Monday, June 08, 2009
Their Predominant Colourings Would Be Melancholy And Gloom
I would write about the European elections, and the fact that the good people of Lancashire and Cumbria and Yorkshire and Humberside have elected fascists, but what would I say? That when James Purnell is a major figure in the Labour Party this is hardly surprising? That if no major political party is prepared to say that "reasonable concerns of the (white) working class" are that they don't see their real incomes stagnate and even drop during a period of economic growth and not a euphemism for badly concealed racism, this is what you get? None of that is really very illuminating: it's a grindingly familiar story. I'm reminded of James Fenton's crepuscular journalism. It seems appropriate: formulated in response to the despondency and incompetence of South Vietnamese troops just before the fall of Saigon, it deals in the little defeats of the half-light, in shrugs, in guard posts no-one bothers to man and truths no-one tries to conceal any more. Its defining feature is its lack of bravado; appropriate for a government whose ministers can't even conduct a decent assassination on a leader so cripplingly useless that you wince each time he comes on television.