A few things conspire to cheer me up, heralded by the new passenger lifts at Euston station which connect the tube station with street level. Like all recent lifts, it has a Voice announcing floors. Sometimes, in mid journey, this Voice says “remain calm; help is coming” before announcing the next floor. Then the Evening Standard last night had a banner headline “Don’t Panic” on a story about rising inflation and interest rates alongside falling incomes. Could the rose-tinted concensus be crumbling?
Then today’s Guardian has three front page stories, one on ‘Curveball’ who seems single-handedly to have fabricated the evidence on which the Iraq war was ‘justfied’, a second on the British coalition government’s U-turn about selling off the state forests. [I’m pleased to have been one of the 500,000 signatures on the petition by 38 Degrees. Many friends said it was an irrelevant middle-class campaign to be avoided but it seems to me that anything which highlights the outrage at privatisation of the commons is worth supporting.] The third story was on how alcoholism experts were pulling out of a government campaign on ‘responsible drinking’. Not so exciting, but it reminded me of the good news yesterday that the British Medical Association looks like ditching its current leadership which had been in ‘constructive engagement’ with the coalition about NHS changes and electing new leaders on an outright opposition ticket. Rather like what is happening in local and national Student Unions. All good stirrings in the forest floor.
Now back to work which is marking essays and commenting on a draft of a very good paper which Suzy Nelson is writing about the Woodberry Down ‘regeneration’.