Archive for the ‘Boris Johnson’ Tag

Worse for wear on Margueritas (Day 29)


I’m on the tube home from a meeting at the great media cliche that is the Groucho Club. Synchronicity in that on the way there I was reading The Origin of Virtue by Matt Ridley about the scientific basis of altruism in our species and it mentioned Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin in the section I was reading. … Actually I’ve just checked back – make that Karl rather than Groucho (easy mistake 😉 ) I’ve ended the Writing Day with a few Margueritas. It’s not the first post I’ve written under the influence. One that springs to mind was on the way home from the V&A after an amusing encounter with Janet Street Porter.

Anyway just had a meeting with a charming art collector and he confirmed Jeremy Deller as an ideal for the Art case study being “the most generous person I’ve ever met – one of the anointed”.

The rest of the day has been way more sober but nonetheless productive, mainly carrying on with the Paul Arden chapter. I read the opening of it to my Other Half and she liked it but helped me simplify it. The first unread-back draft had phrases like “a propos of nothing ” and “en famille” which really needed a good kicking. It made me aware of how important and impactful that second pass can be.

I took a lunch-break at a local cafe (the wonderful Amici, domain of Maurizio) to meet two French specialists in multiplatform production who want to involve me in their Paris conference next summer. Chatting about comic books and 60s French movies and translation and Asterix and Lyons (and multiplatform) and all manner of inherently interesting stuff was great fuel for a solid afternoon of writing.

Tomorrow I’m doing a speaking gig in Manchester with Bea Campbell (who inspired my wife’s university final film about miners’ wives in Ayrshire during the Miners Strike – connection to Deller and Channel 4 through The Battle of Orgreave) and Rod Liddle with a bit of input from Boris Johnson via video. I’ll get 3 hours each way on the train to write.


4 things that are bothering me about the Credit Crunch

McQueenTo celebrate our record recession as marked by today’s announcement of a neat 0.4% shrinkage of the UK economy between July and September, making this recession the longest since records began, here are 4 things that have been bugging me on this front…

Earlier this week I read in the Evening Standard an article celebrating the rise in retail sales figures in September with a woman from Selfridges revelling in all the spending, just like the good ol’ pre-Crunch times. Are we all just going to slip back into buying all that Chinese-made shit we don’t really need?

There seems to be no sign of genuine banking reform. Even Boris Johnson is now feeling stiched up by the bwankers. Short-term thinking (if you can call it thinking) is the nemesis of long-term well being.

In the wake of the oil prices hitting their peak, the moment they started coming down a bit, I remember reading the depressing newspaper headline: Supermarket forecourt price wars. This just after you started noticing people really thinking twice before making a car journey. Our capacity to fall back into old ways is frankly depressing.

People keep referring to it as if it’s another run-of-the-mill, cycle-of-things recession, perhaps a bit worse but still a known quantity. My instinct about it is that it contains elements the like of which we have not seen before and understand no better than the bwankers understood what they were doing when they bought those packages of cancerous debt.

We had a chance for a moment there to stop and reflect and consider where true value lies, make some radical changes and get our lives back into balance, perhaps healing our battered environment to a sufficient degree in the process. I hope that moment hasn’t passed but I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar on it (if I could afford dollars these days).

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