECSC was established in 1952 - logo centre below and consisting of France, Western Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. By pooling coal and steel capacity the belief was the nations concerned could never again go to war one against the other. The UK eventually joined in 1974 after the French dropped their opposition, we confirmed that nationally by referendum in 1976 but of course we left on January 31st 2020 after a referendum in June 2016.
Whilst the nation's focus is on the lockdown and how Boris will lead us out of it, negotiations with the EU for future trading relations drag on with a deadline of December 31st 2020; everyone in the UK and in Ireland is holding their breath; and the SNP politicians in Scotland are choking.
It's Mothers Day in Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand today. My mother Lillian Audrey Park Wills spent many happy years in Canada after emigrating in 1961 with Bryan, Anne and Joan. So why don't these other countries celebrate Mothering Sunday on the 4th Sunday in Lent as we do in the UK and instead choose the 2nd Sunday in May? Apparently there was no such church occasion in North America until Anna Jarvis established the tradition at St. Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, from May 10, 1908. US President Woodrow Wilson formally proclaimed it as a national day in 1914. It now complements similar celebrations honouring Fathers Day [held on the 3rd Sunday in June - that's the 21st in 2020], Siblings Day [already celebrated here at Day 41/84] and Grandparents Day. Australia and New Zealand follow US/ Canada's suit for Mothers Day and add in Best Friends Day [78/84] coming up on June 8th. Fathers Day began in June 1910 at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington, organised by Sonora Smart Dodd whose father William Jackson Smart was a civil war veteran who as a single parent raised his six children there. Australia and New Zealand beg to differ both holding the celebration on the first Sunday in September. Grandparents Day was instituted in the US by Proclamation in 1978 by President Carter after a decade of campaigning by Marian McQuade - it's designated as the first Sunday of September following US Labor Day [first Monday in September]. Contrarywise in the UK it's the first Sunday in October; and not surprisingly it's the last antipodean Sunday in October in Australia and New Zealand. [Can't say it's only the UK that has exceptionalism syndrome!]
Published Date: May 10th 2020