LONDON Love&Hate 愛と憎しみのロンドン

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2012.02.29 イギリス国内のHIV治療、外国人へも
2012.02.28 社会は選別する3:幸せになるためには、すでに持つ側にいなければならない
2012.02.28 社会は選別する2-2:通勤9時間の価値がある仕事はロンドンに
2012.02.28 社会は選別する2-1:ロンドンで暮らすことは権利か、特権か
2012.02.27 ウェスト・エンドのミュージカル、受難の夏
2012.02.26 ローマで流行る鼻チューブ
2012.02.26 好天に恵まれた楽しき土曜日
2012.02.24 The Bee @ SOHO Theatre
2012.02.24 社会は選別する1:女性を区別し続ける、人間が作ったシステム
2012.02.23 日本は真に負け組みになるのかな?!
2012.02.23 スウェーデン国王に初孫
2012.02.23 きた道を引き返すことはいとも簡単に:日本の政治家
2012.02.22 イギリス人は幸福な人々、それとも世界でもっとも不幸?
2012.02.22 セルゲイ・ポルーニン、再びサドラーズに
2012.02.19 Another nightmarish event in Summer 2012
2012.02.18 南北問題:スペインの場合
2012.02.18 リヒター、プレガルディーン、ドレイク@ウィグモア・ホール
2012.02.18 土曜の遅い朝は
2012.02.18 報復の連鎖を断ち切る難しさ
2012.02.18 シリア政府に抗議するデモ行進に関する注意喚起
2012.02.17 Spotify, British Rail and Skype:IT音痴には生き辛い世の中
2012.02.16 ホガースを学ぼう:Beer Street and Gin Lane
2012.02.15  ロンドン最貧の区で日給£1000-の仕事
2012.02.14 エンタメ批評は誰のために?
2012.02.13 パディントン駅の大混乱始まる
2012.02.08 ルシアン・フロイト@ナショナル・ポートレイト・ギャラリィ
2012.02.08 ロンドン美術展、開催ラッシュ:ルシアン・フロイト、草間彌生、エリザベス女王
2012.02.04 冬のウィズリィ・ガーデンに蝶が舞う
2012.02.04 セルゲイ・ポルーニンの就労ヴィザ失効、ほか
2012.02.04 Freezing and frozen UK, and Europe



Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the government.

Campaigners say the move in England will reduce the risk of Britons being infected and cut the costs of more expensive later treatment.

Currently only British residents are eligible, which excludes migrants.

The Department of Health said it would bring England into line with Scotland and Wales, and there would be safeguards against "health tourism".

Extend treatment

There are an estimated 25,000 people with undiagnosed HIV in Britain, many of whom were born abroad.

People from overseas cannot be treated for the condition unless they pay, which is not the case for other infectious diseases.

This group of people includes failed asylum seekers, students and tourists.

Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Fowler, who headed the government's Aids awareness campaign in the 1980s, has called for an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill currently before the Lords.

This would extend free treatment to those who have been in Britain for six months.

The proposal will be introduced by the government in a Statutory Instrument rather than as part of the legislation.

'Good news'

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "This measure will protect the public and brings HIV treatment in to line with all other infectious diseases. Treating people with HIV means they are very unlikely to pass the infection on to others."

Yusef Azad, director of policy at the National Aids Trust, said: "If someone is tested and treated early, it is much cheaper than them presenting themselves in hospital with a much more serious, complex condition that can cost tens of thousands of pounds to treat."

Professor Jane Anderson, chairwoman of the British HIV Association, said: "This is good news for people living in the UK who are HIV positive and also for public health in general."

Critics claim the decision could prompt so-called health tourism and put the NHS under further financial pressure.

But the government pledged tough guidance to ensure the measure is not abused.

The Department of Health said it would be difficult for somebody to come to the UK specifically for treatment as the process took months to administer and monitor.







Why the super-rich love the UK
It's obviously not for the weather, so what is it about Britain that the obscenely wealthy find so attractive?


A few years ago, when I set out to write a novel about contemporary London, my point of departure was to think about who I wanted to be in it. I wanted to have characters who were lucky and unlucky, immigrants and natives, mindful and oblivious, poor and rich – but the question there quickly became, just how rich? London is full of the 1%, the people at the top of the income distribution, whose circumstances are at the moment so much on the agenda for the other 99%. But the thing is that while the 1% are rich by everyone else's standards, they are not rich by the standards that rich people use themselves. To be in the 1%, in income terms, you have to earn – or, as the Socialist Worker has it, "earn" – £150,000 a year. That's a lot, to most people's way of thinking – but not to the way of thinking of the rich. I've asked quite a few people in the world of money, the kind of people who know properly seriously rich people, what counts are being properly, seriously rich. The consensus figure is that you need $100m. At that level, even the seriously rich agree that you are rich. Anyone with that amount of money is obviously way, way past the point where they will never have to think about any of their material needs, ever again.

What this policy amounts to, in practice, is that the UK has a gigantic sign hanging over it saying, "Rich People! Come and Live Here! You Won't Have to Pay Any Tax!" It is an extraordinary policy for any developed nation, and not one that anyone else has been tempted to adopt. Other countries have low tax rates to attract businesses – in the EU, Ireland and the Netherlands stand out – but the only countries that have anything even vaguely resembling the British policy towards the super-rich are places that are openly accepted as tax havens, such as Monaco and Switzerland. (And even in Switzerland the tax policies vary canton by canton, and are regularly put to the vote.) Tyler Cowen, a respected American economist with a popular blog, Marginal Revolution, describes Britain quite simply as a "residential tax haven". A glance at any list of this country's richest residents will not confirm this fact, because it's impossible to know the private details of individual tax arrangements, but it is striking that of the 12 families and individuals at the top of the Sunday Times rich list, only two are citizens of the UK. The others, clearly, are attracted here by the weather.

It's these two groups, non-doms and the internationally mobile, who mainly make up the London super-rich. They aren't the 1%, or even the 0.1%, but the 0.01% – the few thousand richest people in the country. We go out of our way to entice them here: that's what the non-dom rule is for. But there are almost no studies of their effect on the UK; of their impact on the debate about inequality and fairness; of their impact on the capital of having a group of people who simply don't have to pay any attention to what things cost. One of the salient qualities of life in London, remarked on by long-term residents, by newcomers and by tourists, in short by everybody, is how expensive everything is. City pay is a big part of that, but the international super-rich contribute to it, too. The money they spend is obviously welcome, but it seems to me possible that it comes at too high a price to the rest of our polity. Inequality feeding down from the top of the income distribution is provably linked to a whole range of negative consequences for society, from higher rates of mental illness and incarceration and family breakdown to alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide. By choosing to have the tax system we have, we are choosing to make these problems worse; and we are concentrating the top of the inequality range in our capital city. The consequences of this need some real study. And yet it's infinitely better to live in a country where people want to be, rather than a country that people want to flee – and these people's presence here reflects that fact, too.

