Friday, 29 March 2019

RIP Shane Rimmer

Gutted to hear that Shane Rimmer, an actor who - if you grew up in the UK at any time in the 60s, 70s and 80s - has been such a part of all our lives, has passed away at the age of 89.

Canadian born Rimmer's most iconic role was one that only required his vocal talents, namely that of Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds, but he was instantly recognisable for several supporting roles in some of cinema's biggest franchises; Star Wars, Superman, Batman, and a total of three James Bond movies, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever, and The Spy Who Loved Me. Other film credits included Gandhi, Rollerball (pictured above), Doctor Strangelove, Reds, Out of Africa and Dark Shadows, whilst he appeared in TV dramas like Doctor Who, Coronation Street, Dockers, and the controversial 1977 April's Fools joke (which actually aired in June that year!) Alternative 3, a cod-science documentary about the 'brain drain' which revealed that the elite of society had actually left the soon-to-be-destroyed earth for a new life in space, that continues to resonate among conspiracy theorists to this day.


Thursday, 28 March 2019

Possum (2018)

Possum is the feature length directorial debut of writer and actor Matthew Holness. I've been a big fan of Holness' work for years now - not just Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace but his previous directorial efforts like A Gun For George and The Snipist - and, as a result, I wasn't as thrown by his choice to play things so ickily straight as he does here as others who are only familiar with his spoof (but admittedly dark) comedy may have been. Possum is as creepy as fuck, but I think I'll need to watch this one again to gain a proper, greater appreciation of it.

The retro aesthetic he has always favoured, photographed with such bleak accuracy by Kit Fraser, conjures up memories of many a classic '70s PIF or horror film, and it's hard to determine just what period this film is actually set in, or indeed whether it is all set/occurring in his protagonist's Philip (played by Sean Harris with the usual gaunt and mumbling intensity) head, which is stunted to say the least. The unnerving score from the (BBC) Radiophonic Workshop also fixes the action to a bygone time that believed bright oranges and shit browns to be compatible, recalling as it does the classic era of Doctor Who, but Holness' decision to let scenes play out with little or no dialogue is also reminiscent of various expressionistic silent movies of the 1920s and '30s too.

Unfortunately these sequences can appear a little repetitive, making Possum feel rather aimless, or worse, revealing the roots of its short story origins being adapted to a full length feature. Whilst this feature is only 80 or so minutes I would imagine some restless audiences may easily tire of Harris' many wanderings of East Anglia's urban scrubland. Whilst I can appreciate the cyclical nature of the protagonist's actions from a psychological viewpoint it's worth saying that I quickly guessed the metaphorical nature of Philip's angst and concerns almost straight off the bat, so that even I, with some considerable goodwill, found the playing out of it all a little one-note. 

As the film is essentially a two-hander between Harris and a grubby, leering Alun Armstrong, this also means that there's little respite to be had here either and a desire for a long shower afterwards may be the common consensus for most viewers. Nevertheless, Possum relishes in its ability to find intelligent scares from its Freudian psychology and, in its creation of the 'possum' puppet itself, delivers something truly unsettling and nightmarish. Whilst I'm not convinced, on this first watch at least, that Possum is a success, I cannot find fault in Holness' desire to at least try something different and applaud such an experimental nature from a debut feature-length director.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Out On Blue Six: The Beat, RIP Ranking Roger

Another day, another loss to the music industry; Ranking Roger of The Beat (or The English Beat if you are Stateside) has passed away at the age of 56


End Transmission

Monday, 25 March 2019

Stanley, a Man of Variety (2016)

I commend Cookson and Spall for their experimentation, but I cannot recommend Stanley, a Man of Variety as a film. It may have worked rather well as an episode of Inside Number 9, from the similarly vintage and macabre loving Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, but that’s about it. If you’re looking to get a dark-edged and surreal fix of your favourite old school comedians, then you’d be better served watching writer/director Paul Hendy’s short film The Last Laugh on Vimeo instead.

