Wednesday, 6 October 2010

In brief

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I promised you brevity today, and shall strive to achieve it. (It goes against muscle memory.)

So, quickly:

1. Puzzlement of the day:

How a media narrative develops which has nothing to do with empirical fact. The current narrative, across all the newspapers and broadcasters, even the sainted BBC, is that the child benefit cut is a disaster, the government is in shambles, everyone is PANICKING. Run, run, run, idiot politicos, for your lives.

The reality is: according to a You Gov poll, 83% of the public supports the cut.


2. Interesting parallel:

Remember when all the papers accused President Obama of being 'anti-British' because apparently he kept referring to BP as British Petroleum at the time of the Gulf oil spill? I follow American politics very closely, and listened to all his speeches at the time, and never heard him say anything other than BP. It seems he may once have called it British Petroleum. But even if the accusation had proved correct, it would not have translated into an anti-British bias. In his actions and policies, Barack Obama showed no animus to Britain. He was furious with a big multi-national oil company, as he had every right to be. I suppose that story was not sexy enough.

Interestingly, the person who actually did call it British Petroleum was Sarah Palin. No one at the Daily Telegraph called her anti-British. Wonder why.


3. Something lovely to eat, before the memory of summer fades altogether:

A simple guacamole. I made one today. There are recipes that include onion, tomato, and garlic, but I like the most pure, pared down version. I took three ripe avocadoes, one red chilli, a big pinch of sea salt, the juice of half a fat lime, and a handful of coriander, and whizzed them up in the Magimix. Some people prefer to mash with a fork. It's a texture thing.


4. Everyone likes to get very cynical about The Big Society. Oh, it's just a ruthless Tory plan to destroy the State and make poor beleaguered voters pick up the slack. The bastards want to go out to dinner at Claridge's while old ladies have to stop crime because there are no police on the streets. (Personally, I think old ladies would make excellent crime-fighters, but that's a whole other subject.) However, I am eschewing cynicism. The hopeful liberal in me likes the idea of a big society; I think the more engaged we are as citizens, the better we might feel about ourselves. No woman is an island.

It may fail. It may turn out to be misconceived. But could we not give it a chance, before we trash it in the market place?


5. Pictures of the day:

This was the colour of the sky this morning:


The ladyships drowsed in the sunshine:



Then woke up, and sniffed the air:



(For some reason, this makes me think of Grace Kelly in High Society. 'Oh look, it's Uncle Willie.' 'I'm fine, is everybody fine?')

Marvellous leaves:



And the glorious salvia, still still still flowering, as if it were the middle of July:



  1. Agree completely on the guacamole thing. Would do the same, maybe with a bit of cilantro (coriander). Looks like a bright and happy autumn day in Scotland.

  2. That blue! the combination of color seems ideal for embroidery or patchwork!

  3. My father was involved in something in his village which was described as very Big Society by the Conservative head honcho of their county council unfortunately almost no one in the village showed up other than the organisers and their families so colour me a bit cynical that anyone who isn't involved already in their community is going to start now.

    I definitely mash my guacamole and am not quite such a purist I want tomato in mine.

  4. Tania - I enjoyed your brevity - and old ladies fighting crime - I think would be wonderful and effective. I am distressed by the media hype. I am one of the people directing affected by THE CUT of child benefit and I honestly can say I don't mind, I get it, I just with they'd have wrapped up the messaging in a more concerted manner. We can all step up if we have to, we just need to understand why and when. And isn't it tragic that I somehow feel I need to be 'told'? Hmmm. Interesting what you say about Grace Kelly _ I have always thought she has a Kelly air about her! In another life? Lou x


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