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Amid the cooled air of a vault at the National Archive I trace my finger across Maggie Thatcher’s handwriting, in the margin of a typewritten note marked Secret. She’s scribbled: “13 RoRo, 1,000 tons a day, 50 lorries a day…”
If you think destroying some of Britain’s most cohesive communities was a great achievement, then these jottings are a token of genius. They reveal Mrs Thatcher engaged in battle micromanagement worthy of a Monty or Wellington.
The documents show the Conservative government was, in the middle of the miners’ strike, facing defeat.
2013 in 10 JPGS. I got a tattoo, left the BBC, reported from Greece, Morocco, Istanbul. Judged a Northern Soul dance competition, travelled to the Sulu Sea to see turtles released (one nearly did not make it). Covered the student protests in London and the arrest of Golden Dawn in Athens. To all who made it happen and all my brilliant friends - thank you.
“ Despite the horse race elections, manifestos, and movements, the truth is most of the time for most people, political systems don’t mean much. For all activists and politicians see excitement and power in their bloodsports, most people, and probably the healthier sorts, prefer to get on with their lives regardless of who’s in charge. They spend their time with family and meeting friends for coffee and trying to understand what makes a good life. And it is these people, not the power players, who keep us fed and warm in winter and give us the soft curve of a ceramic cup in hand, who make the memory and fabric of a place. It is details and human labor that give the name of home to the cities and towns that earn that name inside of people. Society is mostly built away from power, by the politically distant and ideologically vague.