Read my full review at The Geek Show

Out On Blue Six: The Walker Brothers, RIP Scott Walker

Scott Walker gone. Words fail me. So I'll turn to this incredible and rather apt song, just one of many beautiful tunes he gave us


End Transmission

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Maeve (1981)

"Men's relationship to women is just like England's relationship to Ireland. You're in possession of us. You occupy us like an army"

It's the generally accepted view that the British film industry was in the doldrums in the 1980s but I think that verdict needs to be tempered by the fact that this period saw a time of great artistic creativity from young independent and political filmmakers (Richard Woolley immediately springs to mind), which makes the fact that the work which they contributed in this period is now so scarce and overlooked all the more frustrating. When you stumble upon such work however, it makes it all the more rewarding to the viewer. Maeve, directed by Pat Murphy and funded by a grant from the BFI, is one such film.

Simply put, the film tells the story of Maeve Sweeney (Mary Jackson) a young Irishwoman who, having spent some time in the relative peace of London, now returns home to the Troubles-stricken Belfast. Returning to her family home and her old haunts, stimulates in Maeve memories of her childhood and adolescence and forces her to question herself, her politics and her identity. However, it's this latter analysis that makes Maeve such an intriguing prospect, as Murphy approaches ideologies such as feminism and republicanism in an experimental and reflective film style, that is perhaps best evinced by the narrative's many unheralded temporal shifts and Murphy's decision to allow a character like Maeve's despondent father (Mark Mulholland) to deliver anecdotes almost directly to camera, as if the audience itself were a complicit character within the film.

What is especially remarkable about Maeve is that it is a film that addresses the political situation in the north of Ireland from a woman's point of view. Granted, there are many other films that explore the Troubles and choose to place a woman at their centre, but they are invariably tales about a woman without man, grieving for their significant loved ones lost to the cause, incarceration or death, or tales of women simply possessing enough practical common sense (of the stereotypically feminine or matriarchal no-nonsense variety) to take a stand against the man-made violence they see around them, whereas Maeve speaks to a much more interesting feminist perspective hinted at in the quote I placed at the top of this review; namely that once the war is over, no matter what side has 'won', nothing will have changed for women if their menfolk still expect them to be wives and mothers only. Incarceration does feature in Maeve - her father was falsely imprisoned which goes some way to explain his detached nature - but both Maeve and her resilient mother's (played by Trudy Kelly) reaction to it is anger at the general consensus that womenfolk should simply accept this situation (along with the acceptance that informing on the real perpetrators is against the code) and that Maeve's leaving of such a committed nationalist community and way of life for bohemian London (and, in general England, the enemy) is considered as some kind of treasonable act or of having ideas above your station and class (even by her republican boyfriend, played by John Keegan). Where Murphy's film is bold and still incredibly refreshing is in its defiant challenging of Irish gender stereotypes and imagery. 

Visually, the film is very arresting too. Murphy delivers a series of authentic images of Troubles-era Belfast, but shot through them is a very artistic, somewhat surreal eye. This is especially pleasing as, the thought of tanks and armed soldiers strolling through such recognisably everyday streets will always feel surreal for British viewers. Thus, when Maeve and her younger sister Roisin (the ever-superb Bríd Brennan, refreshingly carefree here after her role in the Billy plays) are forced to hop on the spot for two rifle-toting soldiers whilst children play on the swings just yards away, or when the younger Maeve watches as her father painstakingly unloads his van of several television sets in the pouring rain, only to be instructed to place them all back in by a soldier the moment the last one touches the tarmac, your appreciation of the reality of this situation is accompanied by the invitation to embrace just how stupid it all is/was. A later sequence, almost dreamlike in its imagery, sees Maeve and Roisin heading for a night on the town. After passing through the checkpoint where their bags are inspected by the RUC, they immediately take in the sight of a bare-arsed squaddie giving a bored-looking local girl a knee-trembler in a shop doorway. It's scenes like this that I know will linger long in my memory.

