Champagne with Cassis on the Lawn . . .

Natalia and Gill visited late this afternoon. We drank champagne with Cassis on the lawn in front of the water. Sun-setting, warm evening air, mosquitoes. It was all right.

I added a new plugin to the blog – but got slightly miffed by some of the author’s political ideas which also appeared on his website. His plugin is great – he writes code extremely well. He writes politically like someone whose life experiences are largely cerebral (OK unless you are talking about people’s lives). Like his ideas on affirmative action.

He reminds me of that old ‘Letter from America’ geezer whose ramblings would invariably annoy me on Radio 4 before he (thankfully) kicked the bucket a few years back. I remember Alastair Cooke described himself as a gradualist. He didn’t think for example that people should demonstrate to make others aware of their problems, no matter how unjustly society treated them.

He found the Civil Rights Movement somewhat irksome, and believed people should wait for generations to allow things to improve on their own. It is true that in the kitchen it can be appropriate to slow-cook, but sometimes the recipe demands you plunge things into boiling hot oil.

I imagine our Letter from America scribbler would enjoy countless champagne parties on well manicured lawns whilst the rest of us peered through the fence, content that people we ‘d never know but who would share small amounts of our DNA, may sit on similar lawns, and taste the sweet bubbly concoction some time hence.

My point being that had Alastair Cooke himself been excluded, would he have argued so vehemently against the Civil Rights movement? Why did we entertain this partial thinker for so many years.

Alastair Cooke described himself as a gradualist.

Nick Clarke – Cooke’s Biographer on Alastair Cooke and his feelings towards the Civil Rights Movement

He liked Jazz and Afro-American culture, but he regarded the civil rights struggle as an unwise rush which would cause unrest, as black society sought to make up centuries of lost ground all at once. He was a gradualist. He did not accept the tenet that as a matter of natural justice America had to do what it did regarding civil rights as quickly as it did.