An everyday story of leftwing folk

Thursday, 28 October 2010


A very oblique Policy Police influence this... Though I put snow in the current story because of Nana. I thought coldness was important for this story, chill winds and all that.

I've been reading the manga Nana since the Spring, then got a Region-free DVD of the anime series. I came to Nana by a roundabout route as I normally wouldn't have sought out Shojo (girls') manga. It's a story of the friendship between two young women, both called Nana, set against a background of sex and drugs and rock-and-roll.

I'm really fond of this manga cuz everybody's flawed in really human ways. It's something I try to bring into Policy Police, but this really shows how it should be done. The artist and writer of Nana, Ai Yazawa, was taken ill about a year ago and spent several months in hospital, so the manga has "paused" at quite a critical moment.

Anyway. Cuz I was in need of more Nana, I hacked my DVD player to make it Region-free, so I can watch Region 1 stuff now. So I got the first Nana (live action) movie and watched it last night. I was really impressed with the casting - I could watch these people and convince myself that they really were the 2 Nanas and the band, that the manga was drawn with them as models. Because the story had to be cut down for the movie, it focused more on Nana Osaki's back story than on Nana (Hachi) Komatsu's, so perhaps we understand Hachi's motivation a little less. But nice movie, so I'm Nana'd out for a bit and can delay getting the second movie for a while and keep fingers crossed for Yazawa sensei's recovery.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Policy Police: Pretty vacant, part 1.

This is the first of a two-parter. It's a bit of a diversion from what I was originally planning, but it's kinda topical so I thought I'd run with it.

Pretty vacant 1(NB: The comic-book version combines both parts in one. So this link and the one in part 2 both go to the same place)

Earlier in the summer, somebody reminded me of some work I did on the culture of our bit of the Organisation. That got me thinking about how culture might play out under stress in this parallel universe...

I wrote the bulk of what became this story while on a long weeekend with the family in a cottage in Wales. While they lay abed in the mornings, I'd be downstairs scribbling this lot.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Bonfire of the Quangos!

Well, not so much a bonfire as one of those fires that allotment gardeners make to try and burn the weeds they've just pulled up. Lots of smoke and not much heat. I've had a quick look at the long list of 900-ish NDPBs published by the British government, stating who is going/staying/merging/being-thought-about. The interesting thing for me was all the organisations that are not on the list. I wonder how many quango-yet-not-quango organisations there are? My gut tells me there's the same amount again of "sector organisations", lobby groups and the like who are wholly dependent on government finance, either directly or through some of the arms-length bodies on the list of 900. Be interesting to see what happens in these organisations when difficult money decisions have to be made. The PwC report today/yesterday said there'd be 500k private sector jobs (that depend on public sector work) going on top of a similar number of public sector.... There's a whole network of these things scratting around after tax money. I wonder how many people there are left who actualy do stuff...