Mark is a funny guy, and I love him dearly. I ought to, since I married him, didn’t I? But sometimes he errs on the side of obstinacy and mulishness and impossibility. Sigh. Takes a stubborn mule to know one, eh?

christmas 2007
Photo credit: paparutzi

Dad has invited us to Christmas, so that we can meet the new woman in his life. Dad was supposed to come here this month, but schedules and diaries messed things up, and so he invited us to come to Sweden instead. In order not to make things too awkward he offered to pay for a hotel in Stockholm during our stay.

Dad said he really wanted me to come and visit, and I think I want to go. I know I complain about him sometimes, and sometimes he doesn’t make any sense, and sometimes the differences between us get in the way of talking to each other. But he’s my dad, and he’s not a bad dad, I suppose. I could have had worse.

Mark and Dad has an icy cordiality between them, and it’s obvious that at least Mark doesn’t like my dad very much. So his enthusiasm for going to Sweden is, to put it mildly, very low. He’s suggested I go alone. But I don’t want to spend Christmas alone with dad. I want him with me.

This time, I think he should suck up, be polite and do as I say. This is supposed to be a give and take thing, isn’t it? This time, he should give. I think it’s the right thing to do. And maybe mum would stop pestering me with question about the woman he’s replaced her with.

John Boehner - Caricature
John Boehner – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Another thing that is funny is how the dysfunction of another country’s government is so talked about here in this little town so far away from the drama. But given that the now avoided US default would have affected the British economy, it’s been high on the agenda, and many people have shaken their heads about the thing.

The Americans that I know, I like very much. They’re friendly and charming, but I’m starting to think that it would be in our national security interest to distance the UK from that mess. It can’t be in our economic interest to play subservient to a nation that seems incapable of governing itself, and where one of the two parties seem to ignore the commitments they have entered into as a nation. Only 87 republicans voted for the ending of the shut-down bill, out of 232 republicans. It only passed because the democrats voted for it.

One third of the party came to its senses, but the other two-thirds thought it entirely proper to wreck the world’s economy, including the British economy. If this is how it will be from now on, then I don’t see how it is in our interest to be so dependent. Maybe we should distance ourselves from that.

The executive is, here, just a special committee of MPs. It’s not a separate branch of government; it is a part of parliament. All things in this country leads to parliament, and if agency’s break that, there will be hell to pay. Of course, the whole thing could be a white wash. That’s possible too.

GCHQ have been if not breaking the law, then acting on the very edges of it, and now there’s going to be a parliamentary inquiry. Many MPs are furious that even though they were part of the oversight groups in parliament, they weren’t told of the GCHQs activities. In this country, parliament is the supreme authority of the land, and if an agency lies and obfuscates things to parliament, the MPs tend to take a very dim view of it.

We don’t have a system of checks and balances between the judiciary and parliament, for instance. The judiciary always must interpret the laws that parliament passes. They can rarely override parliament’s rule, except in cases of human rights and things that fall under the scope of the ECHR. Even then, the ECHR gives a lot of latitude if there’s reasonable laws.

Our fuel bills are about to rise a lot. British Gas just announced it would raise the prices three times the rate of inflation, by 9.2 per cent. We’re already saving as much energy as we can, and Mark’s dad has made our house quite energy-efficient, but nearly ten per cent is a lot.

Unlike our daft Prime Minister, it’s just to ‘switch suppliers’. I worry about our country. Already old people are freezing in their homes, and for the first time since the war, charities are giving our food parcels to people.

This government just has to go. It’s not just the “nasty party”, it’s the “evil party” that runs it now. And the Liberal Democrats, which I think that I could vote for if things were normal, should never be allowed in government again. They’ve proven again and again that they say one thing, and do another.