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Showing posts from September, 2015

That speech in full

In which your correspondent writes a fully-annotated hard-hitting analysis of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to conference...
Well, no, I’m not. I’ve got the kids’ tea to cook and a pile of work-related paperwork to do, so I’ve frankly not the time. What I would say I took from it was rather what I take from Corbyn itself. I’m slightly unconvinced but it makes a refreshing change. It had compassion and emotion, and in that it differed from pretty much all other Leader’s speeches since I started taking an interest *coughcough* years ago. It was refreshing to hear the word “kindness” being used. I struggle to imagine Cambo using it. The delivery was a pleasant change also, halting and unpolished, it convinced. It seemed genuine. One of the biggest mistakes Ed Miliband made was trying to be smooth and polished when it seems likelier that he’s a bit of a berk. Cambo CAN do smooth and polished, but it comes off as oily and smug. So hats off to Jez for apparently shunning any sort of image coachi…

Failure Mining.

Oh I talk a good game, sure. But as to actually getting anything done? Weeeell, not so much. In my entire time writing I’ve managed a couple of chapbooks of poetry. The odd story or poem here and there and, famously, the drnken zombie haiku incident. It’s a fairly paltry return from eighteen years of thinking yourself a writer. There is, of course, dear old Coastalblog, which pretty much sums the whole thing up. Random, slapdash, and prone to go quiet for months at a time.

However one of the interesting side-effects of viewing oneself as a writer, despite never actually getting any writing done, is that you have a whole bunch of half-baked ideas knocking around the place, some of them quite fleshed out, some even half-written, most just a single line like “fat bloke goes running”. And I’ve got a LOT. I mean, I’ve written nigh on constantly for eighteen years, without ever actually finishing a thing. So I’m doing something with them. Not actually finishing them, god no, that would re…

It is writing

Too complex a subject for a quick blog post, but bear with me. Writing breeds writing, a subject which I’ve discussed in these electronic pages before now. And this knowledge is what lay behind my ultimately doomed attempt to blog more regularly last year (yes, I know, didn’t work out too well). I say doomed, but, brief though it was, it reinforced a personal belief which is: writing begets writing.

The process of sitting down to actually put pen to paper kicks things off, it’s important to actually engage with the act, even if what you’re coming out with is utter garbage. You never know what may come from it. One of my mini-essays from last year found new life in a poem by the excellent Andrew Taylor. I’ve parlayed my various abandoned ideas of the past into a new and potentially interesting project. I’ve attempted this year to keep a diary (I say attempted, succeeded, there is an entry of sorts for each day thus far), though, in the interests of full disclosure, I feel it incumbent…

No Corbyns allowed.

As the labour leadership contest winds (thankfully) towards its conclusion, it is reasonably safe to say that you’d have had long odds on a Corbyn win at the start (They were 200-1 to be precise, fact fans). I mention the odds as some bookies have already started paying out. The Cooper and Burnham camps are privately conceding defeat. The Kendall camp freely admits they never had a cat in hell’s chance in the first place, and Jez glides serenely on. All of which begs the question, if this is goignto be such a landslide, if this is overwhelmingly the voice of the labour membership, why is it as disastrous as all the commentariat make out?

You have to go a long way to find a pro-Corbyn media voice (with the exception of Owen Jones). Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that I don’t count myself a Corbynista. I like quite a lot of what he has to say, but I find a lot infuriatingly vague. That said, I certainly don’t endorse the witch-hunt, even the usually ratio…