The weekend's TUC march would have been a must-attend for me a few years ago, especially in the current climate of fear and suffering inflicted on so many people. For personal reasons (I'm too old, and too worried about the potential impact on my work life... I am as scared as everyone else, I suppose) and as a result of my thoughts on where we are headed, I did not go, did not feel the need to go. Protest itself (at least as it's done these days) seems somehow unsatisfactory. Like so much of modern life, it all feels so corporate and hollow. What will Ed Miliband contribute from the stump at Hyde Park? What will he say that is going to make a blind bit of difference? A dead horse is a dead horse, whether it's wearing blue or red livery, I say. So the pleasure of seeing Andrew Mitchell resign, as well as Osborne and the first class fiasco, delicious as it was, still had the edge taken off it slightly by the fact that there really isn't any alternative.
How utterly insane is it that there are now articles in newspapers stating that the slump is over, and that we're on the road to recovery? How does that mean anything to the mother who has to borrow money for her Lidl shopping, or the family living in a dingy B&B, trying to get their kids through school? Where is the sense in the opening of a vast new restaurant, actually an old warehouse, specialising in meat in EC2 when huge numbers of people are either starving or morbidly obese?
Anyway, to stop another of my directionless, depressive rants, I will console myself with the fact that I got the result right at the Hawthorns, even if there was a very late goal from the fabulous Dzeko (Oh-ohhhh, Edin Dzeko, oh-ohhhh, Edin Dzeko!) to clinch it.
Now, I hope that my prediction for Ajax tomorrow will be wrong, because a draw will really not be good enough for us in the Champions League. I don't know enough about the Dutch side at the moment, only that they are not playing terribly well, so I can't really say whether I think we can win it. Let's see.
Overall, the performances have been just about good enough, and we're only a couple of goals adrift of the Rags, with Chelsea maintaining good form and looking very hard to beat. I am struck by the fact that journalists base so many of their assumptions on a single match: City are showing the form of champions; Dzeko is a super sub; all the other guff that gets spouted. When I went to Fulham a few weeks ago, I thought they were a pretty terrible side, largely bereft of attacking ideas at home for at least the second half, and yet they are 6th in the table. It all points - yet again - to a dearth of really good teams in the Premier League.