There’s an awful lot of politics about these days. I can’t remember there ever being so much. We used to just vote once every four or five years and then the politicians would get on with their jobs, leaving us to get on with our lives untroubled until the next election. Living in a stable democracy in Western Europe, so long as they didn’t wreck the economy, that’s all we needed. If we lived in some unstable country with dingbat leaders we might be more engaged but in the UK, not so much. 

These days I’m expected to know about, and have an opinion on, elections in France, Germany, South Korea. And don’t get me started on the USA which, after eight years under the guidance of the charming and personable Obamas, has staggered from daily scandal to daily scandle under Mr Trump. Rather than ‘draining the swamp’ he seems to be topping it up and adding a few extra alligators.

Here in the UK we are having an election. It’s been an unexpected one and it’s proving to be momentous. The Brexit vote last summer has thrown everything up in the air. The Scots are banging on about independence again. There are genuine worries about a ‘hard’ border between the two parts of Ireland. We’ve only recently got to a point where Northern Ireland is, mostly, at peace; a peace that could be wrecked by border controls. As it stands, people on both sides of the border pass from one part to the other with no controls, giving people the idea that they live in one country while those who want to remain part of the U.K. are comfortable that they are still part of that. We’re not sure what will happen with the economy but the fall in the £, post Brexit, has put up prices and caused inflation and people are feeling poorer. Don’t worry about us too much though, we are still one of the richest countries on the planet with most people enjoying a high standard of living. The Europeans are making noises that Brexit won’t be easy and I’m sure it won’t. We’re not leaving the local golf club after all.

Mrs May decided to have an snap election. She wants a bigger mandate from the British people when she negotiates with Europe she says. Either that or she has realised that in 2020, the date of the next election, we will still be sorting out the mess of Brexit and delaying the next election to 2022 would be politically good for her party.

The election literature is coming through the door. This, above, is the offering of the Labour Party. It looks like it’s been done on someone’s home computer and printer. I have read it. It’s very locally biased but we are in a national election. It talks about government cuts’ effects on local senior citizens and the local National Health Service hospital. There is no mention at all of Brexit and that’s the issue that it foremost in everyone’s mind. It also doesn’t mention the leader of Labour, Jeremy Corbyn. He’s a deeply divisive figure in the country. Members of the Labour Party love him and have voted him in twice as leader. The electorate generally thinks he’s an extreme left wing fool. Some Labour MPs are deliberately leaving him off their literature in the hope we will forget about him. 

Mrs May’s Conservative Party has sent us this. Not much writing, a big picture of Mrs May (who is very popular in the country), it discusses Brexit and includes her manta of ‘Strong and Stable Leadership.’ It’s simple and to the point. The opinion polls have Mrs May romping away with the election with three weeks to go. There’s none of that knife edge poll numbers they had in the American election last year. There could be an upset I suppose but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

Back to the little things and a duck update…

I was quite concerned to see Mr Duck on our garden on his own. Mrs Duck was nowhere in sight. I thought maybe she was sitting in some eggs somewhere. He does look handsome with his green, iridescent feathers.

But I needn’t have worried. He was just looking around for any possible dangers while Mrs Duck was poking about in the flower beds looking for some tasty morsels to eat.

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