Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Joy of Six 1232

Lynton Crosby's divisive approach to politics has wedged the Conservative party into a corner from which they cannot escape, says Adam Bienkov.

Nearly three thousand prisoners are still serving indeterminate IPP - imprisonment for public protection - sentences, which are a relic of New Labour's authoritarianism. Alice Edwards, the UN special rapporteur on torture, explained the need for reform on the eve of an important vote in the Lords. In the event, peers agreed to the government amendments she supported.

Carol Nicholson discusses Richard Rorty's views on patriotism and how they mesh with his wider philosophy: "National pride, he argues, is analogous to self-respect and is as necessary for self-improvement. Both self-respect and patriotism are virtues found in an Aristotelian Golden Mean between the vices of excess and deficiency. Just as too much self-respect results in arrogance, and too little can lead to moral cowardice, an excess of patriotism can produce imperialism and bellicosity, and a lack of patriotism prohibits imaginative and effective political debate and deliberation about national policy."

Helen Day is interviewed about Ladybird Books: "The rarest book of all is thought to be an edition of How it Works: The Computer which was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence in the 1970s.  This book is believed to be the standard 1971 Ladybird book by this name, but with plain covers, intended to spare the blushes of the staff who might feel uncomfortable being seen reading a children’s book. But it is unlikely that one of these books will ever come to light as they were all believed to have been decommissioned and destroyed after a few years."

“I can't imagine Rock Guitar without Pete Townshend ... My playing owes so much to him. I'm not talking about the blues-influenced playing which also underpinned the evolution of 70s and 80s rock music - Townshend brought to the scene a blistering clang of super-amplified but not over-saturated chords - razor-edged monoliths crashing angrily through our brains, biting rhythmic hammer blows which would change the likes of me forever." Brian May on rock's debt to the Who guitarist.

Tim Rolls remembers the night Chelsea won their first European trophy - the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971: "[Hugh ]McIlvanney closed his article with a pithy observation. 'Chelsea reminded us in Athens that the highest rewards can still be won by flair and grace and boldness.' Indeed. Of the fourteen players who played a part in one or both games, seven (Bonetti, Boyle, Harris, Hollins, Hudson, Osgood and Houseman) had all come through the club’s junior system, a wonderful achievement."

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