being away from home brings news closer to you. Zadie Smith mentions this in a recent NYRB article – no time to link – in which she talks about the absence of the daily rhythms of life that take the edge off the endless flow of bad news coming out of the press. This absence renders the depressing quality of news such as this week’s cabinet reshuffle all the more grating. (Yet) More privilege in the cabinet, fewer women by proportion, promotions for Murdoch’s sychophants and honours for failing ministers. Without the numbing humdrum of daily struggles, these aspects of British political life cut deeper. But will hopefully revive this blog. Scant consolation!