Friday, December 27, 2019

Liberal England in 2019: Part 1


I began the year blogging about a 1993 council by-election on the Isle of Dogs. I said it was an Awful Warning to the mainstream parties about what can happen when they talk up the chances of the far right.

Mike Brearley's new book offered some entertaining consecutive entries in its index: Barrington, Ken and Bartók, Béla; Hogg, Quintin and Hogg, Rodney; Wittgenstein, Ludwig and Woakes, Chris.
"One cannot expect the London proletarians to allow themselves to be blown up in honour of Fenian emissaries."
So Karl Marx once said. I took it as a criticism of Jeremy Corbyn's position on such matters.

I took Charles I back to the well at Tur Langton that he last visited when fleeing Naseby in 1645.

Karl Popper, particularly his Paradox of Toleration, was suddenly popular with the left.

The Liberal Democrats kept calling no Corbyn to show some backbone on Brexit. But I argued that he had always been in favour of it and that it was Labour MPs who needed stiffening.


I posted a couple of photos of the remains of Stourpaine and Durweston Halt on the Somerset & Dorset that I took in 1982. The sign has since been moved to a local park.

Lady Bay Bridge is a little way downstream of Trent Bridge cricket ground. In 1982, I discovered, it served as the bridge over which Karla entered West Berlin in the BBC adaptation of John le Carré's Smiley's People.

I reviewed Jonathan Coe's Middle England for Liberator.

The launch of The Independent Group - later to become Change UK and several other things - struck me as being more sad than hopeful:
Rather than the launch of a new movement, I see seven individuals who have succumbed to the hard left's perennial tactic of making life so unpleasant for those who oppose them that they eventually walk away from the fight.


Now firmly in my anecdotage, I blogged about the Birmingham Northfield by-election of October 1982.

Buying a new cooker in South Wigston, I came across a striking old shop.

In Liberator I reviewed the BBC series A Very English Scandal:
So while Whishaw was wholly convincing as Scott the fashion model in Sixties Dublin and touching in the scenes that showed the failure of his marriage, we never heard the tones in the real Scott’s voice that told us he had spent time among the horse-riding classes and desperately wanted to pass as one of them.
I formally proposed Calder's Sixth Law of Politics:
All Liberal Democrat leadership elections are reruns of Steel vs Pardoe.
and Scott Walker died.

I found myself becoming intrigued by the treatment of children and bombsites in British films.

On a similar note, it turned out that the authorities planning the restoration of the Palace of Westminster do not have to worry about finding the bodies of climbing boys in its chimneys.

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