March 17th, 2012


Happy St Joe's Day!

It has a rather hollow ring, doesn't it? I feel sad that the Somerset saint's special day has been overshadowed in some quarters, but we still celebrate it in this house.

Or at any rate, at this desk.

But I don't want to be churlish. I'm half-Welsh, after all, and St Patrick - or Maewyn Succat, to his friends - is one of Wales's greatest cultural exports. So, let us raise a glass of metheglyn along with our pint of scrumpy, and blend the cries of "Cheers me dear!" with "Iechyd da!" in joyful harmony!

Kingdoms of the North

Funny how one's mind can dig secret passages from one bit of information to another, isn't it? I've just realized that, for years, I've associated Urien of Rheged (fl. late 6th century AD) with Sargon of Akkad (fl. 23rd century BC). Consequently, whenever I think of Urien (which is, admittedly, not often) I see this image in my mind's eye.

I'm fairly sure that's not what Urien looked like.

Perhaps one day I should spring clean and reorganize my brain in order to iron out these anomalies? I suppose - but I think I'd miss the old place.

How to make Michael Heseltine look like Gandhi

I hear George Osborne has come up with a wonderful plan to regenerate the poorer regions of the UK by... cutting wages.

It makes perfect sense. Just as you get more tax from rich people by reducing their tax rates, so you make poor regions better off by reducing the amount of money flowing into them. There's a wonderful symmetry to it.

This is being applied to a small selection of workers to begin with, but will presumably be rolled out to the whole public sector in due course. I wonder how those MPs who represent constituencies in poorer regions will feel when they get paid less than MPs from the south-east? (Because, of course, MPs would never force such a sacrifice onto other public sector workers and then refuse to adopt it themselves.) Osborne would be one of the losers, having a constituency in the north-west, though in his case the £4,000,000 trust fund he got from daddy may help soften the blow.