Much of Maeve's theoretical debates stem from scenes shared between her and her boyfriend/ex boyfriend, Liam. Here, through her leading lady, Murphy attempts to challenge the notion of a paternal nationalism and demand a place for feminism. Tellingly, the film pinpoints the distance between the characters; Maeve looks to the future, whilst Liam only ever to the past. When he argues that the past is important enough to oblige us with a way of understanding the present, Maeve is quick to remove him of his - and republicanism and the patriarchy's - ignorance; "You're talking about a false memory... the way you want to remember excludes me. I get remembered out of existence." Taking this quote in the context of Murphy's subsequent career as a filmmaker - which includes films like Anne Devlin, which approaches the 1803 Irish revolt from the experience of a female republican played by Brennan, and Nora, the James Joyce biopic told from the POV of his wife and muse, Nora Barnacle - I'd say that Murphy was doing her best to place women back into the picture.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

I've Got a Secret For You

Remember this?

Secret was a chocolate bar from Rowntree that came onto the market in the early '90s. It had a delicate bird's nest chocolate coating surrounding a Walnut Whip style creamy mousse. 

I remember it being an instant favourite in school whilst, at home, my mum loved it too. For me personally though, ther love affair wore off relatively quickly. It was just a bit too sickly for my tastes. But then, I never liked Walnut Whips either, so...

I did like this advert though, which used the 1971 Chi-Lites hit Have You Seen Her? and featured actress Indra Ové

Unfortunately, my own abandonment of Secret was replicated on a much larger scale just a couple of years later when Rowntree discontinued the chocolate bar, citing poor sales and high production costs. In recent years petitions to get the Secret bar relaunched in the wake of public demand for the revival of Cadbury's Wispa have, so far, come to nothing.

Now, is it just me or is there very little new chocolate bars coming onto the market? As a kid back in the '80s and '90s, it seemed like there was always a new bar like Secret or Spiral or Marble just around the corner, but they've all now gone from the shelves, just waiting in hope for Peter Kay to base an entire act around them in the 'd'you remember...?' vein he's become famous and successful for. Whenever I glance at the confectionery shelves in supermarkets and shops nowadays (which admittedly isn't often) it's the same old names of Galaxy, Kit Kat, Mars and Twix. Hardy perennials I guess, but is there no longer a market for new taste sensations?

Monday, 18 March 2019

Widows (2018)

"...Unlike most blockbuster thrillers, Widows genuinely feels like it has something to say, with McQueen and Flynn’s take on La Plante’s gender subversion of your typical late 70s/early 80s London-set crime story becoming something akin to a Great American Drama of Our Times; inequality, opportunity, racism, misogyny, poverty, corruption, violence and greed, it’s all there..."

Read my full review at The Geek Show

Sunday, 17 March 2019

One Red Nose Day and a Wedding

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a film that means a hell of a lot to me. Indeed, it remains one of my all-time favourite movies. So believe me when I say I felt rather apprehensive about this one-off fifteen minute long reunion special for this year's Comic Relief - especially as I can't think of anything worse than sitting through the seven hour long live telethon.

Thankfully, the BBC condensed the whole thing into a 'Best Of' compilation this afternoon, which gave me the opportunity to see this. It was really nice to see so many of the original cast members back together and there were lots of nice little touches, such as the reveal that Charles and Carrie (Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell) never got round to marrying, Bernard and Lydia (David Haig and Sophie Thompson) still at it like rabbits, and Laura (Sara Crowe) throwing her usual, distinctive dance moves whilst still wearing the gaudy plastic ring that Scarlett substituted on her wedding day when best man Charles forgot the actual rings.

Which leads me to Scarlett. I know that twitter - being primarily a young person's arena - exploded with 'feels' at the reveal that this featured the wedding of Lily James (Charles and Carrie's daughter) and Alicia Vikander (Fiona's daughter), but my heart utterly melted at the brief, yet respectful and tender nod towards Scarlett not being here. I wept buckets the day that Charlotte Coleman died at the age of 33 and I nearly filled up again at her mention. 

