Good piece by Margaret Atwood about… what everything’s about, these days.

Any child growing up in Canada in the 1940s, at a time before there were vaccines for a horde of deadly diseases, was familiar with quarantine signs. They were yellow and they appeared on the front doors of houses. They said things such as DIPHTHERIA and SCARLET FEVER and WHOOPING COUGH. Milkmen – there were still milkmen in those years, sometimes with horse-drawn wagons – and bread men, ditto, and even icemen, and certainly postmen (and yes, they were all men), had to leave things on the front doorsteps. We kids would stand outside in the snow – for me, it was always winter in cities, as the rest of the time my family was up in the woods – gazing at the mysterious signs and wondering what gruesome things were going on inside the houses. Children were especially susceptible to these diseases, especially diptheria – I had four little cousins who died of it – so once in a while a classmate would disappear, sometimes to return, sometimes not.

In General Election 2019: the news media failed profoundly β€” but not in the way you think, Adam Tinworth buries the “lede.” Probably deliberately, as the whole piece is worth reading.

The key point is that the Reuters research showed that people spent only 16 minutes a week on average reading news during the election.

That’s a ludicrously low figure.

Also odd is that the Shortcut that I used to create this post pulled this text out as the title: “The Media & the 2019 General Election: trusted, but little consumed.” Which would be better in terms of not burying anything, but I can’t see where it came from. The <title> tag, I’d have to guess, but you don’t really see those on a phone. And not that much on a computer, once you’ve got more than a couple of browser tabs open.

The End of the Dream. The Start of the Resistance

Ian Dunt, writing at politics.co.uk:

What is happening is a tragedy. A betrayal of Britain’s role in the world. A betrayal of the Europeans who came and made this their home. A betrayal of the idea that this is a calm, sensible country, that thinks in practical and pragmatic terms about what it is doing, that deals in small ideas instead of grand ideologies.

The end of the dream. The start of the resistance.

Worth reading the whole thing.

Irony Failure Among Elite Headteachers

Private schools criticise plans to get more poor students into university“. Of course they do.

Sally Weale writes in The Guardian:

Leading private schools have challenged plans to widen access to the most selective universities in England, warning they could lead to discrimination against young people β€œon the basis of the class they were born into”.

Which doesn’t happen at the moment. Not at all.

Jolyon Maugham QC and the Good Law Project are petitioning Johnson to ask the EU to allow us to have associate EU citizenship, as part of the exit negotiations. I can’t imagine it’ll do much good, but there’s no harm in signing.

On one level I think they’re trolling Johnson: suggesting that he might want to — or suggesting that there’s any chance he would — appear statesmanlike.

The Compulsive Pursuit of a Product That Does Us Only Harm

Rafel Behr analyses our national condition:

It looks like British social awkwardness elevated to the scale of a constitutional meltdown. It is the stiff upper lip chewing itself to pieces rather than name the cause of our suffering: not the deal, not the backstop, not the timetable, not Brussels, but Brexit. The poison in our system is Brexit. We need a path to recovery, not May’s frantic hunt for a stronger, purer dose.

At The Guardian

β€œWhy’s it taking so long? We should just leave!” | The Reinvigorated Programmer

Good analogy:

Suppose your family lives in a flat that’s rented from a housing association. And you have come to feel (rightly or wrongly) that it’s not a very nice flat, and that the association interferes too much. So you discuss it as a family, and you think about all the lovely houses out there that you could live in, and eventually you decide to leave. So far, so good.