"Community", that loaded word so beloved of politicians, is simply not a reality in most people's lives. It's normal for us to be cut off from each other. The super-rich, however, are so cut off that they are barely living here at all. Everything that can have the word "private" attached in front of it, they have: schools, hospitals, jets, islands. Even things like the shops, which you'd have thought was one of the attractions of London for people who can afford it, function differently for the 0.01% – for the most part, they prefer to have stuff brought to them.



Despite its promises, this government can't make you happy. In times of austerity, you are on your own

The happiness agenda, propelled by thoughtful people, once centralised becomes a way of personalising what are really huge social problems. Just as the government believes we should all be physically healthy, and eat and drink in moderation, so too should we work on our own happiness at the exact time when many of us are anxious and insecure for reasons we are powerless to change.

The happiness industry is often deeply conservative, for it is premised on how well-adjusted people's problems may be solved with a bit of behaviour modification or "willpower". All this is a massive form of denial.
A denial of powerful forces from without and within. We do not have control over a globalised system that right now is in crisis, nor do we have full control over our own impulses, our own unfathomable psyches.

Instead we might ask why those who are anti-state intervention want to legislate over sexuality, why the female body is the battlefield for the right, why people vote against their own class interests? Rightwing ideology is not "stupid", but founded upon certain kinds of repression and a view of human nature that sees the market as a pure expression of that nature.

Unpicking this can also explain why politicians who promise reassurance and control keep power. The happiness debate was but a distraction. An austerity government cannot create conditions for improved "wellbeing". This is a fantasy. In reality, "happiness" is subject to the cuts too. It has been privatised. You are, as you always were, on your own.



Instead of being disgusted by poverty, we are disgusted by poor people themselves

Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit




 スウェーデンのUmea Univesityの調査によると、夫婦、もしくはカップルのうちのどちらかの(おそらく片道の)通勤時間が45分以上になると、4割が離婚に至るとの結果が出たそうです。東京の皆さんは、どうやってサヴァイヴしているのでしょう。


London's really big commuters


The 18.03 is packed. The passenger sitting next to me is eating a pungent burger and chips. About half an hour out of King's Cross we slow to a crawl, stuck behind the rail equivalent of a learner driver - with no chance to overtake.

Already the stress levels are rising and I am still more than an hour away from my destination, Newark-on-Trent inNottinghamshire.

This is the world of the long-distanceLondon commuter, a hardy band who will pay up to £10,000 a year to spend up to five hours a day shuttling from bed to desk and back again.

Next January those season ticket fares will go up by another eight per cent, adding hundreds of pounds on to an already exorbitant cost. On the trains that carry London commuters home each evening, revolt is in the air.

I have joined Julie and Jonathan Sheppard, a married couple who cover 250 miles a day from Newark to King's Cross and back on the East Coast Main Line, passing through six counties en route.
Like most long-distance commuters the couple are furious - but resigned - about the swingeing fare increases.

According to Jonathan: "The frustration will be that when it goes up, East Coast will say we are paying for investments. But we never see any service improvements, we don't see better rolling stock or more trains."

Until this month there was not even a loyalty scheme for regular passengers, an oversight that grates with them.

Jonathan, who works for a public affairs company in Victoria, adds: "But even if they raise it to £15,000, I'd probably still have to pay, I have no choice, there just aren't my sort of jobs around in Newark or anywhere in the East Midlands. East Coast is a monopoly. It's not as if I can switch to Virgin. If there were four of us, we could club together to buy a car each year and drive down - exactly what the Government is trying to discourage."

Jonathan, 36, works a four-day week and pays £814 a month for his ticket. Julie, 40, a legal compliance executive at Shell, who commutes four or five days a week, paid £8,448 for her annual pass last January.

"I can't see how commuting like we do can make sense for anyone earning less than £30,000 a year," says Jonathan. "Philip Hammond was too honest for his own good when he said the railways have become 'a rich man's toy'". The rise means that something else in the household budgets will have to give - probably a cheaper holiday.

Julie says: "I don't have a coffee on the train in the morning, I refuse to give them any more money on principle."

The couple have noticed a slow deterioration in the buffet service - they now stock Walkers rather than Tyrrells crisps.

Their entire day revolves around that daily slog between the capital and a county so distant most Londoners would think of it as The North. The alarm goes at 5.30am, they are in the car by 6am and on the platform with about 50 others in time for 6.26am train.

During the day Julie invariably skips her lunch break so she can be sure of a sharp getaway for the 18.03pm - or preferably an earlier - train.

Jonathan makes sure he leaves the office on the dot of 5.30pm.

Once home - on a good day - at about 7.45pm, Julie heats up one of a number of meals (stews and chilli are typical) pre-prepared at the weekend.

She is in bed by 10pm. If any link in the commuting chain breaks down even that little window of relaxation is wiped out.

An after-work drink with colleagues is out of the question, Christmas party invitations have to be declined because they would simply get home too late in the evening to make it worthwhile. Staying in a hotel is too expensive.

But their journey is by no means the longest on the line. According to Jonathan, "when I get on the train, it is already quarter-full with people from Doncaster and York you see every day."

The couple, who do not have children, accept that the lifestyle is entirely their choice. The pay-off is cheap housing and green space. They are selling a five-bedroom house in Newark for £200,000 and moving to a £330,000 smallholding with two acres outside the town.

They both have stimulating, well-paid jobs, of the sort that - in their view - can only really be found in London. They estimate their combined earnings would be perhaps half the £110,000 they make currently if they took local jobs.

They like the combination the commute gives them.

"You do get a payback at the weekend," says Jonathan, "because we spend all of it outside in these wonderful green empty spaces. If we were going home to a shitty house in a shitty area of London we just couldn't do it. When you pay for your ticket, you do think of that lifestyle."


Door-to-desk cost for London commuters will soar to nearly £10,000



Stressed Londoners biggest worriers in UK




Housing benefit cap forces families to leave central London or be homeless

As primary schools struggle to cope with the disruption caused to children, a council officer declares: 'To live in Westminster is a privilege, not a right'


In Westminster, the borough most affected by the housing benefit cap, some schools could see up to 43% of pupils affected by the reduction in housing benefit, according to the council's preliminary forecasts, and across the borough 17% of primary pupils could be forced to move, internal data suggests.

