9 December 2011
After all the frustration I had yesterday with Dragon (it took me nearly 4 hours to do my blog entry) it was no more promising today with half an hour wasted before I could get the wretched thing to work. No news either from the Dragon technicians themselves or from trading standards. Yet another week goes by and we are now near solving the problems. So more telephone calls on Monday.
My mother’s 95th birthday today- she is in better shape than I am. Fortunately 92,year-old, ex naval husband, Richard, who is an absolute saint and copes wonderfully well with her in the early onset of dementia. I’m not so sure that I would be as patient as he is. Anyway, they are too far away, in Church Street Shropshire, for us to drop in on a regular basis but we’re very fortunate indeed in having two of my oldest friends, the Prytz’s â€“ parents of my god-daughter, Amanda, now married and living in Malborough, New Zealand making excellent wine with her husband – living quite close, who do drop in regularly and keep an eye on them for us. They have very kindly invited them over for Christmas dinner .Before the MND we would visit my parents a couple of times a year and I would dutifully ring up every Friday, indeed, as I still do â€“ to make sure that all is well. Now, from time to time they come here, by a local taxi, for lunch and then a mid-afternoon return. That seems to suit them well and it is just about the only way we could manage to see them.
All of today’s newspapers are featuring the stance taken by our Prime Minister, David Cameron, in vetoing the Eurozone plan for saving the Euro. He was a lone voice amongst the 27 members 23 of which supported the plan. Mr Cameron exercised his veto (so far as I understand it, for the first time any British Prime Minister has done so). His reason for doing so was to protect the British economy and our financial institutions which would have been severely threatened by this new constitution. We lnow stand isolated, so far as Europe is concerned, and later may well be ostracised from any decision-making, some of which may affect us. However, we have not heard the end of this.
I hope that Cameron â€“ ‘having once wielded his handbag’ – will take advantage of the current situation to renegotiate some of the terms of the existing constitution. For example, opt out of many of those ludicrous Health and Safety regulations which infect our society, having come from the European Parliament. Secondly, making our own judicial system independent of appeals to the European courts. I have every confidence that our own Supreme Court, headed by British judges, are far more likely to come to a just conclusion on human rights and the other issues which are referred to them than nine or 10 judges from all over Europe who have entirely different standards to our own
So far as the economy is concerned it will be interesting to watch and see if they try to make, for example, Frankfurt the financial centre for Europe, that it has always aspired to be, to the detriment of this country which has generally been recognised by the world as the best financial centre. Our problem I suppose will be over trade with Europe , which at present represent something like 40% of our GDP. So we obviously have a vested interest in saving the Eurozone from collapsing for two reasons. First of all we have something like Â£650 million invested in financial institutions, banks etc and no one can predict, at this stage, what effect such a collapse would have on the world market. Personally I doubt whether it would spark off a world depression so long as people keep their heads. Economic depressions seem to be generated from weak financial positions where the countries concerned do not have enough confidence to get themselves out of trouble. To some extent we’ve seen signs already in this country. People are simply not spending, so the economy is not expanding and our GDP this year is now forecast at 0.78% (compare this with China who are deliberately slowing down their growth to 9%). I’m no economist and so these are just personal views. The glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is that at least the world leaders seem to be combining to establish contingency plans, hopefully learning from past mistakes.
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