Tom Watson asked me to link to his coverage of the appalling Mukhtaran Bibi story. Tom reckons the UK media is doing a better job of covering this really egregious example of Musharraf’s out-of-control demagoguery than the Americans. That’s encouraging I suppose.
Bill Morris’ series about work, Workaday World, is really good. Very nicely put together, sort of contemplative, focused on the voices of working people (and I’m pretty sure that’s Brian Eno on the soundtrack). It ought to be a set text for business and sociology students. Part two (MP3). This is a programme that really, really ought to be properly archived…
Just what you need on a Sunny Monday afternoon: a lovely Russell Davies George Formby doc (MP3) and part one (MP3) of an interesting series about work from Bill Morris, who used to be General Secretary of the T&G. Get your skates on and download Radio 3’s complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies, all recently recorded by the BBC Philharmonic and all free to download (would it be really ungrateful to wonder if they couldn’t have broken the MP3s into movements?). They’re about to take the MP3s down so get a move on.
A marvellous, solid, heavy and slightly mysterious telephone with a big loudspeaker on the front and connections on the back that look like something from a battleship (what is it?). One of my favourite old gadgets (bought, like all the others, from the place old things go to die: Brick Lane market).
Is JK Rowling the only kids’ book gazillionaire? I’d like to think there’s room for more than one kids’ book superstar – someone, maybe, who makes their money (more quietly than JK) from multiple national markets and formats and from a younger, less bankable audience? If there is, it’s probably Lucy Cousins, creator of the astonishing Maisy (if you have kids and you haven’t heard of Maisy then you’re probably a Mormon, or a vegan or something).
Maisy’s a sophisticated heroine, in a deceptively crude style (always shown, Egyptian-style, in profile). She’s brightly coloured and lives on her own, although she seems to be about 4 (maybe 5) She does exactly what she wants (including, occasionally, driving a bus or flying an aeroplane). Oh, and she’s a mouse. And a global marketing phenomenon, obviously.
Today, to our house, came a loss adjuster. You’ve met loss adjusters – they’re the lone wolves who tell the insurers to settle your claim or not (fingers crossed for that flood damage claim, people). Anyway, the wolf thing is not an excuse for a cheap loss adjuster gag. Our loss adjuster turns out to have a fascinating hinterland. Weekends he looks after wolves. Real, live (Romanian) wolves adopted by a conservation charity called Anglian Wolf and living in Bedfordshire.
Did you know that the last British wolf was shot in Scotland in the Fifteenth Century and that the last wolf living wild in England was trapped and killed nearly a thousand years ago? That tells you something about British economic history doesn’t it? Nearly a millennium has passed since any part of England’s landscape was wild enough to support a population of wolves.
My undeniably sharp-suited lawyer Mark Lloyd is finally blogging properly. He writes nicely and his entries are varied. I only mention his dress sense because he links to this really compelling new blog from Saville Row tailor Thomas Mahon. If Mark is right and Mahon is really winning lots of new business through his blog it goes to prove something I’ve been saying for ages: blogs are going to be good for marketing distinctive and expensive consumer goods but not FMCG or commodity stuff. A bespoke suit has to the perfect item for blog marketing: expensive and unique and hand-made. A Saville Row suit always has a back-story, a narrative – and the maker is important – he’s part of the product. Can’t think of a better way of telling the tailor’s story than a blog.
A couple of months ago I went to Geneva to spend a weekend talking about business ethics with a bunch of thinkers, theologians, business leaders and other brainy types. Beth Krasna, who organised the event, has now turned it into a book, edited by Tim Hindle and published by Profile (the people behind the Economist Books) which you can, of course, buy from your local branch of amazon.com. The book is an impressive distillation of the compressed, chaotic multi-strand discussion we managed that weekend. If anything’s missing I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen.
I’d like to be able to run the odd survey here for my esteemed sponsors so I’m looking for a free (preferably) survey tool that could be installed by a technical wizard (that would be Robin) and used by a technical pygmy (that would be me). I suppose a plugin for MT might be handy but anything reasonably easy to use that will install on Robin’s Linux/Apache server would be cool. Any ideas?