Friday 1 October
Violent protests in Iceland as the populace vents its disgruntlement over austerity measures. More than 100 British artists sign a letter warning that the UK government’s cuts risk ruining the “remarkable and fertile landscape of culture and creativity”. Desmond Morris, noted anthropologist of this parish, says that good television can be better for preschool children’s development than reading. The Olympic Delivery Authority is going back to the private sector to offer a deal on the Olympic village. At the Celtic Manor Ryder Cup organisers are shocked – shocked – when it lashes down with rain in Wales in October. Not as shocked as the US team, who discover that their waterproofs don’t work; they spend £4,000 on new ones in the on-course retail village.

Saturday 2 October
Zaha Hadid wins the Sterling prize for Maxxi, the national museum of 21st-century arts in Rome. Still in architectural circles, Norman Foster adds his name to the list of cultural commentators who deplore the giant billboards that have sprung up around Venice to fund restoration projects. It also seems that Joachim von Ribbentrop fancied a house on St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall after the invasion.

Sunday 3 October
A survey suggests that people now have 8.5 hours fewer a week to spend on themselves in comparison to five years ago. The Ryder Cup is pretty much washed out, requiring a Monday finish for the first time. Taybeth, a village on the West Bank, hosts its own beer festival in the name of community integration. Four British tourists are killed in a plane crash in Peru.

Monday 4 October
Europe wins the Ryder Cup in a last-match finish. Nicholas Serota says that the proposed government cuts to arts funding will be the biggest threat to British culture since government funding began in 1940. Tate Britain tries to force photographers to agree not to use images of the Turner Prize that would lead to bad publicity for the controversial prize; but the snappers refuse to sign, prompting the Tate to relent. Sir Norman Wisdom dies at the age of 95.

Tuesday 5 October
The Tory party conference hears that child benefit and the principle of universal benefits, a cornerstone of the British welfare state since its inception, is to go, a policy that did not appear in the Conservative’s election manifesto. Ticketing problems in Delhi: it seems not many people are interested in the Commonwealth Games and those that do want to go can’t get hold of tickets until after the event. Hastings pier is almost completely destroyed by fire; arson, predictably enough, is suspected. The latest proposal for the London Olympic stadium involved inserting Tottenham Hotspur and removing the running track; cue controversy. Sir Trevor Brooking says that, given the next England manager is going to be English, Steve McClaren could well be in the running (yes, that Steve McClaren). Meanwhile, the FA reveals its bid pledges for the 2018 World Cup: not much mention of a sports development legacy but plenty about hotel rooms, convenient travel for FIFA executives and a minimum tax-free profit for FIFA of £161 million.

Wednesday 6 October
The prime minister gives his big conference speech and reassures everyone that we’re all in this together. Big problems at Anfield as the club’s creditors and owners wrangle over hundred of millions of pounds of debt; a nine-point penalty for the team could be on the cards. Seamus Heaney wins the £10,000 Forward prize for poetry. Berlin issues a ban on ‘beer bikes’, the multi-rider, pedal-powered machines that carry up to 16 drinkers round the city. Lee Westwood says he won’t be joining the US PGA tour, saying, “I have my family, my house here. I pay all my taxes here.” Mark Lewis-Francis comes second in the Commonwealth Games 100m final and reckons he is back among the greats; cue swagger from him and general lack of interest from everyone else. Ivan Henson, a 68-year-old Briton, drowns on a water ride at a theme park in Florida.

Thursday 7 October
A newly discovered poem by Ted Hughes on the subject of his wife’s suicide is published by the New Statesman. A lost Vivaldi flute concerto has also been discovered and will be played for the first time in 250 years. Peruvian novelist Vargas Llosa wins the Nobel prize for literature. Back in Britain it seems that the government machine has calculated that cutting 180 quangos will cost as much as it saves. The plans for the post-Games Olympic park are unveiled, including affordable housing, terraced streets and a focus on family homes. The Tullie House Museum in Carlisle cannot match the £2 million sale price for the intact Roman helmet recently uncovered on its patch; curator Andrew Mackay describes the loss of the piece to the area as “a real blow”. Culture secretary Hunt expands his brief by attacking people who have large families and also claim state benefits. British architect David Chipperfield wins the Royal Gold Medal, the most prestigious award of its kind in the world, for his work on the Neues Museum in Berlin. More problems in Delhi: thousands of condoms are blocking the drains. The sports minister (it’s Hugh Robertson) says that the government is unlikely to back a bid for the 2015 world athletics championships, thought by many to have been a logical use for the London Olympic stadium.

