what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


A cold mist surrounded the house in the early part of the morning – but, as it slowly lifted, a wondrous sight was beholden. Each tree nearby and far was picked out - as in a touched up photograph - covered with iced snow. It was like a phalanx of phantom warriors. Question – what is the collection noun for a group of government leaders? It was none less than Harold McMillan, a Conservative UK Prime Minister in the early 1960s who gave a great answer to this question – “a lack of principals”! And, as the sun’s rays reached the branches, a rustling around the house as the icicles fell from them.

Paul Theroux is a travel writer who apparently arouses some feeling – his observations apparently offend some people. I find this genre an interesting one but personally prefer Colin Thubron. Theroux has reached the age of 69; started to write his autobiography; got to 500 words; and then realised he couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth about himself and found justification for closing his notebook on the venture by looking at the reliability of autobiographies over the centuries. I suppose blogs make a lot of us diarists if not autobiographers these days. One of the papers on my website attempts what one might call an intellectual autobiography - Search for the Holy Grail - Lessons from 40 years of fighting bureaucracy.

Simon Jenkins had a good piece on the issues behing the uncovering of an undercover policeman who was playing a prominent if not agent-provocateur role in the ecology movement.
And I've recently come across a blog - Musings of an amateur trader - which, like Boggy's blog - gives useful mini-lectures and country vignettes. This week on banking.

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