Top of the political Pops.

A pilot lands a plane on a river in New York and everyone says he’s a hero. Now Gordon Brown wants to land thousands of planes on fields West of London and nobody has a good thing to say about it…

  • Rory Carr

    I think that should be ‘West of London’, Kathleen. We don’t do fields in West London.

  • Kathleen

    Rory, I agree with you, but I put it in italics because its what the guy in the video says….

    But for you!!! Amended. 🙂

  • Rory Carr

    A woman taking my advice!! Never been heard of before. The end of the world is nigh!

    If this sort of thing continues the next thing you’ll know the politicians will start fulfilling all their promises – and then where we would we all be? In the the bloody soup, that’s where.

    Let’s keep things as they always were, that’s what I say. So that we all know precisely where we are – deep in shit, man.

  • I could be provoked to argue this one: I believe the decision to go for the third runway was inevitable, and (in the roundest terms) “right”. Almost anything else (the actress burnishing her green credentials before catching the next flight to LAX; Blasted Boris shifting position with the political wind; the curious on-the-hoof policy inventions of Theresa Villiars) seems opportunist and brainlessly populist. [Grammar check: hmmm … OK.]

    For the time being, though, I am gob-smacked by the sophistication of the New York Times reportage. I have seen the future of e-journalism, and it works. Go, admire, be inspired.

  • wild turkey

    ‘A pilot lands a plane on a river in New York and everyone says he’s a hero. Now Gordon Brown wants to land thousands of planes on fields West of London and nobody has a good thing to say about it… ‘

    uh, that could be because the pilot was competent, made the right decisions in real time and took ownership of his responsibilities. in contrast the prime mentalist claims all the credit when the economy is strutting down easy street but insists it is someone elses fault when the shit hits the fan.

    question. could you see Gordon Brown, or for that matter any politician; British, Irish or American, walking the entire length of a sinking plane TWICE to ensure that those in his care were safely off the plane?

    Malcolm, the NYT graphic is impressive but the capability has been around for awhile. I was able to track for my two kids a CD Rom with a graphically sophisticated version of Alice in Wonderland. It contains trajectories and plotlines displayed in a manner similar to the NYT article you cited. If you are interested go to Amazon USA and search for ‘Peace Process’.

    Terms and Conditions may apply

  • wild turkey on Jan 17, 2009 @ 09:10 AM:

    could you see Gordon Brown, or for that matter any politician; British, Irish or American, walking the entire length of a sinking plane TWICE to ensure that those in his care were safely off the plane?

    Well, I suppose that depends to which generation one belongs.

    Two generations back, most pols (the entire Free State leadership, on both subsequent sides; Churchill, Attlee, Macmillan, and many more, on the Western Front) had gone through a fairly hectic time. In the succeeding generation, Dennis Healey was beachmaster at Anzio, which must have been quite warm. Jim Callaghan was promoted from the ranks of the RNVR in the Far East campaign. Enoch Powell rose from the ranks to, eventually, being responsible for disrupting Rommel’s logistics. Willie Whitelaw was a tank commander against the Panzers in Normandy. Ted Heath, not normally one I find scope to applaud, was in Barcelona during the end-games of 1938, was an artillery officer in the 1944-5 campaign, and – famously – commanded a firing squad to execute a rapist and murderer. Roy Jenkins was another artilleryman, before joining Bletchley Park.

    Walking through an aircraft fuselage, knowing the ditch-switch has been activated? Yeah: they could have done that.

    As for:

    the NYT graphic is impressive but the capability has been around for awhile,

    agreed. But the erstwhile Gray Lady does it on the hoof, daily, and in colo(u)r. I know of no local site or newsbroker that regularly matches the expertise and clarity of the best US graphics.

    To come back “on topic”, though, the “miracle on the Hudson”, or the decision to build a runway, should not be mere grandstanding, a chance to make partisan pops with cheap childish insults. Surely, the “Gordon Brown is insane” meme ran its pathetic little course some time back?

