Either fishy or foul


Eileen Agar’s self-portrait in Ceremonial Hat for Eating Bouillabaisse, 1936  
The Bridgeman Art Library represents the copyright holder

In some senses, it seems as though hurling pesci-ness into a court bouillon to let it simmer is a lazy way to describe the UK’s current intellectual, spiritual, emotional and political state. Tilt in a spoon and who knows what’ll be drawn out?

In virtue of our utter dismay with the vaccuous absence … the complete and ubiquitious absence … in politics of kindness & emotional resilience / intelligence ever since Mr Cameron’s failure [to persuade our neighbours to let the UK have its gâteau et le mange aussi], we reflect on Listening‘s suasive strength. We’ve been banging on about this forceless power since 1994, afterall.

You can’t imagine how refreshing it is to hear a political candidate emphasize the importance he places on it.

Diplomats need to tread carefully as the ground beneath our feet is waving, seismicly. @RoryStewartUK has spent the past six months or so, walking lightly on the earth, conducting street conversations in order to Listen to what we’re all thinking.*

* Mr Stewart is an independent candidate standing for Mayor of London.

Walking for Leadership, rather than Running for Election, intuitively seems a more measured approach: one which serves the electorate rather than the candidate; in which dialogue has the time and space to unfurl.


Halloween, which as soon as B Johnson Esq announced as the immutable date of departure we knew wouldn’t be so, when ghouls and goblins teeter around with chocolate smeared faces and pointy hats swish up drives, it is sincerely hoped the damage this brutal, deaf process of Brexit has caused can stop for breath, allowing hearts & ears to open.

The spell No. 10 seeks to cast by virtue of its excruciating slogans could feasibly stun us into submission. There’s something either fishy or pretty foul at play when oratory lacks grace: surely a sign of wizardry at work?


Sink hole


One reason people wear a white poppy in early November is to bear kinship with the brave souls who defend our freedoms while expressing dismay at the failure in dialogue which leads to War.

With the dreadful business in Paris on Friday and this morning’s swoop on a group suspected of fermenting more horrors, it’s terrifically hard to find a rational approach amid the chaotic anxiety of prevention.

On the day the gentle, genial, quelling giant Jonah Lomu has died, empathic thoughts of finding a suasive way through this turmoil naturally turn to the long game. Because it seems inevitable that military force – boots on the ground – is a necessary consequence. (Yeah, but sufficient? Ed)

Might we, this time, think now of the exit strategy? Could we, perhaps, reflect on the the emotional cost to nations and produce a strategically intelligent goal and stick to it?

Al Assad tries to live up to his father. Putin tries to live up to his namesake Ras … putin. Islamic Statements of destruction appear anxious to remold the Qu’ran away from Compassion and Mercy. Ought we maieut a way forward that minimizes atrophy?

While White Poppies are not rounds of ammunition perhaps they could be the 4 bi 2 of dialogue?