May 8th, 2015


As The Shockwave Passes

We got it wrong. We were so sure there'd be a coalition or minority government- and the Tories won a majority. We thought the two party system was finished- and it clearly isn't.

A lot of big names have gone. Ed Balls, Vince Cable, Danny Alexander. And three party leaders have stepped down. Boris Johnson is back in the Commons but in circumstances he can't be happy with. If Cameron had failed Johnson would have looked to take over, but Cameron's position- as winner of an unlikely victory- makes him unassailable for the forseeable future.

Ed Miliband will come to be seen as an interim leader- someone who held the fort between Blair and whoever it is that eventually takes Labour back into contention. The Tories had three interim leaders between Major and Cameron- Hague, IDS and Howard. I had to think hard to recall Howard's name- but that's how it goes with place holders. I imagine Miliband will fade from memory too. He was, I'm sorry to say, a very big mistake. Name any quality that a leader needs and Miliband lacked it.

Butser Ancient Farm

Ailz said she thought square buildings must have developed from round buildings but the man who was remaking the chalk floor in one of the houses said, no,  it was the other way. First we built square but then- having chopped down all the older trees- we had to start using immature ones- and you can only build strong with flimsy materials if you build in the round. Apparently Britain is the only part of Europe to develop round houses. Elsewhere the forests were bigger and they didn't run out of trees.

I'd seen round houses on TV but there's nothing like going inside one and walking around and taking a seat by the central fire. Round houses are welcoming.  They're cosy. It felt like coming home.

Tell you one thing, everybody in the iron age must have stunk of woodsmoke.

Iron age round houses

Neolithic long house

Prehistoric pig