Counting my losses

I am experiencing such a feeling of loss and powerlessness this weekend.

Hot on the heels of the referendum, my partner and l lost our dear cat Lawrence.

A horrible journey in the car ensued – at 6.30 in the morning – from Bath to Bristol with a very distressed cat. In praising our vets and nursing staff for their skills and compassion – it’s just a shame the only 24-hour emergency cover is so far away for pet owners in Bath.

We have lost a dear and faithful friend and could do nothing about it. His age and a diseased heart robbed us of his company. Something is now missing from our lives.

I feel the same about my country and its destiny. It has also been torn away from me and l can do nothing about it. Maybe that is a greater loss. Certainly, it is one l share with many more people.

At my time of life it has been nice to look back behind me and see how far society – and the world around me – has come down the road.

How l now live in a more inclusive and tolerant country – forming a new bonding with its natural European home. A coming together of peoples and cultures. A real feeling of being part of something.

I have now made my home in a city that rings with the sound of different voices from all parts of the world. People sharing a common purpose in coming to look at the achievements of the ancient world and more recent Georgian past.

Our city benefits financially from their presence  -and their appreciation surely gives us pride in our surroundings.

You are already detecting irony here?

The referendum has robbed me of any sense of achievement. I would like to say it’s all been about getting control of our destiny back.

A return to ‘England’s Glory’- a fine Gloucester made match by the way. Ah, the days of Empire – when Britain ruled the waves – and sent God and civilisation out from these shores to enable all those we colonised to bask in the light of economic and social progress.

It’s not of course. It’s all about refugees and the NHS. Lack of jobs, bad housing and deprivation. A nation divided between the wealthy and those with nothing but a win on the lottery to hope for.

Politics – and bad government – has caused this mess. The implications are immense. Things will unfold as the days and weeks go by.

Friends have pointed out to me how, locally, both Bath and Bristol voted to remain in the European Union.

How ironic is this with a debate on the ‘West of England Devolution Deal’ due this coming week.

B&NES, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire being offered millions by the government to come together as a ‘metropolitan authority’.

North Somerset and South Gloucestershire were both Brexit areas so there is already a divide in how the future is perceived between the four authorities. The deal is being smashed to pieces on the rocks of divisive politics. North Somerset are already out of the frame.

The authorities have deadlines – in which to decide whether to proceed or not – and public consultations to implement if they do.

Meanwhile, the government is distracted in sorting out who is going to be in charge of steering this country into its tiny little isolationist future. Now – with ‘an adjustment in public finances’ – says the Chancellor this morning – does the deal still stand?

I can’t see this proposed arrangement going anywhere soon.

Maybe the political uncertainty will also sink that other local disaster in the making – the East of Bath park and ride proposal.

Let’s think on that – while we all await the next dreadful developments on the national front. No pun intended.