Blog Posts

Crisis – Ending Homelessness

I was brought up in Birmingham and now live in London, so I went to Edinburgh with some humility, remembering that from the great Enlightenment thinkers on, Scotland has so often led the way in thinking about social policy. But even there the problem of housing and the homeless persists. I feel privileged to support Crisis’s new policy. A novel ambition. It wants to abolish itself through solving the homeless crisis. I spoke in support at a conference this week,

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Tony Blair

Blair, Milburn and Hattersley: a modern morality

Blair, the man who stole the Labour Party and delivered it to Thatcherism, is now in a different frame of mind. A Land Tax, no less. A tax proposed a century ago by the Liberals, taken up later by Labour, and defeated by the land owning Tories in the Lords. It is indeed a no brainer.

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Socialism without the free artist becomes Stalinism

I’ve been a trade unionist all my working life. I have always believed that in unity is strength. But for me economism, the trade unionism of not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day, is not enough. I’ve always been on the side of revolution, by which I mean a qualitative shift in the power relations of society, so that workers control capital.

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Villa Winning!?!

Crisis at Villa Park!!
Trashing of tradition. Fans in severe distress.
Who is to blame?

This emotionally disorientating behaviour began with the appointment of Steve Bruce as manager, though collusion right up to the boardroom is suspected.

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Cathy Come Home – 50 years on

This week marks the 50th anniversary of Cathy Come Home. Cathy Come Home let everybody off the hook. It didn’t put the boot in where it should have done. Earlier this year I wrote a piece for the PCS Union explaining why I believe this.

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Donald Trump campaigning


Farage, Trump, Mussolini, Hitler? Careful! The 30s were different.
And terrifyingly similar.

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Obesity and the NHS

Health is better than sickness; prevention is better than cure; traditional wisdom married to advancing technology is our passport to health.

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3rd Draft of The Day The Music Died

Writing your story

I’ve been surprised, delighted and moved by the response to my memoir. In the last month so many people have written to me, and talked to me at book signings. They each tell variations of the same story.

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Fighting exploitation in the film & TV industry

BECTU Journal reports excessive hours worked throughout the film and TV industry.

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Clement Attlee

Corbyn and Attlee

A man of quiet dignity, courteous to everyone, but a poor public speaker, whose voice does not carry. His intimates swear he has a warm sense of humour and his charm is sincere.

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The Day The Music Died


Upcoming book launches, screenings and signings with Tony Garnett

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Tony Garnett - The Day The Music Died

The Day The Music Died

Some memories are stuck in aspic, vivid and unchanging, and I play them like tracks on an album. My memoir, The Day The Music Died, is officially in your hands now.

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Tony Garnett - The Boys

On Performance

Although performances have been my life, or at least my profession, I have no answers. The idea of performance is slippery and mysterious to me.

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Nurturing creativity in filmmaking

Management was one of the biggest con tricks of the Twentieth Century. It was a useless and exploitative artefact, turning a simple job into a “profession”, with its own jargon and meaningless qualifications.

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Freelancers Fair BECTU 2016

BECTU Freelancers’ Fair 2016: Political Drama

Asked at BECTU how to get political drama made. With painful difficulty was my reply.

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BBC Whitepaper

Response to the BBC White Paper

Sighs of relief. Think BBC White Paper could have been worse? Read behind the PR and be very afraid.

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R D Laing

Old books, new blog post

Reading brilliant books I haven’t looked at since 60s, 70s. Seem like new books. Did I just forget? Am I or the times so different?

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On Success and Failure

I’m starting the interviews now, in anticipation of the publication of a memoir. I’m repeatedly told that my life has been one long success and various films and TV series are used as proof. I’m stumped.

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Goodbye Facebook?

It’s been an eventful week. Facebook blocked my website and blog.

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CBI and Mussolini

Has the CBI become a socialist pressure group? Maybe MI5 should infiltrate. Its boss, Caroline Fairbairn, should beware seductive undercover detectives.

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