This is the archive for Dave's Blogs - at the moment individual Blogs are shown below. 
However, as the number of Blogs grows they will be organised into collections.

Dec 8

Labour Party Conference 2011

More blah, blah, blah......, the hand of spin is not yet dead, and the speech writers need have no fear for their future.

If the medium is the message then we need to look further for inspiration.

Mr Milliband’s rail against the predators and for the producers sounded both hollow and shallow to me, a sound bite that lacks substance. “People want long-termism rewarded” he says on Radio 4 today. Perhaps someone knows what he means; bread tomorrow maybe.

He wants “big change, fundamental change”. Isn’t that what we used to call “a revolution”.



Big change by consensus or big change by coercion? Sounds like it will all end in tears for someone. Probably Joe and Josephine Soap.

Read more
Dec 8

Man Booker Prize 2011: The sense of ending, Julian Barnes


Apparently this year’s Man Booker shortlist was characterised by “readability”. I find Julian Barnes a bit too literary to be truly readable. His erudition forces me to re-read whole paragraphs to check on meaning and relevance, before turning the page. True I was brought up on “the Mirror”, “the People” and “John Bull” and probably a little like Mr Barnes’ subject Tony Webster, have always been distrustful of the abstract and philosophical. So my view of what’s readable might well differ from the literary classes.

I found The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape 2011) unsatisfying on many levels. Maybe it reminds myself too much of me. The first third (fifty pages long) would make a tolerably good short story; the sort of story anyone of a certain age wishes they had written. With shades of The History Boys, it is laced with snappy grammar school humour but the male characters seem singularly one-dimensional. The “awful” Veronica is much more interesting. Webster’s fumbling relationship with Veronica is critical to Part One. The denouement is that she eventually goes off with not only one of his better friends from school, Adrian Finn, but that he is of the intellectual kind and altogether both more cerebral and mysterious than Webster.

Read more
Dec 8

Paging Mr Murakami



Last night I had a troubled sleep. It’s the irregular hours of holiday times that throw me out. The only memorable image from a night of broken dreams was that of being attacked by a monkey which jumped on my back and tried to strangle me. How do I know it was a monkey? I don’t. It was not heavy. It was smooth and black. How do I know it was black? I don’t. Except the whole thing was black. It attacked me while I was dreaming I was asleep. I didn’t panic even though it had those smooth hands firmly round my neck.

Read more
Dec 5

Not usually my cup of tea

st george flag

Not usually my cup of tea but...

Well done to Cllr Yvonne Creswell and Bury Council for flying the Cross of St George on the 23 April.

The decision to have the Union Flag flying permanently and individual national flags on their national days reflects a common sense approach to what is fast becoming a national farce.

Yes the English flag has been appropriated by right wing nationalists and yes its origins are rooted in a time when Christendom wasn’t particularly characterised by peace, love, freedom or happiness; but then very few places were. I can take or leave tradition, patriotism and religion, but that’s a personal choice.

 I draw my identity as I choose and don’t deny the right of others to do the same.


I don’t have any objection to Pakistani, Indian or Australian flags flying at cricket matches so I’m damned why I should

Read more