Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kurt Masur and earnest Cuban festivals

Consternation yesterday as Boris Johnson announced he was seeking the Conservative party nomination for London mayor. Conservative MP Johnson (left) has some interesting political views, as you can read here. These include accusing Labour of "waging a middle-class war against "the bottom 20% of society - the group that supplies us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars, the drug addicts and the 70,000 people who are lost in our prisons ..."

Many wonder how Conservative leader David Cameron can support such a candidate, but award-winning Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee explains all - "Johnson's best asset is the devoted support of London's only proper newspaper. The Evening Standard - same stable as the Daily Mail - detests Livingstone: no surprise they gave Johnson front-page and leader-column coverage, with an article by himself (all about himself, not much policy) and lavish praise from the rightwing columnist Andrew Gilligan: 'Boris has come to save our great city from Ken's ghastly empire of bureaucrats, bendy buses and earnest Cuban festivals.'"

Norman Lebrecht is assistant editor and columnist of the Evening Standard. Last night BBC Radio 3 started a new series called The Lebrecht Interview. It was good to see that Norman's first subject was Kurt Masur, who not coincidentally is conducting a BBC Prom tomorrow. In his position as director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra Masur was a central figure in Wende, the peaceful revolution that started in Leipzig, toppled the Communist dictatorship, and opened the door to German re-unification in 1990 . That revolution was started by the bottom 20% of East German society, many of who were lost in prison.

Read more on that 1989 revolution in Leipzig here.
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1 comment:

Pliable said...

The links between Cuba and East Germany are well worth exploring.