Friday 8 October
An outcry in Israel with the news that one of its orchestras has been invited to open next year’s Wagner festival in Bayreuth, Germany. Manchester United lost £83.6 million last year despite an operating profit of more than £100 million on their highest ever turnover.

Saturday 9 October
The Savoy reopens after a £220 million makeover. A report from the Equality and Human Rights Commissions reveals a nation deeply divided in areas such as education, pay and crime; black Britons are more at risk of jail than black Americans, the report claims. Sven-Goran Idiot, recently appointed manager of Leicester City, says he’s at the club for the long term. Start the clock.

Sunday 10 October
Rinse FM, which started out as a pirate radio station broadcast from a Tower Hamlets high-rise, has been granted a broadcasting licence. Ed Miliband names his shadow cabinet with Gloria del Piero in the culture seat and Jack Dromey at communities. Neal Robertson reclaims the world porridge-making title for Scotland. A study by the University of Bristol says that children spending more than two hours per day in front of a screen have a higher incidence of psychological problems in adult life. The deck of Sydney Harbour Bridge is covered in 11,000 square metres of turf to welcome 7,500 for breakfast.

Monday 11 October
Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds, which comprises 100 million hand-painted porcelain seed-shaped pods, is opened at Tate Modern. The RSPB wants a tax on new homes and peat to protect wildlife environments. Americans only walk 5,000 steps a day on average, according to a survey by the University of Tennessee, which makes them pretty inactive. Heathrow saw 6.22 million people fly during September, a record figure. Brendan Venter, director of rugby at Saracens, has added essay-writing to the coaching regime. The winner of the women’s 100m, Nigerian Oludamola Osayomi, tests positive at the Commonwealth Games. Opera singer Joan Sutherland, ‘La Stupenda’, dies at the age of 83.

Tuesday 12 October
University tuition fees could be rising to £12,000 a year. The Thames wins the International Thiess prize in recognition of its environmental improvement. Howard Jacobson’s novel, The Finkler Question, wins the Man Booker prize, the first comic novel to win the prize in its 42-year history. Cuts to “non-essential” education projects will include youth clubs, and after-school arts and music projects. In Italy the local authority in the Abruzzo region is to tackle the problem of prostitutes plying their trade along the forest road by the river Tronto by cutting all the trees down (that should do it). Still in Italy, their team’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia in Genoa is abandoned in the first half after crowd trouble.

Wednesday 13 October
Walking nine miles a week could reduce the risk of dementia, according to data compiled by neurologists in the USA, although only 300 people were tracked in the trial. The first of 33 Chilean miners emerge from their underground home after three months; the rest to follow. Crisis in the US porn industry as an actor (performer?) tests positive for HIV; it’s a multi-billion dollar industry, apparently. Speaking of which, Sepp Blatter visits David Cameron in Downing Street, taking time to praise England’s tackling of hooliganism. Australia’s cricketers are beaten by India in a Test match again; the Aussies are now ranked below England in the world standings.

Thursday 14 October
The Frieze art fair opens in Regent’s Park, London. The ‘bonfire of the quangos’ is unveiled, with 19 of the 55 quangos linked to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport about to disappear. The Millennium Cohort Study, which has tracked 14,000 children born at the start of the century, reveals that a fifth of British children live in “severe poverty”. The Commonwealth Games ends in Delhi with talk of India bidding for the Olympics. Chelsea have signed the “new Drogba”, an 11-year-old who has been playing with Northampton Town’s centre of excellence (sic). Darren Gough says that the ECB should not be relying on Australian coaches to guide the England cricket team.

Friday 15 October
Liverpool FC swaps two American owners for one, a change that is costing the new owner some £300 million. Speaking at the London film festival, director Ken Loach says that television is the enemy of creativity, having been taken over by time-servers and layers of producers. Tate Modern stops visitors interacting with (some say ‘walking on’) Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds; apparently breaking the tiny porcelain seeds gives off a dust that could be quite nasty. Sir Richard Dannatt, former head of the UK’s armed services, says that the BBC World Service is a highly cost-effective means of communicating with the world. The Little Baron announces the cost of tickets for the London Olympic Games: 2.5 million of the 8.8 million tickets will be priced at £20 or less. Ireland is considering a mass cull of the thousands of homeless horses abandoned by their owners. England will not be bidding to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, concentrating on 2018, part, no doubt, of a cosy deal with someone somewhere. England bowler Jimmy Anderson is injured in the England team pre-Ashes ‘boot camp’; someone broke his ribs during a boxing session. Malcolm Allison, football coach and character extraordinaire, dies at the age of 83.