But this needed to be more than just a reunion and unfortunately it wasn't. Richard Curtis essentially recycled the same jokes from Four Weddings and it's no surprise that what worked there, doesn't actually work here, feeling rather lazy instead. Don't get me wrong, it really tried to be its own thing in the rather nice sketching of James' and Vikander's relationship in their vows, but the whole thing was just too short to make either them or their own social circle in any way multidimensional. I've heard a bit of criticism online regarding Rowan Atkinson's return to the character of the bumbling vicar Gerald and I can see why. In Four Weddings, Gerald makes so many slips because, this being the first wedding he is officiating at, he's suffering from 'first night nerves'. The decision to make this his first same-sex marriage allows Curtis to recycle the gags, but with an undercurrent of bafflement at what he is officiating that has led to some questioning a slightly homophobic angle. Now, I don't personally think that that is the case or that it was ever intended as such, but I will argue that Richard Curtis often has poor judgement and a lapse in tact and diplomacy when it comes to his writing as many iffy sequences in his otherwise enjoyable films can attest to. Another criticism I heard which I can certainly agree with is that this just wasn't funny enough. Touching yes, but actually funny? No.

Elsewhere, this being Comic Relief and a reunion for something that is 25 years old, there's an attempt to tap into things with present day appeal. So, John Hannah's Matthew now reads from Ed Sheeran (and has a rather dull husband in the shape of that charismatic vacuum of an actor, Raza Jaffrey) rather than WH Auden, whilst Nicola Walker is back on singing duties as one half of what was credited in the original film as 'Frightful Folk Duo', this time accompanied by actual pop star Sam Smith. Funny, I guess, from a Comic Relief point of view, but it rather pulls you out of the moment. I mean, if they had to go for a celeb name joining the cast, couldn't they have had the balls to ask Prince Charles if he would play Fiona's (Kristin Scott Thomas') husband, as was alluded to in the closing moments of Four Weddings

In short, watch for James and Vikander's vows, the sight of familiar much-loved faces, the mention of a familiar, much-loved and much-missed name, and Hugh Grant delivering another faltering but heartfelt speech with the aid of his deaf BSL-speaking brother David Bower, but don't expect this to stand up against what remains to be one of the finest romcoms ever made.

Oh and if the hour I watched was the 'best of' Comic Relief this year, I'd hate to see what was left out! My decision to avoid the night itself once again proved wise.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Out On Blue Six: Reverend & the Makers

Sending solidarity vibes to Reverend frontman Jon McClure who has left twitter this week due to aggression and threats he received there for speaking his mind and talking sense.

End Transmission

Friday, 15 March 2019

Too Hot to Handle (1960)

Why did I watch this nonsense? Well...

Yup, Too Hot to Handle is a Jayne Mansfield vehicle masquerading as a British Noir about the seedy underbelly of London's Soho. Mansfield is American showgirl Midnight Franklin, the girlfriend of (an incredibly miscast) Leo Genn's club owner and pimp, Johnny Solo, a cashiered ex-army officer who runs The Pink Flamingo. Solo finds himself is in the middle of a turf war with rival club owner Diamonds Dinelli (Sheldon Lawrence) and it becomes clear that his right-hand-man Novak can't be trusted. Well of course he can't, he's played by Christoper Lee! Though Lee's sporting a dreadful American accent for some unknown reason. Speaking of accents, Barbara Windsor makes an early screen appearance her as the top-heavy but underage stripper Pony Tail and is dubbed by an American actress. Again, why? The film is set in London, after all!

In the midst of the gang warfare there's a French journalist played by Carl Boehm who wants to write about Soho's erotic and exotic nightlife for a Paris magazine, but takes an interest in an enigmatic and clearly troubled Austrian dancer played by Danik Patisson, and who is clearly running away from something.

