Downfall : hardly a conventional biopic but a penetrating insight into the minds of Hitler and some of his acolytes as the Third Reich crumbled.
Best Novel read
Saturday (Ian McEwan)
Spiked, asserts that both cases are the same:
"both [ Irving and Pamuk ]could be incarcerated, not for physically harming another person or for damaging property, but for the words they spoke; both could have their liberty removed because they expressed views that the authorities - in Turkey and Austria - decree to be distasteful. And both of their trials are an outrage against the principle of free speech. You may or may not agree with what Pamuk said, and you probably are disgusted by Irving's weasel words. But this isn't about what either author said; it is about whether they should have the right to say it, and we should have the right to hear it. Freedom of speech, as its name suggests, does not mean freedom for views that go down well in polite society but not for views that stink: it means freedom for all speech, the freedom to think, say and write what we please and the freedom of everyone else to challenge or ridicule our arguments."
In today's Hurriyet the Turkish Justice Minister is reported as saying of the Pamuk case "All we need is democratic patience", whatever that means, though he "declined to give details of steps to be taken on the issue".
"Democratic patience" has, like most doublespeak, a bland fuzziness about it. Does it really mean "undemocratic impatience"? This would seem to be more in tune with the current environment of fear and anti-terror legislation.
The decision may not stand for long though http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1927540,00.html
Does one need a PhD in industrial design to suggest that the rear platform could be modified to accommodate a wheelchair or two?
The companies who have grasped the opportunity to buy surplus Routemasters for a song and convert them into mobile bars etc have certainly shown a bit more initiative than Transport for London.
The real reason for the phasing out is shown in this photo, which I took in May this year: it is cheaper to replace one human being with an automated ticketing system and several security cameras.
Has anyone considered the potential security benefits of having a human observer to monitor passenger behaviour?
I did not ask, not was I told, how much of each dollar raised this way actually ended up with Oxfam.