+Back from a pleasant trip to Ghent, where I paid my respects to the great Jan van Eyck, a major exhibition of whose work is on show. More on that will appear under ‘Perambulations’ shortly. Back home and it’s the same old same old. Here’s a headline I saw today, provided by Sky News but lifted from the Sunday Telegraph ‘Millions of people could be told to self-isolate in UK - report’ which purports to reveal some government suggestion that if cases of Coronavirus in the UK exceed 100 then the whole country faces virtual lockdown. The only problem is that the headline is not supported by any evidence, direct quotes or anything which suggests that ‘millions’ face staying at home, isolated like so many Howard Hughes in their living rooms. Perhaps even cats and dogs should be placed in quarantine too for good measure.
But doesn’t this hyperbolic treatment of a story with the attention grabbing headline sound familiar? Doesn’t it remind one of that other horrendous virus which swept the entire Labour Party prior to the election?
+Speaking of the Labour Party, the leadership contest is now pretty much a done deal (and there’s only another six weeks to go). With only three candidates left, and only one who is labelled as being on the left, it is the case that if she, Rebecca Long-Bailey doesn’t win outright on the first round, she will lose as the second preferences of either Lisa Nandy or Kier Starmer will mainly go to either of them. The longer this race has dragged on, the less impressed I have been. It doesn’t seem to be energising anything, and my support for Long-Bailey, predicated purely on her commitment to a Green New Deal is being undermined by her readiness to sign up to the anti-Semitic accusations and their supposed remedies, as well as having the support of Momentum, which increasingly looks like the plaything of one individual whose reputation as a bit of a dictator seems to be growing daily. It all looks a bit depressing. Even the departure of the detestable Sajid David hasn’t compensated.