AL Kennedy on the government

I love AL Kennedy. I do. When I read her books I can taste the words like something smooth and filling in my mouth – a bit like peanut butter, perhaps. She is funny and she worms down to the very darkest heart of people and how they work. I love her so much that I am actually putting off reading the parts of her backlist I haven’t already read, because I know that if I do, one day I will reach a point where I’ve read everything she’s written and I will be bereft, waiting for the next publishing date.

Serious. Author. Crush.

And I love it when she writes columns for the Guardian / Observer. She’s not a news commentator, she’s not meant to be. I just love the way she puts things. You can read the full article here, about the proposal to establish a national happiness index, but some sections are so beautifully written and convey a thousand of my thoughts in a couple of sentences, I wanted to lift them.

I thought back to the last period of Tory rule and the charm and alacrity with which public utilities and services, which is to say utilities and services which I owned, were sold without my permission and then allowed to fail while becoming exponentially more expensive when I repurchased.

I remembered that our nation’s healthcare, its intellectual future, its ability to communicate effectively and to travel easily and its major material resources had been given to the nation’s people in part as a measure of prudent self-defence and in part because nothing else would have been even remotely adequate as an appreciation of their efforts in the second world war.

And it does seem slightly – I don’t want to complain – but just the tiniest bit utterly wasteful and mind-bendingly stupid to cobble together a government the majority of UK citizens didn’t vote for, to abandon manifesto promises, to dismantle shelter for the poorest and weakest and to generally act like an occupying force and then to turn around and make us pay for surveys that will ask if everyone’s having a good time.

Question 2:
What made you happiest recently?

a) learning that Labour MPs were steadfastly supporting disgraced Phil Woolas and the general principle that lying is as essential a part of an MP’s repertoire as, say, larceny, or random shagging;

b) learning that Ann Widdecombe can’t dance;

c) learning that England’s trees are history.

Try not to cry while answering – smudging may invalidate your information.


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