1. I've just sent a letter to the Guardian regarding their editorial comment today on Israel's new 'nation state' law, it's self-explanatory I think:
A law that privileges one race over another is racist. A government that enacts such a law is de facto racist. If this had been Orban's Hungary, nobody would have challenged the use of the word. But your editorial, dealing with Israel's new nation state law merely says in a rather mealy-mouthed way - that it 'would be hard to disagree' with Israeli Arab concerns that they are being made second class citizens. Why I wonder did the word racist not appear once in this piece?
2. Apparently the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) will tonight discuss a proposal that the party adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism ‘with all its examples’ (i.e. those that are appended to the definition and are prefaced with the word ‘may.’) The PLP, from my experience might also be known as the Privileged Labour Party, since many of its members clearly thought they were the party’s vanguard, the elect-cadre of leaders who speak wisdom into the lug ‘oles of The Leader. Once of course, this wisdom was largely expressed in the form of clapping, cheering and fawning obsequiousness, and dissident voices would be shouted down with all the grace of rutting stags in combat (no offence intended to those splendid beasts). But what would happen if the party simply said, we’ll do as you say (assuming the motion is passed)? Would the anti-Corbyn faction disperse? Of course not. This is merely one battle in a long war of attrition.
The new hero of the anti-Corbyn faction is Margaret Hodge, who is a long-term opponent of Jez. She was interviewed on the Today programme this morning, and when asked about the abuse she had received after her alleged abuse of Corbyn behind the Speaker’s Chair (a very private spot for a rant) she couldn’t say (when pushed) that her abusers were Labour Party members, but only that she had seen this vile stuff on a ‘Corbyn supporting Facebook page.’ Given the risks to Corbyn, you might have thought that even the thickest of his supporters would abjure from such infantile games. Or, you might just as easily conclude that they aren’t Corbyn supporters at all. That thought doesn’t appear to have crossed Dame Margaret’s mind. Perhaps she’s never heard of black propaganda, or even Facebook’s courageous (but losing) battle against fake news and all its ilk. Get a grip.
3. I watched Seven Days In May last night, the 1961 Raoul Walsh film depicting a military coup attempt in the US against the government of a ‘Commie loving president’ about to sign a nuclear disarmament deal with the USSR. It is one of at least four films I have watched lately from that era of nuclear angst, the others being (of course) Dr Strangelove, The Bedford Incident and Failsafe. There are others. Now I am wondering where are the Hollywood responses to this era of Trump angst? Surely we should have had something by now? There’s good roles for Alec Baldwin as Trump, Meryl Streep as Hillary Clinton and maybe Martin Sheen as Bernie Sanders. Stormy Daniels as the First Lady, Steve Bannon as himself (I couldn’t think of anyone odious enough to play him). The script at some time might be provided by Robert Mueller. We’ll have to wait and see.
4. The sea wall poet I mentioned in my last blog is not, at least on this occasion a poet. I have read some of the now complete line and it is the text of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. The line of writing runs the entire length of the sea wall of the Marine Drive, and took three sessions to complete. A mile and bit. Quite a task.