Archive for July, 2010
Apologies for the sparsity of recent entries folks – long working hours put blog time at a premuim at present. Also I’m about to disappear off to Tuscany for 3 weeks (on the train) so the quiet spell will continue. Here are some quick thoughts to keep y’all going.
Our new(ish) PM has just been strutting his stuff in Washington, looking a tad uncomfortable to my eyes, eating a hot dog on the street with the NY Mayor. Despite the recent strains on the Speshul Relationship, there’s no hiding the wholesale admiration of Cameron and co for the Stateside political system.
Let me hasten to say – especially to my many relatives on the other side of the pond – that I’m a huge fan of Americana in general and (such a cliché) of the West Wing in particular. I do think we’d do better to emulate some of our Euro neighbours when it comes to political systems though. Here are a few features of the US political system we’re better off without:
- Primaries (everyone votes, then everyone votes again…what’s to stop you from voting for the worst candidate to sabotage the other side?)
- The need for obscene personal wealth before you can run for office
- The two-party system. Yes I know……
- The unashamed way the lobbyists buy votes
- The Republicans
- Most of the Democrats too
Just a thought…see you in Berlusconi territory!
A brief update on my cultural activities, in the spirit of all work and no play….
I spent 2 weeks lugging the very large Northern Confederacy (By Philip Hensher) around with me, and it was well worth it. It’s one of these sprawling family epics and is set in Sheffield, so very close to my own home town. I was thoroughly engaged with all the characters, and Mr Hensher keeps impressive control of all his many strands. Would I read more of his stuff? Yes, though would prefer something weighing less than a kilo!
I’ve been treating myself to some new music (new to me, not the world) and am loving lots of it. Best so far: I Speak Because I Can by the wonderful Laura Marling.
I made it to Manchester Library Theatre for the last time ever (before they move it to the nasty Lowry Centre). They went out with the ever-pleasing Importance of Being Earnest, and as a cunning ploy they’re opening in the Lowry with Arcadia, one of my favourite modern plays. Bit of a dirty trick, that – I may actually have to schlep out to see it…..
“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth”. ~ Henry David Thoreau, circa 1850