this should be compulsory reading. Brilliant.
November 25, 2019 at 10:01 pm
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The present life of man, O king, seems to me, in comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter, with your commanders and ministers, and a good fire in the midst, whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad; the sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry storm; but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, into the dark winter from which he had emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant. If therefore, this new doctrine contains something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed.
https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2019/11/my-perspective-on-the-uk-and-us-elections-and-how-politics-ended-up-like-this/#more-16252 This analysis from Lord Ashcroft is excellent Tim. The Focus Group write-ups are also highly entertaining and very informative for slices of the mood music of the mundane the ordinary and Precarious lives of the Left Behind Fly over cannon fodder of Neo-Liberal Elitism.
And a Word on FIllial rivalry from Peter Hitchins.
“The last thing that Peter and I agreed on was the impeachment of President Clinton. But this is not simply a political-party difference. These things rarely are. In England, for instance, Sir Charles Powell is an eminent figure. He first rose to fame as a foreign-policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. His younger brother Jonathan Powell is chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair. But many people do not even know that they are related, because they resolutely decline to pronounce the family name in the same way. Sir Charles prefers to say it so as to rhyme with “pole,” the slightly affected form that was also insisted upon by that supreme novelist of the English elite, Anthony Powell. Young Jonathan, perhaps more the man of the people, chooses to do what most readers of the name would do, rhyme it with “towel.” I know for a fact that one political-summit trip meant that the brotherly duo had to board the same official aircraft. This did not mean, however, that they had to exchange a single word with each other.
The Poleists and Towelists have nothing on the Hitchenses.”
A favourite Novel of mine is the Scheme for Full Employment, it is Dry Kafkaesque absurdism done at it’s best. There are two Factions, The WOWrk to Rulers and Early Swervers, both factions are engaged in an Enterprise of the circular manufacture and dismantling of UNI Vans. Its an Allegory of some sort I would be interested if anyone else has read it.
How Interesting to compare, Jo Johnstone and his Brother Boris, Piers Corbyn and His Brother Jeremy, Ed Milliband and his brother David, perhaps some Father-Son lineage might also prove informative, Tony Benn, Hilary Ben, Neil Kinnock Stephen Kinnock, George Bush 1 George Bush the Second.
I noticed this morning that Channel 4 will be screening a leaders debate on “Climate” this coming Thursday, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage will apparently not be taking part? I think I will tune in and as a bit of fun, I might pre-write the script and publish before the show goes out to see how accurate I am.
Final Word for Peter Hitchins,
“…Edward describes, it suggests that my late brother’s attitude towards the Soviet experiment was more, er, nuanced than he might later have wished to acknowledge. Of course he was not a Stalinist, the charge which he angrily denied, though I had not made it. He was a Trotskyist, first as a member of a Trotskyist grouplet and later as an admirer (as he states clearly here) of Trotsky himself, see https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0076zht
(This, by the way, was recorded in August 2006).
But in my experience, quite a lot of Trotskyists (and he was definitely one of those) still defended aspects of the Soviet experiment, as Trotsky did himself. I was keenly aware of this as, even in my most fervent Trotskyist phase, I could never bring myself to see anything good about the USSR, and once got into trouble with my International Socialist comrades for issuing at the University of York (above the IS imprint) a leaflet saying that the Soviet Union was ‘no more socialist than Surrey’.