George Walford: Notes and Quotes (58)

FREEDOM of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. If you doubt that, try getting a piece on systematic ideology into the Socialist Standard.

DEATH with his scythe leading the victim away, they pass Santa Claus: ‘I bet you didn’t believe in him, either.’

NATIONALISATION of telegrams in 1870 and telephones in 1912 was the work of Liberal and Conservative administrations and had nothing to do with socialism. (Martin Daunton)

THINKING: The mind thinks with ideas, not with information… An excess of information may actually crowd out ideas. (Theodore Roszak, in Fourth World Review).

PRIVATISATION has some distance to go yet. The French ancien regime privatised the collection of taxes; it helped to provoke the Revolution.

MEETING ‘he continued his peon’ in a book under review, Eric Korn notes that ‘the context shows it is a peon of praise, not at all the same thing as an exchange of peasantries’.

WRITING about a trombonist, Lucretia Stewart reports that at the gigs where he performs the players use earplugs. Does she mean the audiences don’t?

BODYCOUNT: French road traffic kills 9,600 injures 200,000 each year.

ROGER Revelle died last year. Having started the ‘greenhouse effect’ panic he recanted, saying the scientific evidence for global warming is not certain enough to justify drastic action yet.

DADA wouldn’t buy me a Bauhaus.

LIFE the object of the universe? Hardly likely, when there is so little of it. More probably radioactivity, with life as a byproduct. (Harvey R.Col)

G. K. CHESTERTON asserted the most important political event of the 19th Century in Britain to be the revolution that didn’t happen between 1829 and 1832. This brought the response that his own best historical book was the one he hadn’t written about it. (Michael Brock).

RAIL passengers have their priorities right. A couple having full sex in a crowded compartment provoked no serious objection; only when they lit cigarettes did other passengers complain to the guard. (Daily Mail 7 Aug 92)

MOTORWAY service stations have long offered Babychanging Rooms, and doubtless many mothers have ended up with something more satisfactory. Our local camera shop now seems to be dealing in the little creatures; a large coloured Agfa photo of one in the window announces: Buy two, get one free.

REFORMERS complain about the competitiveness in this society. It is not the fault of the traders; they would prefer to replace competition with cartels, monopolies and price-fixing.

VICTORIANS spent their time making things to be sold on antique stalls.

ANTI-CLASSISM: C. V. Wedgwood speaks of her general conviction that ‘political divisions in the [17th C] House of Commons did not follow any clearly defined lines of class, property or social interest.’ She adds that The Members of the Long Parliament, by D.H.Pennington and D.Brunton, provides detailed confirmation.

CLIMBERS rope themselves together to stop the sensible ones going home. (Kathleen Whitehorn).

VOLTAIRE described etymology as a science in which the vowels count for nothing and the consonants for very little. (James Davidson)

WHO needs work? Freedom reports a government survey showing that almost two out of three men are taking early retirement. (27 June)

WRITING began in lower Mesopotamia around 3000 BC. (Stephanie Dalley)

BISHOP Butler refused the see of Canterbury, saying it was too late to save a failing Church. That was in 1747. (Richard Harries)

SOCIALIST Organiser, a hard left faction, is demanding a referendum on Maastricht so it can urge voters to abstain. (Sunday Times 4 October)

‘MOST of our hand tools, even today, are mesolithic tools with iron or steel substituted for stone, bone, or wood.’ (Rushton Coulborn)

TINA (the acronym of Mrs.Thatcher’s ‘There is no alternative’) is an anagram of NIAT. Does that mean anything?

DEADLY safety: Dramatic rail and air crashes bring new and expensive safety measures, putting up the price of tickets and pushing people on to the roads, which mile for mile are 18 times more dangerous than trains and 32 times more dangerous than scheduled air travel.

LIBERALISM has never displayed unlimited tolerance. Preferring persuasion, it is yet prepared to use coercion. (Michael Freeden)

EDITING Poems to be Read Aloud (Luath Press) Tom Atkinson includes Eskimo Nell as ‘the very prototype of Liberated Womanhood.’

AFTER saying, with names and figures, that many British industrial bosses were paying themselves unjustified salaries, the Sunday Times had to admit to 25 ‘significant’ errors. [1] Is this a record? [1] Sunday Times 18 October

from Ideological Commentary 58, November 1992.