I have never enjoyed washing up so much. I was riveted. I was transfixed. I was not transfixed by the soapy suds sliding off the plates, though I’m sure a poet, or a fan of mindfulness, might be. I was transfixed by the voice, and words, of one of my favourite people in the world. I was transfixed, in fact, by the calm, melodious voice of Barack Obama.
Politics, society, culture and life
When Christina left The Independent, everyone said she should write a blog. She made a good start. Her blog On the death of journalism – and my Indy career, for example, went viral, and ended up in Index on Censorship and mentioned on the front page of Press Gazette. But like most journalists, Christina agrees with Dr Johnson, who said that “no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money”. And so she hardly ever does.
On Tuesday night, the President of the United States said that most journalists are liars. We are, he said, “sick people”. We are “crooked”. We are “bad”.
“The country,” said Theresa May on the steps of Downing Street last week, “is coming together, but Westminster is not.” She was saying that this was the reason she had decided to have an election. She said it with such authority that you would almost think she hadn’t got it the wrong way round.
So it has happened. The thing that seemed impossible – that seemed, in fact, like a drunken dare that had got horribly out of hand – really has happened. The most powerful person in the world will soon be a man supported by the Klu Klux Plan.
On Saturday I went to Chartwell. I saw the desk, and books, and clothes, and letters of the greatest leader of the twentieth century. I saw the uniforms, and robes, and velvet onesie of a big, big man who led our country through the biggest war in history, and who won that war and showed us that Britain was great. If that man had seen what had happened to our country in the past ten days, I think he would have hung his giant head in shame.
The weather forecast wasn’t good, but the weather forecast was wrong. Today it’s the 1st of May and London has been bathed in sunshine. I had planned to spend the best part of it catching up with emails and doing some of the other things that sometimes make modern life feel as if you’re trying to scramble your way up an escalator that’s programmed never to stop. But when I looked up from my laptop, I kept catching glimpses of a blue, blue sky and in the end, that blue sky forced me out.