Friday, 9 September 2011

Silver linings

Last night on my cycle home, I bumped into a couple of policemen. I stopped to tell them that I'd seem a pile of credit cards...several hundred of them spilling out of a plastic bag beside the canal. Although we were just by the Olympic Stadium, they weren't familiar with the area. It turns out that they were from SOUTH Yorkshire (I was corrected when I just said Yorkshire) and were in London as part of a very large posse, including 160 police vans, brought to the capital to control any rioting following Mark Duggans funeral today. Very nice and friendly they were too. Clearly the forces of law and order are taking no chances.

In a period of reflection I realised how hypercritical it was that during the riots which briefly broke out in the brief heat of the summer that the government called for a ban on social media to prevent gangs of thugs from organising themselves to fight the forces of law and order. These are the same politicians that have praised the role of the self-same social media to promote dissent in Iran and encourage the Arab Spring. Now we all know that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and that the video evidence suggests that our own unrest was a call for all hours footwear shopping, but are we really that well placed to decide between goodies and baddies in foreign countries. I somehow doubt it. I must admit that I've never been a great fan of democracy, as our own version spent centuries in a state of absolute corruption and then just as it evolved, the world has become so complex that it seems the real issues are beyond the understanding of most voters, who therefore fall back on uninformed prejudices. For many countries and cultures, democracy is so alien that attempts to impose it are bound to fail.

School has resumed, and it has come as a shock to realise that the sweet darlings we escorted to school just five minutes ago are now verging on the edge of adulthood. No longer for them school uniform, instead business suits which make them look smart, sassy and grown up. I may just decide to feel old and retire. The Cat will be able to follow her theatrical passion with a drama AS alongside her more traditional academic subjects. The Boy is starting with the First XV team on Saturday, which is a real achievement for him....and an interesting coincidence as the Rugby World Cup has just kicked off. A real, real shame I don't think I'll get to see him play as I have to get a new set of tyres on the motorbike at the same I have a nail in one, I guess the urgency is reasonable?

It may have been a pretty miserable summer weather wise, but I don't know if you've been lucky enough to see the amazing sunsets this year. I can't remember when I've seen glorious sunsets so often..practically every night I would say. Dramatic clouds and amazing red and orange light. Truly spectacular, and more than enough to lift everyone's spirits. The odd thing though is that they've really given a lie to the old saying 'Red sky at night, shepherd's delight' - but we can't have everything.