Friday, 16 April 2010

Leaders' debate

Solomon did not watch it. He was busy in the swamp.

Solomon was not surprised to hear that Nick Clegg was considered the winner. Solomon was also not surprised to hear that lots of people claimed a win for their relevant parties on Twitter (although Solomon does not Twitter - a subject we may return to later).

Solomon is interested in the Times frontpage today. Is this a subtle shift in allegiance? It does seem quite bold, almost triumphal.  

But will news like this knock their bounce?

Solomon also likes the Matt's cartoon in the Telegraph today.

That's about it.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Soul break

A little while ago, I bought this album:

Take me to the river

It's brilliant. Loads of great tracks on it, and I find myself listening to it more and more as the weather is improving.

There's lots of tracks a casual soul fan would recognise - the album title track being an obvious one - but there's lots more to discover over the three discs.

If you've never heard it, William Bell's I forgot to be your lover is one of the greatest tracks ever recorded (sampled by Dilated Peoples in 2000ish with Worst comes to Worst)*.

I've always preferred southern soul to Motown. Motown's (amazing) sound tends towards perfectly polished, bordering on overly-sweet, pop. Southern soul tends to have more pain in the voice and lyrics. It's rougher, sexier. For example, Miss Millie Jackson

*it's not the best track ever recorded. That would be Many Rivers to Cross.

The future of Crossrail

Bienkov over at Tory Troll has seized on comments from Justine Greening this morning on LBC that she 'can’t give a guarantee that it (Crossrail) will continue'. Mr Troll seems to be taking this as a heavy hint that the Tories may well scrap the scheme, despite Boris' assurances (which, admittedly, aren't worth much) that Cameron has 'indicated both publicly and privately' that he likes the scheme.

The Standard is running a similar story at the mo, with slightly irrelevant picture of Cameron and missus.*

Personally, I can't see them scrapping it. Work has already gone too far (been by the old LA2 recently?) and business leaders will have a massive hissy fit if it doesn't happen. Scrapping Crossrail is exactly the sort of thing that will stop London retaining that 'business capital of the world' title politicians always like to bang on about.

The piece on Canary Wharf from the Guardian the other day made clear how vital Crossrail is going to be to expand that area - from something like 100,000 people working there to over 200,000.

No self-respecting Tory would ever sniff at that much wealth creation, particularly if we're looking to roar back from recession.

So the Solomon Grundy prediction is that the Tories will keep Crossrail. I don't tend to have much luck with predictions, so feel free to ignore it if you like.

As an aside, Mr Bienkov has asked Cameron to spell out where he stands on the project before the election. The stock Tory response to this seems to be that they won't commit to any spending until they get to have a full look at the books. This has always struck me as a very weak line. They would be advised to drop it pretty soon.

*Quite a lot of Mr Bienkov's work appears to be popping up in the Standard recently. I didn't notice which article appeared first, but there has been a lot of overlap in recent months

Boris' Ellie

Because we're all about balance here at the Solomon Grundy swamp, I thought I would share this website (which I heard of via Boris Watch):

Political piffle

Boris has his own Ellie and she blogs. Wouldn't it be fun to introduce her to Ms Gellard?

I found this post to be quite illuminating. Confusing. But illuminating too.

Remember, the sky is literally the limit.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Even-handed Standard

Today's Standard leader is a nice balanced piece of opinion:

Refreshing honesty from the Lib-Dems

Although it still perpetuates that slightly patronising two-party view of UK politics.

Anyway, the Standard is trying to live up to its promise to be politically neutral. Shame about all the celebrity crap, but still, they have some very fine journalists - Pippa Crerar, Ross Lydall, Paul Waugh and Joe Murphy all know their onions.

Some lefties carry on referring to it as the Evening Boris, but that's looking a bit tired now. Sort of like calling the Guardian the Grauniad (hat-tip everyone over 40 in my office).