Saturday 12 December 2009

Worth reading this weekend ...

Some things that caught my eye this week ...

Political blog-post of the year? Ousted Australian liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull decides he's free to be as frank as he likes on his blog about his successor's lack of credibility or integrity. (While in Oz, very impressed by Scott Steel's Pollytics blog).

Tim Montgomerie this morning amplifies his fear that climate change could split the Tory party. (Apologies to Gift of the Fab for mentioning it again). Still, I think Tim exaggerates. Surely the coming in slow motion Tory civil war will again be over Europe.

The New Statesman's Mehdi Hasan offers an Obama disenchantment round-up, showing a decidedly non-Pilgeresque ability to spark a reasoned discussion with some of my fellow Obamanauts.

Those struggling to spot the difference between Barack and Dubya may find the tragedy of hope, Andrew Sullivan's dissection and liberal conservative defence of the Niebuhrian themes of the President's Nobel acceptance speech interesting.

Stuart White, here on Next Left, joins Richard Reeves in defending liberalism from the charge of amoralism, but questions the strong secularist critique of religion too.

In the NS magazine, John Gray reviews the ideas of the decade and finds very few left in play: pessimistic as ever but certainly thought-provoking.

And Tony Judt's hope for the future in What is living and what is dead in Social Democracy is to advocate a 'social democracy of fear' for a new age of insecurity, in a New York Review of Books piece drawn from his recent lecture.

Fear of failure is addressed by Alex Evans and David Stevens at Global Dashboard, who suggest there are better and worse types of Copenhagen failure and what would happen next.

Rumbold at Pickled Politics hopes the Swiss were cheering for their boys, black sheep and all, in the under-17 World Cup. (That could set the miserablist non-multilateralists up nicely for a France '98 moment at Wembley in 2018).

Anthony Painter shows it is possible, indeed vital, to say something sensible about class.

As did Robert Yates' Observer Magazine feature on his return to Liverpool Walton a couple of weekend's ago, digging much deeper than the usual 'broken Britain' cliches.

Jon Henley of The Guardian tells a power of pink tale of gender, culture and commerce, including how it used to be pink for boys, and blue for girls. My two year old son would agree with that.

Cock-up of the week: Harry's Place shooting from the hip accidentally trying to hound Roger Liddle out of the Fabian New Year Conference. The mistake was quickly and graciously acknowledged.

Meanwhile, the real Rod Liddle experimented with engaging with his critics on George Eaton's New Statesman blog. Operation Black Vote offered a tenative welcome for an almost-apology.

* This may become an occasional or semi-regular weekend feature. Tips of other things we should be reading, especially from beyond the mainstream media and major blogs radar, very welcome in comments or by email.

No comments: