Sunday, 4 September 2011

Surreal poster watch

Craig Revel-Horwood and Ann Widdecombe (playing 'Widdy in waiting') in Dartford... 

I'm tempted to ask, what is the world coming to, but I have to confess a sort of weird admiration for AW; she's clearly bonkers and maybe always has been.  On the other hand, she seems to be having fun, someone is obviously paying her good money to ham it up and if nothing else, she's a good sport.  She is growing old disgracefully, just as she said she wanted to, and good luck to her.  

Having said that, and each to their own 'an all, but BM squirms at the thought of ever sitting through this particular performance...much as I admire her pensioner spirit,  it is a fact that she ruined SCD for me last year!  

Saturday, 3 September 2011

In a state of flux

I wonder do we ever realise when we are living through a period of relative calm, or do we just take it for granted?  Because it seems as if everything from the personal and private to the wider world is going through a period of great upheaval and uncertainty at the moment, and it's unnerving.   BM is a creature who craves security and there's not a lot of that about right now.

One thing that I find fascinating, is the emerging theme that capitalism or our version of it,  hasn't worked and we need to develop something else if we are to continue living in a civilised way.  John Lanchester, writing in the LRB has been developing this theme over the past 3 years.  His book 'Whoops' about the collapse of the banks in 2008 manages to be simultaneously a delight (for the writing) as well as stomach-churningly worrying because of the reality and scale of the problems he describes. 

So far so predictable.  The 'Left' for want of a better word, had for some time pre-dating the crash of 2008 engaged in analysis of the problems associated with unregulated and unfettered capitalism.

More surprising and I believe encouraging,  have been Charles Moore's recent pieces in the Telegraph and Spectator expanding on the theme and to some extent, attempting to reclaim a more conservative (small c), decent brand of capitalism.   Then listening to Any Questions (lunchtime repeat) today, I heard Norman Lamont  - hardly a revolutionary figure - commenting that the changes to regulation  of the banks, which Vince Cable has been seeking for some time, should happen without further delay!

And just when I was feeling a little optimistic about the near future, browsing the business section of the Guardian, I see that James Murdoch has declined his £4m bonus this year...but will still earn $12m in salary.  Clearly I'm not an economist but how can that sort of executive pay be explained?    'Because I'm worth it' seems to be the preferred explanation when this level of remuneration is questioned.   

It's clearly not  sustainable but these people live in a different sphere and can governments really intervene and press the re-set button?   I think most ordinary people want them to.  But if we are to be mobilised to have our voices heard and our votes counted we need to see a compelling alternative to replace what's been broken.