The BBC are reporting that Richard Hickox, who along with Vernon Handley was, in my opinion, the greatest conductor of Vaughan Williams's music, has died
suddenly of a heart attack. He was just 60. This year he conducted the entire cycle of Vaughan Williams symphonies to mark the composer's 50th anniversary year. He really was very good at what he did, and it's a sad loss.
Apparently one of the financial dangers we now face in this country is deflation, where consumers stop spending. Part of the Chancellor's raft of measures announced in his pre-Budget statement today was meant to combat deflation by getting us spending again.
Now, when Gordon was Chancellor he revelled in his reputation for prudence - ask him for money for stuff and he'd say no, because it was the prudent thing to do.
But when ordinary people are being prudent, because we're frankly terrified and we want to hang onto our money and buy cheap stuff, that's the wrong thing to do.
So it's vital for us to spend, even though the various governments and financial institutions have royally karked things up and everything's uncertain. But it's okay for him to refuse to spend. Which of these?
I may have overestimated Gordon's grip on things a few weeks ago. You'll all have realised long ago that I'm no expert, but to me the pre-Budget statement smacks of desperation, the nuclear option. Which gives me the scary impression that after this, there are no other plans.