I attended the funeral of my late father's last surviving cousin at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh on Wednesday and returned late last night. I had to drive up and back as the flights from the South West to Edinburgh were fully booked, a testimony to the attraction of the Edinburgh festival to many. Hotels in Edinburgh were chock a block and my wife and I ended up staying at Melrose, some 40 miles away in the Scottish borders. Even there the huge number of foreign tourists was very noticeable along with the lack of UK visitors. At the funeral tea held in a pub in Longniddry, 16 miles East of Edinburgh, the manager told me a similar tale and that they had done 2000 'covers' already that week!
My second cousin, Ella, died aged 90 in a two bedroomed council house she had lived in with her family for 81 years! ConLib wish to make this impossible. How much money would it have saved to have turfed Ella out of her house and into a care home funded at Council expense and no doubt put in some asylum seekers?
Returning to less important manners I read from AEP's piece in today's DT, click on link to read, that reality is slowly sinking in in Greece and that even their tourist trade is flagging. We have gone sailing in Greece the last two years but not this year. Nobody wants to be caught up in public sector strikes wrecking their travel plans with the possible threat of riots thrown in.
On the money markets side many now believe that a Greek debt restructuring, that is a default, is coming and that Greece cannot recover without a currency devaluation which will of course require them to leave the Euro. AEP's comment on lack of eligible collateral for ECB loans is correct and will become increasingly pressing. Reuters run the same story with the point that markets wont believe words not backed by action. "Only when some of these countries translate words into action, and some of these spreads start to come in, then perhaps markets will fully believe we're on the road to a longer-lasting recovery," said Mark Miller at Lloyds Banking Group.
Things stagger on from bad to worse with the UKIP NEC elections and leadership crisis. The story broken by Junius of Godfrey Bloom sending out a marked ballot paper of 'approved' NEC candidates to UKIP members to vote for is quite incredible. This involves use of the UKIP members database. What about data protection law Mr Zuckerman? My only consolation is that two weeks ago I managed to identify the approved candidates as those I recommend not voting for!
As for the interim leader to be appointed by the NEC just before the party conference well I can find is no such provision in the UKIP constitution. Which NEC will choose, the old time expired rump NEC or the new G Bloom recommended one? The devil is always in the detail!