George Walford: Editorial Notes (51)

There are two classes in society: the privileged few who know IC and the deprived multitude who don’t. Share your good fortune: take out a subscription for a friend – or, come to that, for an enemy. Send in the name, address and a cheque for £2 and the rest will be done. IC being a Good Thing, the first issue sent will have a note saying it comes on your instructions – unless you tell us not to do this.

LOOKING back on the wreckage of the Poll Tax, our new Prime Minister may well be saying to himself: “I won’t put my head in that lion’s mouth again.”

UNDER a Tory government, does the reform ideology, with its demand for collectivist economics, exercise any influence? “Even after twelve years of Thatcherism, public expenditure still absorbs nearly 40 per cent of the national product… and the proportion seems unlikely to drop in the near future.” (Alec Cairncross, TLS 15 March).

DOES the ideology of domination still wield more influence than the ideology of precision? “experience proves more important than inquiry, the rationalization of imperatives more important than rationality, and politicians more important than economists.” (Ibid, quoting Fulmer M. O. and B. Supple eds. 1991 The State and Economic Knowledge Cambridge: CUP)

RELIGION in USA: Irving Kristol reports that some two-thirds of adults claim to go to church regularly, and although some are certainly lying, it is interesting that they should choose to lie in this direction. Most civic occasions open with a prayer, and no politician seeking office dare announce himself an atheist. (TLS 1 March 1991)

“OVER 80% of reported accidents involving hot-water bottles were scalds or burns caused by boiling water.” (Advertisement in Observer Colour Supplement 3 March 91). The interesting part is the other 20%. How do you have an accident with a hot-water bottle apart from the hot water?

HEGEL already had a term suitable for the thinking of any movement which believes its principles by themselves to be sufficient for a viable, fully-developed society. He called it the Abstract, the part which, because it succeeds in losing sight of its dependence, believes itself to be the whole.(Wallace W. 1931 Prolegomena. Oxford: Clarendon Press 295)

HEATH, the Private Eye cartoonist, shows an elephant, a lion and a monkey sitting side by side. These wild animals are peaceably watching a television screen on which humans are slaughtering each other.

HIROSHIMA was a nuclear-free zone. (From a poster issued by Freedom Design Associates).

“HIMALAYAN tree-huggers.” No, it’s not a new perversion, just a name for people who defend trees by clasping them.

BRAZIERS, well known to many readers of IC, faces an outlay of £170,000 for compulsory fire precautions. If you think it a good thing to reduce the chance of discussions there becoming overheated, and want to contribute, the address is: Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research, [address]. (And the Calendar of Courses April-September 1991 is now available).

BRITISH Rail had many trains put out of action by fine snow drifting into the motors; their engineers issued drawings of admirable clarity showing exactly what had happened. There has been no indication that they had tried to use their undoubted skills to foresee and avert the trouble.

“WHAT you lose on the roundabouts, you make it up on the swings”. Very consoling. Unfortunately, all we ever seem to get is the Big Dipper.

WORRIED about their Shelley relics as the Allies stormed up the peninsula, the Roman authorities sent them away for safety – to Monte Cassino. (A priest rescued them, thumbing a lift in a German truck, before the destruction): (Altick R. D. 1966 The Scholar Adventurers NY: Free Press 280)

DEFAULTERS’ Parade: “You are charged with setting fire to the Seaman’s Institute by falling asleep while smoking in bed.” “Sir! It’s a lie! The bed was on fire when I got into it.”

from Ideological Commentary 51, May 1991.