Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pearls before swine flu

I liked this pearl of wisdom from Sue Townsend, of 'Adrian Mole' fame. She's now registered blind and has had a kidney transplant. She's three years older than me. 'Be positive as you get older, or more dependent. Don't mourn the things you've loost. Concentrate on what you have and all you still can do. And accept help with good grace - it's quite fun being pushed round Selfridges in a wheelchair' (Times magazine). Good advice for grumps like me. (ST has just published 'Adrian Mole: the Prostrate Years. On the cover the 2nd 'r' is crossed out. I just thought I'd mention the book in case she'd like to mention mine on her blog....)

Busy couple of days ahead: meeting my new 'special needs' dentist tomorrow for the first time, and then the MNDA Oxfordshire Branch Social. Hope that Jan and her daughter will be there too. Today I've been summoned to have a swine 'flu jab on Thursday - which seems a wise precaution as with MND you have breathing complications. Although, Jane came back from a meal for Women of Worth (and who merits the soubriquet more?) last night with dire tales of people being off work at the JR for a week after having it. I'm hoping that prevention will be preferable to the real thing in my case!

On advice from a couple of my readers, I've begun following 'The Thick of It' on iPlayer. It's a contemporary equivalent of 'Yes Minister'. While it's quite an entertaining take on political life, it piles on expletives to make up for its lack of wit. I gather that there are two explanations: either the corridors of power may these days be full of four-letter words and that Malcolm Tucker, No 10's foul-mouthed director of communications (aka king of spin), may be based on a real life holder of that position - in which case it's another sorry commentary on the state of Briitish political life - or that this generation of comedy script writers lack the sophisticated vocabulary of their predecessors. Or perhaps I'm becoming an aging fuddy-duddy.


  1. There is a lot of swearing, but I am not sure it's because of the script-writers lack of vocabulary: there seem to me to be a lot of linguistic gags there. I wonder if the series is making the point that language in general has become debased in politics. Nicola's 'fourth sector pathfinders' and 'inspiring people out of poverty' along with almost everything that comes from the opposition spin-doctor Stuart's mouth cheapen language in the same way that swearing does.

    I am still enjoying the series and becoming rather fond of the characters as it progresses.

    P.S. Here's hoping Livepool don't debase European football tonight!

  2. Interesting and valid comment - but couldn't they have made the same point about the debasing of political language a trifle more subtly? You've quoted two - and you're right that politics is full of slogans and clichés. Instead of answering questions in interviews, politicians will simply repeat the one point over and over again - it's what the spin merchants call 'staying on message'.
    Liverpool are doing OK, but it looks as though they'll still be out of Europe. Sorry.