Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Is no news good news?

Having had a couple of things to attend to today, I haven't seen the News. Or read the News. Or heard it. Not in that formal sense, anyway. A friend texted to tell me that a favourite actor had died, but, that apart, I have no idea what has happened today. Has David Cameron decided that he doesn't like politics and given it all up to become a florist? Has there been a coup in Lichtenstein? Has David Miliband ruled himself out of being a judge on the next series of The X Factor? It's no good asking me.

It's like the old joke about the need not for Freedom of Information, but for Freedom from Information. And it strikes me that the world has today continued to spin on its axis without any input from me. I, a putative homme d'affaires, one who corresponds with important people and occasionally gets to visit impressive places (never mind name-dropping; place-dropping is just as bad - you know Larry Adler wanted to call his memoirs Namedrops Keep Falling On My Head?) - the news agenda carries on quite nicely without me, it seems. When Laurie Taylor was on the much-missed radio programme Stop The Week, he arrived to record it at Broadcasting House and brusquely announced himself to the commissionaire with the words: "Laurie Taylor. Stop the week", to which came the immortal response: "I can't, sir, it's only Wednesday." Was it De Gaulle who said to Churchill: "The graveyards are full of 'indispensible' men"? Simon Gray said that one should read The Death of Ivan Ilyich once a year, and he was right - either that or spend a day without the News.

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