Toms Walk 2021 In The UK

Day 13: Whitchurch to Upton – Ailing Aylesbury

Six walkers today, all friends. We talked endlessly as we walked; it was fun. We trailed through poor old, down-at-heel, litter-strewn Aylesbury, a once beautiful and elegant town. Its graceful Georgian centre was gutted by 1950/60s so-called “planners” and greedy developers. When next you visit Aylesbury, recall George Eliot’s quote:

“Behind every great fortune is always a great crime.”

Re-treading the Boards

I took a trip down memory lane as I passed the hall where I served – fruitlessly- as a district councillor.

I ponder the number of hours I must have spent as a member of local and district council boards, church PPCs, and school governing bodies and Parliamentary Committees, boards of companies, and health authorities.
I am convinced I might just as well have been playing ping pong for all the difference I sitting on these boards made to the well-being of mankind.

Malcolm Muggeridge called one of his Autobiographies “Chronicles of Wasted Time.”

Great title that.

One observation I know is true: I have walked right around the UK with my beloved Jane, and we have never ever seen a statue to a committee.

Patriotic Pride

Patriots are proud of their country; nationalists are inclined to dislike other countries (Nicola Sturgeon, please take note).

Patriots stand during the national anthem – and because they know the words, they can sing them without embarrassment. They are familiar with the story of the UK and recognise that this is not “history”, but essential general knowledge. Without it, people can have no real understanding of why we are here. History tells us that we are standing on the shoulders of giants.

At the very least, we should know who some of these giants are and their stories. Such knowledge will allow us to appreciate that the freedoms we enjoy – the freedom of speech, freedom under the law, universal suffrage – were not delivered by Ocado or the tooth fairy but rather were won through bitter strife and in bloody battles fought by our forebears. And it will help us to understand the crucial importance of protecting these vital rights.

They may not be hand-waving Christians, but patriots will know their way around the King James Bible and will be able to recite The Lord’s Prayer. They will have read some Shakespeare, at least some Dickens, and some poetry.

Patriots take pride in our island story and will understand that the empire was a mixture of good and bad, as is the case with much human endeavour. They will have some knowledge of the UK’s Civil War, Wellington and Napoleon, the American Civil War, the pluses and minuses of Empire, the First and Second World Wars, Normandy, Spitfires, and Churchill. They remember or know about the atomic bomb, Vietnam, the Korean War, the Cold War, and peace-keeping missions from 1945–2005.

And they will know about the rise of the EU and the UK’s arguments for staying or leaving.

A Patriot’s Ps and Qs

If you bump into a patriot on the pavement, he will say “sorry”. Patriots are not petty and will not take offence by the use of the word “he” to encompass both sexes. They are unfailingly polite, particularly to women.

Patriots pick up litter. They hold the door open for the next person and if walking with a lady, ensure she is on the inside for protection. Patriots dislike swearing in front of women and children, and they dislike filthy language on TV.

Moral courage and personal integrity are high on a patriot’s list of virtues. He or she seldom boasts – except of course about the virtues of their children and grandchildren.

Patriots dislike all things “woke”, Twitter storms, and the leftward drift of institutions, in particular the Church, the National Trust, and the BBC. They understand that the UK is protected, not by politicians, but domestically by the police, and nationally by the men and women of the air force, the army, and navy.

Patriots worry that freedom of speech is being eroded by political correctness and are conscious that the career-destroying term “racism” is too often used as a term of general abuse. They agree with the statement by Dr. Martin Luther King: “People should not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”, and would prefer to leave it at that, thank you very much.

Today, more than ever, this country needs patriots for their strong work ethic, sense of humour, sense of responsibility, pride in the UK, and decent values.

I am, of course, sure that all ZANE supporters are patriots!


Any assistance is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to giving our pensioners a better quality of life and lift the pressure of money worries which is very debilitating emotionally.

(Donations made to ZANE in Australia, are tax-deductible)

Day 14: Upton to Tiddington – Match Points

A happy day with friends walking with us. Only a day left to go, and we won’t be sorry when it is finished. We have been fortunate with the weather: only one gruelling period of intense heat.

