(1) I have received a message from Virgin Trains East Coast which says: "You may be aware that Virgin Trains East Coast is transitioning to become London North Eastern Railway (LNER) on 24 June 2018." Transitioning? This must be the most moronic use of the English language to emerge from this disaster of a rail franchise yet. Their complete and utter failure to do what they said they would do is merely leading to a transition to something called LNER - as if it were just a fresh coat of paint. Awesome! Good to go!
(2) Theresa May never looks more shifty than when she's having to answer questions, even the soft and somewhat sympathetic ones that Andrew Marr throws her. It's not her fault I suppose that she can't smile without turning her mouth into a lop-sided smirk, nor that this form of tic is getting worse as every day passes. It makes her look ever more dishonest, which doesn't help when she's trying to convince us that her announcement of £20 billion more a year for the NHS is anything more than a rather shallow ruse to grab a headline. The trouble with Marr, who is ever so polite is that he doesn't pursue his own questions when she doesn't answer them. There were a number of times when he could simply have said "Could you be more specific?" and Theresa's smirk would have swallowed her whole body. Where does this figure of £20 billion come from? Everybody is asking that question now. What did she mean when she said that since 2010 the government had put more money into the NHS, when we know it's less than the annual pre-2010 average? Following each of her waffling generalisations, Marr should simply have said "Could you be more specific?" The answer of course is that she can't, because the whole exercise was a back of the fag packet exercise which, by the time sometime in the future when the dosh is meant to flow, it will be well forgotten - just another piece of specious Tory NHS gaming. Having said that, and for the sake of fairness, the figure of £20 billion does ring a bell. I seem to recall in New Labour's early days Gordon Brown making hay with such a figure, which I believe was a rehash of a previous announcement. But despite that slip, Labour did put more money into the NHS. It is unlikely that this government will follow suit.