Sunday 18 April 2021: Relieved citizen-units around the UK have been gathering in pub beer gardens, laughing and drinking with their friends. Yesterday saw the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Normally this would have been a state occasion, with huge crowds lining the route of the procession to pay their respects; but due to the ongoing Covid restrictions, the mourners were limited to 30 at St George’s Chapel and the event was on a modest scale.
Women in the UK tend to live longer than men, and Her Majesty was five years younger than the Duke; even so, nothing can prepare somebody for the loss of a spouse after 73 years of marriage. The TV reporters struggled to find suitably dignified comments to fill the airtime without lapsing into cliché. The Daily Mail took an unseemly interest in what the mourners were wearing, and how much their outfits had cost. Thirty years ago, the death of Prince Philip would have simply closed down all the TV channels (and pubs, cinemas and restaurants) leaving us to reflect on the life of a man who reached three-score years and ten in the service of the Royal Household.
In other news: corruption in the Tory party as it turns out Matt Hancock is a shareholder in a firm owned by his sister. The firm won a contract to supply document shredding services to the NHS. Hancock oversees the award of NHS contracts, which can run to millions of pounds. He managed to completely forget that it was his responsibility to report this family link in the Register of Interests.
According to a DHSC spokesman, “Ministers have no involvement in the awarding of these contracts, and no conflict of interest arises.” And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything…
Latest Covid figures:
US: 32.3 million cases, 580.7 thousand deaths
UK: 4.39 million cases, 127.2 thousand deaths
Tuesday 20 April 2021: It is a bright cold day in April and the clocks are striking
(5n-squared +3)/(3n-cubed +7)
where n is the number of covid cases per thousand head of population.
Yesterday’s figures for the UK included just four people dying ‘within 28 days of a positive Covid diagnosis’ which is the lowest number for several months.
In the news: the big six footie teams have started discussions to join a breakaway European Super-League, sparking dismay among fans and politicians. These clubs tend to have foreign-born players and managers, and their assets are owned by institutions based outside of the UK. Back in the old days, proud fathers would name their children after players – or sometimes the entire team – of their favourite club.
Welcome to Britain! Roll up, roll up; great closing down sale, everything must go!