Opening Day at the Book Festival

I was going to do an extended review of the two events I went to yesterday at the Book Festival, but as it now looks as if I have to clean draft and rehearse a story for an event on Wednesday (of which more presently) I’ll be brief:

Hans Kochler, John Ashton and Jim Swire on Lockerbie: interesting discussion on a subject I feel I should know much more about. Who set off the bomb that brought down Pan Am 103? Who ordered it? Was it in revenge for the Americans bombing Libya, or for bringing down the Airbus over Iran? Working in the public sector, I definitely favour cock-up over conspiracy. However, the real sadness, amongst all the conspiracy theorists and their minute details on what fragments might have been found in the fields in the weeks and months following the atrocity, is the feeling that the victims and their families will never see true justice done.

Andrew Motion’s event on his new(ish) sequel to Treasure Island, Silver, was, as you’d expect from a former poet laureate who performs on the radio, polished and charming. All the same, there was some real raw emotion in his motivations for writing it – and for his delaying writing it till after his father’s death.

The weirdest thing though was, right at the start of the event, there was a noise behind us at the back of the tent that sounded to all the world like a man with a stick and a wooden leg pacing the breadth of the room…




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