Saturday, 3 December 2011


I became involved in a mini controversy on Facebook yesterday about whether the word 'tad' is (or was) an Americanism. I held that it is, and found a reference via Google that supported my belief that the word came into English from America during my lifetime. The debate veered off into whether it is an age thing (if you are old, 'tad' is an Americanism; if young, then it is English) at which point I gave up.

My daughter went to Glasgow yesterday and reported that the shops were heaving. Will history divide our lives into BC (Before the Crunch) and AC (After the Crunch)? I have visions that, whereas we are being encouraged to feel relatively protected - cushioned as we are by sterling from the euro crash - , there is a darker scenario: democracy disappears from Europe in favour of the coercive rule of technocrats, the worst possible combination of French and German bossiness. How near the surface are lingering resentments and regrets following the outcome of WWII? Is Nicholas Ridley's Spectator prophecy to come true?

(From Wikipedia: On 14 July 1990 Ridley was forced to resign as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry after an interview published in The Spectator. He had described the proposed Economic and Monetary Union as "a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe" and said that giving up sovereignty to Europe was as bad as giving it up to Adolf Hitler. The interview was illustrated with a cartoon depicting Ridley adding a Hitler moustache to a poster of the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. While Ridley was not one of the most powerful government members, he was regarded as a Thatcherite loyalist and his departure was a significant break in their ranks. Margaret Thatcher herself had to resign four months later. Some commentators point to Ridley's resignation, its manner, and the European issue at its core, as leading indicators for the next decade of Conservative Party politics.)

Lunch yesterday at Brodies to discuss progress on the Moffat Book Events Sept 2012 conference. I had done a Jeremy Clarkson (ill-advised use of irony) by prefacing an email to my lunch companion: 'No! No! No! No!' - a quote from Margaret Thatcher whose biopic starring Meryl Streep is being promoted on TV. Clarkson's scripted sally on The One Show was delivered quite clearly and deliberately in two parts: first, he said how blissfully quiet London was because of the strike, restaurants empty therefore easy to get a table etc, then 'in the name of BBC balance' he went into the rant about taking the strikers out to shoot them. End of.

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