The Turner Prize is important because it keeps the art world, the cultural scene awake. Yes. its atmosphere can be too full of art 'luvvies' and 'mavens' and the 'usual suspects' but they're easier to get rid of than the idea - and need - that art and culture matter. They do. They are what we are. What Laure Prouvost's installation entitled: 'Wantee' (punters put a sum total of £22 on her chances of winning, according to Ladbrokes ) demonstrates, too, is that big, bad Mighty London with its critics/punters/experts/buyers doesn't always get it right.
On 22 November 1963, in the US, after lunchtime, (my hometown of Chicago is in the same time zone as Dallas) on a school day, we were told that the President had been shot dead. I walked home, crying. It was raining, like something out of a corny movie. People were wailing; standing around stunned; praying out loud
Obama sees Syria as one of the definitions of his presidency. But Syria is the battleground for a 21st Century proxy war. Iran, Saudi Arabia, many major players are there. And there is something else: Obama can't afford to do a 'W' and go in with all guns blazing. The president's past, steeped in vociferous opposition of the Iraq War, won't allow it.
Fox's breakfast programme, the one on which the EDL leader was assured that his back would be watched, is a kind of "wake-up-to-how-horrible-it-all-is" fiesta. To get Fox viewers ready for the day ahead. But it is the evening, East Coast time, (1am and beyond here) slots where Fox News comes into its own...
As the Tories engage in intra-Party bloodletting, Labour remains quiet and at least outwardly behind Miliband. All politicians know that electorates do not reward split Parties. The Tories are scared. Meanwhile there's Ed Miliband, Labour leader now and into the 2015 General election. I'd advise those laughing at him to wise up.
The fact is, as you know, tourists don't flock to this great country to watch the footie, or eat in the restaurants. They come to visit the stately homes, for example. How much are all the volunteers who work in these places worth? Culture, one industry that is actually growing , has always punched above its weight. It is one of the key factors in making the UK the Number One nation in the world for the arts.
The irony of it all is that Thatcherism was among the forces -not solely - that destroyed the theatre that trained Glenda Jackson. In her day it was possible to get a grant to attend RADA, for example. Grants for higher education are now gone. This is affecting one of the industries that Britain is without equal in the world.
Now that Osbornomics has failed even by its own parameters, and the right of the party and traditional Tories have had it with the both of them, Cameron has to Do Something. That Something is a new strategy which takes a little bit from here and a little bit from there. Mostly from there: America and Australia. Osborne in his latest big speech refers to "the British People" - a Tea Party tactic. By calling your supporters "the British People" you imply that your opponents aren't. Fox News does this with its "the American People" jibe all the time.
David and Ed Miliband's family lost over 40 family members to the Holocaust, the supreme expression of fascism and anti-Semitism. Their late father and their mother barely escaped extermination themselves. What the hell did anyone expect this man to do but resign from a football club whose manager has made the 'Roman salute' and who has reportedly stated, according to the BBC, that Mussolini "was deeply misunderstood".
The loss of Richard Griffiths is a time to remember and to celebrate British acting. In the end, he doesn't need me or you to say that he was a part of a great tradition. Everyone knows that. Maybe bring this tradition up next time you encounter a young actress/actor starting out. Just so they keep it in mind.
All of those who think that Eddie Mair M was grandstanding on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday have never heard the man and his work over a decade daily on BBC Radio 4. If you actually do listen to him, you'll already know that his questioning of Boris Johnson was vintage Mair and the way that this fine journalist/broadcaster treats EVERYBODY.