Countdown to Copenhagen | The Deepest Cut

November 29, 2009 at 10:22 pm Leave a comment

Countdown to Copenhagen

And it really is a countdown – Gordon Brown and I are in agreement on this. The difference between the Greens and the PM is that we’re prepared to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. I don’t want to come over all apocalyptic, but this might be literally the most important month of the century. If the Great and Good (ha!) don’t agree steps to address greenhouse gas emissions – not just carbon, let’s remember – then the world as we know it may vanish. Don’t take my word for it; read chapter 3 of The Stern Review for a flavour of what may be coming. And of course Lord Stern now says that his team understated the dangers!

The Deepest Cut

I’ve been to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to see Deep Cut. As you can guess, this is a dramatisation of the events around the deaths of four young recruits at the notorious Deepcut Barracks. Readers of Private Eye already know that there’s huge doubt about these supposed ‘suicides’. Of course the mounting death toll in Afghanistan (the Afghan people as well as UK troops) makes this particularly topical, but it would be harrowing at the best of times. Deepcut has been shut down, though one might think that the horse has well and truly bolted. Here’s hoping that the Army learned some lessons…. As a drama it was a little shapeless, I’d have to say. Granted, the writer was constrained by having to stick to the facts, but I couldn’t help thinking that David Hare might have sunk his teeth in a little further. His play The Permanent Way is the best indictment of the catastrophic 1990s privatisation of the world’s first railway network. It’s a great model for contemporary drama, so long as no-one starts turning them into bloody musicals. I still haven’t got over what they did to Les Miserables, which used to be one of my favourite books!

My cultural week

(Re) reading White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga, for my book group. Definitely a ripping yarn – it feels both authentically Indian and angrily critical of the Indian ‘economic boom’. Funny how supposed economic booms always turn out to have a dark side, isn’t it? Could it possibly be connected with the rampant unfettered capitalist model?

The parts of White Tiger that have stuck with me most vividly, six months after first reading it, are the election bits. It describes institutional electoral fraud on a scale that might make Hamid Karzai blush! Yeah, and there’s a messy murder too. Not yer typical Mills and Boon, but I like to stretch myself occasionally…..

Listening to Until the World Begins to Part by Broken Records. My new favourite band – they got my attention with a song called If Eilert Lovborg Wrote A Song It Would Sound Like This. There isn’t a huge surfeit of songs about Ibsen characters, let’s face it! If you like Guillemots and Fleet Foxes, check out this band. If you don’t, you’ll probably hate them with a passion….

This week’s statistic

A woman in Niger has a one in seven chance of dying during the course of her lifetime from complications during pregnancy or delivery. In America it’s one in 4,800 and in Ireland it’s just one in 48,000.

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World’s children 2009

This week’s quote

“We know the science. We see the threat…The time for action is now.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger 1 June 2005

(Strange bedfellows……)

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Minimum wage | Feminism | My cultural week Posthumous Green Award

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How cold is my valley?

Who I am

This blog started during the months before the 2010 General Election, in which I was the Green candidate for Calder Valley. It's morphed into an account of green activism...and other meanderings.

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