Saturday, 28 April 2007

Two Bright Guys

This is why the blogosphere is ace.

Not Saussure responds to Matt M on the subject of Richard Dawkins. Intelligent people, with different views, cogently argued.

Why can't the non-blogosphere be more like this?

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Having Stuff is Stupid

Radio 5 have been making the point for the last few hours that robbery and mugging statistics are up because people will insist on carrying ipods and mobiles around with them. Clearly then, the possession of goods is wrong, and a temptation that others simply cannot resist. The solution is to pretend you have no goods, and then you won't be robbed. In a liberal democracy, as it supposedly approaches a peak of civilisation, with rights extended further to its citizens than ever before, the possession of goods constitutes an unavoidable temptation to other citizens. This argument, you will find if you listen to Radio 5 live often enough, only applies to robbery, which isn't very important, clearly, as the possession of property is no big deal in an open society; it does not apply to crimes against the person unless they happen to be in the "wrong area".

I am going to the pub after all.

Area Blogger Struggles for Inspiration

A local blogger today reported feeling "devoid" of inspiration, and so resorted to posting trivia based on misunderstandings or misprints, just to keep the sitemeter stats ticking over. The blogger,30, said "Despite the total and utter mess our country is in, the fact is I know nothing about economics or politics and live in fear of being tackled on a big subject by someone who knows what they are talking about. So I couldn't think of anything to post except a cheap joke at the expense of ceefax."
It is believed that the blogger, whose blog goes under a rubbish title,was keen to post something about Gordon Brown's pension raid but when asked about it he said "Look. The bottom line is, I don't know anything about anything, let alone the complexities of fiscal decision making. I'm more than happy just to read the Torygraph and tut occasionally instead."
His partner, who refused to give her age, said "I wish he'd stop all that bloody nonsense. He spends more time writing crap for a bunch of nerds than he does with me."
Another problem for the blogger is thought to be the need to sound original, as well as the need to sound furious. "The trouble with that is I just can't be bothered. I'm far beyond anger now and besides, other people are loads better at swearing than me," he said, to which his partner added:
"See how sad he is, he's even talking in html code now."

It is thought that the blogger might "go down the pub" instead of posting, or possibly "watch a bit of tv".


Spotted today on Ceefax's weather page:

There are no weather warnings in the UK today.

Phew! That's lucky. But it's also indicative of the mindset of our leaders and also of what we expect from the buggers that we need to be warned that there are no warnings.*

*yes i know that isn't what the ceefax people meant but why let it spoil a cheap gag?

Monday, 23 April 2007

April Showers

We have just had the first rain of the month, and the place has been heavy with damp and blossom today, almost late-summer in its lethargy and its eyelid drooping misty light. The leaves, particularly the on chestnut trees, are so newly-green they make you think of innocence,purity and guitar based rock, while oaks and beeches are still budding and the light just hangs around in the perfumed evening. It's been an odd month; with only one day's worth of rain so far it's been more like Eliot (April is the cruellest month) than Chaucer (Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote) and the ground is already hard and parched with the edge of lawns yellow or thinning. As I mentioned in a previous post, I like rain: it makes me think, it colours the limestone and it gives life. A day without rain is like a day without alcohol - devoid of luxuriance, deep shades of love, refreshment and release. For me, rain gives a different view to the world and emphasises fertility - the late spring after a few days of rain greening the valley is almost post-coital in its stretched out, loved up colour. Weeks, months without rain make me feel claustrophobic and lifeless. Rain keeps us moving - the famous British climate is a source of tremendous pleasure, as well as comfortable life. Let's have more rain, and less burning sun.

On the Day of Yeltsin's Death

St G's Day or not I can't help feeling a touch of sadness at the death of Boris Yeltsin. He may have been whatever he was, but the image of him climbing onto the tanks was iconic for can't-be-arsed 90s teenagers like myself and galvanised some, perhaps many, of us here in the UK to believe that the world was changing and could change. Of course, we've since turned back to cynicism (let's face it, I'd learned everything I would ever know by 14, more or less), but Boris Yeltsin was, to quite a few young democrats in Europe in the early 90s, the very image of humanistic change and the promise of far brighter dawns. With the Wall coming down...we thought the march of democracy was unstoppable. Oh, the folly of youth.

By the way, James has a wonderful guest post up at Ellee's about life in Russia.

