Happy Friday! After last week’s ‘all Thatcher, all the time’ Friday Links, we have a slight change of focus this week, the links aren’t all Thatcher related and the funeral was on Wednesday, so with any luck it will stop soon. It’s been a bad week generally..
1) Jenny made the blue cheese, red onion and walnut focaccia for cafe after Grace on Saturday and it was amazing..
2) Frank Cottrell Boyce on Margaret Thatcher and what she didn’t understand about Britain and state intervention.
The British have many happy memories of state intervention. It was the state that won the war, the state that founded the NHS and gave us free milk when we were little. We have always believed in the possibility of Jerusalem. It’s there in Milton, Blake, GK Chesterton and Oliver Postgate. There’s a thread of purpose that runs through our finest moments – the abolition of the slave trade, the winning of votes for women, the defeat of Hitler – a desire to be not just more prosperous but better, to be more equal, more sharing, more accepting of difference, to have fun. It’s in all the temporary Utopias we build for ourselves – the well-run caravan site, the Notting Hill carnival, the village fete and Glastonbury.
3) Food bans around the world. 300% duty on Roquefort!
4) Boston. Not really an awful lot more to say.
I spent the rest of Monday afternoon explaining to media from England to New Zealand that it’s impossible to make a marathon course totally secure. Kathrine saw the police sniffer dogs at 8am this morning checking the finish area, so the bombs were presumably planted later, by someone who wandered in behind the crowd. How could you stop it?
5) Things the money spent on Mrs Thatcher’s funeral could have bought. I’m pretty cross about this. On Wednesday morning, she was compared to Wellington. There were both Tories but really…
6) My friend Jenny is running a marathon this weekend. This is her talking about running and faith.
I am under no illusion as to how hard it will be, but this Sunday I want to have faith as I run the Palestine Marathon. And in the light of what happened this week in Boston, I also choose to have faith that the people who want to cause that kind of violence are few and far between and that they won’t have the last word. I have faith that the generosity, determination and resilience of the community of runners and the people who support us will overcome fear, and that will be what endures.
7) I don’t think it’s for me to pass judgement on laws in other countries but Gaby Giffords on the failure of the Senate to pass a law for stronger background checks is moving and powerful.
They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.