I have a confession; I have a dirty little secret. OK make that two if you include my Sapphic tinged admiration of Madam Lagarde. I was tickled at the weekend when in an interview in the Guardian she pretty much chastised Mr Cameron whilst having a pop at the tax avoiding Greek populous. Mm harsh but true (at least in part) and balanced with the ever-present image of African children deprived of education. President Joyce Banda take note the IMF may yet come to Malawi’s aid; on the back of European donors now she’s addressing the legal treatment of lesbians and gay men. On that note I read somewhere – probably the Guardian dutifully delivered to my kindle (when the subscription doesn’t mysteriously lapse for reasons currently eluding me) – that the legal treatment of homosexuality in the former British Colonies (including large swathes of Africa) is a legacy of colonial rule. The current legislative framework at the time of the British Empire was simply imported into the colonised countries. Now that is a dirty little secret in my humble opinion.
And then when an article in the Finance pages of the Guardian (accompanied by an illustrative cartoon by Steve Bell) revealed that Madam Lagarde, along with all UN employees, does not pay tax. The position codified in the governing documents establishing the IMF donkey’s years ago. Oh Christine Christine my graceful steel centred siren how could you make me question your integrity! In her defence it’s in her contract and she’s is getting special treatment but nevertheless I do wish it was not so…I had almost forgiven your comment (in the Guardian) that the Chancellor George Osbourne had promised you tickets to the Olympic Synchronised Swimming event! However given that you were a proficient synchronised swimmer in your youth one assumes you are simply supporting your sport!
Back to my little secret. Last week it was my birthday and my wonderful friends showered me with beautiful flowers; the perfect choice for a teetotal spinster with marginal BMI issues. However my curiosity was pricked when I came upon an article about how professional women in the Indian Sub Continent have taken to tooling up; ok ladies a special accessory is becoming de rigeur. Personal protection in a country where the police can’t be relied upon to well protect its citizens. A small discrete hand gun is slipped into a handbag or briefcase along with the car keys. I have always secretly hankered after such an item drawn to the feeling of power it would engender assuming you can use it of course. In days gone by I have been clay pigeon shooting; well to be honest I attempted handling a double barrelled shotgun and nearly broke my shoulder unprepared as I was for the kick back. The bruising was deep and long lasting; I blame this folly for cutting short my career as an orchestral double bass player! That and never really committing the time to the demands of the North East Derbyshire Youth Orchestra where I was in demand on Saturday mornings during break time as I looked old enough to buy cigarettes; ironic that tis I who am a dedicated smoker these days.
These days a gun in my hand would indeed be a lethal weapon given my inability to hold anything steady! I have considered turning my hand to Pollock style painting as all I’d have to do is dip the brush in and waft it towards the canvas; perfection every time.. The current episode has siphoned the power out of both legs; the batteries won’t charge and the performance less than top notch. Irritating but nothing to the pain experience by the Belarus Free Theatre whose performance I will see this evening. The reports are good with one person saying they’d seen it in Edinburgh last year and it was perfection; he couldn’t bear to see it again! The other from colleagues who saw it in Edinburgh last year and felt duty bound to go and see the show again given the risk’s the performers have taken making work that criticises the political administration back home.