St George And the De-Festering of England

Today is the saint's day, and, predictably, the BBC have done their usual - Peter Allen is reporting from Glasgow asking about the end of the Union and Thought for the Day managed to libel the entire country with bullshit about Little Englanders (funny how when the French talk about "une certain idee de la France" or boast about their great achievements,we lap it up as evidence of our failings) - with our rulers chipping into to smear the flag-wearers and to emphasise St George's multcultural origins (Jack Straw on CIF, via Mr E but if you think I'm linking direct to that tosser, who years ago said on the radio that England had oppressed Europe and so was bad, you can think again).


I'm currently listening to World in Motion by New Order and it reminds me of two things: one, how England throughout my life has been either washed up, failing, divided, and violent; or, it has been the subject of constant attacks by its own elites and rulers. No-one can take an innocent pleasure in England, it seems (except XTC, maybe), whereas even Germany has managed to resurrect a kind of unthreatening national pride. Perhaps it comes down to comprehensive defeat, and whether England needs that before it can rebuild its legitimacy (via the end of the union, maybe) - I don't know.
But the song, World in Motion provides exactly that sense of innocent pride, despite popularising the expression "Eng-er-land", partly through John Barnes's rap, and partly through the lovely samples: "a beauty scored by Bobby Charlton"; "we want goals" etc - even if it is hopelessly naive for New Order to tie football to love, especially in 1990.

I cannot control my birth and I owe more to Ireland than England in ancestry. But England is my home and as such, I love it; rotting cities and corrupt elites notwithstanding. Here are some reasons: Shakespeare/cricket/Chaucer/Joy Division/rain/rolling hills/XTC/Bath/rugby football/the glory of failure/irony/ale/Chipping Campden/George Orwell/Viz/Oxford/kitchen sink drama and soap operas/the light/the abundance of the colour green/the CofE.

There are others, and there are British things I love too: Doctor Who being the most obvious. I don't claim that England invented any of the things in the list, except Shakespeare maybe, but I do claim that they make it wonderful.

If the price of recreating England as a self-confident, meaningful modern state which takes joy in its own culture and welcomes people from everywhere, loves its people rather than regards them with a sort of tired disdain, and tells people who hate it to fuck off, is to lose the union, then that's just what we have to pay.

Friday, 20 April 2007

No Instruments Required

The greatest, most iconic piece of electronic music since 1945, which needs a radical re-appraisal by music critics: I don't know why it isn't routinely recognised as the pioneering work of genius that is surely is.

Alas I've only been able to find an extract of it online. Or rather, only the opening sequence.

Tin Drum

James has asked me to explain the moniker. I have already done so, in the dim and distant past, but it's worth repeating. I love the Japan album "Tin Drum" but that is not how I chose the title, indeed I struggle to see the connection between the album and my inspiration. My inspiration comes from the Gunter Grass novel "The Tin Drum" in which a boy stops growing at the age of 3 and spends the rest of his life -among other fairly ghastly things- banging a tin drum at all and sundry. My idea was that I would compare myself to a poisonous Danzig dwarf in the 1920s, spewing out shit and filth; or rather, I know that is how I was often seen in the real world, so it was an ideal handle for the blogosphere. I *also* know that the tin drummer is seen as a metaphor for Hitler, and I am - sigh - *not* a Nazi; just that I liked the idea of seeing myself as a little scrote banging a drum to the annoyance of everyone else.

By comparison, Japan's album is lightweight, though it is very good indeed. It is really about isolation and travel, in a far more sensitive way, than either my blog or the novel.

Just in case Tim Ireland (shudder) is reading, yes I do, generally, keep this handle for all comments and posts.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Democracy Will Stagger On Nonetheless

DK has been pounding away at this for a while: it seems that EU ministers have finally agreed an anti-holocaust denial & racism law to apply, as usual, across the entire EU-belonging continent. As usual, a law is made with no public agitation or demonstrable need across the union, with no mention in national election manifestos, and, as usual, the consequences will be increased self-censorship and increased state control, together with, almost certainly, increased prison sentences for writing or saying things - and I bet that the noble Lord Philips will lose his traditional sceptism of prison sentences as well. Once the law is rubber stamped by the EU parliament after ministers have given their agreement, the UK parliament, will, as usual, have no practical choice but to wave it through - and another long standing liberty, another hard won right is signed off to the absolutist technocrats who now give their moral simplicities to all of our laws ("You can either be for discrimination or against it"*), leaving common sense and debate to string themselves up from the nearest lamposts in despair.
I am _not_ going to add the rider that "of course I'm not racist" - my readers know that by now either way. But just wait until the first prosecutions are made, and then the next wave, when things we will be told won't come under the law (immigration, say), suddenly do, and we are told "of course it comes under this law - are you racist or something?"

