Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Joy of Six 1222

"What they got was a journalist with access to the upper reaches of the Government, with a determination to get on air and tell everyone the whispers that she had heard from ministers, advisors and officials – before Sky or ITN. What the BBC needed was someone who could take a step back, away from the scrum, and tell audiences when they were being lied to." Laura Kuenssberg has been a catastrophic failure as the BBC's political editor, argues Patrick Howse.

Jonn Elledge asks if the Tories are deliberately posting terrible social media: "It's worth noting, though, that the most damning comment I heard from anyone while reporting this piece came from a Tory strategist: 'The conspiracy theory I’ve always liked the most is the one that presumes that behind something inexplicably dumb there must be some grand plan or deep rooted super secret scheme designed in these smokey backrooms of government. It’s terrifically flattering,' they explained. 'My god, I wish it were true. I mean, have you met us? We really are just this shit.'"

Andrew Kersley meets the parents of truant children hit by the single justice procedure: "Imagine receiving a letter through the post, informing you that you’re about to be prosecuted for a crime you did not commit. Your defence and plea of not guilty won’t be considered. Instead, you will be found guilty in a private ruling, with only a single judge present in the room. There’s no prosecution, no defendant, no press, and no witnesses. And after all that, you will be left with a criminal record that could cost you your job."

"In Thinking to Some Purpose, Stebbing took on the task of showing the relevance of logic to ordinary life, and she did so with a sense of urgency, well aware of the gathering storm clouds over Europe." Peter West on the neglected British philosopher Susan Stebbing.

Jessica Kiang celebrates Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, which was released 50 years ago.

"The poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973), an undergraduate at Christ Church in the mid 1920s, would bring visitors here to show them what he considered to be the embodiment of 'The Waste Land' described in TS Eliot's poem of the same name, of which he was a great admirer." Local History in South Oxford takes us to St Ebbe's Gasworks.

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