 一つ補足です。記事の最初に出てくる「Gateway primary school」がある地域を、僕はマリルボーンとは言いません。実際にマリルボーンに住んでいる住民からすれば冗談じゃないと思うでしょう。この小学校があるのは、Lisson Groveという通りで、周囲は東京風に言うと、団地が密集している地域。住民の多くはイギリス人労働者階級、そして移民として生活している人が多いと考えます。ウェストミンスター区にもそんな場所があるんです。

Some families have already been forced into B&Bs or homeless hostels because the housing benefit they receive is no longer enough to cover their rent. Charities and local MPs say that over the next year, other families will be forced to leave the area, will crowd into smaller flats, or will try to meet the shortfall in rent by saving on food and heating expenditure.

"It's very disruptive. We put a lot of energy into making sure our children succeed. When families leave, that knowledge of their families, their learning needs is lost," she said. "The whole process is very brutal. The sense of the unknown is very traumatising for everyone."


The cap was introduced by the government as a cost-cutting measure, in the context of growing unease about a steep rise in the size of the housing benefit bill. The measure only affects tenants renting flats in the private sector, and not those living in council properties, but with waiting lists for council flats stretching into many years, large numbers of families who are on low incomes currently rely on housing benefit payments to subsidise or cover private rents.
The government has capped all housing benefit payments at £250 a week for a one-bedroom property and a maximum of £400 for a place with four or more bedrooms. Within Westminster, there are almost no three- or four-bedroom flats available within that price range.


The philosophy behind the new cap seems to be "if you can't afford to live here, don't expect to live here". "To live in Westminster is a privilege, not a right, because so many people want to live here," a Westminster council press officer explains.

But further pressure on claimants will be felt once the government's planned overall benefit cap at £500 a week is introduced in 2013, making some of Westminster's council homes unaffordable for people with large families, and increasing the proportion of London unaffordable to people on low incomes. The Chartered Institute of Housing warned this year thatthe measures could cause the migration of poor tenants to "benefit ghettoes" in cheaper areas of the country.

Westminster has accepted that there will be a 20% reduction of the school population across the borough as a result of these changes.

Westminster's official position is that the measure will save £39m a year, and the area's overall profile will not be radically changed by the policy's implementation because out of the 110,000 homes within the borough, 25,000 are council or housing association-run, and not affected by the change; they deny that the policy will create a Paris-style "doughnut", with poorer people pushed to the city's outskirts. 

Ben Denton, Westminster's strategic director of housing, regeneration and worklessness, said: "Is it fair for the state to provide subsidy for people to live in places that are the most expensive? Is it correct for the state to support anyone to live wherever they want to live? That's the philosophical question. If the answer is, anyone can live anywhere, then the state and the taxpayer has to subsidise that."

The family was offered alternative accommodation, seven miles away in Enfield, on the north-eastern edge of London, but refused it, because it would have meant moving both younger children into new schools, at a particularly critical time in her teenager's education.

I'd rather stay here for 10 years than move to Enfield.

 身もふたもない言い方ですが、僕にとってもエンフィールドはまるでthe end of the worldです。でも、ロンドン。

Azhar's seventh-floor flat is far from luxurious and is clearly overpriced – small, furnished with broken chairs and beds, complete with damp, rotting wood by the bathroom doors, and a faulty oven – it's also very likely that the landlord will be able to fill up the flat with four students or young professionals keen to be in central London, and get more than the capped amount.

Helen Jenner, director of children's services for Barking and Dagenham council, said there had been a big influx of families to the borough, which might in part be down to the early effects of the housing benefit cap. The borough is separately experiencing a rise in the birth rate, but also expects to see many more families move in over the next year.

Romin Sutherland from Z2K has been advising families that they need to think about the next stage of benefit cuts when they think about leaving their homes, so that they do not find themselves moving a couple of miles out of Westminster this year, only to be forced by the overall benefit cap to move out further in 18 months. He and colleagues were telling families to think open-mindedly about "life beyond London" in other cities, such as Manchester.
"We don't want people to move to Wembley and then find that they can't afford to stay there either. This is the first wave of a tsunami, and the second wave will come with the overall benefit cap," he said.




Forty and flatsharing in London





Lloyd Webber predicts theatre slump during Olympics

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has said that next year’s Olympic Games will lead the West End theatres to have a “bloodbath of a summer”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, he claimed that “nobody’s going to go to the theatre at all” during the Olympics, adding that “most of the theatres in London will shut”.

The composer revealed that early bookings figures for the summer season show a ten per cent drop on normal levels, largely due to already-booked out hotels and an increase in the price of hotel rooms during the Olympics.

He also stressed that the people heading to the Olympics are not the type of people interested in musicals, so there will not be an increase in ticket sales from sporting spectators.

Indeed, Lloyd Webber, who also owns seven theatres in London’s West End with his company Really Useful Group, said that three major shows will be forced to close over the summer. While he did not say which ones, he confirmed that the most popular shows like Phantom of the Opera will stay.

Phantom is the most financially successful show in history, taking more than £3.5 billion globally.

And the popularity of musicals has never been so strong, he told the news provider.

“Musicals are insatiable”, he said, adding that there are more shows being offered to London theatres than there are venues to accommodate them.

Once the Olympics are over, Lloyd Webber said that demand for theatre tickets is strong, particularly as new shows like The Bodyguard, Charlie and Chocolate Factor, The Book of Mormon, the Spice Girls Musical and the Bridget Jones Musical are all heading for the stage in 2012.

Lloyd Webber did suggest, however, that “the legacy of the Olympics and the attention London will get probably will pay dividends in 2013″.





How the world fell in love with quick-fix weight loss


In the meantime, desperate patients can always travel to Rome for their nasogastric tube. Over a crackly telephone line I ask Dr Gasparotti about the Diet Tube diet. "It's not a diet," he says quickly. "It's wrong to call it a diet. It is a nutritional protocol. A very strong motivational therapy."

What's so wrong with diets?

"Diets take too long. You say to these people, 'It is very important, so keep to this diet and come back and see me in three or four months.' They can't do it. They go out to supper with a friend. They eat. But I say to them, 'Give me 10 days of your life, OK? In 10 days you will have lost between 8% and 10% of your body weight. Don't worry. You will get thinner. It is mathematical! It's biochemical, OK?'"


"So it's a fast – but with proteins. And as there are proteins, you don't lose any muscle. You will eat nothing because you won't be hungry. You won't have any inconvenience. You can carry on working. You can have a shower, you can go swimming. We don't recommend going to the gym for the first week, but these people don't go to the gym anyway. And..." He pauses before the punchline: "You slim while you sleep!"

Gasparotti explains that Diet Tube was originally devised for the very overweight – for "enormous obese people who couldn't even move". He says, "We don't just give it to anyone. You have to be over 18 and in good health. If I began to give it to girls who just wanted to lose two or three kilos, they'd shoot me!"

