Professional politicians and amateur musicians

As Condoleezza Rice prepares us for possible US action against Iran it is disappointing to see so many people swallowing the spin about the US Secretary of State's musical activities.

History has proved that politics and music don't mix. British prime minister Edward Heath was one who tried, and Richard Ingrams summed up the results rather well:

Conductor unbecoming - Edward Heath was hugely proud of his musical abilities, an estimation not shared by all

Heath has had very kind obituaries and I would only quarrel with the Guardian's veteran music critic Edward Greenfield, who said that as far as his music was concerned, he was 'impervious to criticism'. In the musical world, Heath's cack-handed attempts to conduct an orchestra, a very difficult thing to do, were the subject of much mirth. When I made some disparaging remarks in this column on his musical abilities, he responded with a furious letter, listing all the orchestras he had conducted. It did not seem to occur to him that he might have conducted them very badly.

Image credit - Image owners - if you do not want your picture used in this article please contact me and it will be removed. Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to Music for Iran's nuclear programme?


Berend de Boer said…
Eh, did I miss your comment about the announced action of Iran against Israel?
Pliable said…
Berend, the first link in my piece is to the BBC News coverage of the Iran nuclear programme.

Hopefully this coverage is comprehensive and objective, and it contains these words:

Western nations suspect Iran of wanting to develop a nuclear weapon, but Tehran insists its plans are for a peaceful, civilian energy programme only

as well as many links to background on the Iran story.
Berend de Boer said…
The BBC and comprehensive and objective in one word? I suppose you're making a joke :-)

The BBC is the laughing stock of serious newswatchers.

Iran's president has publicly claimed he wants to nuke Israel and you're proposing we sit on the sidelines until we see the mushroom cloud over Jerusalem? We just wait and let another holocaust happen?

Just read this AP story:

Quote: "The president of Iran again lashed out at Israel on Friday and said it was "heading toward annihilation," just days after Tehran raised fears about its nuclear activities by saying it successfully enriched uranium for the first time."

My opinion is that everyone know blaming the US or Israel for their stance towards Israel will have the blood of the nuked citizens on their hands.

I just don't understand it. For dozens of years people have raged against the US for its nuclear program and as soon as a lunatic wants to have nukes as well, they're still raging against the US. Not a peep against Iran.

That's delusional. Blinded by hatred of the US.
Pliable said…
Point made Berend. But please can we now drop the Iran/Israel/US thread before this becomes a flame war?

Not many regular readers On An Overgrown Path would accuse me of being pro-BBC or anti-US.

Now - any advocates for Edward Heath's reading of Elgar's Cockaigne Overture?

Recent popular posts

Does it have integrity and relevance?

The Berlin Philharmonic's darkest hour

Why new audiences are deaf to classical music

Classical music has many Buddhist tendencies

The paradox of the Dalai Lama

Master musician who experienced the pain of genius

Vonnegut gets his Dresden facts wrong

Nada Brahma - Sound is God

In the shadow of Chopin

I am not from east or west