Tony Blair is trying to look green. He addressed an international business conference, saying global climate change will become catastrophic and irreversible "in our lifetime". This is his guarded, understated way of saying the catastrophe has probably already started, and is only going to get worse.
He also said "we" have to find ways to reduce carbon emissions - which presumably means investing in wind and wave farms, while finding places to dump smog and sewage in places that aren't the sky or sea. Though he didn't say so. He also didn't say anything about developing technology to cope with the effects of climate change - only trying to reduce future contributions to it.
This is a bit like talking about how you ought to eat less rat poison, instead of calling a doctor.
I knew about the speech a week in advance - not because I've developed precognitive abilities, but because the local newspaper ran a small article about "yesterday's speech" a week before it happened. So either their journalists can see the future, or the press release was sent out early, and the story run in error.
So has Blair decided to save the world to make up for ordering mass murder? Or is he just making sure Labour keep pace with the Conservatives, who've been making vaguely green noises for the last few months? Surely not.
We powerless ordinary citizens are doing what little we can. There's a public meeting/forum on Wednesday, and a demo called on Saturday.
I have a friend. That is to say, I have someone who I was friends with ten years ago, who regards me as their only friend, but who bores and irritates me to distraction.
He's lonely, depressed, and desperate for affection. He spent two hours around here yesterday, having nothing to say but feeling the need to chat - so I made painful conversation. He then phoned me half an hour after leaving because he still wanted to talk. Seemingly because no one else talks with him anymore - everyone he used to know has drifted away.
And he needs constant reassurance that he's not boring me, and that I really do enjoy his company. Well, he is, and I don't. I can say this to the entire world (at least that part of it that surfs blogs), but I can't say it to him.
Most of the time, when a friend becomes a burden, they eventually realise and find other people to be with. But this one is both not very bright, just very...well, needy. He's not a bad person, at all - actually he's sympathetic and kind. Which may (or may not) be why I can't work up the courage to tell him to go away.
I watched episode 3 of Torchwood, in which an alien artifact enables people to see crimes of the past and tragedies of the near future - which, of course, turn out to occur through attempts to avenge the crimes. A story about how you can't afford to be obsessed with making up for past mistakes, and you're better off living in hope because the future is unknown.
It was also what C described as "A vapid pile of crap". I'd say it's a big disappointment, a missed opportunity, a very silly kids show disguised as dark adult sci-fi...and a vapid pile of crap.
Do you remember when Tom and Jerry was revived in the 1980s, showing the cat and mouse as best friends? Or the muppets cartoon spinoff The Muppet Babies? I've a feeling the revived Doctor Who and the spinoff Torchwood will feel like those in years to come - embarrassing footnotes that completely missed the point of the original it fed off.
I'm applying for a job as "Assistant Technician" at a concert hall, run by Fareham Borough Council. They've sent me their mission statement with the application form. Here's how the statement begins:
A Five Year Vision
Corporate Vision, Values, Objectives and Action Plan
Fareham - the prosperous, safe and attractive place to be
Driven by Vision
I think I can guess what their favourite word is, but what is this five year
This vision is guided by a set of values:
* Preserving people's dignity and focusing on what residents want;
* Enhancing prosperity and conserving all that is good;
* Being efficient and effective and providing value for money;
* Leading our community and achieving beneficial change;
And so on for another four pages. After which I learn a few things about working in Fareham - no smoking except in the smoking rooms, 9 hour working days, no parking unless you can prove you really really need it, there is a "prestigious arts and entertainment hall" I've never heard of and 28 OAP homes, plus there's a Leisure center with "easy access by road, rail and bus". Each employee is provided with their very own uniform, and serves a 26 week "probationary period" during which they have no rights.
But don't worry, because "We oppose all forms of discrimination or unfair treatment on the grounds of gender, race or ethnic origin, marital status, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, HIV status or religion" and "We require our managers to exercise leadership in this field by discouraging prejudice and by role-modelling appropriate behavior".
And the actual job? It involves setting up microphones and amplifiers for such events as:
* An Evening with Barry Norman ("...and why not")
* "The Best Musical Ever!", performed by The Westenders
* A Drifters tribute band
* A Queen tribute band
* A Beatles tribute band
* An Abba tribute band
The form asks me to list my qualifications, but not the awarding bodies that could confirm them. They also want two referees and a list of all my criminal convictions. And my written assurance that I know one end of a microphone from the other.
Pay? They don't specify.