Although I bought my copy of today’s Guardian shortly after breakfast, I didn’t look at more than the headlines until late afternoon. I was working, outside, on what must have been the coldest day this autumn, wrapped in warm layers, particularly blessing my thermal vest. Afterwards I went for lunch with a  friend in a blissfully warm and unassuming Italian cafe near Borough High Street,  away from the end that attracts visitors in their thousands these days. I could go on about how much Borough has changed in the time of my south London tenure, but I’ll leave that for another time and space.

At home, and after playing with MasterB and feeding him, I reached for the paper. For those of you unfamiliar with Saturday’s Guardian I should perhaps explain it has a number of sections. The main news section today was bulky, but I have found the news this week so profoundly depressing, and the attack on the mosque in Egypt so awful, I couldn’t bear to start there. As is my habit I flicked through the sports section to see if there were any pieces about women’s sports. The Guardian is a liberal paper, it’s right on about so many many things, but does not seem to comprehend that  its sports section caters almost exclusively for admirers of male athletes. You could be forgiven when you look at it for thinking that women have yet to hitch up their skirts and play tennis, and that there are no women to be lauded and  admired for their sporting achievements outside the four yearly fest that is the Olympics. Today one story about women’s football. But the lack of reporting on women’s sport is another subject for a different day.

The Family section which I always make a beeline for failed to thrill; I flicked through the magazine noting several long articles I shall read in a day or two. The food section has some nice lentil recipes I am extremely unlikely to make, so that’s now en route to my neighbour Jolita. Nothing in the travel section grabbed me, and I always keep the Review until last – apart from the crossword which I messed up almost immediately. Continue reading

The Health of the People – the Highest Law?

I missed the article in the Guardian by Harry Leslie Smith, but fortunately these letters in yesterday’s edition led me back to it.

Maybe you missed it too. If so, I urge you to read both the article and the letters.

Yesterday, a few of us were discussing how regeneration is affecting our neighbourhood; how untruths, half truths and downright lies, damned some buildings to demolition. It reminded me of the behaviour of a certain London council in the 80s. Residents, all of them council tenants with secure tenancies, were told that there was danger from asbestos, and evacuated from the homes. People were rehoused in housing stock that was often inferior, in different parts of the borough. They thought this was a temporary measure before they could move back to their homes. Continue reading