Orwell blogs for Newsnight
George Orwell's diaries are to be published as a blog. So in homage to the old "Tory anarchist" whose face still stares out, Orwellianly, from the BBC's intranet portal as I log on each morning, today's Idle Scrawl is written as an Orwell Diary entry...
Wed 30 July: The pre-revolutionary situation in the Labour Party continues. Overnight, Miliband has published a seemingly innocuous article about how LP could be less braggartly and more humble. Coded attack on Brown. Papers and Today programme full of this...
...On bus from Oval to Holborn today noticed tendency of young women to wear next to nothing during hot weather, combined with constant drinking of water. Very unlike Suffolk in 1941 or London during Blitz. Two possible explanations, viz this: a) defeat of feminism b) victory of feminism. Realise who disoriented am feeling in post-Blitz London.
Waterloo crushed with commuters with patient passive crowds of wartime proportions. No great rebellion over Brown among general population: in fact seeming indifference to politics. Taxi driver switched off Radio Four Woman's Hour interview with H Harman in favour of some kind of Quisling foreign radio station spouting a mixture of fascist propaganda and sports news, in surprisingly good demotic English.
At big offices of major company had to argue my way past security man: London companies now increasingly in shared buildings where instead of receptionist you have security men who have no feel for the class system and treat one lower than dirt unless one wears some recogniseable badge and "lanyard".
Remarked to X that, for the past few years, have had the feeling of waking up knowing more about what is about to happen in the world than any member of the Cabinet. Less to do with powers of prediction, but with the power to grasp what kind of world we are living in. (NB this para is actually a quote from Orwell's diary 8 June 1941).
Not surprised to note that House of Lords would overturn High Court judgment that Serious Fraud Office broke law in dishing the investigation into BAE.
Lunch at an Italian snack place in White City: Full of frightful BBC types. Remarkable how something called "risotto", which is effectively a mush of rice and bechamel sauce, can be sold for £3.95.
Phones now hot on question of Miliband. Seems like centre left in LP have 3 options, viz: persuade Cruddas to come out of purdah; support Straw as unity candidate; get behind Johnson to stop Miliband. Sure sign of trouble is various Brownite ministers (eg Y Cooper) now hitting studios to talk up Brown.
Day very hot. For some reason British summer temperature seems consistently hotter than in 1930s.
Interesting to note how political furore has built since Friday, with Brown speech at Warwick, Sunday papers and even P Toynbee wielding stiletto vs Brown on Newsnight did not spark real leadership challenge yet Miliband article now making all sides get ready for clog-fighting contest as seen in in northern coalfields, viz Wigan Pier.
Have attempted to light up roll up in pub which sells only wine and foreign food (eg risotto). Turfed out by security guard. Retreated to bookshop where, to astonishment literally millions of titles on display, all seemingly machine written to commercial formula: will use this in dystopian book about future of Britain if soul-less one-party dictatorship takes control and wins passive allegiance of back scratching poets and intelligentsia.
Pre-revolutionary situation continues.