Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Living in an unsettled time

I've been back in the UK for just over a week, and it has been a very remarkable week. After our election last Thursday, it's got to Tuesday and it looks as if David Cameron might finally be about to limp battered and bruised into Number 10, having conceded vast amounts to a Lib-Dem party that actually didn't get anywhere like the number of votes it should have done on the basis of the campaign.

Everybody is treating this as if it's a bizarre event - but globally, and certainly in Europe, coalitions are the norm. In fact, Europe now has only three remaining majority governments - in France, Malta and (wait for it) Greece. Hardly a recipe for perfection, then. The fact is that coalitions, and their attendant negotiations, are the essence of a consensual democracy. In recent years, they have been waylaid by the centralising of party power in the leaders' offices. Before that, parties were also mini-coalitions, which only evolved in the first place to facilitate the inevitable process of give and take involved in forming a government. I said before the election that a hung Parliament would be the best result because it would re-vitalise our democracy - and nothing I have seen in the last few days undermines that idea. Who knows - we may even get a Tory-led government which brings in a form of PR and raises the tax-free allowance to help the poorest workers.

Talking of helping poor workers.... (!) we've had some positive results on some of our recent funding bids. The Swedish Embassy is helping us, as is the Commonwealth Foundation, and Nick Moran has some funding for the research aspect of lighting the show. It's still not as much as we need - so we've had to take the difficult decision to stage only Re-Orientations this autumn, rather than the full Trilogy. Which said - that's the new show and the one we are most proud of - so there's still a very big and exciting project here!

Also sent in another EU bid - this time for a project with Palestine. All fingers crossed, then....

The reviews for the Houston Xerxes are out. They are all really good - but here's a link to my favourite!

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