The First Sunday Musings For October

Back to normal at long last. Shopping on the usual day, things to watch on TV in the evenings, and Ollie’s routine firmly established again.


Royal news was still around, but the channels kept it sensibly short. The public can now view the big engraved slab covering the Queen’s tomb, and new coins showing an image of King Charles will be released soon. Other than that, we got a break from Royalist intensity.


I managed to get my Covid-19 booster two months early, thanks to numerous no-shows at the vaccination centre. I received a phone call in the afternoon inviting me to attend, and less than 30 minutes later I was fully vacccinated.


The weather has been up and down. Very cold at the start of last week, then some bouts of heavy rain and near gale-force winds by Friday. Then on Saturday we had a sunny and warm day, seeing temperatures much higher than expected at 19C. (66F)


The cost of living increases (which are still being blamed on the war in Ukraine despite the huge profits of most major companies) are now more noticeable at the supermarket. Last Monday’s big-shop had increased by almost £14 on the previous week, buying much the same range of items. I can only expect it to get worse in the coming winter, when they can blame weather conditions in addition to the war.


Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope you have a peaceful Sunday.


One Forgotten Cost Of Living

The news media here has been featuring the rising costs of everything since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago. Prices of Gas and Electricity have risen sharply, in most cases by well over 100% on the previous year. They are set to rise again this week, followed by more rises in late October, and again in January 2023.

Trying to appear compassionate (that’s a laugh) the Conservative government announced a series of payments to every user to help pay for the increases. They began with a £150 per household rebate on Council Tax, and will soon be adding an additional £300, more for the unemployed and others living on benefits. They are also increasing the Pensioners’ Winter Fuel Allowance, a one-off annual payment that I qualify for because of my age.

I am not fooled by this apparent ‘generosity’ of the current government. They are trying to limit the damage of Boris Johnson’s shameful legacy, and they are well-aware there is a General Election in 2024. We also know that members of parliament’s own fuel bills can be paid for by the taxpayers, if claimed on expenses. (And most make those claims.)

Also, perhaps shamed by its obscene profits, the major gas supply company British Gas is donating 10% of those profits to be shared out to its customers.

But one cost of living increase that almost never gets a mention is Heating Oil. (Kerosene) In rural areas and small villages all over Britain, there is no Mains Gas supply. This leaves those of us living in those areas with three options.

Propane Gas.
Heating Oil.

Like many surrounding villages, most houses in Beetley rely on heating oil, stored in large tanks on the property. This fuel heats our water and runs the central heating. The price fluctuates on the world market, and like all other energy sources, it is currently increasing. Before Russia attacked Ukraine, I could buy 500 litres of oil for a reasonable £230. I have just ordered some to be delivered today, and the cost will be £480. That’s a huge price increase in a six-month period.

However, despite the fact that over 1,500,000 homes rely on heating oil in the UK, it has not been mentioned in any rebate scheme.

Another industry cashing in on the excuse of the war in Ukraine, and more profts for the friends of government ministers.

Platinum Jubilee: So What?

Anyone who reads this blog must already be aware that I am not a Royalist. I am the opposite of a royalist, not in favour of a monarchy, whoever represents that institution.

Now we are faced with a seemingly endless ‘celebration’ of Elizabeth II being queen for 70 years. Commercialism run riot. Souvenir coins, Queen face masks, special edition magazines, crockery, mugs, cakes, T-shirts, flags, even special packets of biscuits and sweets. The sycophantic newspapers and TV channels are getting set for a season of ‘Jubilee Tributes’ and broadcasts, and millions of ordinary people are staging Jubilee parties in streets, schools, parks, and other venues.

Elizabeth Windsor is one of the richest people in Europe. Her ‘personal wealth’ (that inherited wealth stolen by her ancestors over the centuries from other people and the colonies of the former Empire) is estimated to be around £350,000,000. As well as that, the taxpayers contribute millions to her upkeep, and that of some of her extended family. Many members of that family live in reasonably luxurious rent-free ‘Grace and Favour’ apartments or palaces, also at public expense.

2022 may be her 70th year as monarch, but it also happens to be the year when the cost of living in Britain has never been higher. The year when food prices, gas prices, petrol prices, and electricity prices have become unaffordable for many hard-working people on low wages. When there are more Food Banks in most British towns than actual banks, and many families will not be heating their homes properly this winter because they simply cannot afford to do so.

It is also the year when a discredited, lying, and corrupt Prime Minister refused to resign. When his lies were discovered, he changed the Ministerial Code of Parliament so he would no longer be subject to it. A dictator in all but name, using Royalist ballyhoo to cover up his own shameful political record.

The estimated cost of all this wonderful Platinum Jubliee celebration to the nation? £1,3000,000,000. That is ONE POINT THREE BILLION POUNDS.

I can think of far better ways to spend that, in a time of crisis.

You will find me celebrating when the monarchy is abolished, and not before.