M’Dad always flipped wi’ a farthin’ –
An old un, ‘e told us. ‘E knew,
‘Cos it ‘ad old Britannia on one side
And at t’botttom the year twenty-two. Continue reading “The politics of childhood”
Only a couple of weeks ago I read A Legacy of Spies, published last year; as ever with le Carrè, having to concentrate hard on the intricacies of the plot while drooling with appreciation at the vibrancy of his descriptions, both of people and places. And now I have almost finished re-reading Smiley’s People – written 40 years ago and as intriguing as ever. Continue reading “The book is better”
I, I, I must be getting old
There’s a fire and a fury
driven deep into my soul
It’s the helplessness that comes
from being under your control
Roger Taylor, The Unblinking Eye.
Anytime something bad happens the politicians bring out their sympathetic faces and they all read from the same script. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard them gravely say “This is a terrible tragedy.”
I’m racking my brain to think of any other kind of tragedy. A good tragedy? A funny tragedy? A favourable tragedy? Sooner or later some MP will utter “a tragic tragedy”. Can see it coming.
I can’t help thinking I’m an egalitarian. The word seems to connote more or less what I stand for, morally speaking. It cements the aims of all those who want to lift our species out of the life old Hobbes described as natural: ”solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. But ever since the Americans crystallised the principle – ‘all men are created equal’ – plenty of gainsayers have ensured that some are more equal than others. They have used pseudo-science, pseudo-religion and pseudo-economics to justify their belief in the subjugation and humiliation of other races and creeds. Not to mention politics where we witness so-called social democrats identifying members of their clubs who have unsuitable views about equality.
Of course the best strategy for my opponents is to deny the principle – which in their book gives them licence to deny their hypocrisy, their dressed-up inhumanity, their sense of innate superiority. Their tribes just play their cards more skilfully, they’ll say; and devil take the hindmost. But I can’t hope St Peter will deal with them in the end; so many of his adherents agree with their flawed conclusions. I just want them to know they can’t fool everyone with their arguments.
Lost a fiver today.
It’s alright, don’t feel sorry for me. It was my own fault. Fell out my pocket. Not got a Clouseau where it went. Like Cato the Younger I took this hit with a resigned Hardy look at the fourth wall and remembered the famous Roman quote by Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis “What’s for you will never go by you.” Though I’m sure it was originally in Latin,
Quid Leatherus testamus numquam Cheerioyou.
What we need to know is whether you’re going to meet our African correspondent in the flesh. And if you do, will you reveal anything to help us guess how real his Chariot persona really is? Intriguing stuff, eh?
. . . sworn in and raring to go.
Over the last decade, we’ve had more Prime Ministers than clean knickers. Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Kevin again, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, and now Scott Morrison.
On Monday, Malcolm himself called for a spill in an attempt to defeat an imminent challenge from Peter Dutton. He won, but only by a small margin, so a demand for a second spill was anticipated. Our doughty Malcolm was not going to give in gracefully, so he set a couple of difficult conditions on Peter D, for a meeting to be held today (the last day such a meeting could be called for a couple of weeks – don’t worry about why).
To his surprise, and chagrin, the conditions were met, and the meeting held. A second spill was approved by vote, but only just, 44 to 40 I think, and lo and behold there were three candidates on the ticket. They were Peter D (pushy, right wing, youngish ex policeman), Scott Morrison (“ScoMo”, middle-of-the-road, 50 years young) and Julie Bishop (62, vastly experienced Foreign Minister, known and respected by many colleagues around the world, Deputy Party Leader and in both positions for many years, middle-of-the road, described by some as “Turnbull in a skirt”). The pundits mostly said JB should win, but that PD probably would, because she was another pesky woman.
So whaddyaknow? ScoMo walked it, and another lad won the deputy leader job (JB didn’t stand for that, this time).
So Malcolm has resigned his commission to the G-G, and as soon as ScoMo gets sworn in (by the G-G), he’ll be head honcho. Talk about revolving doors. 😎
Well, it has to be done. On Tuesday, next week, I will be flying out to Awestruck-and-failure for a 3 week stint. My junior attachment will be participating in something called World Scholars, an academic forum involving children from 50 countries. The event is being held in the Melbourne Convention Centre form the 18th to 21st of August. Continue reading “A home girt by sea… and one that is not.”