Thursday 16 October 2008

Tuesday October 14th

The government is bailing out the UK Banks to the tune of £50 billion. The Pretender (our unelected Prime Minister) seems to be using it as another PR occasion to get back at Cameron’s party conference speech eek and to go on a foreign Jamboree. Where has the Chancellor gone to?

The thought of my relatively sound bank, Lloyds having to take on the UK's toxic buy to let subprime follies is disturbing. I would imagine the clunking fist has been doing a lot of background bullying. I am now really worried about it being managed by this government with its record of lost computer disks and the shambles of Tax Credits and other incompetencies.

It emerges that local authorities have sunk a billion in the now bankrupt Iceland Bank. They of course, would like the government’s help too. This government seems to be a great big sweetie machine but I wonder what the implications are with a government spending silly, in terms of things like bond prices and crowding out.

Today it is sunny, I manage to get out into a neighbour free garden and mow the lawn, perhaps for the last time this winter. The compost bin is absolutely full of small worms and fruit flies and has a potato plant growing vigorously out of the outlet at the bottom. I have had it for nearly two years. I don’t think it really makes compost but it does provide a rich source of food for a mass of worms, slugs and other fauna and reduces landfill by some appreciable amount.

In a small way, I have now discovered how the Pretender is going to finance some of his sweeties. The Inland Revenue are going to write to all pensioners with small occupational or private pensions, informing them it will be taxing their pensions at source. Currently I am on a tax rate above basic rate in case I have such pensions but now even more will be taken away, earlier. What will £4.21 look like with the tax taken off. I really despise a government that taxes the poor and those on the lowest incomes. I personally am one of them, already suffering from Tax Poverty and it seems it is only going to get worse.

Tuesday October 7th 2008

I wake up to a house of warmth. In fact, it is so warm that I am almost stripping down and thinking about whirling meter readings. I climb a chair to get to the thermostat and try and turn it down to 18.

Ridden Row is a nice house, particularly now it is warm, but in a horrid and lonely area.

I want to move to a place where I can have human contact, of my own class. This is funny because I am too much of an individualist to fit in with the middle classes either, but I know now that I do feel more at home with them. In terms of our economic approaches to life, I have much more in common with van man. I admire the way my neighbours, one heavily goaded by his wife, get up earlyish six days a week and get out with their vans. They work reasonably honestly and truly or at least the gardener does. I am not quite so sure about the glossy Plumbers Van and web site, Ridden Row’s answer to Pimlico plumbers.

I have been absolutely delighted with British Gas’ Homecare Service. It has taken five visits to get my boiler going, it was going on Friday and then it went out again on Saturday and it has been a cold weekend. All three men and five visitors have turned up when they said they would, have left things clean and clear, been workmanlike and very cheerful and pleasant.

My evening student comes. Why is it that the minute I have a visitor my Nosy Neighbour finds a need to put her rubbish in the bin? The other day, I saw her miles down the road, so I rushed out the back with my compost and she still managed to race back home and get out the back with her washing, to give me an aggressive ‘Good Morning’.

But I have to admit that I can be a nosy neighbour too. While I am teaching I notice that she and her husband are climbing into their car and driving off somewhere. Unusually his blue van is in their back garden, he is not at work. Perhaps it is a doctors’ visit. He would probably put on a martyr expression about working hard but I don’t think he would know what to do if he wasn’t. Having worked six days a week outside, come rain or shine, and since I have lived here it has been very wet and windy, he usually spends his one day off, Sunday doing just the same in his back yard. This has the effect that I never dare to use my garden on a Sunday and once I have got back from my bus trip to church, I am imprisoned inside my house.