Congratulations on your Diamond Jubilee, Ma’am!
I’ve had a really fantastic couple of weeks visiting lots of interesting places – including some of the world’s top locations, such as LA, San Francisco and Silicon Valley…
However, it was only when I was sitting outside Underworld at 04:00 this morning eating greasy chips from the Woody Grill in Camden with the most gorgeous girl in the world that I realised what happiness was all about.
It doesn’t really matter where you are – it’s all about who you are with and whether or not you’re keeping it real.
I had a very stimulating day campaigning, knocking on people’s doors and debating on the doorstep, and it reminds me just how beautiful a thing that democracy is.
My colleagues and I got a very positive response from most people in Chase ward, Enfield, and I had three particularly interesting debates:
- One man told me he was voting BNP to send a wake-up call to the main parties, even though he didn’t really fancy them or their policies.
- Another man told me that he was a Conservative, but was voting for Ken because his son was finding it too expensive to go to work, and because he didn’t like how elitist the Government appears.
- One couple told me that they were not going out to vote at all because they were fed-up with all politicians and felt disenchanted with the whole lot.
I knocked on the doors of a few supporters to thank them for their support and remind people that there would be no Party without them.
When wrapping up as the darkness descended, the local MP, Nick de Bois, and I rescued a young girl who was sitting at a bus-stop in Lancaster Road from a nutter who was pleading for her telephone number and not taking no for an answer.
“I’m your local MP!” said Nick cheerfully, “Marcus is your local councillor.”
“Wow!” she said. “Thanks so much, Mr Politicians.”
All in all, a fascinating and fun day, and I fully expect us to wake to tomorrow to find London once again warmly cosseted in the ample bosom of Mayor Johnson with Red Ken finally sent off into the wilderness where he belongs!
Earlier today I read a very interesting article on ‘Shine’ regarding several recent examples of celebrities who are resisting the use of doctored and digitally-enhanced images of themselves in the media.
There are some particularly strange examples of celebrities looking wonderful au naturel, but being altered, no doubt to please the tastes of those who thought that they needed enhancement. They didn’t – natural beauty is the only beauty.
I am hoping that this is the start of a movement against the use of routinely-altered images, and I used the word ‘altered’ rather than enhanced, deliberately.
Magazine covers are dominated by images that are nothing more than digital creations inspired by photography, and in doing so they manipulate their readers and society in a way that is damaging for both men and women.
Men are too often presented with unrealistic images of women that corrupt their understanding of real beauty, and objectify and sexualise women.
In turn, women are bombarded by ‘idealised’ images that they can never hope to live up to, but feel under increasing pressure to do so, no doubt contributing to increasing prevalence of self-esteem issues and eating disorders that we read about in the same magazines that place these images on their covers.
I hope that the recent move away from celebrities wanting to be airbrushed is the start of a change in attitudes towards the manipulation of images – and society.
Let’s see natural beauty, not manufactured confections…
This afternoon I had a lovely lunch at Il Baretto in Blandford Street – the best steak I have had this year, but a little too much for me to handle after a big breakfast with Charles.
I asked the very nice waitress for a Doggy Bag so that the leftovers it didn’t go to waste, and I took it back to the office with me and dreamt about having it in a sandwich tomorrow.
However, on the way home, a homeless man came into my Tube carriage and made a plea for money to buy food.
Pretty much everyone ignored him, but I asked him if he was genuinely hungry.
“Yes,” he said. “I’m not kidding.”
I took out my lovely bit of sirloin with fried courgettes and Parmesan and handed it to him in the plastic tub. He looked genuinely grateful and thanked me warmly and it reminded me how privileged I am to have more than I need.
I’m really glad that I took the extra food and didn’t just bin it – I’m going to make that a policy now. We should all take our extra food when we leave restaurants and give it to those less fortunate than ourselves.
Fantastic article in The Economist about technology, automation and the impact on jobs and society:
I’ve seen several interesting plays on punctuation recently, but this one is by far the best, and it certainly led to quite an interesting debate on Facebook when I posted it:
Today has been a solemn one full of thoughts for those directly affected by the devastating terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in NYC that took place 10 years ago.
Few can fail to remember where they were when the news of the first aeroplane striking the North Tower. I was in my office at Agency.com in Crinan Street preparing for a pitch with a number of my colleagues from New York.
The images were so confusing that I didn’t know what to make of them at first. It had to be an accident, but how could a pilot accidentally crash into one of NYC’s greatest landmarks?
When the second plane hit the South Tower just over 17 minutes later, it was obvious that this was no accident and a wave of shock rippled through the office; people were genuinely speechless.
Today, 10 years on, the world has changed forever and the moving tributes remind us of how much this terrorist attack has shaped the world – leading to two wars, countless lives lost and a loss of innocence.
Many things impressed me about the dignified nature of the memorials around the world, and something in particular made me think:
This afternoon in London, I was amazed to see a group of Islamic Extremists burning the Stars & Stripes during the 9/11 memorial in Grosvenor Square, taking advantage of the very freedom of speech that they would happily deny others.
At first it made me angry as it reminded me that not everyone is united in grief, and that there are some very unpleasant people out there, but then it was also a reminder how tolerant our society is to rightly allow them their freedom of expression, no matter how distasteful.
Our protection of the right to free speech is one of the things that makes our society so great, and the terrorists clearly failed in their attempt to undermine that.
God bless America , God bless the United Kingdom and God bless those who died in the attack, and as a result of the devastation.