Daily catch-up: iconoclasm; worrying about the deficit; and TV series cancelled before their time

Trifles and seriousnesses collected from around the websphere over the weekend

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1. Does everyone else get that problem where you have too many icons on your desktop? asks Myko Clelland.

2. “In every election since 1928 the party that was more fit to govern has been victorious.” Discuss, with reference to the 2015 election. My column, copied out of an old one of Daniel Finkelstein’s, for The Independent on Sunday. Which comes to the crashingly predictable conclusion, I’m afraid.

3. “The wrong people were voting Labour”: having provided us with the salutary quotation of the year, Neal Lawson, the chair of Compass, wanted the chance to defend himself. So we had one of those exchanges of views that they have between intellectual giants in Prospect magazine.

4. Talking of exchanges of views between intellectual giants in Prospect magazine, Oliver Kamm, deficit hawk, went head-to-head in Prospect magazine with Simon Wren-Lewis, Krugman-Keynesian, on the question of tax’n’spend’n’borrow.

I found it usefully clarifying. I started off on Kamm’s side, because I worry about running a huge deficit in case interest rates return to normal. But Wren-Lewis makes a convincing case for worrying about that later, although he threw away some of his advantage at the end by suggesting George Osborne has an ulterior motive for cutting public spending, namely the ideology of a smaller state. Who wants the state to be larger than it need be?

Two other points for the lay economist to bear in mind: one is that, with interest rates around zero in real terms, it makes sense for government to borrow; the other is that borrowing is locked in at current rates – a rise in interest rates would affect only new borrowing.

Further confirmation bias for my thesis that Ed Balls is more right about the economy than Osborne.

5. The Top 10 in The New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, is Prematurely Cancelled TV Shows, compiled by Martyn P Jackson.

As this was an authored Top 10, I also collected a Top 12 of nominations from other people.

Firefly. “More for the promise of what it could than the actual show, which was a little uneven but didn't have time to grow,” said John Nisbet. Also nominated by Pat English and Sunil Prasannan.

Boss. With Kelsey Grammer as the corrupt Chicago mayor. Alex Bjarnason, David Webster, Carlos.

Pushing Daisies. “Literally left on a cliffhanger,” said Josh Rogan Dixon, who also nominated The Almighty Johnsons (“another cliffhanger”), The Mysterious Cities of Gold (“seven cities, they only found one – a second series has been made but not translated”), Young Justice (“criminally replaced with Teen Titans Go”) and Wonder Woman (“never made it past the pilot stage”).

Party Animals, BBC2 political drama, 2007. “Brilliant but axed after one series,” said Lesley Roberts.

A Very Peculiar Practice: “1980s series set at a university featuring a stellar cast (Peter Davison, Graham Crowden, Barbara Flynn, David Troughton) having high jinks on the campus.” Paul Bexon.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. “The end of season two completely changes the situation, about the boldest thing in the whole franchise,” said John Nisbet, who also nominated Farscape, but admitted he wasn’t sure if 88 episodes and a mini-series counts as premature.

Almost Human. “Axed just as it started to get interesting,” said Pat English. “American TV sci-fi is littered with bad choices of which shows to axe and which to give another season.”

The Cheetah Girls, 2003, nominated by Ben Ross, who also mentioned Do you trust me? 2007 and Hooligan's Island, 2013.

The Tripods, broadcast by the BBC in 1984, had 13 half-hour episodes written by Alick Rowe, covers the first of John Christopher’s books, The White Mountains. The 12-episode second series (1985) covers The City of Gold and Lead. Although a television script had been written for the third series, it never went into production. Richard Smith.

Bodies. “Demolition of NHS disfunction, darkest gallows humour, peak Keith Allen and very very dirty,” according to Mcboohoo. 

The Event. “Brilliant cast, storyline, cancelled after series one,” said Steve Race.

FlashForward. US TV series, 2009-10, based on Flashforward, sci-fi book by Robert J Sawyer, 1999. Mike Rigby.

Because I don't watch TV myself, I take these on trust. The only nomination I rejected was for Twin Peaks, which I did see some of and didn't like.

6. And finally, thanks to Chris Heaton-Harris for this:

Patient: “Doctor, doctor, I’ve got huge red spots all over my back, like glacé cherries on a cake.”

Doctor: “Don’t worry, you have analogy.”

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