But a minute later he adds, "Understand. It is obvious. I have to say that in rare cases…" – at this point I can almost hear him rolling his eyes – "unmotivated people who aren't able to move around much and are very lazy and want to lose eight or nine kilos. Well, of course one can do it for them, too."

So if I get on a bus in Rome, will I see people with tubes in their noses? "It's become a pretty common thing now. You see lots of lawyers and businessmen going about the city with their tubes and their briefcases."

Isn't that a bit extreme?

"Look," he says darkly, "our life today is very neurotic, very fast. Nobody looks after themselves."

Has he tried Diet Tube himself?

"Yes! Stavo benissimo. I felt happier. It was euphoric making."

Like a medieval saint on a fast?

"Well, yes! Once, there was a week of fasting at Lent. And you only ate fish on Fridays. That's all gone now."



Fiennes believes it is outrageous that we aren't carrying out more bariatric surgery. There is, it seems, a postcode lottery with many primary care trusts and commissioning groups refusing or hugely restricting access. Last year, around 4,000 bariatric operations were carried out on the NHS. Yet, according to the guidelines set out by Nice (The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence), adults with a BMI of 40 or over (or a BMI of 35 with co-morbidities) should be considered for surgery. That means – shut your eyes for a minute before reading this frightening figure – 1.2 million people in the UK are eligible. We really are becoming a nation of whales.







 Mと熱い議論になったのは、ロンドンに住む事は権利なのか特権なのか、さらにcapitalism とdemocracyの関連性。僕がこの二つを混ぜて話そうとしたら、三人がこの二つは分けて考えるべきという。どうなんだろう。自分で調べてみなければ。



 「映画の『Iron Lady』の中に閣議の場面があるのよ。その閣議の途中で電気が切れるの。イギリスという先進国の政権の中枢の会議室で電気が切れる。サッチャーの前、イギリスはそんな国だった」、と。





The Bee @ SOHO Theatre

今日、24日から東京で始まった野田秀樹演出の「THE BEE」を、ロンドンの初日、1月24日に観た。










昨年の夏以来、イギリスのメディアで断続的に取り上げられているニュースに、エルサレムでの暴力を伴った女性区別問題があります。区別しようとしているのは、「Ultra Orthodox」とされるユダヤ教信望者の男たち。宗教全般に対して、ややネガティヴなことを書くであろうことを先にお知らせしておきます。

Gender segregation on rise in Israel


Still, secular Jews there and elsewhere in Israel worry that their lifestyles could be targeted, too, because the ultra-Orthodox population, while still relatively small, is growing significantly. Their high birthrate of about seven children per family is forecast to send their proportion of the population, now estimated at 9 percent, to 15 percent by 2025.

Though categorizing is difficult, it is estimated that about one-quarter of Israel's 6 million Jews are modern Orthodox, another quarter are traditional and the rest secular.
Numbers aside, the ultra-Orthodox wield disproportionate power in Israel's fragmented political system.

Their norms, she said, are "segregation of women and discrimination against them."

Ultra-Orthodox Jews around the world have long frowned upon the mixing of the sexes in their communities, but the attempt to apply this prohibition in public spaces is relatively new in Israel.

Israel's ultra-Orthodox, known for their black garb and flowing sidelocks, began testing gender segregation years ago when ultra-Orthodox men started ordering women on certain bus lines to sit at the back of buses traveling through their neighborhoods.

Some supermarkets in ultra-Orthodox communities, once content to urge women patrons to dress modestly with long-sleeved blouses and long skirts, have now assigned separate hours for men and women ― another practice seen in ultra-Orthodox communities in the U.S. Some health clinics have separate entrances and waiting rooms for men and women.

 僕の理解という限定の中で、さらにかいつまんで書くと、近年、エルサレムで人口を急増させているUltra Orthodoxの男たちが、日常生活の中で女性を締め出すことを進めている。ターゲットになるのは、大人だけでなく子供まで。

The battle of Bet Shemesh

Since the state-funded religious-nationalist school of Orot Girls opened in new premises in September, groups of extreme Haredi men regularly gather at the gates, screaming "whore" and "slut" at the girls and their mothers. The demonstrators say they are dressed "immodestly"; that even girls as young as six should cover their flesh. When staff and pupils returned after recent holidays, they found a stink bomb had been hurled through a glass window, its stench of excrement and rotting fish putting a classroom out of use.

What they do is described as "terrorism". "They instil fear, they use terror tactics," Michal Glatt, the mother of a 10-year-old pupil, says. "Screaming at little girls? What other word is there but terrorism?"

The Haredim are not interested in explaining their grievances or justifying their tactics to the media. But when community activist Rabbi Dov Lipman asked one protester why they were focusing on the way small girls dress, he was told "even an eight-year-old draws my eyes".


Some of the girls have been traumatised by the demonstrations; there has been a spike in bedwetting and nightmares. Debbie Rosen-Solow, the mother of two daughters at the school, says the Haredi protests had "definitely put a lot of stress on the children". Her six-year-old embarked on her school career believing it was normal to have police cars outside the gates. "You saw the terror on their faces," she says.

Many in the religious-nationalist and secular communities of Bet Shemesh believe the issue of "modesty" masks the crux of the campaign: to drive non-Haredim out of the area. Lipman says the drive to turn Bet Shemesh into a Haredi city could succeed: "After all, who wants their child to be assaulted verbally on a daily basis?"

Lipman sees the events at Orot Girls as "a microcosm of what could happen in this country. At some point they will become a majority; it's a demographic fact. We can embrace the moderates or let the extremists run wild. We have to come down on [the extremists] hard, not let them have control.

Israeli women stand up to gender segregation with musical protest


 僕は自分の宗教観を問われたときには、アグノスティクと答えます。I do not know whether God exist or not.無神論者ではないと思っています。なぜなら、神が存在するのかどうかを僕は証明できないから。





 日本で知られているかどうかは全くわかりませんが、昨年、イギリス出身の論客でアメリカに帰化したクリストファー・ヒッチンス(Christopher Hitchens)という人が亡くなりました。無神論者として広く知られていたようです。彼の友人の一人は、日本でも人気の高いイギリス人作家、イアン・マキューアン

Christopher Hitchens: one man's service in the war against delusion

 正直、二人の対談の内容は、僕の生活からはかけ離れていることだったので、ほとんど頭に入ってきませんでした。楽しく読めたのは、児童文学者のフィリップ・プルマンによる、「Imaginary friends」というタイトルの文章。これは、科学者としての立場からドーキンスが御伽噺を否定したことへの反論が目的でした。プルマンらしい、とてもよい文章だと思います。児童文学や、古今東西の御伽噺、そして子供たちの豊かな想像力、そして現実とファンタジィの線引きについて興味がある人には面白い内容だと思います。インターネットでは公開されていないようなので、大きな図書館で探してみてください。


Science vs God: Richard Dawkins takes on Archbishop of Canterbury

Richard Dawkins v Archbishop of Canterbury: how do they compare?

Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins in Oxford argument





Is Japan’s ‘happy depression’ about to turn unhappy?

By Jim O'Neil

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

With the new Greek restructuring deal agreed, the question is whether fears about the sovereign debt crisis will abate or will the markets simply start looking elsewhere for other troubled waters?

In this regard, Japan increasingly looks like the real stand out. A variety of famous investors have come to the conclusion over the past two decades that Japan was on the verge of a major sovereign debt crisis, only to retreat quietly after it becomes clear that domestic deflationary pressures and strong domestic bond demand are continuing to keep Japanese bond yields remarkably low.

Japan has somehow managed to creep by with its problems untouched, or as some of us have described it, seemingly enjoying a “happy depression”. But the fact is that Japan’s outstanding debt to gross domestic product stands at a whopping 230 per cent and makes Greece’s latest 120 per cent by 2020 target seem like a picnic by comparison.

Late last year I repeatedly found myself asking Japanese investors why they were joining the rush to sell 10-year Italian bonds at seven per cent yields when their own 10-year bond yielded one per cent. With the exchange rate against the euro below Y100, shouldn’t they in fact be doing the opposite? Even though Italian yields are now back down to 5.5 per cent and the exchange rate has risen above Y106, it still strikes me as odd that Japanese investors are ignoring such an attractive relative investment.

Some of the investors I spoke to replied that Japan has external surpluses whereas Italy, like the rest of Club Med Europe, has external deficits. They could have said this then, but the argument weakened after Japan reported its first full calendar year trade deficit for decades. Moreover, given high energy prices and the fall in Japan’s industrial competitiveness, such deficits could well persist. It would raise the possibility that Japan’s days as an inveterate current account surplus country are coming to an end.

From a global perspective, this is not a bad thing as it is another sign along of global rebalancing. But it raises the thorny question as to who is going to be the marginal buyer for Japanese bonds? Unless the yen is going to get much weaker and 10-year yields much higher, it seems exceptionally unlikely that there will be international investors.

So what should Japanese policymakers do to avoid a crisis? They need to do two things. In the medium term, Japan has to find a creative strategy to deliver a reduction in its long term debt. It must control public spending better, adapt its tax system, and combine this with a plan to raise its pitiful real growth potential. If the government is not going to encourage mass immigration, it will also need to introduce dramatic service sector reform. Strong productivity gains are essential if the growth rate is to rise beyond that implied by the country’s weak demographic profile. These issues are not dissimilar to those previously ignored by many of the Club Med countries. Now, forced by the crisis, the likes of Greece and Portugal are finally trying to make reforms.

In the nearer term, Japan simply has to announce a Swiss National Bank-style commitment to halting further yen appreciation. The currency’s strength is compounding Japan’s competitiveness problems as many of its leading multinationals struggle to cope with challenges from overseas rivals. Due to Japan’s persistent low inflation, some models suggests that the yen is close to a reasonable level. Other models that adjust for productivity rates suggest something closer to an exchange rate of Y110 against the dollar and Y130 against the euro would be more sensible. This would put it in a better position to deal with the mounting long term challenges. Without that, it looks as though Japan’s “happy depression” of the past 20 years is set to become less happy and more depressed.

The writer is chairman of the asset management division of Goldman Sachs and its former chief economist




Sweden's princess has baby girl

SWEDEN'S Crown Princess Victoria gave birth yesterday to a baby girl who is second in line to the throne.

The new princess will give a much-needed boost to the royal family's popularity after a series of scandals, experts said.

"This morning at 4:26 am, a 51-centimetre long and 3.28 kilogramme very sweet little princess was born," the newborn's father Prince Daniel announced at a press conference at Karolinska Hospital.

"My feelings are all over the place right now," he said, adding that both mother and child were doing well.

The couple had arrived at hospital just before 1:00 am local time.

Two 21-gun salutes were fired on the Skeppsholmen island opposite the royal palace in Stockholm at midday, the two rounds signifying the birth of the heir to the throne.

Other salutes were to be fired in several locations across the country today.

Victoria, 34, and Daniel, 38, her former personal trainer and gym owner, married in a fairytale wedding on June 19, 2010.

The baby is the first grandchild for King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

"We are very happy for the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel. We recall our own joy upon becoming parents and we wish the new family a wonderful time in peace and quiet. This is a much longed-for grandchild and we are both very proud and happy today," the king and queen said in a statement.

Victoria, who is first in line to the throne and who will one day become Sweden's third regent queen, is wildly popular in Sweden thanks to her easy-going, down-to-earth style and the professionalism she has displayed in her role.

A nature lover, she is often seen casually dressed in jeans or sportswear, her long brown hair pulled back in a simple ponytail.

Several surveys in the past year have shown a majority of Swedes would prefer her to her father King Carl XVI Gustaf, who was embroiled in several scandals last year, as head of state.

Royal expert Sten Hedman said the birth was exactly what the royal family needed right now.

"The royal court needs a little baby, that's what everyone has been longing for. The king has gone through a rough patch and the whole family has suffered, and I think most of Sweden thinks this is good news," Mr Hedman told Swedish news agency TT.

The king made headlines in November 2010 when an unofficial tell-all biography alleged he had an affair with Swedish pop singer Camilla Henemark - a claim he never really denied - and that he visited strip clubs and even had indirect contact with organised crime.

The monarch said later in an interview with TT that the scandal had "of course hurt confidence in me, and even confidence in the monarchy and also Sweden."

"That is something I really regret, but it is something I will fix, and I will work twice as hard in the future," he said.

The baby's name was meanwhile due to be announced today, when the future regent is formally presented to the prime minister, speaker of parliament and the marshal of the realm at a traditional witness ceremony at Haga Palace, Victoria and Daniel's residence on the outskirts of Stockholm.

Media and betting sites speculated wildly overnight about the choice of name.

According to TT, some likely names include Christina, Desiree, Ulrika, Astrid, Margareta or Sophia, all of which are names used by the Swedish royal family in the past. Alice, the name of Victoria's late maternal grandmother, was also among the possibilities.

Congratulations poured in from politicians and public figures.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt noted that the Scandinavian country could now look forward to a succession of female regents, a first in Swedish history.

"My warmest congratulations to Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Sweden's new princess. It is a great day for the entire royal family and it is also a great day for Sweden," he said in a statement.

