I opened my huge craw to the day and all this coursed in.

Public spending

Visualise Open Government data at Where Does My Money Go, a site for looking at UK public spending. The only place I know of that’s recording cuts as they happen. The Treasury has set aside a staggering £2bn to fund the cuts. Perhaps some of that will be my redundancy package. I’ll be lucky to make it through this

This is what our new Conservative minister for higher education thinks about public spending.

Labour candidates

According to MP for Popular and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour has undermined the selection process for London mayoral candidates in a way which favours Ken Livingstone the defeated 2008 candidate. Ken Livingstone means control without scrutiny and he keeps terrible company – if he’s the best Labour can do, Labour is in a bad way. I hope Oona King gets her campaign in gear soon. I’m afraid the ‘Why Oona for Mayor’ part of the site provides no basis for giving her my vote. Brilliant news about childcare (more detail please), but what about a balanced green economy, social housing, water, noise, waste, biodiversity, air quality, safer cycling and better public transport? Still, early days.

And immigration

Jon Cruddas isn’t interested in standing for Labour Leader because believes in the kind of grass roots action exemplified by Hope Not Hate in his constituency. He says that Labour is no longer the voice of the voiceless. Trouble is, the voiceless don’t speak with one voice, and Labour’s wants to speak for only some of the voiceless. Richard Darlington on a leadership contest fought over immigration; Denis McShane on why Labour is wrong to scapegoat immigrants. I wish I understood what lay between the current state of affairs regarding borders, and borderlessness. Also, a bit like Jon Cruddas, I detest this stupid hierarchical political system. I’m not persuaded of the need for chiefs – I think we need participation, subject experts, consensus-generation techniques, executives, occasional representatives and administrators. And in my world, everybody cleans the toilet.

A Lord Mayor with deep pockets

And another Dispatches, another mayor. Will Hutton exposes the income of the Corporation of London and how it has been used to lobby for resistance to reform and regulation of the banking sector, while the bumble bees of our economy, the small to medium sized businesses, founder. And the Corporation’s pocket is incomparable with the taxpayer’s. Every British household is in depth to the tune of £90,000, says BBC Radio 4’s and the Open University’s number crunching tour de force, More or Less hosted by the people’s economist, Tim Harford. Yes, I’m angry about it. Unemployment is a terrible, terrible thing.

We need a pay cut

My sector is in a terrible way, so is the environment due to consumption, and so I wondered today whether I should offer to work fewer hours for less pay (the organisation is hoping we will) but actually work the same number of hours. The main barriers to that are that my work wouldn’t be recognised, my standing in the organisation would suffer, expectations would rise, I’d lose on my pension, I’d undermine colleagues, and all in all I’d be at a deficit. Also I’d pay less tax (which is bad).

I think we should negotiate a proportional pay-cut affecting only the affluent. But my trade union reckons otherwise.


The church, memory and child abuse

One of my favourite public academics, Chris French, insists that evidence about false memory syndrome is brought to bear in the campaign to bring child abusers to justice. This is proving a troublesome point of view.

Saudi hunger strikers

From time to time I think of them – I go to search for news and find none.

Instead we have our pet victims, whom we maintain as our perpetual victims.

Gaza flotilla

Israel is launching an inquiry into the violence and deaths further to its raid on the Mavi Mara. Former Israeli ambassador to the UN Arman Chaval defended Israel’s rejection of a UN investigation on BBC Radio 4’s 10 o’clock news last night: “When you talk about an impartial inquiry under the UN, that is basically an oxymoron”. The UN has given Israel good reason to say that. I wish it hadn’t. Modernity says that news is emerging of an extreme right Turkish presence on the ship, unlikely to have been motivated by humanitarian concerns – no matter how real those are. Israel’s investigation will have two observers, one of whom is David Trimble.

Now I’m going to listen to an academic making excuses for jihadis. Flesh, I dare say there are some things you’ll never understand.

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