Friday, 14 June 2002

Bumps, elections and politicians

Listening to:

An extract of Mahler’s symphony no. 6. This is on the tail end of a BBC Music Magazine CD. The main part of the CD was a couple of works by Scriabin, but the magazine now also includes a few extracts from what it thinks are the best new releases. This is what Gramophone magazine has always done, but I much prefer having a magazine that comes with a CD containing complete pieces of music. Extracts can at best be a minor aid to the text of a review.

And now the news:

  • The Catz boat bumped yesterday, so I will rejoin them in fine form I'm sure. Around us, it's curious that (looking at the chart should make this clear), Jesus VI are now in position to bump Churchill IV again, after bumping them once already (on Wednesday).
  • NZ is going to have an election soon. Helen Clark announced that it would be two months earlier than expected, on 27 July.
  • In the UK, the world's concerns seem to be almost taking a back seat to a ridiculous story about whether or not Tony Blair tried to lean on the officiating bods at the Queen Mother's lying-in-state so as to get himself a more prominent place in the public's eye. The media reported this story, and the PM's office made a complaint to the Press Complaints people, claiming it was all a horrible lie. But then, it seemed that they couldn’t prove it wasn’t, and the Press Complaints lot dismissed the complaint. For a government supposedly suffused with spin-doctors, they seem pretty good at cocking up their press relations on a regular basis.

    But then, as a junior minister called Douglas Alexander (and he sounded Scottish too) sensibly pointed out on the Today programme, there are rather more important things going on. The politicians blame the media, and the media blame the politicians, but I really do think that they, and the consumers (i.e., the public) too, have to share the blame for the supposed trivialisation of public discourse.