This is the fourth birthday I’ve celebrated in the post-stroke, apoplectic.me world. And it’s a significant one. Really, any birthday after the one you forget because you’ve had a massive haemorrhagic stroke two weeks later is significant.
But specifically, Mrs Stroke Bloke has taken to referring to me during the week of 15th September 2016 as “The Answer”.
The Brexit referendum could have been an invigorating exercise in participatory democracy, addressing important issues about subsidiarity, regulation, and the like. Instead, it was presented as a discussion of a post-Brexit wishlist in which dues no longer payable to the EU could be spent on [insert cause of your choice].
Tonight, the Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe will be over for another year. Once again, the shows I went to see for The Edinburgh Reporter were never less than interesting, and the second half of the month was no less thought-provoking.
In addition to the stuff I mentioned last week, Daniel Kitson at the Traverse was great, and AL Kennedy at the Book Festival was a masterclass on how to take an audience with you when reading off the page.
The beginning of the Fringe is always a bit of a whirl. I’m doing reviews and interviews during preview week and the first week proper. For the second half of the month, it’s more a case of hanging on and getting through to the end.
Before being distracted by something shiny last week, I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on with this Donald Trump thing. Why, over the past week, have presidential general election polls continued to see Trump bouncing along at 40%, when he’s indicated that a Trump presidency would look like this?
That’s an actual [inside] page from this TheGlobe back in April, described as the front page we hope we never have to print. The accompanying editorial called Trump’s White House run “flippant and reckless” and “profoundly un-American”. But while this would all seem obvious from within The Globe‘s newsroom, or my Twitter feed, Trump easily won the Massachusetts Republican primary, collecting 22 delegates and nearly 50% of the vote. Meanwhile, over 50% of the voters in the recent EU referendum in these islands voted for an Out campaign fronted by Trump-like trolls.
Over the last two weeks, Stroke Bloke has reported from Berlin and London on modern iterations of democracy. Today, a report from closer to home…
Last week’s post, Monarchy had a hint of the oracle about it. I asked
Can Angela [Eagle] fit 172 Labour Party MPs in her tiny battle bus before its square wheels fall off?
And that very night, the Labour Party’s National executive committee voted to allow Jeremy Corbyn, as the incumbent leader of the party, to enter the party’s leadership election without having to collect the nominations of 50 of his MPs and MEPs.