Finally, it was over. The UK went to the polls on Thursday for the General Election. Theresa May the British PM, appeared confident she would be returned with a comfortable majority. At every media opportunity, she repeated her slogan “Vote for me for a stable and secure Britain. I’m the only one who will ensure we will get a good deal with Brexit.”

Whatever I personally think of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, he conducted a well thought out campaign. He said he would raise taxes, in order to pour money into the NHS and abolish fees for students. Corbyn’s message seemed to galvanise young people and they turned out to vote.

One of Theresa May’s mistakes was her decision not to front up on head to head debates with Jeremy Corbyn. Instead she deputised the Home Secretary to take her place, which did not go down well here. The Prime Minister made several U-Turns, which included announcing a policy for people who needed rest home level care having to pay for it by potentially selling their homes.

We’ve had this policy in NZ for years, and I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve also had to explain this to relatives, and I can’t recall anybody complaining about it. Anyway, it caused uproar in the UK and caused Theresa May to back pedal.

The polls and pundits predicted a significant Conservative (National) majority. By 10pm the exit polls indicated a possible hung Parliament. When I woke up on Friday morning, the Conservatives had 318 seats. Not enough to govern alone. Calls came from Labour for Theresa May to resign, but she took herself off to see the Queen and asked permission to form a Government. With the votes from the Democratic Union Party of Northern Ireland, who? No, I’d never heard of them either, she has the numbers to govern. The Leader of the Scottish Conservatives who is engaged to her female partner, is not happy about this as she feels LGBT rights in the UK might be compromised.

Theresa May spoke on television last night, and belatedly gave her commiserations to her ex-MP’s who had lost their seats. What happens now?

 A good question. Several years ago, in NZ Helen Clark hung onto power by going into coalition with Winston Peters. That didn’t end well, and I can’t imagine this will too.

Already the pound has dropped against the Euro. Brexit negotiations are due to start next week. Instead of empowering Theresa May, the election has done the opposite. Today the media is asking this question.  When will she resign and who will replace her?

Last week I spent a wonderful few days with my cousin and her husband in Winchester celebrating her birthday.

We went to the village and visited the house where Jane Austin lived and wrote her books. The countryside looked magnificent and on Friday we went to a National Trust house and garden – Mottisfont. The roses were simply spectacular. Many of them were David Austin Old fashioned roses, the scent and the colours were awesome. That day will be one of the highlights of my trip.

Back to Brighton and a day trip to London to see “The Motown Experience”. I’d wanted to see it in NY, but it closed two weeks before I arrived. The musical took the audience on a journey from the founding of the label by Berry Gordy, to the deep divisions among its artists 25 years later.  I loved it! Highly recommended.

More shopping in Brighton today! I love wandering around and people watching. Today I counted 3 female couples holding hands, nobody gave them a second glance. If I didn’t live in Auckland, I’d certainly consider living here. Brighton has such a good vibe for LGBT people.

Next Friday I’m off on my travels again. This time to Berlin. More next week.

Take care

Best wishes

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