Saturday 26 May 2012

Random Observations

There have been no posts for the past week as I've spent it walking in mid-Wales with Anglo-French Walks(for details of which please see earlier post). I have not therefore been able to keep a close eye n the news but have picked up the following:
  • Last Sunday a bishop called for prayers for the Olympic flame. What on earth is the point of prayers for a flame?  (If they are that it doesn't blow out than they've obviously failed.)  I think this is a rather sad attempt to link the Church to the Olympic razzmatazz.  The Church should think itself fortunate that we are inextricably linked with the Queen's Jubilee and leave it at that, rather than try to jump on a bandwagon which is nothing to do with faith, Christian or otherwise. There seem to be rather desperate attempts by the Olympic organisers to whip up enthusiasm for this "jamboree for sponsors, providing unhealthy food and with a large proportion of the  tickets for corporate use," as a letter in the Guardian put it.  I know it sounds a bit "dog in the manager" but I hope they fail.  I'd have more enthusiasm if the Olympics were to be held in the North East, or some other part of the the UK that really is in need of regeneration, and not just another fancy facility for the already over-provided London.
  • Nick Clegg has been accused by the head of a posh fee-paying school of using communist-style tactics to promote social mobility.  Good for Nick: he must be doing something right if his critics, those with a vested interest in preserving and benefiting from  inequality, can challenge him only through vacuous  smears. 
  • The resuscitation of Vince Cable continues apace.  The messages from the Leveson enquiry indicate that he was the only politician prepared to resist overtures from the Murdoch camp.  Now, although he still seems a bit more wedded than I should like to the dilution of the Working Time directive, he has at least refused to allow employers to hire and fire at will. As becomes increasingly evident, though the Tories in the government wilfully refuse to notice, what the British economy needs to revive is not more job insecurity, but more demand.
  • Vast and very beautiful areas of Wales are uninhabited other than by sheep, have heavy rainfall (though happily not last week) and are ideally suited for the building of more dams on the lines of the 19th century development of the Elam Valley.  A Wales enjoying home rule (now called "independence lite" in the Scottish context) could solve some if its immediate economic problems by investment in dam building programmes, become "water-rich" and live in comfort for the future by exporting its water, at a price, to London and the South East.

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