I have a lot of “World Music” in my collection and fully intend, over the weeks and months ahead, to post some on Furious Music. However, in these early days of the blog, I have latched on to subjects that lend themselves more to western music. Today is no exception.
One of my pleasures is to settle down of an evening and bury myself in a newspaper. Like all newspaper junkies, I have columnists that I always read. In recent times, I have avidly read Simon Caulkin’s Management column in the Observer. In this week’s column “It’s got so horrible that we ought to be revolting” he rails against the “rewriting of the management project that now leaves many companies with a vacuum at their centre”. And to illustrate his point, he highlights the demise of the British pub.
“Perhaps the most poignant emblem of this dereliction is the British pub. The pub is the archetypal small business – the simplest, most rooted organisation there is. Pubs have thrived for centuries. But they are now closing at a rate of around 30 a week. Part of this is due to changing social habits. But it is also the case, not to put too fine a point on it, that pubs have been rogered frontwards, backwards and sideways by financial whizzkids who piled them with complex debt and left them desperately underinvested – at the same time extracting exorbitant fees for the privilege. The death of the local is a fitting monument to a bankrupt management model.”
Another columnist I generally read is Nils Pratley in the Saturday Guardian. This week he also wrote on the demise of the pub, brought about, in his view, by an “invasion of financial engineers”.
No matter how I tried, I couldn’t link any of this to a track by Orchestra Baobab or Thomas Mapfumo; so instead, here is Fairport Convention singing about the joys of living communally in a former pub, “The Angel” at Little Hadham, Hertfordshire.