Crawled into work late today, thanks to staying in the office until 8.45 last night. Though I should admit that 45 minutes of that was usefully employed watching Saturday's Doctor Who - very satisfying. I'm glad Rory's dead, by the way. Acting requires more than the ability to look left, then right, quite quickly.
So, on to today's tasks. I'm about to see another final year dissertation student. I have no idea what she wants to write about, and fervently hope she does. Yesterday's wants to do a piece on Milton, CS Lewis and Pullman: familiar but should yield something decent. I've also acquired three MA dissertation supervisions. One is looking at classical music in popular culture, which could be very interesting. Another is writing about satirical versions of the interwar country house novel, which is exciting, and a third has just sent me a huge list of approaches to the later work of JG Ballard - so quite a variety.
Also on the agenda today - further research for my Welsh travel paper - the clock's ticking. More lecture-writing, and hopefully a swim. I'll also keep an eye on Ed Miliband's speech. I'll tell you a secret: I voted for Ed Miliband in the Labour leadership election. I wanted to vote for John McDonnell because he's a socialist, but he didn't get enough nominations to be on the ballot paper. I saw David Miliband as mini-Blair: he's got blood on his hands through his time in the Cabinet, and his subsequent life which involves him making principled speeches to political groups while taking fees from a range of repressive governments confirms me in my opinion that he's just another apparatchik of real-politik and neoliberal business as usual. Electable, perhaps, but what's the point of that if the result is continued injustice, political cowardice and intellectual limitation.
I don't see Ed Miliband as some kind of leftwing hero either, but I do think he's fundamentally decent, understands what the challenging issues are, and generally tends towards the right thing. I've met him too. He's a bit goofy but he's refreshingly uninterested in being slick. It's not caring about stuff like that which will make him immune to the ridicule. I'm actually looking forward to a geeky Prime Minister. Those who set themselves up as globe-trotting Maximum Leaders find themselves invading places just to maintain the image of decisiveness and masculinity. It might not suit the news agenda, but I'd quite like a PM who'll openly say that issues are complicated, need thought and might not lead to clear outcomes. Government's difficult and complex: distrust those who would reduce it to simple choices. If you haven't noticed, this is the Age of the Geek: Dawkins, Goldacre, Cox and Co.
No doubt Ed will tack with the wind from the Daily Mail and the pollsters when the time comes. He'll disappoint - of course. But I still think I voted the right way.