Archive for December, 2009
Although ‘tis the season, etc etc, Calderdale Greens are looking to the future. We’re busy preparing our next newsletter for distribution in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. The last one got lots of responses, so we hope for more of the same. Our self-imposed deadline for distribution is 30th January, when I shall be lining up with the other parliamentary candidates for an hour of topical debate at Riverside school in Hebden Bridge. This will be closely followed by more of the same on 2nd February, this time at the other end of the valley in Lightcliffe. More details nearer the time.
This means that my chief task over Christmas, aside from all the festive frolics, will be swotting up on the latest tweakings of Green policies. Presumably this is the same in all parties (I’ve only ever belonged to the one) but scarcely a day goes by without one of my many e-mails containing the latest discussion of policy minutiae. Not that this is bad, I hasten to add, but it causes me wry amusement when I’m told that the Green Party is a “single issue party” Ha! Sometimes I could almost wish it to be true…..
This week’s posthumous green award goes to Anton Chekhov, whose 150th anniversary will fall in 2010. Not only was he a towering genius, he was most DEFINITELY an environmentalist – see Astrov’s famous speech to Yelena on deforestation, inter alia.
I belong to a book group, and our habit over Christmas is to spend two months reading a weighty tome (Nicholas Nickleby in the current vintage). We then use our December meeting to review our year’s reading and vote on our favourite book. The voting is taken quite seriously – one of our number was snowed in, down an un-gritted road in Ripponden, so she voted by e-mail. Yes, we do use proportional representation, and yes, using FPTP would have skewed the result! The winner, just pipping The Secret Scripture, was An Unofficial Rose by Iris Murdoch. We loved this book for its complexity and subtlety, and a unanimous thumbs-up from us is very rare!
Listening to all the corny Christmas stuff. Still the best by a stretch is Fairytale of New York…can’t believe Kirsty’s been gone for nine years. My Christmas stocking contained several musical offerings, but so far there’s been no chance to sample them. Something to look forward to in the dark days of January.
Watching The Life of Brian on DVD. This timeless classic of satire, with a 30 year-old documentary on Orson Welles, made current Christmas TV appear a poor thing indeed. I know I sound like a caricature of a grumpy middle-aged woman, but I’m sure there was better stuff on the box when we only had three channels. Mind you, no meta-analysis of the time/quality axis can possibly explain the longevity of Bruce Forsyth’s career! Or can it??
“I am a passionate socialist, but God I can’t stand them now. I support the memory and the history of the party and I consider that these lot are interlopers . . . I could still cry to think about shock and awe, to watch it on television and think ‘there are bombers and they’re bombing children”
Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole, shares her views on the current administration.
So it’s over. The limousine and private jets have departed and we are none of us one jot better off. Being a jaded old cynic, I’m depressed but not surprised. I don’t even blame the deniers, who made prats of themselves without outside help, but there are too many vested interests in the mix. We recycle, we compost and insulate, we stop driving and flying…then our leaders (in the loose sense) screw it up because they don’t want to upset the CBI. If the global temperature rises by more than 2 degrees, not even the Captains of Industry will give a wet slap about ‘economic growth’.
I’m a glass-half-full type, though this one is tough. The best consolation I can come up with is that the battle to outlaw the slave trade took years. They took on the eighteenth century equivalent of multinationals and won….in the end. No, I know we don’t have years, but that’s the best I can do right now.
“How can I ask Africa to sign a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries?”
Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, Sudanese Ambassador to the UN
This week’s posthumous green award goes to William Wilberforce, for overcoming filibustering, incompetence and downright evil to achieve the diplomatic part of abolishing the slave trade. He is the first, and probably the last, Tory to be given this prestigious award! But desperate times call for desperate measures. Who will be the modern Wilberforce? People named Obama need not apply.