Wednesday, July 2, 1980

Wednesday July 2nd

We had an assembly today which was really the most interesting of today’s proceedings. From nine o’clock until 11.25 I (and the rest of Group B) sat in the Common Room. I for one was pretty bored. I read Quinn’s “Book of Lists” and then, after he went to the talk on Finance at 950, I talked to Jeremy Beaumont and Lee Hoy. Although I profess to dislike Beaumont, he really is OK once you get talking. He is a bit pompous and egocentric but then I suppose that’s how he’s made.

He had brought a tape recorder and a cassette of his (and Duncan Verity’s) five minute Saturday morning satire programme on Radio North. Some of the sketches were really funny – they had tears streaming down my face. A big crowd, including Tracey Booth, Lynn Norden, Sean Laxton, Andy Briscoe, Adrian Westcott, Mark Pittock and Richard Houlding gathered as Beaumont played the tape. He seems to naturally enjoy playing up to an audience.

The Understanding Industry lecture was on at 11.25 in the F. E. Lounge. The speaker came from Midland Bank on Beck Street, Easterby, (Mr. Gladden) – typical business executive type – neat, side-parted graying hair, metal-rimmed glasses, three piece suit etc . . . . , and as yesterday gave a pretty uninteresting talk. It was slightly more absorbing than yesterday though because the speaker was much more efficient and professional.

After listening to 90 minutes of cash flows, accountancy and capital, we had dinner. I went instead to the Common Room where I slumped until 1.00 when Lee Hoy, Richard Deakin and Richard Houlding and I decided to go home. We didn’t have anything else timetabled although to be strictly legal we should have got Ingham’s permission. We signed out anyway, putting in the ‘permission’ coloumn Ingham’s initials.

I got home at half-one and Dad was still home, He was to have been at work for 2 pm. Farrar had been coming to do the windows and Dad was willing to leave him on his own until I came home but when at 9 two Polish blokes turned up – Dad had never seen them before – he rang into work and got a days annual leave. He couldn’t leave two complete unknowns in the house unattended.

The windows had been fitted and it is good to have clear, undistorted views of the sunsets. One trivial thing I’ve noticed. When I’m sat at my table, the putty-smell strongly reminds me of the smell of a freshly painted model aeroplane kit.

I watched Wimbledon until tea (Tracy Austin got beaten by Evonne Cawley) and then went upstairs to write my reports on “Commerce & Industry” and “Finance,” inbetween listening to Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland.”

I got the “Industry” report written and just managed the first paragraph of “Finance” before nine thirty came and I went downstairs for some soup. I watched television (“The Good Old Days”) until “The White Tribe of Africa,” about apartheid.

It was the same old story. Dad and I ended up arguing. I’m sorry but I just cannot agree to anything he says. I was itching to say something, to call him by his real name but I felt that no, that would be really inflammatory. “Black men lack initiative.” Shit! “The Afrikaaners want to preserve their identity.” True, but under apartheid black S. Africans have no bloody identity to preserve! It’s like talking with a pre-programmed brick wall.

We came to bed in glowering mood. I decided to think up a question for tomorrow on Personnel in Industry. I’ve got some good ones involving the use of the ‘law’ of supply and demand and also one about reducing industrial disputes by having no management as such – workers manage their own affairs and vice versa – managers become production workers too! Then everybody gets equal shares of the profit from the goods he/she produces. Knowing my pathetic/unsociable timidity though, I won’t dare ask, for fear of being laughed at.

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