"With the birth of a new princess, the Kingdom of Sweden will in time enter a new era of queens," he said









 悲しい、というかとても複雑な気分になったのは、「戦争は外交の延長線上にあるものです」、「抑止力、外交カードとしての軍隊に賛成したい」とか、「どうぞ、そのまま永住なさってください。 こちらはダイレクトな問題なので」等々。




Marie Colvin: 'Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice'





















Britons among happiest people, says satisfaction study


The British are one of the world's most satisfied peoples, according to an influential economic thinktank's attempt to examine how happy humans are.

Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at the University of Warwick, said: "The advantage of measuring mental wellbeing is that it captures the real emotion of people.

"It's like a painting where health stats, income and welfare figures are the background and satisfaction measures are the colour."


UK has 'worst quality of life in Europe'


The UK has been named the worst place to live in Europe for quality of life, behind countries with damaged economies such as Ireland and Italy, according to the latest uSwitch quality of life index.

The UK emerged as having the second lowest hours of sunshine a year, the fourth highest retirement age, and the third lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP.

As a result, more than one in 10 Britons (12%) said they are "seriously considering" emigrating, with "broken society" the biggest concern for 59% of those questioned, followed by the cost of living (49%), and crime and violence (47%). Just 5% of those questioned are happy in the UK.

The study examined 16 factors to determine where the UK sits in relation to nine other major European countries. Variables such as net income, VAT and the cost of essential goods were put under the microscope, as well as lifestyle factors such as hours of sunshine, holiday entitlement, working hours and life expectancy.



UK among Europe's worst countries for ageism

Britain has one of the worst records in Europe on age discrimination, with nearly two out of five people claiming to have been shown a lack of respect because of how old they are.

The UK is also driven by intergenerational splits, with half of us admitting we do not have a single friend over 70. Only a third of Portuguese, Swiss and Germans say that they do not have a friend of that age or older.

And the statistics show that, while there is admiration for the elderly, more people pity than envy those they regard as old, suggesting a perception that age brings weakness and unhappiness.

"Even on the perception of when old age starts, the UK is the worst in Europe in a way," said Nicola Robinson from Age UK, who helped to analyse the data for 2009. "Britons thought old age started at 59, whereas in Greece they thought it started at around 68. There is a similar question about when youth ends. The UK thought that was 35, while in Greece they thought it was 52."

"We know it is a serious problem across Europe and it may be that we are ahead of the curve on the issue, that there has been some successful awareness-raising.
"That said, the statistics on intergenerational friendship show that we are a segregated society and there are definitely problems here.

"There is a segregation within work and social lives. The social spaces in the UK are generational specific, so people don't do things together.

"Generally, those in their 20s don't have contact outside the family with people in their 70s. In places like Cyprus or Portugal there are spaces, squares or bars where people of all ages mix. Ageism is a problem and it does need to be explored."




Rude Britannia is a myth - we are among the world's most polite people


But while the results of the work by social campaigners the Young Foundation showed a nation trying hard to mind its "pleases" and "thank yous", it also suggested that when courtesy breaks down, so do communities. People reported that rudeness in their neighbourhood upset them more than crime.

 イギリスで暮らして日常生活で常に感じるのは、Thank you とplease がどれほどコミュニケイションの潤滑油になっているかということ。

The research, published tomorrow, finds Britain ranks positively in international surveys of tolerance and politeness and by some standards behaviour is better than a generation or two ago.

But the findings showed that people are quick to find incivility in others but are much less aware of how their own behaviour may cause offence. It warns that modern life presents particular challenges to civil behaviour including social mobility, technology and pressures on space and time. One of the report's authors, Will Norman, said technology was undermining strides being made in social interaction, with too many people unaware of how their loud mobile phone chats, music or simple inattention upset their fellow citizens.

"Taxi drivers and shop assistants really get offended at people acting as if they don't exist because they are on their phones," he said. "But a lot of people simply don't realise – a common reason for rudeness. I spoke to a man who ran a kebab shop and he had a customer who never ever said please or thank you. It drove him mad and one day he asked her why. She was embarrassed and from that day on was extremely polite – she just hadn't realised."


Wherever they lived, most people agreed that civility is central to shaping life; many said it was the single most important factor to their quality of life. Most reported experiencing regular acts of politeness and felt they were treated with respect in their neighbourhoods.

The director of the Young Foundation, Simon Tucker, said civility was enormously rated: "Its importance is often only bought home to us when absent. Small acts of daily civility and incivility are often invisible, but play a vital role in helping societies to get by and flourish. We often only notice and appreciate the power of civility when it disappears – when estates become no-go areas or, as we saw recently, when high streets descend into violence.

The report found very high levels of civility in some of the most disadvantaged areas, as well as instances of serious incivility, in the form of intolerance and rudeness, in more prosperous areas. There seemed to be few regional differences, though Norman said it was clear that the stressful commuter jams of London were hotbeds of incivility. Kaliya Franklin, 35, from Liverpool – who blogs at benefitscroungingscum – who uses a wheelchair and says she finds people "unfailingly willing to help, delighted to have the chance", was at the Labour party conference in Liverpool.

"I asked someone for help with my wheelchair and it was immediately obvious he was from the south-east. A scouser would have pushed me all the way home and probably offered to buy me a new scooter. As it was, the guy looked at me as though I'd just ruined his life!"


Civility is contagious and the research concludes that it can be nurtured by encouraging people to be more aware about how their behaviour impacts on others. As US linguistics professor Robin Lakoff wrote: "Politeness is developed by societies to reduce friction in personal interaction." In other words, smile and the world might just smile back.


 皆さんもイギリスに来たら、PleaseThank you は忘れずに。この二つがあれば、皆さんが思っているよりはイギリスは楽しい国だと思います。


今夜、サドラーズ・ウェルズからメイルが届き、1月末に公演があった、「Men in Motion」が3月13日から15日に再演される。そこに、再びセルゲイ・ポルーニンが出演するそうだ。

Following the sell-out run of Ivan Putrov’s Men in Motion earlier this year, the former Royal Ballet Principal returns to Sadler’s Wells with an evening of works showcasing the athleticism and beauty of the male form in motion.

For this exciting programme Putrov will be joined by some of the world’s finest dancers including Sergei Polunin (former Royal Ballet Principal), Tim Matiakis (Royal Ballet of Denmark), Clyde Archer and Isaac Montllor (Spain's Compañía Nacional de Danza). The evening will include Nacho Duato’s modern trio Remanso and a new piece choreographed by Polunin himself.

Also on the bill will be Leon Jacobson’s Vestris – a solo originally choreographed in 1969 for a young Mikhail Baryshnikov after he won the International Ballet Competition in Moscow. Other highlights include one of the most famous works ever created for the male dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky’s L'après-midi d'un faune set to Debussy’s beautiful music.



