why we get the wrong politicians, Isabel Hardman

isbn: 9781782399735 is a book with a author with a humorous name.  Isabell being a muppet means guilt by association.

As part of the Westminster bubble this is not an honest expose like Orwell did indicating who he thought what parliament members where russia friendly in the 1940’s.

It is sympathetic to would be politicians and tolerant to parties who do not offer much support so any criticism is muted from the author after all access to these people is a journalists goal, not holding these people to account. .  Most of the hard research does not come from her.

Centralisation is a problem for political parties for instance do you vote for may, (my blog) or the person standing locally who the author never covers in the mainstream media (my blog).  I do not like May, but Corbyn  is also a marmite (my blog) like figure.   This is where the media is flawed.

Snap elections also do not help her feelings come in the way as no politician is deemed a bad one, and no woman is a bad mp although  May’s  ‘(my blog) micro managing will be deemed bad that seemed a very hard admission from an author that a woman does not trust anybody.

It is hard to like this book or the people neutered impotent by power who still vote in idiotic law (my blog).

1/5 bananas.


never mind,edward st aubyn

edward st aubyn (my blog) is an author i have read before and this is a now made for tv thing that i have not seen and have no intention of, eventually i was able to per-lion a copy via a library (my blog) but the stock selection was non existent.

isbn: 978144477202936 is a short book of two hundred pages.   Being the first book in a series it is unrevealing.

If you like country house dramas then i guess there is something here, 1/5 bananas.

More on this topic soon.

Municipal dreams, John Boughton

isbn: 9781784787394 deals with the yo yo change in policy on council (social) housing and the lack of building regulations that apply to local government (my blog) ,  Mind you if they think flat roofs are a good idea (my blog) for the english climate it could be argued that no local government should never be allowed to build anything.

Anyhow with that tower block going up in flames* (my  blog)and the change in perception mean this area needs a light shone on it.

The usual suspects include the salvation army, this bloke (my blog) and the health engineers who put the sewers in.  politics mires this admirable idea with short termism and the labour party (my blog) is accused by turning this scheme into a workhouse rather than social engineering and aspirational it was once thought it was in fact gentrification is a word used which does not mean what means now.

The idea that all council houses are the same is roundly mocked as the first built units are better than the last as the money ran out.  Modern housing changed from ideal to something deemed a military goal after all healthy cannon fodder (my blog) is needed.

After the second world war when both money and building material where in short supply naturally any restoration in quantity of housig could not be met by any government so larger schemes with large builders took over taking bribes as well while housing was built its legacy has not lasted if you read some of the links i provided.

As to whether maintenance was lacking or poor initial building by the contractors no one in local government checked on  the politics once again interferes for if you move labour party supporters en mass outside a voting area then what benefit does the  social housing  have for politicians ?  Housing thus became a football.  Short termism thinking began.

As industries moved (my blog( [or became uneconomic] housing began to be in the wrong places something both conservative and labour parties failed to notice.

1977 seems to mark the end of 177 years of ‘council’ housing when the labour party made it female friendly and begins the trend of the single mother on benefits. preference (my blog you get the idea man deserts)   Although some successes there is a lot of failure and the rise of housing associations non local governmental  organisations yes but unable to get away with burning tower blocks and poor buildings which fail all including as an advertisement for builders.

That takes us to 1979 when the wheels fell off the train and the labour bias of the author show though.   He can be highly negative of anything that shows councils as anything but paragons of good, for instance no mention is ever made that lambeth in london  had a rent deficit for several million pounds for social housing, which meant some tenants had rotting and falling apart kitchen units (as seen on tv news) despite paying there rent it was not fixed

While criticism is accepted it seems one side gets more of it than others.   Another thing he forgets is that with the cladding that set fire is also on privately owned buildings as well but i suppose the confutation that only it used on public housing makes it a gas chamber device** has a charge to it but if you lease a property in a private building that’s not a gas chamber.

The UK needs housing but what appears to have happened is the builders are still busy*** even when the economy was in recession but they do not work singularly for the public sector any more.

What the author also forgets is that in the 1940’s the price of property fell and the council tenants where materially richer owning cars and disposable items where mortgage holders did not and had to build better houses and flats due to building regulations

So when people talking of housing shortages it seems that council housing got all the attention during the after war years of austerity.   This means governemt both red and blue can be blamed for not building.

Immigration also does not help is another problem unseen by the author.

So there are faults and this is not an unbiased report- read the links for context 3/5 bananas.

*not the first ** flats with cladding are very hard to sell *** Auf_Wiedersehen_Pet (not here)

arm ofthe spinx,Josiah Bancroft

it flys

isbn: 97803565108345 is the second book which started here (my blog) so whatever you do do not start here.

As this fantasy its not up its own arse (my blog)  but suffers from bonus levels to get it to book 3 (a wait of five months?) .   Generally i was aware of who was who being it was fairly fresh in my memory.

Inventive with its mixture of airships, nation states , and legend it has some charm and if you are not snobby that it was not was not written by a black transgendered eskimo  then it might be something worth a read.

If the author extends this for too long then it could develop issues but provided it remains fun and wraps up it plot started in book one then its an entertaining 400 pages.

2/5 bananas.

It is perhaps telling that even publishing seems to be tiring of three book sequels published over many years.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams part 2

Is a television series based on five volumes of short stories which i have read – of those nanny, autofac, foster your dead (my blog) and oh to be bobel are well worth reading.  As with all short stories there are the good, and the bad so it is kind of odd television has taken so long to discover these since they where written from the 1950’s onward.

s/f was short stories until it became popular and Dick is one of the best – if for expressing ideas concisely

Some of these have a good production team and it will be interesting to see if they can impress the value of the words to the screen.

First part was the hood maker, Impossible planet, Commuter,Crazy diamond,Just like real life,Human (my blog)

I was only able to see part 2 with the signing for the deaf on television and the winter Olympics* put it on hold so this viewing (recorded) was sub par as an experience it was bit like the psychptic deaf signer at the nelson mandela funeral who signed death to apes and non crazy people.

In the second part there is the father thing which left me underwhelmed and autofac which kind of bored me and had too many actors in both where fast forwarded and failed to make an impression.

Safe and Sound [foster your dead] was alas for the facebook generation, and not one i know with a cold war theme.  I hated its ending. While more modern and consistent its terror was lost or perhaps since i know about spying seemed unoriginal

I suppose i like the short stories better in text form.

Another was the hanging stranger or kill all others, an underwhelming  story in text and paranoia wise Dick does better but it looked  very un-futuristic.

Not doing very well here.

*I was lazy in posting this

Horrorstor, Grady Hendrix

isbn:9781594745263 is an iikea sized catalogue (my blog) like book with likewise product names set in the  horror genre.

Part diatribe of retail and the people types who work in the ikea shops and copies of say  chas olsoen of this world (horror?) the main horror comes from what was previously on the site.  Here the Horror aspect fails with barely sketched out scares and part of the showroom being used as torture kit.

Felt more film-ish than book, the graphic design is more illuminating.   In the end a noble attempt where some aspects work better than others.

2/5 bananas.

killing commendatore, Haruki Murakami


isbn: 9781787300194 is the latest from Harukii Murakami (my blog) an author i read a lot of in fiction and non fiction (my blog).

Anyhow it begins with portrait art with a mystic element, a family and a voyeur and a painter who’s past is re-examined when a painting character comes to life.

Should you be a book snob and only read novels by women then you will not touch this but i like this mix of stuff.  If you only think booker prize winners (my blog) are good from american  winners then do not read this.

It comes full circle after this (my blog) and concludes most elements.

5/5 bananas