Directed by future Bond director Terence Young, Too Hot to Handle (known in the US as Playgirl After Dark, capitalising seemingly on Mansfield Playmate of the Month credentials) is a confused and odd little film. The criminal aspect is quite strong really, and the film seems to want to say something about the sleazy side of Soho. This is evident in how the film treats Barbara Windsor's character Pony Tail. Much is made of the fact that she's clearly a naive young girl who, at just 16, is actually under age. Solo is breaking the law employing her, something which Mansfield's protective mother figure is quick to remind him. Later, Solo pimps Pony Tail to one of his major backers, the influential Mr Arpels (Martin Boddey) and the young girl is happy to oblige, dreaming of a promising future based on rumours of Arpels' film connections.  But there's no future for Pony Tail; Arpels' tastes run to sexual sadism and, when he realises Pony Tail really is an innocent and not just play-acting, he's frenzied enough to kill her. 

But this isn't social realism and, despite this strong storyline, Too Hot to Handle all too often falls back on a kind of cutesy, it's all a bit of fun really, frothy musicality, as shown in the song and dance sequences employed to play to Mansfield's talents as the audiences of lascivious  old men leer, letch and grope like it's all some kind of comical variety show or Benny Hill sketch. It's also an interesting picture for Mansfield; despite only being in her late twenties at the time Too Hot to Handle was made, her Hollywood career was already over by this stage. Repeated pregnancies culminated in Fox terminating her contract, and she was effectively loaned to European film studios where her star was still burning brightly. This was the first film she made in England (the second, also shot in 1960, being another misfiring noir called The Challenge) and it's quite unflattering to see her play the maternal figure to an actress like Windsor who was, in reality, only four/five years younger than her. Given that Windsor is playing much younger, it sometimes feels like Mansfield is playing much older. Then again, maybe the film is making the point that singing a song whilst wiggling your considerable boobs and bum at a load of grubby old men is the kind of thing that makes you old before your time. 

Ultimately, Too Hot to Handle just isn't interesting or engaging enough to convince as a good example of British Noir from this period and can be best described as an ill advised low budget flick that doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Terence Young would go on to much better things, the tragic Mansfield would not alas.

Suspend Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is a man who seems to think he can say what he bloody well likes. And, whilst what he likes to say is always inflammatory and offensive, he always gets away with it. 

Enough is enough. During a radio interview in which he was asked about the police budget, Johnson said "I think an awful lot of money and an awful lot of police time goes into these historic offences and all this malarkey. You know, £60m I saw was being spaffed up a wall on some investigation into historic child abuse and all this kind of thing"

This is the disgusting, inconsiderate mindset of the man. In one comment he dismisses the abuse of children as 'malarkey' and the finances used to gain the necessary justice they have long been denied as being 'spaffed up a wall'. To use a slang term for male ejaculation whilst discussing child sex abuse is particularly tactless, but I will say this; what a shame it is that Boris Johnson's father didn't 'spaff up a wall' the night he and his wife conceived this idiotic, cruel hearted bastard. 

In the wake of the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland and the recent convictions gained via Yewtree, Johnson's comments shows a man completely out of step with public opinion. The only people who this comment is designed to appeal to is those who live in fear of prosecution themselves. Given that Lord Steel of the Lib Dems this week admitted that Cyril Smith confessed to him as early as 1979, and chose to do nothing about it, whilst testimony has also been heard about Thatcher's PPS, the deceased Chester MP, Peter Morrison (a man whose penchant for under-age boys was, according to Edwina Currie's diaries, widely known) this is a clear sign that Boris Johnson wants to protect the paedophiles of Westminster.

Enough is enough. Please sign this petition that demands Johnson's suspension from the Conservative party. why it hasn't happened already is frankly beyond me.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Bloody Sunday - Justice

Delighted to hear that the paratrooper known as 'Soldier F' will face prosecution for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney, and the attempted murders of Patrick O'Donnell, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon and Michael Quinn, in Derry on 30th January, 1972 - Bloody Sunday. 

