In My View - 3rd August 2017

As we enter the traditional holiday period of August those keen on political drama can look across the Atlantic where the White House reality show seems to be veering from The West Wing to The Sopranos to Survivor. At the time of writing Anthony Scaramucci has just left his role as Communications Director after a short but spectacular stint in the job. Perhaps sensing the lack of order in the organisation, the President is drawn towards military men like retired Generals H.R. McMaster and John Kelly, so I think it is too early to say we are the stage of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

It is fascinating and in reality serious to watch, and those who wanted a completely new style of politics in the US may be starting to wonder if this is what they were hoping for. As the US healthcare drama shows, the President is always more powerful on the world stage than in domestic policy and it is of great concern that the sabre rattling around the situation in North Korea may be painting the actors into a corner, keen as they are for domestic approval. The intractable nature of the threat to so many people in Seoul, should anything be done to stop North Korea arming Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with nuclear warheads, is calling out for some experienced diplomatic manoeuvres. Such weapons could conceivably have San Francisco within range in two years.

I am staying in England for the summer and very happy to be doing so. Of course the weather will be unpredictable and we have seen a serious side to that in Ilminster recently after some very heavy rains. I am meeting residents and business owners as well as Council representatives to see what we can do to make the drainage better and hopefully mitigate the risk in the future.

A far more comforting aspect of village life was on show when I visited the Winsham Village Shop, where I highly recommend the excellent soft liquorice, stocked following a recommendation from a local customer. The shop is looking to move up the road and enjoys great local support so I will see what I can do to help with that and mitigate any concerns.

I’ve had a very good series of summer open advice surgeries with the usual interesting array of topics. In Ilchester I had a fascinating trip to the library where I learned more about the local history. Some may know Ilchester was once a rotten borough, sending two MPs to the House of Commons until the Reform Act of 1832, including the denizens of our wonderful Montacute House whose excellent National Trust managers I met the week before last. Happily we’ve moved on from those times, as far as the House of Commons end of Parliament is concerned at least, and thankfully Ilchester no longer has the grisly public executions it regularly staged, being altogether now a wholesome and lovely place.

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