Even before the government this week announced a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the Tory leadership contenders were competing fiercely to establish their green credentials.
Andrea Leadsom has vowed to declare a ‘climate emergency’. Rory Stewart has upgraded it to a ‘climate cataclysm’ and wants to double the amount of foreign aid spent on climate change.
Whatever the authorities in Beijing say, the anger on the streets of Hong Kong isn’t synthetic, nor is it stirred up by ‘foreign forces’. The serious, dedicated atmosphere of 2014’s umbrella protest, which lasted 79 days, is back, only this time with more violence.
Of course, the vast majority of Hong Kongers won’t be personally threatened by the passing of the extradition law — which allows Beijing to try suspects who, as matters stand, cannot be rendered across the border — but legal changes like this eat away at everyone’s security.
There are plenty of much-anticipated contests in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. But nothing to compare with this Sunday’s match at Old Trafford, where India are billed to play Pakistan in the latest epic in a rivalry that dates back to Partition in 1947.
It’s a rivalry that is regularly punctuated by war. No cricket was played between the two countries from 1961 until 1978. The 1965 conflict, caused by Pakistani aggression, severed relations.
For leftist anti-Trumpers like me, the Mueller report was initially a godsend, though not for the more obvious reasons. I belong to a rarified group that hates liberal moaning about Russian ‘interference’ in the 2016 election: we ridicule the claim that Vladimir Putin and his henchmen stole the presidency from Hillary Clinton because we know that Clinton herself and neo-liberal Clintonism were the real causes of her demise.
When I was growing up in the late 1960s, boys like me craved the admiration and approval of our dads; we wanted nothing more than to impress them. And now that we are dads, we crave the admiration and approval of our children; we want nothing more than to impress them. But the curious thing is, they don’t care about impressing us. In fact, our teenage children are just like our dads were — distant figures who are busy getting on with their own lives.
Our upstairs neighbours are not the sort of people you want to have run-ins with. They have regular moped deliveries and I see packages exchanged through blacked-out BMW windows. I once knocked on their door to ask if I could borrow a potato masher. They looked at me as if I were mad. They seem to sleep all day and do all sorts at night. I usually go to bed to the sound of floor-board drilling. I wonder what they are hiding: are they supplying illegal stuff for the next generation of Tory leaders?
The other night, at about 5 a.
I am memorialised twice in my village church. Not in some premature lapidary way, but in the visitors’ book. The first time was with my toddler, when I wrote her name down. Some years later I showed her that scribbled evidence and inked us in again. There we were, here we are.
I always sign these modest manuscripts, with their columns for date, name, address and comments, and I’m always touched by the commonplaces: ‘So peaceful.