Blog Posts

BING CBEEBIES

CBEEBIES

Sitting with my granddaughter, 3, happily watching Bing. What, never heard of him? Well, you’re not a parent, a grandparent or around 3, are you? I never miss Bing.

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Junior doctors are the new miners of 1984

Ominous noises from the Tories. They see the doctors as the miners in 84-85. So, a high stakes fight to the death. Whose death will it be?

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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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Barry Hines 1939 – 2016

I worked on four films with Barry. We began our friendship in the mid-sixties. It survived intact through his last long illness.

His character and his writing were all of a piece. Direct, simple and honest. HIs simplicity was hewn out of a close analysis of others and their place in a society riven by class interests.

To the end, he knew which side he was on. He had been born to the sound of clogs,

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Don’t blame the old Etonians. Some of them are even good actors.

Don’t blame the old Etonians. Some of them are even good actors. Why shouldn’t they, and other posh and privileged, be free to choose a career?

When I became an actor in the 50s all actors were posh and if you spoke Brum, like me, you did your best to disguise it. Not just because the whole business had its nose in the air, don’t you know, but because nearly all the roles were of posh people.

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Tory sale of council houses and Labour’s PFI. A connection? Sure!

Show they’re just two wings of same party. But they don’t want you to know that.

Callaghan’s Labour government in the ‘70s favourably discussed plans for the sale of council houses but lost to Thatcher before it became settled policy; the Tories thought through the wizard idea of the Private Finance Initiative. A no brainer. Build new hospitals and keep the debt off the government books.

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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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So the penny has finally dropped, eh? Get with the programme, Dave Prentis! Privatisation of the NHS by stealth started with Blair.

Market fundamentalism is an extreme religion. True believers cannot be reasoned with. Their ambition is to save society through extending their belief in the market into every detail of our lives. The market is not just a useful human device. It is the fundamental good.

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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@yanisvaroufakis – find your answer to Europe vote.

Read him in today’s @guardian. Brilliant. Read “The Global Minotaur” plus “And the Weak /suffer What They Must?. And weep”.
But wait? Democracy in Europe for sure, but what do you think about democracy in Britain?
Probably the same as Gandhi thought when asked what he thought of Western Civilisation. “I think it would be a good idea”.

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Remembering Jim Allen

The screenwriter, Jim Allen, as the old saying had it, didn’t just want a few reformist crumbs from the table, he wanted the whole bakery.

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Kids Company

So Camila and Yentob aren’t going to jail. Fancy that. If it wasn’t such a tragedy for slum kids, it would be a farce.

Kids’ Company worked for years – for kids. Simple as that. Kids were leading lives straight from a Victorian slum. And Camila came along and gave them love and helped them to love life and some of them even, against all the odds, got educated and joined the rest of us privileged people.

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