This great news was tempered by the fact that the PPS ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute a further 16 other soldiers and two official IRA men. The families of all thirteen casualties that day deserve justice, just as the families of the Hillsborough victims deserve justice, or the families and victims at Orgreave, whose fight is still ongoing, to name just two clear examples of injustice in our recent past.

Of course, this Tory government cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge or apologise for the deaths that occurred that day 47 years ago. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, whilst confirming that the MOD will cover all legal costs for 'Soldier F', said; "The government will urgently reform the system for dealing with legacy issues. Our serving and former personnel cannot live in constant fear of prosecution" In other words, we're going to hurriedly change the rules so the crimes we committed in the past can go unpunished and grieving families can never get justice. The Tory party, ladies and gents, in a fucking nutshell.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Out On Blue Six: Strawberry Switchblade

....Or you wouldn't believe what this song is about!

I've always liked Since Yesterday by Strawberry Switchblade. Last night, I was at a gig in Liverpool fronted by David Lawrence and Steve Brotherstone, the authors of Scarred For Life, an excellent book about growing up in the 70s and 80s when dark and inappropriate pop culture reigned supreme. Naturally, when it came to the 1980s, the conversation turned to the all-pervading fear of nuclear war and this track - a favourite track of mine- was mentioned.


Because, as Rose McDowell told The Quietus back in 2015, it's all about the threat of nuclear Armageddon. 

"It was actually about nuclear war. I never told anybody that because I didn't want to write political songs, and I'm also quite private with what I think, so I just wanted to write a song. I didn't actually want to tell anyone what it was about at the time"

What it's about, I've learned, is the debate about whether to commit suicide in the wake of the bomb being dropped and thereby avoid the inhospitable and desperate future that will follow.

"And as we sit here alone
Looking for a reason to go on
It's so clear that all we have now
Are our thoughts of yesterday"

And there was me thinking it was just about a couple breaking up! Funny what you can learn, innit?

End Transmission

Monday, 11 March 2019

Ray & Liz (2018)

"...The uncomfortable feelings you may experience from watching Ray & Liz (or from looking at the photographs that inspired the film) is wholly intentional – Billingham wants you to question your impressions of a world that may be alien to you, or simply one that you may turn away from and pretend isn’t happening. It is a film that depicts a brutal and ugly situation full of equally uncompromising and unflatteringly depicted characters but, as the story progresses, you will start to question the real brutality of a society that allows such people to fall through the cracks in the first place..."

Read my full review at The Geek Show

Sunday, 10 March 2019

The Prisoner - Released at Last!

The Prisoner, the 1955 film about a battle of wills between Alec Guiness' meddlesome priest and Jack Hawkins' policeman, is released to blu-ray by Arrow tomorrow. This first pressing features a comprehensive essay on the film and its background from myself.

Silent Sunday: Migrant Mother

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Wanker of the Week: Sajid Javid

No contest really, wanker of the week is Sajid Javid for putting the reputation of this government before the life of a three-week-old baby. 

In order to appease the most entrenched right wing bigots and to keep the Tories popular in their minds, he effectively signed the death warrant of Shamima Begum's baby. Save the Children have rightly called today 'a national tragedy', whilst Diane Abbott has described it as 'a stain on the conscience of this government'.

The simple truth of the matter is that the government should not have broken international law by stripping Begum of her British citizenship and that both she and her wholly innocent newborn should have been allowed to return to the UK, where Begum could face justice and share the intelligence she has gleaned with our security services. That Javid chose not to do this is short-sighted and deeply callous and to him I say...

I am so utterly sick of this reprehensible, morally bankrupt Tory government.

