The daily catch-up: running like a girl and unremarked changes

An idiosyncratic assortment of things in which you might be interested, chosen by our political columnist

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1. Lovely picture of the BT Tower, looking as if it is about to lift off, taken over the weekend by Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham.

2. This US advert for Always, "Run Like a Girl", has gone viral. It's a short feminist documentary; you can ignore the commercial tag at the end. If you haven't seen it, it's worth it. Via Louise Mensch. Talking of feminism, and discrimination generally, today's column in The Independent by Terence Blacker is commended.

3. Peter Mandelson makes a rather obvious point in an interview with Progress magazine, which has nevertheless escaped Ed Miliband:

"It is essential still to win on leadership and the economy, and to demonstrate that we are a party of conscience and reform that will talk to people's values and concerns, not simply keep driving an agenda of our own regardless of the electorate's views. That is why I get frustrated sometimes when people argue now that the country has moved to the left, therefore if we are more unambiguously leftwing and raise our ideological vigour, we are more likely to win the next election."

4. Today's prize for a comment by a media spokesman is won by the Scottish Labour Party. Yesterday's Sunday Herald carried a story: "Man who could have altered history by thwarting Tony Blair's bid to become an MP has come out for Scottish independence." It was about Les Huckfield, defeated by 73 votes to 46 by Blair for the Sedgefield nomination in 1983. Worth sticking with it for the last line: "A Scottish Labour spokesman said: 'Who?'"

5. For my "Top 10" in The Independent on Sunday yesterday, I listed Great Unremarked Changes of Our Lifetime. There were plenty of fine entries for which I didn't have space: 

"Homosexuality and tobacco. Fifty years ago, one was an innocent indulgence that some people liked and others didn’t, while  the other was a threat to the very fabric of human life. That’s still the case, but they have changed places." Guy Keleny.

"It used to be only the urban rich who could buy out of season. Now its only the urban rich who want to buy in season." Rob Ford.

"The decline of the television repairman." Lee Ravitz.

"Men no longer feel when with a woman companion that they should walk on the outside of the pavement." Geoffrey Bamford.

"Sauces sold in squeezy bottles and stamps and envelopes which require no licking." Matt Chorley. 

Some nominations were controversial. I said that the London Tube is now the best mass transit system in the world. Others were obscure. Many people will have no idea, for example, what "poste restante", nominated by Philip Cowley, was: a way of sending letters to a post office in some faraway part of the world to be collected by a traveller. Cars don't backfire anymore; cheques will soon be phased out (they are still used a lot in America, according to Arieh Kovler); there used to be things called filofaxes; and chocolate, wrapped in aluminium foil, used to be sold in vending machines that worked about 50 per cent of the time in stations.

6. Finally, thanks to Chris Heaton-Harris, yet again:

"When I found out my new phone number was going to be in Roman numerals I was LIVID."

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