Monica Mason: 54 years with the Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet is hosting an exhibition to showcase the career of Dame Monica Mason, who is set to retire in July after 54 years with the company.

Mason joined the Royal Ballet School when she was 16 years old and was the youngest member of the company at that time.

Now, after nearly ten years as the director of the Royal Ballet, she will handover to retired dancer Kevin O'Hare.

While the Royal Opera House team went about setting up for the exhibition of photographs, costumes and memorabilia, Mason shared some of her career highlights with BBC News.


Another nightmarish event in Summer 2012


















Recession puts the north-south divide back on the misery map

How the north of England has suffered most in the downturn
















Anna Lucia Richter: soprano
Christoph Prégardien: tenor
Julius Drake: piano


- Der Knabe und das Immlein
- Nixe Binsefuss
- Elfenlied
- Begegnung
- Der Gärtner
- An die Geliebte
- Der Feuerreiter


- Ganymed
- Die Spröde
- Die Bekehrte
- Gleich und gleich
- Ritter Kurts Brautfahrt
- Der neue Amadis
- Genialisch Treiben
- St Nepomuks Vorabend

Mörike, Geistliche Lieder:

- Neue Liebe
- Schlafendes Jesuskind
- Karwoche
- Wo find ich Trost?
- Auf ein altes Bild
- Gebet
- Seufzer
- Denk’ es, o Seele!
- Zum neuen Jahr

About this concert
Wigmore Hall audiences have come to savour the work of Christoph Prégardien, with its characteristic elements of tonal light and shade, visionary word-painting and exquisitely spun legato. The German tenor turns his lyric artistry to the interpretation of Hugo Wolf’s Mörike and Goethe songs, including the consummate ‘An die Geliebte’.


 ただ、実力はあっても21歳、やはり緊張はしていたようです。メーリケのパートの2曲目、「Nixe Binsefuss」では、ピアニストのドレイクが最初の一音をはじいて視線を交わしたあと、同じ音から歌が始まりました。しかしながら一曲歌い終わるたびにその実力を発揮したのは確かで、音は全くはずさない、声は強靭、しかも上官の高まりをコントロールするなどたった数曲歌うだけでこれほどまでに成長するものなのかと。
 プレガルディーンと比べてはリヒターには分が悪いことは承知ですが、彼女の若さが上手く作用しなかったのも事実。「Ganymed」や「Wo find ich Trost?」はどうやらソプラノが歌うリートのようですが、プレガルディーンで聴きたかったです。


Richter/Prégardien/Drake – review

 二つ目のレヴューの後半で触れられているように、今回、ピアニストのドレイクがまた好調でした。彼なくしては、例えば「Der Feuerreiter」が生み出した緊張感はなかったかもしれないです。ドレイクさんご多忙で、このあとはオランダにイアン・ボストリッジと遠征しています。



 彼の声が僕の耳にとって至福の響きであること、そして、舞台でプレガルディーンが描く歌の豊かさ。後半、「Gebet」、「Seufzer」、「Denk’ es, o Seele!」の連続には、自分の中で気分が高揚してくるのがしっかり判りました。歌と歌の間で無遠慮に咳をする連中の頸をへし折りたいという衝動も、このときばかりは沸き起こりませんでした。1月は本当に体調が低空飛行でしたが、リサイタル終了直後には、「これがlifting my spiritというものなんだろうな」と。

「I hope you are not afraid of earthquake or tsunami because there are many people waiting for you in Japan」

「(微笑みながら)No, I am not. I will go to Japan


Songs    Comment(2)   ↑Top



Cameron Galt Late saturday morning (2)

 カードの上辺では、The Sunは見切れているが、一目瞭然。イギリスらしい、自分たちを哀れむブラック・ジョークが満載。ということで、

Discuss: What does toxic mean in this card?









Counting the cost of the 9/11 wars

The global conflicts that have raged since 9/11 have seen no clear winners but many losers – at least 250,000 people have been killed










Spotify, British Rail and Skype:IT音痴には生き辛い世の中






Spotify says Facebook partnership and new apps should allay growth fears




ホガースを学ぼう:Beer Street and Gin Lane





David Cameron edges towards minimum price curb on binge drinking

Alcohol pricing: a battleground between health groups and drinks industry


 元になっているのは、ウィリアム・ホガースの「Beer Street and Gin Lane」。





UK unemployment stuck at 17-year high as economy flatlines


Mayor of poverty-hit council hires adviser in £1,000-a-day deal

Tony Winterbottom is an "executive adviser" on regeneration and development to Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Tower Hamlets who was ousted from the Labour Party over alleged links to Islamic extremists.

Local government secretary Eric Pickles accused Mr Rahman of wasting taxpayer money. He said: "It is astonishing that one of the poorest boroughs in the country sees fit to squander such colossal amounts of public cash in this way.

"Tower Hamlets seems to be living the ultimate champagne socialist lifestyle, leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab. I fail to see the business case for shelling out this money, which should be diverted towards protecting frontline services."

Tower Hamlets has the worst child poverty in the UK, with 52 per cent of children below the breadline. Campaigners warned planned £70 million cuts to the local budget could cause an "economic and social disaster".

Mr Winterbottom, 67, insisted he was not overpaid and was "embarrassed to be charging so little".

Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said: "At a time when Tower Hamlets is being buffeted by cuts from central government, every penny is precious and a £1,000-a-day contract seems to be way over the top." London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I'd better investigate the circumstances but it sounds like a lot of money to me."

A former adviser to Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone, Mr Winterbottom won the contract to advise Mr Rahman last October. An investigation by the Evening Standard found the £1,000-a-day deal is with LDP Projects, run by him and his wife, Kathleen, based at his home in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire.

The consultant works three days a month for Tower Hamlets.

Emma Boon, campaign director of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Deals like this for consultants should not be allowed at a time when the rest of the public sector is taking a pay freeze."

Mr Winterbottom was previously a senior official at the defunct London Development Agency. He was criticised in 2008 after he left on a year's sabbatical, followed by a £75,000 pay-off and £160,000 top-up to his pension fund. An investigation into the LDA, ordered by Boris Johnson and headed by former financial journalist Baroness Wheatcroft, found a string of failings including "ineptitude" and "massive misspending".

Mr Rahman became the first directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2010. He originally stood as a Labour candidate, but was deselected amid claims about his links with fundamentalist group the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE). He has denied the allegations. He won the poll as an independent backed by Mr Livingstone, and controls a £1.3 billion budget.

Mr Winterbottom, who has also advised Tottenham Hotspur on stadium development, said: "I'm embarrassed the Standard knows I am charging so little. My company has done work in the private sector for a lot more than £1,000 a day."

