Monday, April 22, 2013

Gunfire in Green Park and #103 Civil Society

Happy Birthday your Majesty
Somewhat alarmed to hear loud 'explosions' as I surfaced at Green Park station adjacent to Mrs. T's Ritz hotel as I was slightly early for my lunch appointment decided to check out the source of the noise. The guns being fired were a part of a military scene but at 'these times' such noises can be misinterpreted and I am sure I was not alone in feeling some alarm (seems the reason was that
Queen's birthday fell on a Sunday so 41 gun salute delayed until today).

Having had my fears allayed on to Oxford and Cambridge club where Nick kindly bought me lunch, learnt that Portrait of Clem Atlee was moved (after intervention of a Tory MP)from being near to the toilets to a more prominent and tasteful place above the bar.

Also learnt to my surprise that both Jeremy Thorpe (former liberal party leader who was involved in one hell of a political scandal) and Cliff Michelmore (former 2-way family favourites presenter who has had la life without scandal ) are both still with us, Jeremy being 83 and Cliff  93.

And Big Idea 103 is Civil Society

Civil Society is those bodies that form part of the state but are independent of government, this includes Sports Clubs, Church and voluntary organisations. Civil society does not flourish in totalitarian states and there in an on-going  debate around where government should impinge on 'Civil Society'.
Civil society implies free association and there are signs of its emergence in China.

Here's all you need to get you started (from youtube)