Monday, 14 August 2017

TEN REASONS WHY THE LATEST EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES, 'EASTWATCH', BUGGED THE LIVING HELL OUTTA ME



It's probably late in the day enough for me to have a moan about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, season seven/episode five - 'Eastwatch'. If it's not, sorry. But I do need to get this off my chest - the show I thought could never disappoint, finally disappointed. Not a great episode at all. One of the worst yet to be honest. Several details bugged the hell out of me, and the nerd in me needs to talk about them. Please bear with.

1) Apparently Jaime and Ser Bron are part man/part seal, both able to swim miles under water. In armour. We'll just ignore the whole 'beach with a straight-drop into a bottomless lake' thing too.

2) Having spent several seasons following these characters closely on their long journeys, they're now all hopping around Westeros in the blink of an eye. Journeys of hundreds of miles on foot/horseback/boat, journeys that would take months - all just glazed over. Apparently nothing of note ever happens during those periods...

3) The long enduring relationship and history between Daenerys and Jorah Mormont - the man who's just returned to her having cured himself of an incurable disease - all that is surmised with one paltry hug, before she sends him off again. Probably to die. With barely a line of dialogue. "Cheers, dragon queen."

4) Yes. I'm sure it would be blissfully easy to 'smuggle' Tyrion Lannister, the 'most famous dwarf in the world', right into the heart of King's Landing. And then have him waltz on out again like it 'ain't no thang'. It wasn't at all probable and/or likely that Jaime would take the Hand of the opposing Queen hostage, albeit his brother, considering in the last episode he was willing to die to end the war. Or that Cersei, as she apparently knew about it all in advance, would have had her imp brother seized. That would have been daft after all. She's only hated his guts for seven seasons.

5) This REALLY bugged me. One of the Lannister guards who catches Tyrion on the beach, was the very same actor who portrayed one of the touring 'pantomime' actors Arya Stark travelled with in an earlier season - the one who played Ned Stark as a befuddled idiot (Kevin Eldon). There are SOOO many actors who'd kill for a part in this show. So it's either grotesque laziness on the part of the casting directors, or blatant unbridled favouritism, compromising continuity either way. And they already did it once before, when the actor playing the murdered Martyn Lannister (Dean Charles Chapman) returned as the young King Tommen Baratheon.

6) Seriously, I know these White Walkers are slow, but how the bloody hell can everyone else fly round Westeros back and forth like Superman, while these chumps stumble about a relatively small block of land eternally 'on their way' to attack the Wall?? What the frick are they doing? Surely they've killed everyone north of The Wall by now? For God's sake, just get Daenerys to fly north (will take about 20 seconds of show time) and toast the whole damn lot of them. The White Walkers haven't got a giant cross bow after all.

7) After mining all that dragon glass, the purpose of his trip, Jon Snow seems to be returning to the north with barely a boat load. Good one Jon. Real clever.

8) In an episode where the screen-writers obviously attempted to cram in just about every character we'd forgotten about in the interim (Gendry, The Brotherhood Without Banners, The Hound, Ser Jorah, and the damnably annoying Samwell Tarly), the characters we actually WANT to see what's happened to, are strangely absent. What about the Sands? Are they rotting? Is the daughter dead yet? What about the bell-ringing 'Shame' Nun from last season... is she alive, what happened to her?? What's going on in Dorne? What about the Greyjoys? Apparently they had an episode off. All a bit jarring I fear.

9) Considering Bran 'piss on my chips' Stark knows absolutely everything, and is able to get messages to Jon Snow by raven while he's at Dragonstone, you'd think the bloody dimwit might also inform Jon that Daenerys is his Aunt. Especially considering it could possibly unite them, end the bickering, establish a dynasty everyone really likes, and you know, Jon's also on the verge of giving her one.

10) The rate at which the Stark girls are going 'dark side' is getting a bit gun-ho if you ask me. Considering they thought their whole families had been wiped out, you'd think they'd be a bit more trusting and nice to one another. Sansa is going very 'Little-finger', very quickly. Speaking of whom, for all her 'Faceless Man training', Arya didn't spot the guy hiding in a stairwell, or even think to look after she'd cat-burgled his quarters. Sloppy. Very sloppy. And again, you'd think Brandon Stark would step in and expose the subterfuge threatening to turn his sisters against one another. Nope, He's too busy flying about as 'crow-bro'.

