March 23, 2016
August 4, 2014
Cannon to the left of him. You don’t care about the disadvantaged. You were part of the Tory cuts.
Cannon to the right of him. You don’t care about the disadvantaged. This is a plot against the prime minister and the chancellor and really about Europe.
Cannon to the front of him. We don’t appreciate your holier than thou tone. We want your reputation, your name.
Into the valley of spin rode the 1 – the other 599 nowhere to be seen.
Moving straight ahead, trotting. Calmly: this is about social reform. I have no personal agenda. I haven’t spoken about Europe for ten years. And again, and again. Same message. Keep on going.
And then just before ten, interview finishing. The charge of sorts really begins. Fear, knowing the end is near, pushing him out of his normal timbre, his comfort zone. You cannot have my name it is all I have. Voice quickened, intense. Not found so much in the transcript but in the voice.
The rhythm of a flat out gallop.
“I care for one thing and one thing only.”
“It is that the people that don’t get the choices that my children get are left behind.”
“I do not want them left behind.”
“I want them given that opportunity, and everything I’ve tried to do has been about that.”
“What I am passionate about is getting that reform done so society is reformed,”
“so that we have more of those people who’ve been left behind brought back into the sphere and the arena where we play daily but they do not.”
“That is my frustration.”
“It’s not easy. It’s painful to resign.”
“I don’t want to resign, but I’m resigning because I think it’s the only way I can do this”
Gallop stopped by Marr, cutting in, asking another question but also telling him he’s there, stopping him running on, taking a wrong step and falling flat on his face.
(Andrew Calcutt is away in the sun this week – this is a guest post by Mark Beachill)
“Quick, on Radio 4. The news said there was a zombie apocalypse.”
My girlfriend has a fascination with all things zombie. Myself I’m too squeamish to watchThe Walking Dead with her. Had she misheard, imagined?
A quick search on Google News led me to the story of a traffic accident in the USA brought on when a parade(?) of people in zombie costumes mobbed a car and the driver, panicked, knocked over a passer-by.
“No! It was in the UK and it said zombie apocalypse.”
Back to Google News. It turned out the railway station announcer in Brighton had bizarrely declared a zombie apocalypse over the tannoy. This was his description of thetorrential downpour after several months’ rain fell in the space of an hour or so, floodingthe station. Even more bizarrely BBC Radio 4 picked it up for their hourly national newsbulletin.
When we get freakish weather nowadays it is not usually zombies that are invoked. More commonly the living are said to be out of control: reckless consumption brings energy use that warms the globe and increases the likelihood of “extreme weather events”.
The threat of ecological and meteorological catastrophe means consumption must be reined in, goes the argument. In less secular times the Biblical flood that put Noah on his ark – with God’s plan to cleanse past sins and start again – might have been invoked. Today it is through is our sins against Gaia through over-consumption that are said bring warning storms. So sure are the BBC, for example, that they now limit air-time for any with an alternative view or even an alternative solution.
But, weirdly enough, perhaps the zombie metaphor is not all too distant from theorthodox explanation. Contemporary zombies are a child of the 1970s, their endless hunger a metaphor for our endless consumption prompted by critiques of mindless consumerism that first emerged in the seventies. It was no coincidence that George Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead, the film that re-launched the zombie, had most of its action set in a shopping mall.