Out On Blue Six: Camera Obscura

End Transmission

Friday, 8 March 2019

International Women's Day - Diane Abbott

Today is International Women's Day and it is great to see this day get so much attention these days. However, as a timely tweet from Black Socialists of America today reminded us;

'Despite the Liberal co-opting of International Women's Day, it was and remains a SOCIALIST holiday. It was established by the international SOCIALIST movement as a critique of liberal feminism as it existed in the early 1900s, which was largely a movement of affluent white women'

With that in mind, I want to talk about a woman this country needs to be more proud and respectful of; Diane Abbott

It would have been easy for Diane Abbott to not have become an MP. After all, the odds were firmly stacked against her. In the early 1980s there were NO BAME MPs and only 23 women MPs. Her election campaign in 1987 was one that received scorn from the right wing press and hostile threats from the public. Nevertheless she endured and became the first ever black woman MP that year. A historic moment we ought to be proud of. We should always applaud brave and bold innovators whose work and success pushes open the doors for others to enter through and whose work enables so much to be done for deliberately overlooked sections of our society. Without Diane Abbott, the UK would have been a much poorer place in the last thirty odd years.

And yet, in these supposedly more enlightened times, hostility is still something Abbott faces. She receives constant racist and misogynistic abuse on social media and death threats and, just yesterday on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show, Amber Rudd referred to this abuse as worse for "a coloured woman". Rudd hastily apologised on Twitter (her comment was tellingly not challenged by Vine himself) but we need to take her outdated and offensive choice of words in the context of the Windrush scandal and the rampant inherent and ever growing racism that is becoming increasingly visible in society post Brexit. 

Why is Abbott singled out for so much bile and hatred? Well, the answer for me is simple; Diane Abbott poses a huge threat for the establishment. She always has and she always will. The press is as inherently racist as the Conservative establishment is. During her campaign in '87, The Times complained about Abbott's "rhetoric of class struggle and skin-colour consciousness". Yes, how dare she want to make the country a better, more equal place for the most disadvantaged of society! How dare she want to represent her constituents and communities. It hasn't changed. The right wing idiots online and the MSM take potshots at her, they vamp up any mistake she makes (whilst giving a free-pass to their favoured Tory MP's whose gaffes are even bigger, more offensive and damaging) and they snigger at the notion that she and Jeremy Corbyn once has a romantic relationship - isn't it funny, a white man and a black woman having sex? Ho ho ho. 

The inherently bigoted establishment and the right wing scum hate Diane Abbott and abuse her because they fear her. She is a triple threat; she is left wing, she is a woman and she is black, and, in their disgusting mind, that kind of person must never be without criticism.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

We Need to Talk About Karen

Following her disgusting comments in the House yesterday, Karen Bradley's position as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is no longer tenable.

To be fair, her position should never have been considered tenable the moment she uttered this startling omission;

"I freely admit that when I started this job, I didn't understand some of the deep-seated and deep-rooted issues that are in Northern Ireland. I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland, people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa. So, the parties fight for the election within their own community...That's a very different world from the world I came from"

She showed her ignorance even further yesterday when - just a week before the PPS intend to announce whether prosecutions can be brought against the soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday killings - she said;

"Over 90% of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists. The under 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes...(but were) people acting under orders or instructions, fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way"

This inflammatory comment shows she has no understanding of the events in question or the shoot-to-kill policy and collusion between our security services and paramilitaries like the UVF, nor did she have a grasp on basic law.

Today she has issued an apology, another example of an MP who has somehow 'misspoke' (see the Independent Group's Angela Smith and her 'funny tinge' comment), but it's not enough. To my mind, Karen Bradley's comments - indeed her role as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland - shows the profoundly cavalier attitude that the Tory establishment have for Ireland, an attitude that has recently been at the fore of the Brexit backstop issue, with Jacob Rees-Mogg's belief that Troubles-era border checks should become commonplace again being exactly the kind of comment one expects from a privileged, self-entitled man who wouldn't have to experience them himself, whilst Boris Johnson dismisses these concerns as "small"

If you agree that Karen Bradley is not fit to serve Northern Ireland then please sign this petition demanding her resignation.