Having finished the Maconie book I've been going back through it fact-checking a dozen or so claims, quotes and assertions I'd marked as I went along. Some because they ran contrary to notions I had picked up across the years and I'd wanted to fact-check, others because they'd interested me enough I wanted to explore them further, but there was something on Page 78 that struck me as ridiculous coming from Leanne Wood.
I take it you recall Theresa May in the run-up to the Tory leadership contest in the wake of the Brexit referendum making a bid to occupy Macmillan's old centrist, One-Nation Tory position by claiming she would "make the Tories the party for working people?" Remember that statement, Tramp?
Maconie goes on to quote, with obvious tacit approval, (he describes her as being "white-faced with quiet rage" having been "pricked into passionate scorn") from Leanne Wood's response on Question Time later that evening. Now pay attention here, Tramp - " I worked as a probation officer in south Wales during the miners' strike.... they will never be the party of the working people."
Now a politician's propensity for coming out with self-serving averment notwithstanding that's an extraordinary thing to say! I have vivid memories of the miners' strike, but then I would, I'm older than her and by my reckoning she would have been a schoolchild at the time. Thirteen or thereabouts?
Stuart Maconie's Long Road from Jarrow. I picked a copy up yesterday and I'm about two-thirds of the way through. A travelogue with some prescient, ground-level observations on the contemporary state of Brexit Britain. Funny in parts, discommoding in others it offers up a running commentary on the cyclic nature of history and turns a spotlight on both the tardiness and puniness of the response to preventable injustices by the political class in 2016 just as in 1936.
After, perhaps, Peter Ustinov and Mel Brooks she has to be the the best thing to be perched on a chat show couch. I remember watching this first time around and spilling a drink over myself. Sartre said that "Hell is other people," but he never met Miriam...
I've been away, in work, then away again so in catching up on here I was surprised to see no mention of his comments that seem to have sent The Guardian and Observer columnists scurrying for their adult pampers.
I'd have thought that would have been meat and drink to the good denizens of JNF?
PS - I don't know who Mo Wives is but he's just provided me with the happiest hour of reading I've enjoyed in a long while. Bravo sir!
As you sit there reading this exactly one hundred years ago today the boys of the 38th Welsh Division, many of your relatives amongst them, were making their way forward to the jumping-off point for the attack on Pilckem Ridge that went in at dawn on the 31st.
A blue pennant stone cromlech surmounted by a red dragon now marks the spot and commemorates the fallen but every war memorial in Glamorgan you pass by today carries the reaper's roll-call.
Before you go to bed tonight spare a thought for the boys who never came back...