Not much to report from the NC column, now putting him on a page with Tristram Hunt’s 200 words of “comparisons between today and history” (to the tune of the Postman Pat theme tune everyone: ‘Tristram Hunt, Tristram Hunt, Tristram Hunt is an ignorant …’).
The main bit is quite good; a few cutting remarks about the fact that firemen appearing at 7/7 memorial services have been told to shut up about the fact that their stations are being closed down. Nick is showing a few signs of paranoia and repeating material from the Sunday Obs column about how lucky we were, pubic services etc, but it has a decent local slant and in any case the Sunday Observer column was pretty good.
The filler items are typically dire though; guvnor, those bloody great literary novels, mate, they’re a bit boring to read. I prefer John Grisham meself, or the Da Vinci wotsit. Cohen also actually lifts a joke from the Daily Mail (apparently the Mail once phoned up Booker judges who’d praised Midnight’s Children to ask them what happens at the end, which is a really clever idea, but reminiscing about it in the Standard years later isn’t).
And then he starts giving David Mamet advice on how to write plays. Apparently, the “reinvigorated” world of political theatre is crap because it’s dodging the important questions like “the moral ambiguity of their demand that a fascist dictator be left in power”. Nick has temporarily forgot that his small band of Decent Leftists consist of him, Aaro, two men and a dog. And one of the men and the dog only write pseudonymously on a weblog. Nope, Nick, if you want Decentism to be recognised as a cultural force as well as a political one, you’re gonna have to write the plays yourself. Come on, we know you’ve got a play in you. If you’re stuck for a title, how about A Few Decent Men? The Good, The Bad and the Decent? All’s Well That Ends With An Election In The Non-Sunni Provinces?
Further suggestions invited.