UPDATE: 11am
*This was a saying used during the Catholic adoption saga by some government apparatchik or other. Clearly, according to Radio 5 Live's discussion this morning on "positive discrimination" in the police (wanted by the police, incidentally), the statement is untrue.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


Michael Vaughan, following yesterday's debacle, refuses to quit.

In other news: Pope stuns world by accepting doctrine of transubstantion;
and "Toilets? Cah!" says Bear in surprise move.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Ministry of the Bleedin' Obvious

Michael Vaughan says "it's easy to criticise...".

YES MICHAEL IT IS. No question. It is piss-easy to criticise, and for those of us who've given thousands of pounds to England cricket, we have every fucking right so to do.


Regular readers will know that I did not choose my moniker because of Japan,'s 1982 album Tin Drum, but I love it nonetheless, and Ian has challenged me to write a post about them because he hasn't heard of them.

Alright. Japan are basically New Romantics but they are not twats. They take, from 1979's Quiet Life album onwards, the meme of the old-but-young man which has always been a Romantic idea going back to Thomas Chatterton but which also surfaced in that chaotic period of the dying consensus between 1976-79. I've always found that fascinating, as a 20 year old who felt 70 ten years ago and who found, in the lyrics of David Sylvian a similar soul. Sylvian may have been self obsessed but I don't think any of Japan's lyrics are personal. He creates narrators and voices in his songs, which are inspired by films, novels and experience: these voices dance, walk and locate emotions in various places in order better to explain what he, Sylvian, thought about the process of living and growing up in a world divided by ideology and hidebound by the worst kind of history anyone could ever imagine. Japan embraced the New Romantic style in order to give a non-stereotyped but bending idea of gender, and synths to give a broken up, digital version of rhythm which went way beyond disco into something that tried to resurrect a fragmented music of dancing and love. There is no way I could imagine dancing to any of, say Gentlemen Take Polaroids or Tin Drum - it attempts to replace movable rhythm with something you think you should move to, but can't. It's too on/off. Too hyphenated. Too unreal. In that, I think, Japan, in a far more convinced way than other New Romantics, and with all due respect to their influences such as Roxy Music, were trying to show that we were moving from an industrial world in which you were a small moving cog in a permanently shifting machine, into a digital world in which you were either on or you were off. I tend to think that their cover of Smokey Robinson's "Ain't That Peculiar" demonstrates this perfectly. You expect to move; you want to move; you stand still in the reciprocating silences and fake sounds.

All of this comes to a head in Tin Drum, and David Sylvian launches off into a number of post-Japan ideas as he outgrows the format (actually I don't think he does; I think there was plenty of mileage in this extremely talented band, but that's the impression I get from the album): in the final song, "Cantonese Boy" you have the whole set of ideas: political ideology; movement; travel; growing up; destiny - in one 3-odd minute song with an extraordinary Mick Karn bassline and the apotheosis of Japan's wholly serious take on synth pop. In 2007, as we know, we're so clever and muscially intelligent that tracks based entirely on synth within an old style pop song are rubbish - they're limited and sound dated. I can't help thinking the Japan period represents David Sylvian telling anyone who will listen that he doesn't give a toss about that; indeed, that having his music crystallised in a very locateable time and in a marble-solid style means something after all, whatever people in 2007 think about it.

They might not be rated; the style may be abhorred; but I stick to my view that their music was brilliantly original and trying to make a set of serious points.

Now you can take the piss out of me.

New Life

Guthrum, Ruthie and Lord Nazh among others have recently joined BP. They are all _extremely cool_ bloggers with intelligence and tolerance. We welcome them. I've left out Crushed By Ingsoc, but that's only because I feel like I've known him for years....


Why I Hate Cricket

Because, among other reasons, which include passing off the murder of one of the game's greatest sons as so much media bluster, England have been stuffed, by 9 wickets to end their piss-awful WC campaign. England mustered 154 and SA got there with 9 wickets to spare and Graeme Smith on 89* from 56 balls.

