It is hard to believe that since my last blog, only one month ago, there should have been such a mammoth change in the fortunes, not only of this country, but the entire world. A perfect storm of crises has come together and left us reeling. Four weeks ago the vile Putin instructed the Russian forces to invade Ukraine in his mad endeavour to re-create the Russian Empire. We had thought, mistakenly, there could never be another Hitler. Wasn’t that why the United Nations was created? But now this body seems to be utterly useless. Their  great mistake was to have one country on the security council allowed to veto. It  has left the UN unable to act against this monstrous act that Russia under Putin has taken and powerless to take any action. Apart from the horrors this war is inflicting on the Ukrainian people, it is having a ripple effect of hardship that is spreading over the entire world. Sanctions aren’t doing enough and we watch helplessly as  terrible atrocities are being inflicted on the brave Ukrainians. There seems to be little NATO can do either for fear of starting a nuclear war and so the frustration goes on.

In the UK the depths of our Russian involvement has finally come to light. The government and London are awash with dirty Russian money. So many Tories are guilty of taking Putin’s money and it becomes increasingly apparent that Putin had a hand in both Brexit and the last election, putting the his puppet Boris Johnson in power as our totally inadequate Prime Minister.  Harsh words, but every day it becomes more obvious what a hold Putin has.  Our sanctions against Russia came far too late and there was a reluctance to act against the Oligarchs, who have for far too long have been allowed to indulge in their rich lifestyles here. But  – my main criticism of the government over the Ukrainian crisis has been their dreadful and totally inadequate response to the refugee crisis. Under Priti Patel, our disastrous Home Secretary, the UK has been made to look both mean and unhelpful. She seems to be content to leave mothers and babies stranded in Calais, requiring these poor people fleeing from war to fill in  50 pages of questions online. It is shameful and what makes it worse is that this comes at the end of a long category of mismanagement of refugees, particularly Afghanistan last year, and going further back to Syria and Yemen. Priti Patel is  also the person giving instruction to turn back small boats risking crossing the Channel in great danger. Lasting shame on her and her government!

Added to this perfect storm of crises, the Covid cases are once again on the increase and no matter how long this government relies on the vaccines, the NHS is under further stress and the backlog of cases needing treatment increases still further.  No help from the Chancellor either. His Spring statement totally inadequate in dealing with the growing financial crisis.  Mothers are torn between eating and heating. Thousands of children go hungry to school, and the old and sick are left to die in despair. All this in a rich country in 2022. Drastic action was needed and Sunak’s answer? The rich are to grow richer and the poor poorer. We urgently need a change of direction or a new government – preferably  the latter.

As I write this, it is Mother’s Day and I weep for the mothers in Ukraine. Putin will show no mercy now. As one brave female Ukrainian MP told us, ‘When Putin talks of peace, reach for your kalashnakov.

After such an angry outpouring I must try and find a positive to end with. So here goes…                I’m just back from a wonderful week spent in Spain with my son and his wife. On my return it was to find Spring had arrived and to add to this pleasure, we have just had five days of sunshine. You can almost see the plants growing and the trees bursting into bud. When I left for Spain my miniature fruit trees looked like sticks in the ground, now they have leaves and evidence of blossom. Life can’t be totally bad if you can sit in a sunlit garden and listen to birdsong.