Square Eyes

I don’t know about you but I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately and one of the things that really annoys me is the way they display detail. The drama’s jogging along nicely, there’s a ratcheting up of the tension, things are just about to come to a climax – and then ping! someone’s phone beeps with a text which is presumably utterly crucial to the action; they show it on the screen and I can’t bloody see it! It’s not that we have a tiny old-fashioned set either – we’ve got a reasonably large flat-screen model, just a few years old and it’s quite as big as either of us are prepared to countenance in a room that does not wish to be dominated by the bloody thing. But every time a text is shown on the screen I have to pause the action, put my glasses on and rewind. It’s really annoying. Why must they assume that everyone has a massive set?

I may be watching too much TV but sometimes there’s not much else to do. We can’t go out and while I sometimes do zoom discussions or read or play guitar, I often don’t have the brain to do very much when it comes to the evening. But I have started doing one virtuous thing, which is to plan my viewing and turn the damned thing off in between programmes. This means that OH and I talk more; plus we’ve taken to having dinner later which also leads to less viewing.

That said, what have we been watching? We’re glued to Series 4 of The Crown, which on the whole has been excellent and is gearing up nicely for a bloody battle between the actual Queen and Thatcher. The point of the drama is not to be historically accurate but to be believable, to be plausible within the known facts and to tell a damn good story, and this is what it does. There was only one scene I didn’t buy and that was the extreme rudeness of the entire Royal Family towards Thatcher and Dennis, which I found overdone and implausible (it may well have happened like that but that is not the point of a drama.) It is also reminding me of just how much I despised Thatcher particularly for the hypocrisy of her foreign policy; in the last episode we watched she is clashing with the Queen in refusing to impose sanctions on South Africa. She really was a most odious woman and the author of all the troubles we are experiencing now. So that was salutary. Other than that I’m continuing with Industry which I’m finding a bit of a laugh, and we’re enjoying the snippets of Michael Palin’s travels which BBC 4 is affording us. But I am trying really hard not to let evenings be dominated by TV viewing.

So that’s all from me. How have you been?

Kirk out

So farewell then…

Sheesh, what can I say?  How do you sum up a person whose every thought, action and word you utterly loathed?  By saying I’m glad she’s dead?  Actually I’m not particularly, since she had been irrelevant to my life for the last few years and would probably have continued to be irrelevant had she lived.  The legacy was already in place; her survival as a person was contingent.  I guess I could say, harsh though it is, that I’m sorry she lived: I’m certainly sorry she won a second and third term in office and I’m more than sorry that it was the Falklands War wot won it for her.  There’s no point in being nice, even if I could bring myself to do it: I loathed everything she stood for: she dismantled everything I cared about and espoused everything I despise.  Normally I don’t speak ill of the dead, but I think politicians are in some sense an exception to this, since their actions affect all of us.  Their deeds stay with us long after they are gone – and of no-one is this more true than of Thatcher.  That woman destroyed everything I care about and espoused everything I despise, and that is all I have to say about her.

In that light, I actually honour Neil Kinnock for speaking the truth when asked for a statement yesterday – I think what he had to say was coherent and fair-minded: (second paragraph)


Tony Benn was also cogent and fair: I can’t find the quote but here’s a left-wing analysis of her legacy:


The death of this spectre of the right (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms) is a good moment to start the recovery of the left.  To look forward, not back, and find responses to what is happening now.  We need to find a way of gathering together and using the strength of the disunited, the scattered, the fragmented, the poor and the exploited.  And women need to be central this time – it is to the eternal shame of the Labour party that Britain’s first – and only – female PM was on the right of politics.

I may find words to assess the legacy of Thatcher but there’s a lot to think about, so I shall leave it at that for now.

Comments please – particularly if you disagree!

Kirk out