I always think of the equinoxes as the tipping points of the year, not the solstices. It’s not just the point in the earth’s orbit that’s at the tipping point this equinox, it’s that wee virus, it’s the world economy, it’s the political cycle. Will you bet against Johnson playing a Churchill-figure during his “war”, gets no electoral thanks for it and finds Kier Starmer is the post-war Attlee? Johnson is going to find the recovery from the double-whammy of Brexit and C-19 very hard, but he’s stuck in office for five years under the new, ill-conceived fixed-term parliament law while his government loses all moral authority. Meanwhile Labour and the LibDems come to an electoral pact – the best-placed to beat the Tory stands – and the deal is electoral reform when they are in office. That formula works OK in England and maybe Wales, but it’s a different dynamic in Scotland, the SNP is the toxic party here, and I don’t see them agreeing to electoral reform. The Tories can do A LOT of damage while they are in office, of course. Dangerous days – too many tipping points in play at the same time.

Just about to start reading Anthony Loewenstein’sĀ PILLS, POWDER AND SMOKE: INSIDE THE BLOODY WAR ON DRUGS. His main theme is that if the war was winnable we would have a winner by now, But governments and businesses around the world – including the privatised prisons of the USA – have an unhealthy co-incidence of interest in keeping the whole industry “illegal”. There’s no tipping point in this war. It certainly chimes with my thesis on the subject, best contained in my chapterĀ From Eden to Leith. The key sentence is: “The task is not to prohibit [drugs] but to manage [them]. (p.148). I’m certainly saying that my book is in the next-door stable to Lowenstein’s. if you’re good with Amazon’s algorithms, could you see if you can get his book and mine listed on each other’s page under “customers also looked at…”

Can’t be sure when I’ll be allowed to do tours – on the face of it, this widespread self-isolation should be good for selling books – but I like tours, I meet real people and have live conversations, all very interesting. I doubt if Leith Festival will go ahead in June, and quite possibly the Edinburgh Fringe in August will be off. You might say outdoor tours are among the more innocent activities. You might well, but the authorities might not. Best solution – buy the book.