Monday 22 June 2020


Imagine if people took all the energy they're currently expending on pointing out everyone else's perceived faults, and spent it instead on improving themselves, or helping someone, or sorting out the garden, or absolutely anything else. Sam White

The notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past. Barclays CEO Jes Staley in April

Young employees in cities are paid relatively well, but they quickly lose as much as half their after-tax salaries in rent and travel costs. They spend their lives in cramped quarters with multiple roommates. With the commute reduced from five days a week to four or three, the need to live centrally diminishes. Notably, about 250,000 people left London when lockdown was called, according to a University of Oxford study. Most will return; some will not. Rory Sutherland in the latest Spectator

One of my favourite quotations is from St Peter of Alcantara, when he remarked to a friend who was bewailing the wickedness of the world, "You and I must first be what we ought to be and then we shall have cured what concerns ourselves. Let each one do the same and all will be well. Monsignor Alfred Gilbey

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; till you see Him to be a consuming fire, and approach Him with reverence and godly fear, as being sinners, you are not even in sight of the strait gate. I do not wish you to be able to point to any particular time when you renounced the world (as it is called), and were converted; this is a deceit. Fear and love must go together; always fear, always love, to your dying day.
St John Henry Newman

A Class 37 locomotive at Stratford on Tuesday 6th May 1975, long before the whizzy, East London transport hub we know today, when it was a dingy inner-suburban station on the line out of Liverpool Street. Trains of loose-coupled empties clanked and screeched slowly through on their way back to Temple Mills; superannuated multiple units from Essex halted to set down or pick up two or three passengers, seen off by dusky "staff" who afterwards repaired to mysterious rooms in the platform buildings; pigeons pecked around one's feet before flying off, with a clatter of irredescent wings, to roost in the canopy; in the steam-pervaded buffet old men in caps sat over lonely emplattered buns while ferociously-lipsticked women in nylon overalls dispensed urn-born tea in chipped cups.

I do not aver that my regret for the passing of these things is entirely without ambivalence, but the current multi-level, London 2012-ready, "International" complex with its "sculpted steel canopy on cantilevered columns", its "bold colours and considered lighting", is not a place where the spirit of poetry may dwell. Is it a place at all? Are you in Tokyo, or Sao Paulo, or Montreal, Frankfurt ...Cape Town ...Helsinki? Of course, Those Placed in Control Over Us love this sort of thing. They don't really like us to have any kind of emotional attachment to place, or to the past. If such atavistic, natural loyalties can be removed, others can fill the void they leave. The rootless are much more easily manipulated. And have you lately attempted to purchase at a station a sandwich that doesn't contain "mayo"?
Stephen Dowle

Boris is, at his best, an extremely fluent and funny writer. I was supposed to copy-edit his column – but it was so well crafted that you could just pour it on to the page. An amazing facility with words, even compared to other columnists.
Damian Thompson

No comments:

Post a Comment