- Published: 30 December 2016 30 December 2016
A personally bland day of paperwork , but necessarily important, and some family time as politics and the passing of politicians holds the minds of the nation. Tributes to Harold MacMillan feature his ‘one-nation’ approach which he always emphasized without directly criticising the divisiveness of Thatcher and the funeral takes place today of David Penhaligon as the US implements anti-European tariffs, more City revelations of insider-trading reveal the selfish outcome of financial ‘de-regulation’ and more countries and firms pull out of links with South Africa due to their racial discrimination and violence
I was the first to wake this morning and then read Family History magazines, as I drank my morning tea. Showered, shaved and dressed in time for breakfast with the family for once and then to my office to start a day of work. It had rained all night and was still raining this morning and the river will soon be in flood at this rate. At least the temperature remains mild and it was warm enough in my office for it not to be a distraction. A hard slog today, working on a mound of reading and other papers, and it was well until lunchtime before I had a clear desk and could actually start the paperwork in earnest. A cooked lunch and sweet to follow, as our main meal of the day, and then I resumed my work, paying a host of our bills and putting the cheques in envelopes. Also had to reconcile bank and building society accounts, so as to evaluate the cheques that I needed to balance them.
Di agreed to return to St Neots and do the transactions for me, on the condition that she could get her housekeeping cheque a bit early – as everybody else, she had found Christmas every bit as expensive as she feared. I worked on to update my summaries of family assets and income, so that I was well started when it was time for tea. Had managed to go out to feed the doves and put away the ducks in a break in the rain and then had a slimming tea of the last turkey leg, salad and pears to follow. Even more work afterwards, finishing my financial summaries, filing the papers and locking all valuable papers away. Time to read Debbie a Country Companion and for Di to sternly keep the girls in bed. The news is still led by the reactions to the death of Harold Macmillan; Lord Stockton and Thatcher speak well of him, despite the disagreements there have been recently seen between Macmillan and Thatcher’s policy of industry and society. Ted Heath, his protégé, is widely interviewed and he speaks of the old master’s ‘one-nation’ approach to housing and employment and the policy of East-West detente. All this as the Liberal MP, David Penhaligon, was buried today after receiving the tributes of his colleagues when he died a week ago. Gorbachev has snubbed Reagan’s offer of a mutual US/USSR TV broadcast and exchange of New Year’s greetings, saying that no such basis of mutual goodwill presently exists. Another Director of the Morgan Grenfell merchant bank, Mr Seeks, has resigned and MG say they will no longer act for Guinness. It seems that some illegal share dealings took place during the takeover of Distillers. Following the torrential rain in the West of Britain, many of the Welsh valleys are in flood with some properties flooded. Exxon, the oil company, is pulling out of South Africa, as the latest firm to withdraw as Kaunda and Mugabe discuss mutual actions by Kenya and Zimbabwe to further isolate the economy of South Africa. The USA is implementing some anti-trade tariffs, specifically aimed at the EEC, and represent a 200% increase. A touching programme later tonight in tribute to Macmillan and the last long interview of 1983 repeated for good measure. Courteously avoiding criticism of Thatcher, he nevertheless spoke around the single theme of cross-party agreement and cooperation.