  • wild turkey

    ‘Well, I suppose that depends to which generation one belongs. ‘

    About suffering they were never wrong;
    The Old Masters: how well they
    understood
    Its human position, how it takes place
    While someone else is eating or opening a
    window or just walking dully along

    W H Auden, Musee des Beaux Arts

    Malcolm,
    Re the points in your final para above, if I can figure out a way to contact you thru your blog (impressive) I will respond. Cheers

  • wild turkey @ 11:50 AM:
    If I had a fiver for each time I tried to get that Auden piece across to young, impressionable (and totally armour-plated) intellects, I’d be in the pub now. Probably somewhere warmer than Norf Lunnun. It’s too early, though, to be looking for refreshment:

    in one of the dives
    On Fifty-second Street
    Uncertain and afraid
    As the clever hopes expire
    Of a low dishonest decade.

    The bars there have long since been tarted up beyond my price range. Best bet could be McCoys, down on 9th Avenue, or House of Brews on 51st. Even in jaundiced NYC, clever hopes currently prevail, at least until disillusion sets in, about five nanoseconds after Tuesday’s Inaugural.

    Once I was enthused about Auden. Gradually, I became jaded. I was a minuscule part of the general eclipse he has suffered: Four Weddings and the aftermath of 9/11 being the exceptions, of course. Andrew Motion was complaining that his centenary wasn’t properly recognised. Peter Porter probably got it right:

    Porter believes his reputation is tarnished by the decision to go to the United States in 1939 with Christopher Isherwood, a close friend and sometime lover. Their flight drew criticism from Evelyn Waugh and others. “Wystan still suffers under the black cloud of having cleared off before the war. There was always this feeling that he buggered off to America and then off to Austria,” he said.

    Indeed. Least said …

    So, a (vaguely on-topic) roundelay, please, with Noël and (shudder) Robbie:

    Hurray! hurray! hurray!
    Suffering and dismay!
    There are bad times just around the corner;
    The horizon is gloomy as can be.
    There are black birds over
    The greyish cliffs of Dover
    And the rats are preparing to leave the BBC.
    We’re unhappy breed, and very bored indeed
    When reminded of something that Nelson said.
    While the press and the politicians nag, nag, nag,
    We’ll wait until we drop down dead.

  • Nomad

    Malcolm,

    “the erstwhile Gray Lady does it on the hoof, daily, and in colo(u)r. I know of no local site or newsbroker that regularly matches the expertise and clarity of the best US graphics.”

    Which makes it all the more tragic it could be bankrupt by May! That, though, should be left for another post. (As should the fact it’s bonds are now rated as junk and they gave all(?) staff a 12% pay rise this week)..

  • Nomad @ 11:04 PM:

    Something tells me you are closer to that bit of action than I am. Ummm …

    I thought the NYT had two issues:

    1. It was attempting to break out of the NY metropolis, and go national. I am a fairy, my name is Nuff: Fairy Nuff. It remains nationally out-gunned by the WSJ and US Today, which must mark the extremes of the market.

    This somehow got confused with the endemic decline in newspaper readership, so the Sulzbergers were accused of losing touch with their core TriState readership.

    It is seems true that, in its “home” market, the NYT faces a cost-differential of about a third above the norm. Explicate, please, if you can.

    2. Meanwhile, the on-line operation was making money. The last numbers I saw were $17M profit on $53M revenue (but that was 2004). Since then, the on-line NYT has gone non-subscription.

    So: here’s the dilemma.

    Ever sane journo knows the future is digital and on-line. Yet, for the time being, the money comes in from the dead-tree edition.

    So, where do we go from here?

    Yeah: that was way off-topic.

  • Meanwhile, back on topic, I hope y’all got Geoff Hoon’s remarkably cogent Saturday Interview in The Guardian.

    I’ll make the rash assumption that others have, or can read that piece for themselves.

    What came over to me, as a new thrust, was his argument about carbon-trading. In essence, it goes like this:

    The UK doesn’t expand its airport capacity, as is Opposition policy.
    The UK thereby has carbon surplus.
    This is bought by Schiphol and CDG.
    We inevitably export jobs (not just airport related).
    There is no net environmental gain.

    Works for me.

  • gram

    Economic growth leads to increased demand for airport services and not the other way round.

    The argument that increased airport capacity is essential for future competitiveness and jobs is simply a lie, but a very effective one in the current economic climate.