1. The Vine Tavern, in (the middle of) the Mile End Road, until it was pulled down in 1903. Looks like something out of the Wild West. I love these photos of old London.
The Vine wasn’t exactly in the middle of the road: Mile End Waste was the wide roadside from the London Hospital at Whitechapel, past the alms houses to what is now the Genesis cinema at Stepney Green (map thanks to Lang Rabbie). It was a market place (the part near Whitechapel still is). Note the shop selling guns and ammunition.
2. Ed Miliband is one of very few among his shadow cabinet, staff and advisers who thinks that a war against big business – including companies that own newspapers that used to support the Labour Party – will gain votes for Labour: my column for The Independent on Sunday. Evidence of the power of the press from Jonathan Ladd and Gabriel Lenz, via Chris Hanretty. More equivocal findings from John Curtice, via Xlibris1.
3. The Top 10 in The New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, was Singles Longer Than Six Minutes. I didn’t have space for a full explanation of why many popular nominations, including “American Pie” (8 mins 33 seconds), were excluded. “American Pie” was split on two sides of the single, fading out and back in again. Many other nominations (including “Blue Monday” by New Order) were on 12-inch singles, or were edited for the seven-inch version.
“Little Johnny Jewel (Parts 1 & 2)”, by Television, 1975, 7 mins 05 secs, nominated by Simmy Richman but disqualified as it was split (as the name suggests) on two sides.
“All Around The World”, by Oasis, 1998, nominated by David Skelton but disqualified: the 12-inch version is 9 mins 38 secs, but the seven-inch single is only 4 mins 51 secs.
“Sebastian”, by Cockney Rebel, nominated by Harry Cole, 6 mins 59 secs on the album, is only 3 mins 54 secs in the seven-inch version.
“Stairway to Heaven”, 8 mins 02 secs, wasn’t a single until 2007, when it wasn’t on vinyl.
4. Someone on Twitter found an old Top 10 of mine on the blog, and Daniel Hannan commented:
“I love John Rentoul’s Top 10 Worst Song Lyrics. Any nominations for Worst Line Of Poetry By An Otherwise Renowned Poet?”
Hannan nominated this, by Byron:
“And greatly venerate our recent glories,
And wish they were not owing to the Tories.”
More nominations to me on Twitter on in the comments, please.
5. Talking of blogs, Andrew Sullivan closed his Dish down on Friday. People often say it is the end of an era when something like this happens, but this time it really is. The word weblog was invented in December 1997, and shortened to blog in about 1999. The heyday of the blogosphere was 2000-07. I used to read the late great Norman Geras, Iain Dale, Oliver Kamm, Harry’s Place, Events, Dear Boy and Sullivan. This 2005 article captures it well (thanks to Citizen Sane). It is not completely over, but it has changed. My blogging is now mostly on the main Independent website (indexed here).
6. And finally, thanks to Chris Heaton-Harris for this:
“Whoever stole my copy of Microsoft Office: I will track you down – you have my Word.”