England's lack of attacking aggression mirrors the general collapse of confidence in both England and Britain - their 4th crappy WC exit in a row exceeds the dismal record of the footballers and leaves the rugger players laughing into their pints of lager.

Until 1992 England featured in 3 World Cup finals, losing them all.

Since 1992 England have failed to reach the semis of any WC.

PissPoor. Fuck off, you bunch of useless tossers. And if someone wants to quote this post as evidence of the badly behaved, illiterate and bullying right wing blogosphere, as everyone seems to be after it at the moment, they can. And here's an extra "fuck off" for their delectation.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Not Much Else to Say so....

Doctor Who last night was quite cool though i didn't pick up on the religious allegories currently being discussed over at Outpost Gallifrey - and am frankly not that interested in them. I thought I'd post some irrelevant information about ratings that nonetheless sends a lovely shiver up the spine of fans like me who grew up amid episodes like Battlefield pt 1 getting 3.1m viewers and season 26 -which I remember thinking was brilliant though I don't agree with my 13 year old self anymore - getting an average of 4 million up against Coronation St. So. Ratings for Series 3 of Doctor Who so far:

Smith and Jones: (consolidated figure): 8.71m
The Shakespeare Code: 6.8m
Gridlock: 8.0m

The consolidated figure includes tapings, whereas the other two figures are overnights - the people who just watched it as it was broadcast.

Say what you like about new Who - and I'm still not wholly convinced by RTD's emotionally incontinent, omnisexual approach - to see these figures, is, especially for someone who grew up in the dark C Baker and McCoy periods, when the show was regarded with contempt and indifference, wonderful! RTD has preserved the world's greatest television programme for future generations to cherish and has done it very well indeed.

UPDATE 19 APRIL: The Shakespeare Code's final figure is 7.23m.

Friday, 13 April 2007

How Times Change

As I write this the Russian Ambassador is on Radio 5 Live denouncing Boris Bereshovsky for calling for the overthrow of the Russian Govt. Apparently doing this contravenes "Russian law, international law, and I think British law" - crumbs! That must mean most Guardian writers and SWP members could be had up for contravening international law too.

Who'd a thunk it, eh? The Russian govt trying to stop a Russian exile fomenting revolution from abroad.

Alas Mr Bereshovsky has recanted, saying that he only wanted a coup, rather than a violent revolution. Hey ho.

Cricket WC

Some of you may, if you can be bothered, be wondering why I have said nothing about the cricket World Cup since the murder of Bob Woolmer.

The reason is in that sentence, as well as in the fact that this is the most spectacularly pointless, badly organised, over-long, smugly priced tournament in cricket's history that will do it more harm than good in the eyes of the non cricket world. It should have been scrapped after Woolmer's death but that no consideration was even given to that, nor no memorial given nor any kind of significant involvement by the ICC in remembering Woolmer - just goes, for me, to expose the venality of the ICC as well as their staggering incompetence.

So. It's crap.

And as if that weren't enough for English people (I appreciate that we're not the world, and only a small bit of world cricket support) this WC has coincided with best Champions League performance by English clubs for years. I suspect I wasn't the only person who switched, in half despair at times, between Life on Mars and Man Utd 7-1 Roma on Tuesday night...

The Flanders Panel/Pd7-d5+

This is an extraordinary Spanish novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte in which murder, chess and history are interwoven in what is essentially a detective story. The central character, Julia, is a restorer of artworks and has been asked at the start of the novel to restore a painting by a Flemish master which depicts a game of chess. Soon, murders begin to happen against the backdrop of her trying to decipher the mystery of a question the painter had hidden on the canvas: "Who took the knight?" She enlists the help of a chess wizard and the murderer engages them both in real and metaphorical games of chess.

It is a brilliant European novel, in which nods are given to many different elements of European culture, and in which ideas are taken seriously (though I wouldn't call it a novel of ideas as such). There is plenty of theorising on the significance of chess, music, systems analysis and logic. There are also passages of what I assume are a kind of free-indirect-indirect speech, in which the characters from the painting (created in 1470) muse and fear and worry, but which are really meditations by the central character through her imaginings of these knights and duchesses. Through this ingenious method, layers of personality are laid down between her dreams and desires, leading us to the slight ambiguity of the novel's conclusion.

