While I’ve been uncharacteristically silent, the discussion in one of the comments threads below has wandered off from the West Lothian Question to the Schleswig-Holstein question.

All you need to know about that one, as far as I remember, is that Lord Palmerston is supposed to have said that only three people every understood the Schleswig-Holstein question. Prince Albert was dead. A German professor once did, but then went mad. And he himself did once upon a time, but had forgotten all about it.

Probably apocryphal.

Le Tour, 2005

With the baseball out of the way (and with me not having to say “Wait till next year!” to anyone, for once), we can turn our attention to next year’s Tour de France…

… You can study the route here

(Critics are saying it’s a route designed to stop Lance Armstrong winning again, but (i) I’m not quite sure how you’d design a route to do that: he’s that dominant; (ii) if you did want to mess Armstrong around, you’d want to abolish the team time trial again, which US Postal always manages to win, and they haven’t tried to do that; and (iii) there still seem to be quite a lot of mountains, even if there aren’t quite so many high-altitude finishes as usual. But that’s all very first-impression-ey.)

Go Sox!

ALDS Game 1: @ANA, W9-3
ALDS Game 2: @ANA, W8-3
ALDS Game 3: vs ANA, W8-6
ALCS Game 1: @NYY, L7-10
ALCS Game 2: @NYY, L-1-3
ALCS Game 3: vs NYY, L8-19
ALCS Game 4: vs NYY, W6-4
ALCS Game 5: vs NYY, W5-4
ALCS Game 6: @NYY, W4-2
ALCS Game 7: @NYY, W10-3
World Series Game 1: vs STL, W11-9
World Series Game 2: vs STL, W6-2
World Series Game 3: @STL, W4-1
World Series Game 4: @STL, W3-0


A question: Do readers agree with me that all four of the daily broadsheet newspapers in the UK are less good than they were, say, five or ten years ago?

The Telegraph was less good under Charles Moore than it was under Max Hastings, and has been less good under Moore’s successor (whatever his name is or was) than under Moore. The Independent is approaching a travesty of a newspaper. The Guardian has more bad writing in it than it used to have; and the Times, well, the Times just carries on ploughing the dismal furrow it’s been ploughing for a couple of decades now, declining slowly but exceptionally persistently.

Or am I missing something? Or just getting older?

(Supplementary question: if so, why?)