Saturday 16 October
Manchester City’s manager, Roberto Mancini, explains that he is far happier having his players (and we’re paraphrasing heavily here) go on the pull than go on the piss. Some high-profile literary names write a no doubt beautifully crafted letter to Broxtowe Borough Council urging them to keep the DH Lawrence centre open. An international report finds that in Britain black people are 26 times more likely to be subjected to stop-and-search enquiries by police than their white compatriots. In Germany Herr Knacker finds 30 paintings by modern masters valued at £30 million to be fakes, which makes the art market a bit nervous.

Sunday 17 October
No Glasto in 2012 because all the portable toilets are going to the Olympics. The Environment Agency (enjoy it while it lasts) says that otters have made a remarkable recovery from the brink of extinction 30 years ago. Malmesbury is hoping to become for philosophy what Hay-on-Wye has become for books. The Severn barrage energy scheme looks likely to be binned for want of funding. Wayne Rooney says he’s leaving Manchester United. Still on Planet Football, FIFA is under pressure to suspend the 2018 World Cup bidding process following bribery allegations. FIFA? Bribery? Who’d have thought it? [Everyone. See WoL and TLR editorials passim ad nauseam. Ed]  Andy Murray beats Roger Federer to win the Shanghai Masters. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, says that multiculturalism has failed in Germany.

Monday 18 October
In Blackpool it seems you can be too fat to be a bus driver; two drivers weighing around 20 stone (that’s each) have been suspended and told to lose 7lb in a month. City firms struggling to deal with the stress (possibly as a result of wondering how they are going to spend their bonuses while trying to look remorseful) are increasingly turning to the ukulele. Wayne Rooney might be going to City for £260,000 a week. Bernie Ecclestone says that the government has wasted a fortune on the 2012 Olympics that could have been better spent on facilities at Silverstone. “The only good thing about the Olympics is the opening and closing ceremonies,” he says. “Otherwise, it’s complete nonsense.” By way of explaining his previous comments that Hitler was a model of political efficiency, he makes it clear that he thinks that any form of democracy is ridiculous. In South Africa an inquest opens into the death of James Nkambule, the 37-year-old who blew the whistle on corruption and assassinations linked to the contracts to build a World Cup stadium; he is thought to have been poisoned.

Tuesday 19 October
The BBC is first in the headlines with a raid on its funding as part of the chancellor’s slash-and-burn approach to economic development. Oxford University explains why it insists on gnomic questions to interview prospective students. Former British snooker professional David Roe has converted to Islam (including the circumcision) in order to take up the post of coach to the Iranian snooker team. A Playboy Club, complete, no doubt, with the ears-and-tails dress code for staff, is to open in London 30 years after its previous incarnation was closed down after a raid. Alex Ferguson comes the tearful, disappointed grandad when discussing the loss of his very own spud-faced nipper.

Wednesday 20 October
Axe day cometh. With the BBC attack already trailed, next up is the 490,000 public sector jobs to be cut, sensitively announced by Danny Alexander (Beeker to George Osborne’s Doctor Bunsen Honeydew) waving the document about in the back of his car (oh, they still seem to have the cars). Sue ‘The Baroness’ Campbell says that the £160 million cut to school sport and PE funding is “devastating”; it will mean the end of 450 school sport partnerships. Cheers on the Tory benches as the chancellor completes his plans for an economic death slide into recession and social upheaval reveal the extent to which we really are “all in this together”. Meanwhile, MEPs have backed plans for 20 weeks of maternity leave on full pay. India will become the first nation to publish an account of its ‘natural wealth’ alongside its GDP. FIFA suspend two members of its executive committee following bribery allegations; Herr Blatter says he wants time to “bring back the credibility of FIFA”, which gives him just enough time to get it sorted before the sun swallows the earth.

Thursday 21 October
The Institute of Fiscal Studies says that the poor will be hardest hit by the chancellor’s spending cuts but Nicky Clegg says it’s “distorted and a complete nonsense” (the report not the planned cuts). The Local Government Association warns that local authorities will be forced to shut libraries, youth clubs and lay off hundreds of thousands of people. Quarterly crime figures show a continued drop in reported and police-recorded offences, the longest sustained drop in crime figures since the end of the second world war and a drop of 45% since 1995. Something tells us that it won’t last.

Friday 22 October
An Oxford academic suggests that Jane Austen was not as much of a literary stylist as her editor, William Gifford, made her appear. The UK Pro Surf Tour event kicks off in Tynemouth. Oh. It seems Wayne Rooney isn’t leaving after all; doubling his salary to £180,000 a week has dried up all the tears. Answering that oft-asked question, ‘What does Clive Woodward do these days?’ is the British Olympic Association; he is to be deputy chef de mission for the British team at the London Olympics.

