May 28th, 2008

#Talk about the famous road untaken, in the end we never took it#

"Manifesto - Francis Cripps, John Griffith, Frances Morrell, Jimmy Reid, Peter Townsend and Stuart Weir (£1-95)

a radical manifesto for Britain's future

Britain in crisis: mass unemployment, industrial collapse, the country's future in the hands of a global marketplace dominated by multinational companies and international institutions. Manifesto provides a trenchant analysis of Britain today and a programme of closely argued radical change. The work of six active members of the Labour Party, Manifesto projects the construction of a freer, more open and equal society on the foundations of economic recovery."

Hmm. Strangely appealing (and at least one copy for under a quid on Abebooks). Ironically (for some values of irony), this is one of the books advertised in the back of the Pan book on the Fifth Generation Project, which I mentioned before, and which found its way back into the bathroom for a little light bath-time reading. The 5G book is a revised 1984 edition, but Manifesto seems to have been published in 1979 i.e. before the 2nd Labour defeat in 1983.

This does of course speak to the perennial, to me anyway, question of to what extent Britain could have avoided the Thatcher 'year zero' approach to industry, the economy etc. Clearly the rhetoric could have been nicer, but the reality ???

Discuss.

Or not.

In other news

The freezer seems so much bigger now we have defrosted it. I was planning to live-blog the defrosting, possibly with photos, much more exciting than the Eurovision Politics and Pissed People Contest, but instead we just put it in the garden and decided to let it get on with it. Now we have a new seal (*) ably fitted by t__m__i all seems, so far, well with the world.

(*) "no, that's just a little ice in my moustache"

Once more the vortex churns

Am reading 'Don't point that thing at me' by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Whilst my memory is, always has been, unutterably shit (good reason for doing a maths degree, bring down the lions with spear and first principles alone), I am convinced that I actually haven't read large chunks of it. The feeling of reading something one has forgotten, or the sort of detective novel in a long series where they all fade into one (Rankin, Hillerman) or where the author writes the same novel over and over again (dare I say Reichs?) is different. This is rather bizarre as it is a book I have mentioned to people numerous times and on LJ at least once, but there you go. I hypothesise that I read the beginning and the end and skipped through looking for the memorable quotes that appear in the Penguin Book of 20th Century Quotations.

I also have acquired Margaret Bonfiglioli's quasi-biography of her ex-husband, 'The Mortdecai ABC'. There is a photo of the author, I shall be showing it to Mr J.F. Cat of this parish to see if she was the landlady of 18 Norham Gardens when KW (WINOLJAIHVFOK) and the OUSFG library were there.

A search for Geoff Ryman and Norham Gardens, on Google, of course yielded another of my LJ posts. My obsessions are obscure and predictable.

Groat

With Farthing by Jo Walton vaguely in mind as I was watching Gaudy Night at the weekend, I was mildly surprised when Bunter and the college porter had a cup of tea rather than nipping off for a quick shag.