In a week which has seen England’s defeat in the semi-final of the World Cup, the Trump visit, the Brexit shambles descending to new depths, and my apparent inability to write anything worthwhile about the 1871 Paris Commune, I can rely on the Sox to provide some measure of cheer as I fall asleep with Dirty Water flowing through my head.
The Town Nine are on pace for a 113-win season. Which sounds insane, but is possible. It really could happen!
Not least because the last few months have seen many things come to pass which sounded insane on first hearing. And we need something to focus on at a time when the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
Which brings us to inexorably to Boris Johnson.
Of course, Johnson manages to lack all conviction and simultaneously be full of passionate intensity. His allegiance is only to himself, his ego and his ambition. His resignation was prompted only by his fear of being out-flanked in a future Tory leadership race by David Davis of all people.
As Aung San Suu Kyi pointed out, Lord Acton got it wrong.
“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it …”.
Johnson is an opportunist who sees his opportunity disappearing and will grasp any nettle to retain it.
I am not denying his intelligence, although he does a good job of concealing it. But as Harold Wilson confessed, the trouble with his first cabinet was that there were too many Oxford firsts around the table: a classical education is no longer a useful attribute in politics. And despite my admiration for Mike Duncan’s podcasts, I am not convinced that there are many parallels to be drawn between the situation now and the end of the Roman republic. And if there are, they are not instructive.
It may be difficult to conceive of a situation where Johnson outside the tent is less dangerous than inside, but I fear that will be the case.
His only roadplan now is for a disaster. He is hoping for disaster. He is counting on disaster. And he will work hard to ensure that the disaster happens. Regardless of the cost to his colleagues and the country.
Today from the everysmith vaults: I have never been convinced by Mark Knopfler, but some recent listening has made me reconsider. My issue, it appears, was not with Knopfler per se but with Dire Straits. The listening has been the complete Dylan/Knopfler recordings – outtakes, alternatives and rehearsals - posted by Mat Brewster recently. Quite excellent.
Today from the everysmith library: Reading Rick Gekoski's A Long Island Story. This is the difficult second album after the triumph of Darke, and I am not finding it easy. I will return to it, maybe next time.