Scrapbook: Week 11

March 11-17, 2023

SATURDAY 11 Was Gary Lineker correct in comparing Rishi’s immigration law to the banishment of Jews in 1930s Germany? Yes, says the Socialist Worker, spot on. No, says Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian. The language and policies of 1930s Germany were far worse.

Lineker erred by making the one comparison that makes this government look less bad than the alternative.

πŸ“Œ Rafael Behr says Putin’s Russia has become a nation that sees itself as waging a holy war.

Putin gambled on a quick military smash-and-grab raid [on Ukraine], lost, and is now committed to thorough tyranny and war as a way of life.

πŸ“Œ Suspect there are plenty of people sharing Danny Baker’s views right now…

SUNDAY 12 While everyone else is struggling to pay inflated electricity bills Rishi privately had the network upgraded to meet the needs of his heated swimming pool.

πŸ“Œ Gary Lineker seems to be the only available topic of conversation today.

πŸ“Œ Arriving home from Brighton we discovered that one of my purple socks has gone missing.

MONDAY 13 The BBC cave-in starts today as reports emerge that Gary Lineker will be back on the telly soon. Rishi is pretending the whole mess is Boris’s handiwork.

πŸ“Œ We emptied stuff from our Brighton flat at the weekend in advance of the new owner moving in. In the back of a cupboard I found my old “portable” typewriter (manual). That too is likely to go up for sale soon as an identical model in worse condition was found to be selling on Etsy for Β£240.

Old friend… To be sold

πŸ“Œ The Gary Lineker saga is over for the time being. The BBC backed down and grovelled, promising a renewal of its social-media guidelines. It’s hard to believe in the sincerity of any BBC pronouncements now and Garygate was a home-made, hand-made crisis crafted by bungling BBC bigwigs.

TUESDAY 14 I was flabbergasted to learn that someone we know, probably still in their 30s who works for a community advice service did not know what a council house is. It emerged that her parents bought a council flat in Marylebone on the right-to-buy scheme in the 1980s. So why did their daughter know so little about local-authority housing. Were they ashamed of having been council tenants and sought to scrub the stigma from their past?

πŸ“Œ In the book I’m reading Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police is hunting for a missing person snared by triads and trying to stop himself falling for a glamorous American cop because he has an on-off long-distance posh girlfriend in Beijing. Good luck with that, Chen.

WEDNESDAY 15 Google tells me that a photo I took three years ago of some old discarded oil-paint tubes has been viewed by 50,000 people. And Facebook suggests two groups I might be interested in, Chingford & Highams Park Life and Roger Mellie’s Profanisaurus.

Old photo…

πŸ“Œ Even Theresa “Hostile Environment” May voted against Suella’s Stop The Boats bill.

πŸ“Œ I couldn’t attend Art Class today. Our subject was water. I’m not sure my picture of a running tap will add to the sum of human understanding. Marge’s, on the other hand was a masterpiece.

A Running Tap, by Me
A Running Tap, by Marge…

THURSDAY 16 Jeremy Hunt’s budget doesn’t do much to disguise it’s real intention, which is to nail down inequality once and for all.

πŸ“Œ Was very pleasantly surprised, excited even, with the presentation by PUP Architects to design the Headway exhibition in the Barbican’s Curve gallery (early August). It was strong on ideas, open to new ones and they clearly have the skills to pull everything together into a rich experience. It made the marathon stitchwork I’m working on (a big text story) seem so much more worth doing.

The grand stitchwork project…

πŸ“Œ The seed for this week’s Headway Writing Group 100-word challenge was any interpretation of the expression Talking Heads. Mine was… “The beginning was easy. Eight words from a Talking Heads song: β€œTwo fools in love. So beautiful and strong.” It happens like that sometimes; open your window and a story flies in. The middle was harder. Who were the fools? Romeo and Juliet? Dolce and Gabbana? What kind of love did they share? What made them/it strong? He churned through the five Ws (Who, What, Where When, Why) to put flesh on the bones of this story. Then he hit a problem. The original eight words from Talking Heads was a story with no ending. He’d have to write one.”

πŸ“Œ Rishi keeps stealing Labour plans, which is probably best seen as a form of flattery. His problem is that if the voting public can’t tell the difference between his childcare policy and the almost identical one offered by Labour, they are likely to go with Labour because they haven’t been in power for 13 years and screwed up everything else.

πŸ“Œ Doh! It’s taken me three series of The Bay to twig that it’s about a police-force Family Liaison Officer (FLO) who has a screwed-up family life.

FRIDAY 17 our friends in Winchester have been busy vacuuming up an infestation of ladybirds.

Colony of ladybirds inside
vacuum cleaner…

πŸ“Œ Filed my 100-word story early for next week’s Headway Writing Group (now officially renamed Babyshoes after the famous six-word story supposedly by Ernest Hemingway) as we will be in Liverpool. The nominated title was Lucille, and my story is… “When Jules saw the voicemail notification pop up on her phone she started to believe this could be her Big Day. Congratulations! You have won the Elvis Presley Make Me A Winner competition. To select your prize, press 1 for the money, 2 for the show. In her head she started to sing, and to laugh, laughing so hard she missed her step, keeled forward and connected with concrete. Splat. She looked back to check the damage and saw she’d lost a heel. Then the song inside her head switched: You picked a fine time to leave me, loose heel.

πŸ“Œ My wife spotted someone on our neighbourhood online message board asking if anyone was in need of “cash in handjobs”.

Read all of my scrapbook diaries…


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