I spent a very enjoyable evening with old friends in Brixton. We ate and drank well and talked late in the night -- an academic, a scientist, senior civil servant and me. As the glasses and then bottles emptied we covered a heroic range of topics -- the collapse of politics, Berlin, India, the science of happiness, depression and therapies, swine flu and the periodic table.
Later in the evening we discovered we were all Wirers and a sort of relief wave rose over the table. It was a bit like -- I imagine -- the way they used to say "Gentleman you may now smoke" - we at once relaxed and livened into talking about a shared passion. I cannot remember any TV show doing that for years. They asked me, as someone who has a connection with the media, why Britain can't produce anything like The Wire. I bumbled some suggestions but didn't even manage to convince myself. I must have a think.