Author Archives: tony

Battle of Orgreave

Orgreave

Orgreave? Never heard of it, sorry. Under 40, why would you? Here’s why you need to know. It’s your fight too.

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The Spongers
Sir Arnold Wesker

Arnold Wesker, Jim Allen and Perdition

The controversy over accusations of anti-semitism in political parties coincides with the death of Arnold Wesker. There is a connection.

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Remembering Barry Hines

This is what I read at Barry Hines’ funeral. I suppose each of us has a different Barry in our heads, in our memories.

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Saying goodbye to Barry Hines

We buried Barry Hines’ body and shared memories of the man. His funeral shook me, ambushing me in that way only funerals can.

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Villa Park

Like my Villa photo? Go on, even if you follow another club you like it, don’t you? Well, it’s a painting. Thereby hangs a tale…

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Kilmainham Gaol Prison Source: Wikimedia | Antonio Camelo

Off-Cut: Law and Order – 1916

The 1916 uprising in Dublin and the mini series about judicial corruption, Law and Order, are welded as one in my mind. Connection?

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Off-Cut: Kes – the football scene

After my last post, ‘Football is about family‘, I was asked ‘Do you have any memorable moments from filming the football scene in Kes?’ Here’s my answer…

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Football is about family

I wrote this seeing my granddaughter in an Aston Villa shirt. Aila’s three. I wish Barry Hines had read it. He would have understood. Why do so many of us give pain to our children? We knowingly condemn them to suffer, year after year. Then watch this pain with pride. Are you one of the guilty parents?

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With Banners Held High – the BBC and miners strikes

For those who missed it, here’s the speech I gave at Banners Held High today.

I want to rehearse some history, history familiar to everyone here, history showing a remarkable similarity between the miners’ battle with the Tory government in 1926 and in 1984. I want to do this as a way to analyse the true role of the BBC. And why that is politically important.

In 1925 there were 1.2 million miners;

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“Two steps forward, one step back”: Vladimir Ilyich Hunt goes into enemy territory, The Guardian, and becomes Nye Bevan.

But never believe what they say. Watch what they do.

Gives us “the NHS is safe in our hands” riff. This from the people who are starving it; who promised before the election no top down restructuring, then when elected tore it apart, opening it up to more profit hungry Americans; who pretend concern as GP practices shut down and staff shortages stretch overstretched hospitals;

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Beware a Tory with his “hurt” face on

Other workers are correct to be wary of the ever reasonable Hunt. Beware a Tory with his “hurt” face on.

Just stand back from the details. The Junior Doctors’ fight is a small step. Instead, think strategically. They do.

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Think these refugees are a problem?

You ain’t seen nothing yet! The gathering storm’s building.

The sufferings so far are mere hints of what is to come as it gathers momentum. The precipitating cause of each mini disaster may seem to be political – a civil war here, a spontaneous uprising there – but underneath you find land degradation, toxic poisoning, rising sea levels and “natural” disasters exacerbated by human action.

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‘The BBC Made Me’

The BBC did not make me. It influenced me.

Some executives gave me opportunities, for which I remain grateful.  Others tried to muzzle me, stop me from working. In any case, which BBC do you mean? I’ve known at least three.

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