Chris Lightfoot, in The Times, a few days ago.
Also, over the fold, the text of a recent article from the Morning Star.
Today’s tehgraun tells me that Ofcom says that 4% of adults in the UK aged 25-44 don’t have a mobile phone. I didn’t realise we were that unusual. Apparently I’m a “handset holdout”. Actually I just don’t like the telephone much, and don’t want to spend money to be able to use it any more than I have to.
And these days I don’t seem to use it much at all, which is very good. We don’t seem to be in the Oxford phonebook, a number I’ve never used has been printed next to my name in the University phonebook, and my own College keeps getting confused and listing at least one wrong number in its own internal directory. I think this is pretty much ideal.
UPDATE: And, as fellow refusnik Jamie says, “Anyway, I have a postal address, an e-mail address, a landline and a webpage. How much more do you want, you nosy bastards?”
Rudi Segall, German Trotskyist. A Zionist socialist, Segall left Germany in 1933 and lived in a kibbutz in Palestine, 1935-39. After spells in Greece, Egypt and France, he returned to Germany in 1947, where he helped to rebuild German Trotskyism under the banner of the Fourth International. Born in Berlin, 6 April 1911, died 19 March 2006.
It’s at times like this that I suddenly recall that my nineteenth-century forebears had names like Kalaugher, Kelly, Driscoll, O’Reilly, McCarthy, MacGuire and McAuly (not to mention plenty of eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish Brookes), and I feel more Irish than I actually am…
… although it looks as if you have to be called O’Brien to play for the Irish cricket team.
(Similarly, one of the minor pleasures of watching Wales beat England is the affinity provided by the knowledge that my great-grandfather Alfred Mathews took the field for Wales against Scotland on 9 January 1886. It was his only cap, and Scotland won on the day, but it’s enough for me. It’s interesting to be diasporic in an almost entirely non-diasporic kind of a way.)
Ross McKibbin writes in the LRB on the Blair decade. Bottom line: “Blair’s government has been so disappointing not because it is without achievement, but because its achievements are much less than they might have been and its mistakes much worse.”
Enkidu is being very friendly at the moment, which I like to think is reciprocal altruism, looking back to the time when he was the one with the damaged limb and I was (one of the ones) looking after him.
(What you can’t see in this photo is that these two cats are enjoying the music of the late, lamented Waylon Jennings.)
Rebecca West (the pseudonym of Cicily Isabel Andrews, nÃ©e Fairfield), socialist and feminist writer; author of, among others, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), The Meaning of Treason (1947), and a short book on St Augustine, which I quite like. Fiercely anti-Communist in the 1950s, she always denied being sympathetic to Senator McCarthy. Born in London 21 December 1892, died, also in London, 15 March 1983.
Apologies for the silence over the last few days, which means, among other things, that Karl Marx (14 March) got left out of the Dead Socialist Watch on this particular trot through the calendar.
Turned out that what I thought was upper arm cramp last week was in fact a rip in the tendon in one of the rotator cuffs in my left shoulder. I noticed at the week-end that I couldn’t really lift my left arm into even a horizontal position, let alone anything higher; on Sunday night I stopped being able to sleep comfortably; and on Monday and Tuesday it became quite inflamed and produced a lot of pain, so I’ve started doing sensible things like going to the doctor and finding out what’s actually going on in there, and I think everything’s on the mend now, with industrial quantities of ibuprofen working its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving magic.
As a Boston Red Sox fan, I thought I knew a lot about rotator cuffs — Pedro Martínez’s rotator cuffs were about as familiar to New Englanders as David Beckham’s metatarsals. But whereas Pedro damaged his RCs by striking out lots of New York Yankees (or something similar), I hurt mine through the altogether more sedentary activity of reading Fénelon on the sofa at home. Perhaps it’d be safer if I gave up reading altogether.
Anyway: I still can’t lift my arm above the horizontal, but now it doesn’t hurt anymore, I don’t really mind.
Eleanor Barton, socialist co-op organiser in Sheffield (from 1897) and later through the Women’s Co-operative Guild, of which she was general secretary, 1925-37. Born around Manchester some time in 1872-3, she emigrated to New Zealand in 1949 and died in Papatoetoe, 9 March 1960.