Saturday 23 October
The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare reopens after a £39 million refurbishment. FIFA is now struggling with allegations of match-fixing against the Zimbabwe national team and the chief exec of the Zimbabwe FA. Britons Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle win bronze, silver and gold respectively at the world gymnastics championships in Holland.

Sunday 24 October
Greg Dyke says that apologising for the David Kelly story when he (Dyke) was BBC director general was a mistake that had an adverse impact on the BBC. Concern in the world of open space management at the increasing numbers of people foraging for fungi, a pursuit that is threatening some species in some areas. The number of people in the UK with diabetes has soared in recent years; one in 20 adults now has the disease and almost one in 10 adults is obese. Churches in the UK are looking to the London Olympics as an opportunity for a big recruitment drive. Olympic rower Andy Holmes dies at the age of 51.

Monday 25 October
Hackney council is getting ready to paint over a work by ROA, a Belgian street artist ranked alongside Banksy by some, which it has classified as a graffito. Jamaican music legend Gregory Isaacs dies aged 59.

Tuesday 26 October
The London Borough of Barnet is planning to be the first ‘easyCouncil’ but the money-saving reforms will cost more to implement than they will save. Arts Council England announces cuts to its support for funded arts organisations of 6.9%, a smaller cut than some had feared. The transport secretary (it’s Philip Hammond) announces a pot of £600 million (we’ll say that again: £600 million) for road improvement schemes. Novelist Arundhati Roy is facing charges of sedition in India for having suggested that Kashmir is not an integral part of India. It seems that the Treasury has failed to come to an agreement with Swiss banks over secrecy regulations, which means that Britons will be able to continue to avoid £40 billion (we’ll say that again: £40 billion) in UK taxes.

Wednesday 27 October
Google reckons that the UK’s internet market is worth £100 billion to the nation’s economy, which would almost match the financial services industry. Butlins presents its first toddler arts prize. Manchester United pays £188,000 for Nobby Stiles’ 1966 World Cup winner’s medal, plus £50,000 for his 1968 European Cup winner’s medal.

Thursday 28 October
Remember, we’re all in this together so it should be excellent news that the average remuneration for the FTSE 100 chief executives went up by 55% last year. With government funding for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) axed, Prince Charles is picking over the bones and has  offered his own highly controversial architectural foundation to serve as a planning review body. The National Theatre is to rename the Cottesloe Theatre after Lloyd Dorfman who has given the National a £10 million donation. Professor Sir Michael Marmot, an acknowledged public health expert, says that three quarters of people in the UK are not fit enough to work until they are 68. Trevor Brooking reckons hosting the World Cup in 2018 could transform the development of football in England. England rugby international Phil Vickery announces his retirement after one too many neck injuries.

Friday 29 October
The England cricket team flies to Australia to defend the Ashes. It’s all go for the 17th Whitby Gothic Weekend, which brings a host of Hallowe’en-inspired visitors to the site of the original Dracula story. The government is planning to sell off 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres in old money) of publicly owned forestry.

Saturday 30 October
Opera could be the next big thing for British cinema, according to Steven Evans, producer of the film version of Henry V. MGM studios have been saved from bankruptcy under a new management arrangement. Still in the US, there’s growing concern regarding the high number and severity of injuries among high school football (their kind of football, not ours) players. Back home it seems school film clubs are growing in popularity and expanding pupils’ critical faculties. Also growing are the suggestions that the government’s cuts should apply to the number of ministerial posts.

Sunday 31 October
A study in the Lancet suggests that alcohol does more harm to society than class A drug abuse. Windsor and Maidenhead council is considering offering reward points in return for volunteering. Graduate unemployment in the UK is at its highest for 17 years. Lee Westwood is now the number one golfer in the world. ‘Power snooker’, this particular game’s answer to Twenty20 cricket, has its debut in London, bringing more points, more rules and more sexism to a game that already seemed to have plenty.




the world of leisure
October 2010

Friday 1 October:
At the Celtic Manor Ryder Cup organisers are shocked – shocked – when it lashes down with rain in Wales in October.



Monday 4 October:
Tate Britain tries to force photographers to agree not to use images of the Turner Prize that would lead to bad publicity for the controversial prize; they refuse to sign the agreement and refuse to take pictures, prompting the Tate to relent.




Thursday 7 October:
Culture secretary Hunt expands his brief by attacking people who have large families and also claim state benefits.

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