Saturday, January 17, 2009

Today's top links

If George Orwell could see today's crisis; £250,000 a week; the decline of gobbiness, and other stories...

Interesting piece by Michael Deacon in the Telegraph: what George Orwell would make of today's economic crisis and The Road to Wigan Pier set next to the current situation. Good remark, in particular, when Deacon mentions "tens of thousands of men who are about to pay £30 or more a head to spend 90 minutes watching men on £60,000 a week play football". Seventy-two years ago there would have been a popular revolt. Now Manchester City are about to offer AC Milan £100m for Kaka. Wages are rumoured to be in the region of £250,000 a week.

Not for the first time The Times snipes at the Trade Unions. For some reason when they write about Unite they see outrageous privileges and petty squabbles. If only they devoted half their energies towards City wages and tax avoiders, they'd show a better grasp of priorities. And common sense.

Lo and behold, Geoff Hoon has opinions. Quite bland, mind you, before you say anything. The Guardian reports him picking on Oscar winner Emma Thompson, a well-known opponent of the Heathrow expansion plan. "I worry about people who I assume travel by air quite a lot and don't see the logic of their position" he said. He's never going to be a political heavyweight, is he?

The excellent Stumbling and Mumbling blog by Chris Dillow has a piece on "The Decline of Gobbiness". Based on the current Celebrity Big Brother, it makes the not entirely unreasonable point that the only people standing up to Coolio's bullying tactics are the two fortysomethings in the house: Ulrika and Tommy. "Today’s young adults, I get the impression, are much more passive", writes Chris. Passive as in apathetic, probably yes. Gobby, probably not. Gobbier in fact.

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