It reminds me how crap I am at chess, though I've always led chess clubs at school, and how there is something odd about that game. Children who, we're told, simply cannot, physically cannot, concentrate or sit still, can play silently for the whole hour of the club without moving; children who display no forward thinking or guile in their work flower as people with numerous tendrils of strategy; children who work with intelligence and who have absorbed knowledge and skills get thrashed week after week; almost all of them devise their own tactics and methods of winning. One thing, maybe more consistent, I have noticed is that children who are quite good at dissembling and lying are sometimes extremely good chess players. I have never been because I can never remember ideas and I cannot see the board or the pieces in my mind, I just have to play moment by moment. I don't see attacks on my pieces and I plan my own attacks with the naivety and clumsiness of an eight year old painting in the style of Constable.

The novel comes up with some, perhaps conflicting ideas about the philosophy and origins of chess, taking it beyond war into psychoanalysis.

There are problems with the end, related to this, which I won't reveal here because it would spoil the entire novel. I would be interested to know the thoughts of any readers of mine who have read it, though.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Return & Endings (Spoiler Alert)

As often happens after taking a short blogbreak I find it quite difficult to say anything on my return, so while technically I was back on Monday I haven't actually thought of anything until now.

Last night saw the last episode of Life on Mars, with the final action being the little test-card girl (*John Major voice mode* Test Card F, 1967 I think) turning off the picture. This seems to me less of an indication of Tyler's death than a post-postmodern two fingers to the postmodern project that some have seen going through the series. In truth, the series has taken the drama seriously and has presented 1973 as being inhabited largely by the same flawed humans as 2007, with the consequence that although Sam maintained his desire for policing to be professionally PC it was precisely during such a meeting that he realised he was either dying/still in the coma/whatever - the point was "not alive". The knowing irony that the series appeared to start with had been displaced, the slightly hysterical but very common assertion in the media that we are brilliant and those who came before us rubbish, challenged if not defeated. If the 1970s were brown and cream, 2007 was slightly blue, humourless and self-consciously intense. After all, 1973 did have some value, not solely as irony. The little girl _could_ then be seen as turning off the fourth wall and blanking her access to an image as well as ours: ie - as a plea for a return to drama that does not pretend that drama never knew it was drama until around 1997. Chaucer of course appears in his own narrative as a narrator-pilgrim-tale teller-subject of the host's derison.

Perhaps this is a slightly overoptimistic view of the end of the series given that the sequel, Ashes To Ashes, featuring Gene Hunt in 1981 is apparently to feature a time travelling single mother DCI. I'm not saying that the series _hasn't_ affirmed our general brilliance, just that its conclusions have been, perhaps, surprising in view of our general cultural myopia.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Short Break Again

Apologies for this but owing to Easter and guests using my computer room, there won't be any more posts until Monday probably. Have a fine weekend, whatever you're doing.

I was tempted to use this space to moan about Alan Johnson and his thoughtful dismissal of research suggesting that small children might be better off at home as "ludicrous" - but I can't be bothered. The man, to judge from his recent statements, clearly has some kind of family agenda which I can't bear but there's nothing I can do about it now. It's a lovely day and it's not a day for feeling angry with politicians - instead I should be meditating on the sacrifice of Christ.

Come to think about it, it's a perfect day for moaning about politicians. That Pontius Pilate, what a bastard. Still, with his "What is truth" stuff he'd fit brilliantly into any university humanities dept.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Trial of a Time Lord

Crikey, I'm listening to my off-air copy and speaking the lines almost subconsciously, how sad is that?

"To disregard my commands would invite summary execution."
"summary execution!" (muttered)

"now that you've purged that from your system, can we get on? Load the cassette."
"You really are the archetypal philistine. Moments such as this should be...savoured." (TOP Anthony Ainley moment).

"the catharsis of spurious morality!" (whahey!!!!)

"You blundering imbecile. You've triggered a ray-phase shift. There'll be a massive feedback into here!"

Watching TOATL should be a drinking game...."'s too late...."

I shall now disseminate my views on the latest series:

the Dr is the Last Time Lord, having trashed his world in the war vs the Daleks. However, we know from 1963 that he has children (Susan is his grandaughter). We know from the entire world that RTD loves the character of Cpt Jack Harkness.

2+2 people..........

Drummer @ Liquidation of HeathCo

On my brief vacation this week I had the immense pleasure of visiting Salisbury, which despite its many chavs is nonetheless extremely cool.

