View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Evening notes

I am feeling a wee bit sad this evening after reading that Morton is quitting his blog (see Call for Support). It is particularly due to the reasons he gives, namely that a lot of us are no longer making updates on our blogs. Whether this is due to a move to Twitter, Facebook, Myspace or offline is debatable. But it highlights very strongly the effect that the closing down of AOL Journals has had on what used to be known as J-land. Our community is dwindling, and I'm saddened by it.

Thursday 4 June

Today is the 20th anniversary of the shortlived student uprising in Peking, which was brutally knocked down by the communist regime in China. The image of the student, standing up to a tank, is etched on the memory of anyone who lived through the momentous year of 1989. Only a few months later, communism in Europe collapsed. Today, the only place in China to commemorate the events of Tiananmen Square was Hong Kong.

European elections (and council elections in parts of the UK) are held today. Judging by accounts on Twitter, trade at polling stations in Lewis was brisk. When a general election will be held soon is anyone's guess. The swing from Labour to Conservative is inevitable, as such is the nature of British politics. Over the last 30 years, the period of the swings has been lengthened considerably. The Tories were in power for 18 years, between 1979 and 1997; Labour has been in No 10 for 12 years now. In both instances, sleeze and a collapse in public confidence in politicians of the party in power led to the downfall of the respective administration. As will be the case in the next general poll. The difference this time is that all politicians have egg on their faces.

Wreckage from Air France flight 447, which disappeared on Sunday, has been located in the middle of the Atlantic. Whether the flight recorders or passengers will ever be found is very unlikely. The relatives of those on board AF447 have been informed.