Tom Bentley and I have written the cover story of tomorrow’s FT Magazine about the fall and fall of mainstream political parties. Our argument is that if they don’t radically rethink the way they organise themselves, they could well bite the dust. It’s a theme Demos will be talking about more at Labour Party conference.
Ive been living in my new flat at BedZED for just over two months now. I have most things you need: furniture, stuff to cook with, Playstation 2 (okay maybe you dont need one of those) and I have to say Im loving it.
Of course theres the fact that you do get a bit bored of seeing your house in the newspapers and on the TV. I turned on BBC1 yesterday to see Sue Riddlestone (co-director of BioRegional one of the organisations who made the place actually happen) on the Politics Show and thought the background looked familiar. Then I realised there was an outside broadcast unit parked just outside the flat and Sue was on the balcony opposite being interviewed live.
There are still a lot of people coming on guided tours even though the development has been open for two years now. This week it was the turn of an important looking Spanish delegation. Oh, and my mum and dad who were down to visit and tagged along to have a look around the show-home. I havent been yet but apparently I need to go and check out the recycled coffee tables.
Like every housing estate the world over there are a few problems. Last week I got a bit annoyed with the fancy energy saving electronics when a beeping noise started in the service cupboard just near my flat. It was just loud enough and often enough to mean that I could dose off for a few seconds before being woken up as it beeped again. To be fair, Peabody Trust did get it sorted pretty quickly when I called them though.
I dont think Ive mentioned the playing field saga yet. Just across the way from my flat theres an open area which was originally planned to be a junior football pitch. It then got dug up so that a gas pipeline could be put through it and never really recovered so was empty for a while. Now the grass has just about grown back but for some reason a lot of stones have come to the surface and its pretty dangerous to play on so still isnt being used. The discussion in the bar of a Friday night is about what we can do about it.
Tune back next month for an update
Went to see The Elephant Vanishes at the Barbican on Thursday night. Absolutely brilliant. Probably the best thing I’ve ever seen on stage in London. Mindblowing use of movement, video and sound to recreate Murikami’s short stories. I was lucky because we chose the night when Simon McBurney (the director) was doing a talk after the show — also really interesting. He said something that I didn’t know but which makes sense — that Murikami translated Ray Carver’s short stories into Japanese. Carver is one of my favourite authors and as I was sitting through the show I was thinking that there were similarities with the atmosphere that Carver creates in many of his short stories. Anyway, highly recommended if you’re in London town.