About a thousand years ago, whilst casting about for the career that, forty years later I am yet to find, I worked as a milkman in north west London. Our yard had a full cast of characters amongst whom was a young lad called Keith. Goodness knows what the intervening years have brought to Keith, let’s hope they have been ones of fulfilment and happiness, but in 1978 there were two interest and two only in his life; Iron Maiden and tattoos. The former passion found it apotheosis in Keith’s Mark II Ford Cortina which, along with sheepskin seats, vinyl roof and metallic paint was kitted out with a set of speakers that entirely obscured the view from the rear window. On starting the engine the speakers would spring into life and the windows, the ground and buildings within several yards would vibrate to the shock sound waves Messrs Harris, Murray, Smith, Dickinson, McBrain and Gers. Continue reading “Tattoos: look on my works ye mighty and despair.”
Trump: America’s first CEO
Six months have now passed since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States and, whilst this may be a short time in the scheme of things, already enough evidence exists for a reasonably informed view of the shape of Trump White House. Aggregating the rhetoric, the views and the policies of the 45th President over this time, what emerges is certain singularity; the moment at which political and corporate America collided to form a mass in which neither part is any longer distinguishable from the other. Continue reading “Trump: America’s first CEO”
Auschwitz. The Nazis & ‘The Final Solution’ by Laurence Rees.
Godwin’s Law states that ‘As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches’. True enough and epithet that neatly encapsulates our endless fascination with the man, Auschwitz, the Final Solution and the Holocaust. Rightly so, each generation needs a book like this for, whilst human nature remains unchanged, keeping the subject at the highest possible profile might just help change human behaviour. Continue reading “Auschwitz. The Nazis & ‘The Final Solution’ by Laurence Rees.”
The BBC lifts its skirts
19th July 2017
This morning was unusual for me in that as I found myself in the car having just driven my daughter to the airport at some ungodly hour. This gave me the rare opportunity to listen to the full edition of the morning news magazine on the BBCs Radio 5. It was an interesting morning for the Beeb as, following new legislation, today was the day when they were to release the names or all their employees earning in excess of £150,000 a year.
This led to a bizarre situation whereby a BBC employee, Nicky Campbell, found himself grilling his boss – BBC Director General Tony Hall – on the iniquities that were to be revealed at 11.00am concerning both earnings and gender inequality. Mr Campbell did his usual excellent job, his questions were , relevant, penetrating and quite cunningly designed to wrong foot the DG. Why would he do anything else? This is, after all, precisely what he is paid to do. However, aside from the oddness of BBC employee grilling BBC boss, it dawned on me that, whilst Nicky Campbell cast himself in the rôle of defender of the suppressed – directly citing fireman, nurses and policemen – he was himself squarely part of the problem. This made uncomfortable listening. Continue reading “The BBC lifts its skirts”
Friday 14th July 2017
The case of baby Charlie Gard is one of those seemingly intractable moral issue that arise from time to time and or which we crave some kind of Solomon like wisdom to put us out of our misery. If you’re anything like me, just considering creates a mental state somewhere between muddled thinking and down-right panic. Continue reading “Charlie Gard”
East West Street by Philippe Sands
I’m going to go against the crowd here. Frankly I’m baffled by the critical success of East West Street. To borrow from one of Woody Allen’s greatest sketches; ‘This a good book, but not a great one’ and, although this is clearly a heresy, there are some passages, sometimes extending into chapters, that are just, well, boring. Continue reading “East West Street by Philippe Sands”