Lena has been a music producer, writer and Personal Manager; a photographer and journalist and, over thirty years ago, got together with Caroline Scattergood to create the Caring & Sharing Trust to bring music, hope and love into the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families from throughout Northamptonshire.
A new Anne Tyler book is an event so, if you are a fan you’re probably already enjoying “Clock Dance” (published by Chatto & Windus £18.99) which was published last week. It is her twenty-second book and, at seventy-six years of age she is as wonderful as ever.
If you’ve never lost your heart to Anne and her beloved Baltimore – then you’ve got a wonderful twenty-two book odyssey ahead.
My partner and I could never be friends with anyone who doesn’t like dogs. Well, I feel the same about Anne. Try her – and if you don’t like her – then I probably won’t like you!
Now, having admitted openly how bigoted I am towards people who think differently to myself, let me introduce you to the journalist Ben Cobley.
Ben’s book “The Tribe” (published by Imprint Academic £14.95) is a densely written exposé of the so-called progressive Liberal-Left which dominates our public life.
Although Ben is a former Labour Party activist, this is not a polemic against the Labour Party. Every part of our public life, and every political party, has fastened onto offering favour and protection to some people but not others.
Ben claims this system has almost totally captured today’s Labour Party and is spreading relentlessly around our other major institutions.
He also looks at how it is capturing our language, appropriating key terms like equality, tolerance and inclusion, while denying a voice to those who do not play along.
Having just read Ben’s book I was all the more interested in how so many people who “protect” us from being criticised, or laughed at, for our looks, beliefs or race – still feel comfortable in launching a large balloon effigy of Donald Trump to highlight such things as his hairstyle, his small hands and, most certainly, his beliefs.
With my sociologist’s hat on, I would also mention that if the huge crowds demonstrating against Donald Trump show what people think of him – then the great majority who did not demonstrate must presumably be indicative of how popular he is! In fact, nothing makes sense.
With the pitiful stature of most leading politicians in the world today, what position are we in to single out Donald Trump and Russia’s Putin for derision?
You may not agree or understand them because they do not play political games – but even if you heartily don’t like them they still remain stars ten foot tall compared to the rest of the political pygmies.
And, I would like to make it clear, I have nothing against pygmies.