Wednesday, 22 July 2009
From Malloch to Moloch in one easy lesson: Browniana
I really and truly cannot imagine how Lord Malloch-Brown reversing his earlier opinion is of any help whatsoever to Gordon Brown, for either the latter has been fiercely twisting the former's arm in public, or he has no common agreed line with his ministers to start with, neither of which possibilities reflects well on him.
I wished Brown well, hoped him well, thinking him a man of some, possibly hidden, principle, or as much principle as a leader of the contemporary Labour Party can afford, but I really and truly cannot regard him as anything but a walking disaster. The disaster may not be all his own fault but, every time he moves, something else falls over and smashes. I am beyond feeling sorry for him.
Last night we had dinner a few miles out in the country at a friend's along with a writer who is a Vietnam vet, furthermore one with medals - a very good writer judging by the sample of the first chapter of his novel that I read last night. He has been here since the early eighties. His partner is a strong, instinctive long-time Labour supporter who works in social services. When the conversation touched on Brown she gave an involuntary shudder. The name was a hideous embarrassment. She wished it wasn't. I wish it weren't. Of course I wish it weren't.
But it is both, both hideous and embarrassing, and this is regardless - or almost regardless - of helicopters. It cannot quite be regardless, since if it is true that people are dying for lack of them, or are fatally hindered by lack of them, it is worse than useless repeating: they have enough, they have enough, they have everything they need, especially when a number of those closer to the situation than he is have said precisely the opposite. In other words it is no longer embarrassing, it is hideous and arrogant and wrong. If there was an ounce of honesty in him, he would have to say something like: It is hard to be certain whether we have enough helicopters or not, but we simply can't afford more. These are bad times. We don't have the cash..
But prime ministers don't say things like that. This one certainly doesn't. He blusters. And goes on blustering. And the more he blusters, the more he sounds like he is lying.
Yesterday afternoon discussing collaboration with two artists, Caroline Wright and Helen Rousseau. Today discussing writing an introduction - not a conventional introduction - to Justin Partyka's marvellous photographs of Norfolk's last small farmers, due for exhibition at the Sainsbury Gallery at the end of September.
Computer images can't do justice to the extraordinary quality of the photographs themselves as he laid them out on the table this afternoon.
It's wonderful working with artists and composers and musicians. If only there was time to do everything, and to do it all well!