The Things You See


You go away for a few days and all hell breaks loose. Andrew Scheer (that is, Joe Who?) squeaks in as leader of the Canadian Conservative party, revealing nothing except the deep divisions within those who voted for him (and the almost equal numbers of those who didn’t). The divide is no longer between Reform and Red Tories – that ship sailed long ago with the progressives either hanging their heads glumly or long since departed for the Liberal and Green parties. The division now is between the libertarians and the social conservatives. The conservatives are talking a good fight but it is doubtful if Scheer will have a chance at the Prime Minister’s job before he turns 50 (like the knives won’t be out before then).

Meanwhile, Trump finished his first world tour to mostly negative reviews. A leading German newspaper called him a danger to the world. Meanwhile, eager to be in the camera’s eye he shoves a fellow NATO leader aside and pushes to the front, smirking madly. One day, he’ll push the wrong person and they will clean the poor old guy’s clock. I’m putting odds on Angela Merkel. It was funny though – I never realized how small Trump actually is, even Melania is taller than him.

I’m probably still suffering from the effects of my tumble down an escalator as I’m having trouble caring much about politics these days (or maybe it’s retirement). I have to say it was amazing how many people ran to our rescue after our fall (I took out Liz when I went past) – not only those whose job it was but many of our fellow passengers. But that’s not surprising. Whenever we were struggling up the stairs, we would suddenly find people grabbing our luggage and taking it up to the next landing for us. While in New York, you might worry they are trying to steal your clothes, in London, you know it is just people being helpful.

We’re staying in the middle of Soho which is full of life and people of every race, language and religion. It is like being at the crossroads of the world. It doesn’t take long to realize that most of the people you meet are not tourists like us but rather people who have come to live in one of the truly great cities of the world. I find myself more and more bewildered at the Brits who would want them to go. I’m sure my mother who hails from Basingstoke and helped found the first racially integrated cub pack in Canada would smile sadly and shake her head at her fellow citizens. Embrace the world, I say, you’ll be a better person because of it.

This weekend has been fabulous for the ambiance, the surprisingly good weather and the museums but especially for the chance to spend several days with Liz’s daughter Susan and her partner Kevin. Delightful, interesting people both. Now it’s time to go – not just because that’s ten minutes but because we are heading to their flat for a BBQ.


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