Quotes: On Theresa May

Here’s a test for you: what was the last interesting thing the Prime Minister said? The thing we noticed, that stood out, that took a stand and risked controversy in pursuit of a cause?

The answer is: you can’t recall. Since the general election debacle earlier this year she has been largely irrelevant to the political conversation in this country.

That is because she lost her authority when she lost her majority. So instead of doing things, things are done to her.

Quotes: Facebook Growing Too Fast


In a story in Foreign Policy headlined Facebook Can’t Cope With the World It’s Created, Christine Larson makes her point this way:

“When you buy a smartphone from a sidewalk vendor in Yangon, the seller will activate a Facebook account for novice users on the spot. Many people don’t bother with email if they have Facebook — and many people in Myanmar have multiple Facebook accounts.”

Weekend Reading

It looked like this yesterday here on the farm. With fall reading season in full swing, here are a few fine, thought-provoking weekend suggestions:

Exit Eritrea A Visit to ‘Africa’s North Korea’ By Bartholomäus Grill in Spiegel Online.
How did Aaron Banks afford Brexit? by Alastair Sloan in openDemocracy
The End of Empire by Chris Hedges at truthdig.com
The Seventy-Four Best Entries in The Devil’s Dictionary by Anthony Madrid at theparisreview.org
The Crack-Up: Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering By John Feffer at TomDispatch
The truth about Easter Island by Catrine Jarman at theconversation.com

 

 

Quotes: Brexit

During the Brexit referendum, a distinction was made between sovereignty and power. An institution can, like the Moldovan Parliament, be sovereign with limited powers; another, like a multinational company, can be powerful without being sovereign. The Westminster Parliament, some Leavers argued, was no longer sovereign: hence the language of ‘taking back control’. They weren’t swayed by forecasts of a loss of international influence because they were concerned with sovereignty, not power.

Parliament, as a sovereign body, can legislate as it likes. The effects of its legislation are a function of its power. The Article 50 notification may take back sovereignty; it gave away power.

How to Make a Modest Author’s Day

I want to share the most uplifting, delightful email that hit my inbox this week:

Hi Bill,

I’m off to Chernobyl in a few weeks and so ordered your book on Amazon. I read it cover to cover over the last couple of days and I wanted to say how great I found it.

You strike a great balance between illustrating what I will see on my visit, whilst sharing the historic and human narrative of the disaster.

Thank you so much

Andrew

Thank you, Andrew, very much. Have a good trip.