Last night we watched the now world-famous Emma Raducanu win the US Open Tennis tournament. Clearly, a hugely talented woman, and it was a superb match.

Am I alone in trembling for her? She has achieved far more than anyone could have expected and at the young age of 18. Am I a killjoy in remembering the sayings: “It’s better to travel than arrive,” and: “There’s only one thing worse than not getting your heart’s desire, and that’s getting it”. How will she handle losing?

Emma is now exposed to relentless media interest in her life and loves. That exposure will go on forever and forever is a long time.

I hope she has a sensible family who can keep her feet on the ground and who can stop her from going mad with fame.

Border Bedlam

Control our borders? Fat chance!

It seems that home secretaries nowadays must hail from an immigrant family – otherwise, when they seek to stem illegal immigration, they face being labelled a “racist monster”. The current home secretary, Priti Patel, is routinely called “cruel and right-wing,” by her vast number of critics. And now in the loneliness of office, she finds she can do nothing about illegal immigration except emulate King Lear: “I will do such things: what they are yet I know not, but they shall be, The terrors of the earth.”

In terms of risk/reward, people smuggling has to be a great criminal activity, a no brainer with little risk. The demand is vast: even the poorest and most oppressed people in the world have access to today’s internet.

It enables them to watch the life of Riley lived by the “have-it-alls” in their Aladdin’s caves with social security benefits, the NHS, subsidised housing, a peaceful society with respected laws, foodbanks, a government free of corruption and the chance of a job (even if it’s only in the UK’s black market). Then there is a media hostile to HMG doing anything material to deal with the situation and on the side of immigrants’ rights.

When you are reduced to being a hooker on the streets of Somalia, what’s not to like about the prospect of immigrating? The totality of Zimbabwe’s poor would choose to live in Guidlford if they had half the chance, so there’s no limit on the number of potential applicants desperate to escape from a life of exploitation, cruelty, hunger and jobless misery to a land of milk and honey.

All the would-be immigrants need is £5,000 and to be brave enough to risk the remote risk of drowning. And once they are in the UK, they have access to heaven. They are rescued from the Channel by kind people and given an immigrant’s allowance as well as free accommodation, food and healthcare. If they can’t speak English, they are given access to tax-payer-funded translators and the chance to be represented by a solicitor whose professional aim is to wriggle through our arcane laws on illegal immigration.

Therefore, the illegals stand little chance of being returned from thence they came, and the steady flood continues. Soon, I forecast, we will be facing 5,000 immigrants a day. No one has a clue what to do about it except to wave hands in desperation, talk tough and hand over more dosh to our natural enemy, the French, in the vain hope they might help us. Then we can listen as they laugh all the way to the bank while encouraging even more boats to make the crossing.

Poor old Patel. What a ghastly job.

Jobs for the Boys

Is your rubbish being collected efficiently? Are your roads free of potholes?

Far be it from me to drive you into a fury as you eat your breakfast, for we must all remain calm, but when you last looked at your rate bill, did you note that the sum to be paid increased by 4.4 per cent over the last year? And did you know that 2,500 local government officers earned more than £100,000 p/a last year – with 653 of them earning over £150,000?

As an extreme example, the assistant chief operating officer of Coventry local authority pocketed £575,000, which included a pension payment of £26,000 and an early retirement package of £375,000. For him, early retirement meant moving sideways to a well-paid job as the business development officer of a local university.

In addition, these individuals will all get an index-linked pension paid by taxpayers for as long as they have puff.

Who agrees this level of pay? We are all in the wrong job!

It’s a serious issue, though. Today, public sector employees get a far better deal than those trying to earn a living in the private sector. The issues are two: job security and of course, index-linked pensions. And it goes without saying that politicians and the civil servants who draft legislation have a vested interest to ensure that the status quo remains. What’s to be done? No one knows.


Any assistance is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to giving our pensioners a better quality of life and lift the pressure of money worries which is very debilitating emotionally.

(Donations made to ZANE in Australia, are tax-deductible)

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