London. 1st April 2023. Arts Council England has just announced its support for a new piece of music theatre, awarding £12.8 million for the development of “HS2 – The Musical”. This commitment showcases the Council’s policy of funding the Arts in joining and levelling up the country, reflecting and capturing the ambitions of the Government’s flagship HS2 project.
It all started with a wooden crocodile, as is so often the case.
While the Tory party seems to be fixated on finding a Prime Minister with a longer-dated “Best Before” label than Liz Truss, both they and the Labour party appear to have missed a more important point, which is that there’s never been a better time to effect electoral reform for the UK, but neither Party seems to have noticed, being too obsessed with the cult of premiership.
Recent events have shown that the current two party system is even more broken than Liz Truss’ economic vision, and whoever wins the current Prime Ministerial beauty parade is in for a stormy ride, but nobody seems to ask why it’s all going wrong, and what can be done about it.
Last October, Hackney Council in London suffered a major cyber-attack, which took many of its customer-facing services offline. Three months on, many of those are still not available. The council has been coy about exactly what happened, but has just released a statement telling Hackney residents that some of the data which was stolen in the data breach has now been released by the hackers.
Noel Coward, the English playwright and actor, described the motivation behind writing his most famous song as: “Some years ago when I was returning from the Far East on a very large ship, I was pursued around the decks every day by a very large lady. She showed me some photographs of her daughter – a repellent-looking girl, and seemed convinced that she was destined for a great stage career. Finally, in sheer self-preservation, I locked myself in my cabin and wrote this song – “Don’t Put Your Daughter On The Stage, Mrs. Worthington”.
I know how he felt. As I spend more and more time in meetups, startup conferences, incubators, co-working spaces and accelerators, it feels that our industry has adopted the same rose-tinted spectacles in the belief that every Tom, Dick and Harriet can be trained to be an entrepreneur. Hence the following update:
Don’t let your Children do a Startup, Mrs Worthington.
One of the first decisions Theresa May made on becoming Prime Minister after the Brexit referendum was to approve the manufacture of four replacement submarines for our Trident nuclear weapons system. She argued that it would be an “act of gross irresponsibility” for the UK to abandon the continuous-at-sea weapons system, continuing the logic that a submarine which cannot be traced is an invisible force for retribution which would deter an aggressor.
I’ll pass on the issue of whether or not we should have nuclear weapons. That’s a different and important point to argue. What I’d like to highlight here is that whilst the concept that a nuclear submarine was undetectable may have been valid in the 1960s, it’s no longer the case. The countries that signed up to the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction now have the technology to know exactly where each other’s submarines are. So what is Trident meant to be protecting us from?