Archive for July 6, 2016

Dizzy Atmosphere

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , on July 6, 2016 by telescoper

Whenever I’m in dire need of inspiration – which happens a lot these days – I usually turn to music. I found this not long ago and decided to share it here because it’s not just inspirational, but awe-inspiring. I don’t have any information about the date or location of this  recording of Dizzy Atmosphere – except that it’s obviously live, and that it features the composer Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet after a great solo by the great Charlie Parker on alto saxophone. Bird is absolutely on fire in this performance!  In case you’re interested this is yet another bebop standard that’s built on rhythm changes though it is in an unusual key (A♭) for such pieces. Anyway, never mind about that, just listen to Bird flying through this!


Chilcot Reactions

Posted in History, Politics with tags , , , on July 6, 2016 by telescoper

At long last, the Chilcot Report on the UK’s involvement in the 2003 Iraq War has now been published. It’s a mammoth document which can obtain in full here. Even the Executive Summary is 150 pages long.

I’m going to put my cards on the table straight away. I opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and have never wavered from that opposition. I would feel vindicated were I not so saddened by the agony the invasion unleashed.

I’m not going to pretend to have read the whole document, or even all of the Executive Summary, but all the reaction I’ve seen suggest that it is unequivocal in its condemnation of the (then) Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Here is an example:


I sincerely hope that Blair’s reputation will not recover, and indeed hope that some form of legal redress can be sought against him. Attention in this country is focussing on the 179 service personnel who lost their lives in Iraq either during, or as a direct result of, the invasion of Iraq. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that it was the Iraqi people who suffered most – over 150,000 are thought to have been killed, though such is the chaos of a country ruined by invasion and its aftermath that the true figure will never be known.

A few days ago we remembered the thousands who died on the Somme with the words “Lest we forget”. We shouldn’t forget Blair either…