He claimed he would not ask for the full amount: "I tendered a bid for £1,000 a day. In reality, I get paid £125 an hour but I have not yet put in an invoice. I wanted them to respect me as an individual so I asked them to pay me a proper price but I'm not going to charge them.

"I'm absolutely squeaky clean. This is not a money-making operation. This is about fighting for Lutfur Rahman who's trying to do good work."

A Tower Hamlets spokesman said: "We do not comment on payment of individual employees unless the information is on the council website as part of our responsibility towards transparency."








Judith Mackrell on star-rating reviews

A disturbing but fascinating precedent was set last June, when the New York magazine Village Voice "let go" of its distinguished critic Deborah Jowitt, apparently on the grounds that she didn't write enough bad reviews. For four decades, Jowitt's coverage of the New York dance scene had been almost unequalled in its breadth and detail, yet the Voice decided her descriptive, essentially non-judgmental style was no longer suited to the times; most readers now want and expect star-rated verdicts on every show.

Jowitt wrote an open letter online soon afterwards, in which she was adamant that her duty as a critic was primarily to the art form. She might pass an opinion on a choreographer or a dancer, but nearly always in the disinterested spirit of analysis. Even if her refusal to trash a work meant readers weren't always sure whether or not to make the effort to see it, she felt her function was to appreciate and record.

For me, the transparency of Jowitt's critical viewpoint was always its chief attraction: combined with the vividness and accuracy of her prose style, it gave her readers an exceptionally clear impression of works they'd not been able to see. In an art form such as dance, that kind of written access remains invaluable. Even in the age of YouTube, most works have an essentially ephemeral existence: performed for a limited span, seen only by a limited number of people. In this context, even a speedily written 300-word review has value as a historical marker. Jowitt's body of writing is far more useful to future readers than any dance equivalent of the Rotten Tomatoes site.

Fortunately Jowitt is now reviewing online, at her blog DanceBeat, where she's free to write as she chooses – even if, presumably, she no longer gets paid for it. Her departure from the Voice highlights an issue that faces all critics, as well as their readers and editors. What is the right balance between reportage and rating, and where does the reviewer's duty lie: to the art form or to the consumer? As I struggle over my star ratings, it's an issue that can still make me queasy.







Thousands stranded as half the Tube network is shut or delayed




Crossrail chaos as work begins at Paddington


From Sunday 12 February there will be changes in and around Paddington station, which will allow construction of the Crossrail station to get underway.

*Eastbourne Terrace will close to all vehicles (including buses and taxis) for about two years

*The entrances on Eastbourne Terrace to and from the mainline station will close until the Crossrail works are complete

*A new taxi rank will open next to the Hammersmith & City line Underground station

*The current taxi rank (on the west side of the station) will be closed permanently

*The pavement on the east side of Eastbourne Terrace will be temporarily closed – please use the west side or use alternative roads

*Buses will be rerouted at Paddington, with new or altered bus stop arrangements

*Eastbourne Terrace will reopen in 2014 with one lane of traffic in each direction, and will fully reopen when the Crossrail works are complete.








 まず、余談から。先週終わったナショナル・ギャラリィの「レオナルド展(」、ロイヤル・アカデミィで開催中の「ホックニィ展(、そしてこの「ルシアン・フロイト」の超人気展覧会のメディア・パートナーはThe Times。ルパート・マードックにこれ以上の金を払うものかという気持ちは変わらずですが、タイムズを定期購読するとアート関連のインセンティヴがほかの新聞よりずっとお得なんです。美術館の会員になるより、タイムズを定期購読したほうがいいのかもしれないと煩悶しています。






 この展覧会、ロンドンのあとに、アメリカのテキサスにあるthe Modern Art Museum in Fort Worthに巡回します。そこのチーフ・キュレイター、Michael Auping氏の発言がとても興味深いものでした。曰く、アメリカでルシアン・フロイトの人気が高いのは、彼が描く絵はアメリカの画家がなしえないものを持っているから。アメリカの絵画は、FlatnessDistancenessが多く、フロイトの肖像画が生み出すclosenessがほぼ存在しないからだ、と。


「あなたが表現したアメリカ絵画の特徴、Flatness とDistanceness、とても興味深いです。I am not sure whether it is an appropriate comparison, but how about Andrew Wyeth?

No, even Wyeth shows distanceness. I guess you are thinking about Christina’s World?! Let’s think about it. あの絵では、ワイエスの視点はクリスティーナの背後にあり、さらにその先までを含めた世界であって、画家とモデルの間の距離は物理的にも心理的にもとても大きい。エドワード・ホッパーでさえ、フロイトが描く緊密さを描いたとはいえないと僕は思う(ここまで来ると僕の理解の範疇を超えています)」

By the way, although I find Freud’s nude portraits not erotic from the surface from the paintings, psychologically, it is powerfully erotic. You have said that this exhibition is going to Texas, do you think it will be controversial?

I know what you mean, and we have been discussing this point. I think we will have to put a message for parents in order to avoid complains










Yayoi Kusama: a spot of bother

Seeing spots: Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern - in pictures








Royal Horticultural Society(日本語だと、王立園芸協会だったかな)の庭園の一つ、ウィズリィに1月14日に行ってきた。目的は、14日から始まった温室での蝶の展示と、購入した初ディジタル・カメラを使ってみるにはウィズリィはちょうどいい練習になると思ったから。








Sergei Polunin, ex-Royal Ballet star, loses right to work in the UK

Sergei Polunin loses right to work in UK

Sergei Polunin, the young Royal Ballet principal dancer who caused waves by quitting suddenly last week, has forfeited the right to work in the UK, it has emerged.

The Ukrainian dancer's work permit was conditional on his contract with the Royal Ballet and has been automatically rescinded on his decision to leave the company. A spokesperson for the Royal Ballet confirmed the news: "Having resigned, Sergei no longer has the right to work in the UK."

Polunin told the Royal Ballet's director Monica Mason of his plans to resign last Tuesday, as a result of which the company was legally obliged to inform the UK Border Agency. Mason described his announcement as "a huge shock".

While Polunin was granted special permission to dance at Sadler's Wells last weekend, when he appeared in Men in Motion by another former Royal Ballet principal Ivan Putrov, his scheduled performance at the English National Ballet's gala evening at the Coliseum next month will not take place without special dispensation. The company is working to resolve the issue and artistic director Wayne Eagling has spoken of offering the dancer, previously tipped as a successor to Rudolf Nureyev, a more permanent position with the English National Ballet.





More tickets to see Hockney blockbuster



Freezing and frozen UK, and Europe


Big freeze Britain: Forecasters warn 15cm of snow on the way as icy weather settles in across country




Icy weather warning issued to older people



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