Time does change things, however. My reaction on seeing Stonehenge 1997: "Woooow. An amazing monument to the ancient intelligence of the human race and possible outside influences." My reaction on seeing Stonehenge 2007: "Jesus. Can someone get these crappy rocks out of my way?" This probably relates, as I've said in posts passim, to my anger and, indeed, humiliation at seeing things I previously believed in or even worshipped turn out to be nothing, faked, or just there, with no deep background to them at all.

Salisbury Cathedral on the other hand is magnificent. It isn't a bizarre spiritual experience, like Chartres; it's not a powerful political moment like Rheims; and it ain't a great omnihistorical object like Rouen. But what it is is perfect. You can see the mathematics pouring off it. You can feel the little gags, the in-jokes, the cheeky repetitions soaking into the transepts and the buttresses. Instead of imposing and awe-inspiring as the naves of Amiens and Beauvais (before it collapsed, presumably) aim for, Salisbury is peacefully, lightly, beautiful with its slender columns of Purbeck Marble and its complete architectural coherence (alright, except for the utterly, supermodel stunning spire). Built in a scant 30 odd years, like the drummer, it exudes the confidence of its designers, the faith of its designers, and the fullness of its designers' worldview. Unlike the drummer. The completeness of Salisbury is unusual among gothic Cathedrals (Canterbury was something like 500 years in the building, demolition and re-building) and it gives it those spendid, dancing lines across the entire length of the nave and chancel (often gothic cathedrals are, say, - mid-gothic nave, late gothic chancel, norman transepts or something like that).

It won't blow your mind, but does perfection ever? You just think that it's right, really right (or I do anyway).

Anyhoo. The tombstone of the late Sir Edward Heath sits near the altar. I'm sorry to say that my first thought on seeing it was "Wot, no effigy?" but at least the stone reads "Statesman, Musician & Scholar". There is nothing else. I expected an exhibition, as I haven't visited since Heath was living, but no. I thought his house might have become the museum he desired, but apart from the departure of the men with machine guns, there is nothing there. I felt very sad looking at it. I recalled his stubborn bulk, his half-arsed fight to save the desperate Britain of the early 70s, and suddenly felt a great, insignificant, lightness that this figure of our troubled living past was stuffed under a stone here. Perhaps it gives him his best chance of historical survival, or maybe that's what he thought - but already you can feel that no-one remembers, no-one cares. Our recent history is our worst recalled, our least cared about. How much had he worked to create, how little he did create, and how little anyone really gives a toss a mere 30 years later - it nearly, but not quite, brought a tear to my eye among the tombstones of minor aristocrats and the Tory historian Arthur Bryant, whom the drummer-dad loves.

The title of this post refers to Private Eye's spoofing of Heath as the CEO of HeathCo (like the Dear Bill letters, or the parish newsletters from the vicar of St Albion's). It sounds good in retrospect, to paint him as the super-professional, ambitious but slightly unscrupulous head of a going-places company: but he wasn't, and it didn't. It must have seemed like a crap joke at the time, which is presumably why people often talk about the Dear Bill letters, but no-one gives a monkey's about HeathCo.

HeathCo was crap anyway. The lights kept going out.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Drummer's Vacation

I'm off for a few days to pile up on booze and histories of the Third Reich. There is nothing inherently contradictory about these aims. It is only under an influence that one feels any of it makes the slightest bit of sense.

Doctor Who last night was top drawer entz. The plot was a bit rubbish but many aspects of it were extremely cool, including (as I've said at Matt's) what I feel is a deepening of the Doctor's character into the melancholy that T & C Baker went into but many of the others avoided. After all, if you'd spend a grand of years on the run, destroyed your own people and many other planets, and lost everyone you loved, you'd be at least as sad as Morrissey, if not rather more so.

I remember in Genesis of the Daleks the Doctor has the famous ethics-of-murder scene,(the Doctor has to touch two strands of wire together to destroy an entire room of embryo Daleks - all the Daleks in the universe at that point) which I always read as a metaphor for abortion; but nonetheless, Doctor Who never takes on, as far as I know, the idea of his killing Hitler or Stalin. The Doctor, despite his principles, kills loads of people with guns or his bare hands. Why has he never, out of sheer love for humanity, ever gone back and had Hitler shot? Something to do with timeline probably. Then again, I've asked Himself the same question and there's never any answer.