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Back in the real world!

June 18, 2020 4:22 PM

fds (Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash)It is reassuring that as we are in the middle of the worst pandemic in the past century that the Conservative Party manages to keep its focus on what is really important. Three snippets of news illustrate the point

1. Ministerial Plane

The RAF Voyager plane used by the PM and the royal family is currently in Cambridgeshire for repainting. "This will mean that the plane can better represent the UK around the world with national branding, which will be in line with many other leaders' planes," his spokesman said. He added that it would continue to perform its other job, refuelling military jets. The cost of converting the grey plane to its red, white and blue paint job is costing us the UK taxpayer £900,000, something No10 had described as Value for money!!

One reason for the grey colour scheme is that the plane's dual use means it needs to be camouflaged. However, in an attempt at compromise, one source said that the body of the plane would now be painted white with a blue stripe - while the tail fin would be painted in a union flag design rather like a BA plane. This will present something of a headache for air force commanders who know that the Voyager would be more visible to enemy air forces as well as being identifiable as the UK's principal VIP plane!!

2 Dog Passports

In Parliament Bob Stewart, Tory MP for Beckenham, has urged the government to let his dogs keep their freedom of movement rights after Britain leaves the EU. Mr Stewart has previously argued against free movement, arguing in May 2017 that keeping it would "nullify Brexit" and that Britain therefore had to leave the single market.

Until the end of the transition period, anyone travelling to the EU with pets can move freely as long as their animal has been issued with a pet passport.That may change from the end of the year, with possible requirements for vet visits to have vaccines and procure an animal health certificate, unless the UK is granted an exemption.

Its good to see the threat of no deal on trade and employment is being taken seriously and getting the attention it deserves!

3. Black Lives Matter

Robin Vickery, a Suffolk County and Ipswich Borough councillor, shared a post calling for black and Asian people to be deported and has resigned from Ipswich and Suffolk councils and as a member of the Conservative Party after sharing racist messages on social media.

He joins Linda Symes, a Portsmouth councillor, has been suspended from the party after appearing to question why there were demonstrations over the death of Floyd and yet not over the murder of Lee Rigby or the death of seven-year-old Emily Jones.

The actions of a couple of individuals cannot be seen as representing those of a complete political party of course but it fits a in a wider context. Whilst delaying action with another commission on racial inequality 125 Tory MPs are demanding action now on damage to war memorials costing under £5000 to repair. Apparently above that value and the maximum sentence is 10 years, below it you get a fine. They want the jail sentence applied to all cases

Meanwhile Germany has launched its track and trace app using standard industry software which prevents central storage of personal data whilst our DIY version is now expected for this winter. In the same vein you can go to the zoo, gift shop or garden centre but there is still no plan to ensure all our children can go back to school in September. Surely it is these issues that need focus and action.

You couldn't make it up