Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-09-15 - 2:16 p.m.

I can’t quite get over how much fun it was improvising in public on Saturday – partly because it was in a band of people I have know for 30 years – and partly because it was mildly inappropriate in the heart of the English establishment. Plus it was the focus of everyone’s attention whereas such music is normally ignored.

I have started to wonder about whether to develop some compositions I did 8 years ago or so – this is partly the result of listening to Ravel’s Tombeau , discovering that the tombeau was partly for de Marliave who wrote on Beethoven’s 4tets - one composition is derived from the minuet in the tombeau. I happen to think that de Marliave was mostly wrong and that Ravel may have been right. Some call Ravel an objectivist and indeed this idea surfaced in one of Vita’s A level papers. Everyone said what a crap question it was – I violently disagreed and stayed quiet.

Britten’s Fantasy 4tet was on last night which I had never heard before – I really liked it and indeed on first hearing it seemed to be rather like this objective Ravel. They also played one of Mozart’s last 4tets – the one which isnt in a set – which sounded great. I have been talking to Robin about why Moz seems to grab us by the ears these days and once you ‘get’ that angle of attack most of his last works sound better and better.

I have reached the idea that there is a structural issue around political mechanism. The cash for peerages issue isnt a random deviation but it is a symptom of a general problem – politicians across the western world routinely finance their parties dubiously. They do this to get the funds needed to win elections – not least to pay for advertising. When they are not paying for advertising they are doing communications strategy and this is equally peverse in its outcomes.

Its possible that the whole neo-con/fundamentalist syndrome is just a peverse bit of communications strategy – back a set of ideas which have a constituency with a key footprint across the voting units. The communications strategy and the corruption disengage the public and that makes the funding problem even greater.

I think Clare Short may have reached some such conclusion and although I often don’t especially like her I applaud her latest stance – it is a time for a radical reconfiguration of political mechanics and the system is too important to be left to the political classes who are clearly inept. When they foul up they invite us to consider the purity of their intentions. Ted Honerich gave this argument the kicking it deserves the other weekend in the Guardian Review. And having written this I got into work to find that Larry was on the same tack.

The history of the 20th century is littered with examples of political leaders not understanding the mechanisms they are trying to control and we might as well try to do better this century – they need a lot of help in developing their intentions more effectively. Electorates are heartily sick of this state of affairs.

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