June 05, 2003

Lyrical Sleight of Hand

I was listening to Paul Simon this morning and it finally struck me that even though he says there are fifty ways to leave your lover, he only supports his thesis with three. Iím sure your initial reaction is that Iíve miscounted and that there are five mentioned. But think about it. He encourages Jack to get out the back, Gus to hop on the bus, and Lee to drop off the key.

Stan making a new plan isnít actually an act of leaving a lover, though the plan could involve one of the three or perhaps one of the forty-seven which remain unknown. Encouraging Roy not to be coy is less of a move toward leaving a lover than even Stanís new plan. In fact, the suggesting that Roy need not be coy appears to be an encouragement by the speaker to listen to the various lover-leaving ways being proposed.

Thus we are left we just three ways to leave a lover. Not that I am encouraging having lovers outside of marriage or leaving those lovers within the marital bond. However, for those with lovers outside of marriage, any of these three methods seems indicative of repentance. I canít speak for the other forty-seven, obviously.

Just One Way to Leave the Cabinet

In the best news Iíve heard in ages, Derry Irvine is to be shuffled out of the Cabinet. Lord Irvine of Lairg has been Lord Chancellor since Labour came to power in 1997. Some of you will remember him as the subject of one of my Meanderings comparing his moral character to that of US Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Lord Irvine got the top job in the judicial system because he gave Tony Blair his first job as a barrister and introduced Tony to another up and coming barrister named Cherie Booth. But even Tony can only take so much of Derryís complete self-absorption and the student is ready to be loosed from his teacher.

Trading Cronies

The bad news is that the front runner to take over as either Lord Chancellor or head of a newly-created Ministry of Justice (since Labour has no qualms about washing away perfectly good institutions just because they are rooted in time immemorial) is Charlie Falconer, Tony old college flatmate. Lord Falconer was made a peer of the realm because Tony was determined to have him in a ministerial post. He would have stood for election to the House of Commons in a safe Labour seat, but the selection board refused to let him stand because he sends his children to private school.

Those on this side of the Pond will remember Charlie as the Millennium Dome minister, who over saw the pumping of additional hundreds of millions of pounds into the giant white elephant that the Government eventual had to give away. It seems Charlie has done a good job working with Home Secretary David Blunkett to rework the criminal justice system.

I donít know whether it Charlieís or Davidís idea to propose changes in the law so that cottaging (committing homosexual acts in public toilets) will be legal and sunbathing in your back garden behind a privacy fence will be illegal. This is the way that the criminal justice system is being reformed in this country.

Posted by david at June 5, 2003 08:32 PM