Wednesday, December 08, 2010



I'm still struggling to find a book that agrees with me. I'm persevering with Alan Warners "The Stars in the Bright Sky", but it's a struggle. I've had Jo Nesbo's Snowman sitting by the bed since the summer, but I've been saving it for desperate times. I think desperate times are upon us. The Mrs thinks I'm a nutter for saving up books like that, she just gets stuck in and devours 'em, straight away. I'm a bit fed up with the marketing of Nesbo. Having been reading him for a couple of  years I don't want people thinking I've only picked him up because, apparently, he is the new Larsson. He is miles better than Larsson for a start.

This whole Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Operation Payback episode is starting to read like a Larsson novel. I can't help but have an image of some huge, fat, hairy bastard with no social skills, sitting in some basement  manipulating everything. 3 massive cheers for whoever is behind Operation Payback.

Johan Hari's article on wikileaks in this mornings Independent was brilliant, and is well worth reading, and sharing.

There was also a very good article by the reliably indignant Robert Fisk on the influence of Qatar,

I was listening to some tory berk on the radio this morning, going on about Big Society and how we should all be out in the snow, being neighbourly, helping each other out, and gritting the roads ourselves. He said, helpfully, that he believed that some councils even provide boxes of grit, so that we could do just that. Something struck me. I wondered what kind of community he lives in, and if he has a neighbour within a hundred yards, because around here, big society kicks in and everyone is out, shovelling, being jovial, and we are not a neighbourly bunch. I don't include the git who helps himself to barrow loads of grit from the only grit box. I just assume he is a tory.

There is reason to assume he is a tory, as, it turns out that the rich are unempathetic and selfish:  the poorest 3rd donate more of their cash as a proportion of income than the richest third. It comes as no surprise to me. All this talk of Big Society smells to me of people who do not really participate in society, people who are pretty much excluded from society, by reason of wealth.  They don't realise that the little people go around helping each other out and empathising with each other all the time. If your view of the world is filtered by the scaremongering prism of the Daily Mail, you might not realise that.

It looks as if Alan Pardew will be the new Newcastle manager. He must be mad if he takes it; the fans have made it clear that they don't want him and it can only end in tears. Look what happened to Gary Megson at Bolton and Sam Allarydyce and Ruud Gullitt at Newcsatle. Pardew will not be allowed a single error of judgement before the fans turn against him, and then the press will all pile on. I predict that the reign of Pardew will be nasty, brutish and short.

Driving home a bit earlier, the starlit sky was stunningly beautiful, and the crescent moon, which was hanging as low as teenagers trousers, seemed to be smirking, cheekily. I decided that I would blip it. Can't find it. It's there somewhere, because it is still a beautiful starlit night, but I can't see the moon anywhere, it must be so low that it has dipped below a house or a hill. Is it a bleeding portent of something?

The government has been wheeling its big guns out all day to talk about tuition fees. I can stomach it from the tories, but not from Nick Clegg. Even the odious Nick Robinson had him wriggling about in an interview somewhere or other. He is like a whirling dervish with his vaccilations. He says that it isn't fair that those who don't go to university should subsidise those who do, but those who do go pay back plenty and we all benefit in many ways. I wonder how much we all subsidised Cleggs education and when he is going to pay us back?
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