Saturday, 29 December 2012

Quote for the Week

'What's the fellow's name? Rees-Davies? Reis-Davies? You know, on The Times.'
'Rees-Mogg?' said Brooke.
'Mogg, that's it. Mogg. I knew it was something foreign. Dear God. It's the thin end of the wedge when you find a fellow called Mogg editing
The Times. I ask you. Is a fellow called Mogg likely to inspire confidence in the pound? Can you imagine nations trembling at the thunderings of a person called Mogg? Same with everything these days. BBC, C of E, MCC. They've all sold out. Nowadays it's all demonstrations, anarchy, pornography. Galloping paralysis, that's what it is.'
- Graham Lord, The Spider and the Fly (1974)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Slight Return

It's been a month since I was last on this blog, but it hasn't been pure idleness on my part. Yesterday I submitted the text of my book on Britain in the 1990s, which I started writing in February. It's the longest thing I've ever written, and I've lost track of whether it works as a book or not, but I think some of it is alright.

I'll have a break from it now, and then come back in a spirit of hope that it might be okay.

Meanwhile, I'm enormously flattered to find that on the always excellent Brandish site, there's a list of fifteen people who are going to be influential in tech, style, sport and politics in 2013 and there, amidst genuine stars like Carl Jenkinson, Chuka Umanna and Jake Bugg, I find my own name. That's extraordinary. In a state of some bewilderment that I should be included in such company, I offer my thanks to Brandish.

On a completely unrelated note, I also wanted to record my radio highlight of the year: the appearance of Stan Stennett on the Today programme. I spoke with Stan when I was researching my book on Terry Nation and he's terrific value: one of the last survivors of the great generation of comedians who came out of ENSA in the 1940s.

Hearing him on the radio was wonderful, but even better was hearing him do a joke about being the driver for Ivy Benson's band: 'It wasn't much money,' he explained, 'but it was all I could afford.'

My main task over the next few months is to educate a class of students at Chichester University so that they appreciate those references.