I feel they're rushing it now, at the expense of continuity, sense, and/or maintaining a similar pace to the previous six seasons. Throwing in dodgy guest appearances, and relying on fairly daft one-liner jokes. It hurts. It hurts I tell you. I thought this show was infallible.

Plus if Cersei kills Bron, I'm gonna be majorly pissed off.

And breathe.


A PHOTOGRAPH THAT CAPTURES BROKEN AMERICA



If ever a photograph captured the tragedy that is America today, it's this one.

An Afro-American police officer in Charlottesville stands guard, protecting the rights of white American supremacists. One of whom is doing a Nazi salute. Another carries a sign stating Jews are 'Satan's children'.

All the officer can do is stare at the ground. He's just trying to 'get on with it' and do his job. But sunglasses cannot hide his despair.

This heroic man symbolises the world for many of us at present.

Forced to stand idly by, powerless, trying to 'get on with it' - all the while acutely aware that genuine evil is quite literally rising up around us. Fearful for our families and our future, fearful for innocent people we don't even know, and fearful of what might happen if we dare to shout back too loudly.

He refused to denounce them. The President of the United States actually had to be told to condemn Nazis and white supremacists. The same odious neanderthals who used to hide behind white hoods and burn crosses, now walk down the street proudly waving Swastika flags, wearing President Trump baseball caps and t-shirts.

Trump made a point of placing blame on both sides. Yes, the liberals were apparently to blame too - simply for standing up to unapologetic fascists, and for being in the way of that car. His words were nothing short of chilling

Perhaps more scary is that in his mind, small as it is, Trump probably thought he was being 'fair'.

We're not quite there yet in Britain, but we're on the same page.

(Instead, our Nazis chant 'Brexit.')

THE PUTNEY JOGGER 'COCK-UP': IS THERE NO PLACE FOR COMMON SENSE??



I don't get this:



The story is breaking everywhere, yet not one of them says what the woman herself has said?!?

She saw him. Twice. He ran back across and she tried to accost him. Surely she can identify him? She's not going to blame an innocent man for that, she's going to want justice?!?

Is there no room in our criminal justice system for basic common sense??

If the victim has positively identified him, it's on camera, and yet he's wriggled out of it by creating a doubtlessly expensive alibi, because oh yeah... he just happens to be a millionaire banker... that is beyond appalling. We as a society cannot let that happen. We just can't!

And if he wasn't the perpetrator of that shocking behaviour on Putney Bridge, why the flaming heck was he arrested in the first place?? Again, the small detail of a witness who looked him straight in the face, one might have thought a fairly significant factor in any arrest.

In that instance, someone was physically paid to come up with that intel... intel unbelievably ignoring the most obvious and rudimentary evidence.

What a farce! Hardly inspiring of competence. And it really makes no sense, either way round.

Clarification is needed. Pronto.

IT'S NOT ALWAYS MENTAL 'ILLNESS' TO FEEL BROKEN. IN FACT, THAT'S HALF THE STIGMA.



An article I came across by John Pavlovitz - 'Sinead O’Connor is Telling Us Mental Illness is Killing Her. Do We Give a Damn?' - regarding the singer's recent post from a New Jersey hotel room, was almost as heart-breaking as the video it discussed.

And also, bang on the money. It's well worth a read.

Pavlovitz is right. For some almost bizarre reason, we'll celebrate and mourn people who've taken their lives - talk about the tragedy, the terrible things that sent them down that particular path, all the beautiful things about them, what should have been done etc. But only if they do actually kill themselves.

By comparison, people who are on their way to that point, eg: people in pain, people on the edge, people whose lives and careers have unravelled, people desperately crying out in whatever way they can for someone to help them - we don't want to know. Those people are shunned and avoided. It's just too much effort. Too 'uncomfortable'.

They are shunned, in essence, simply for being a little bit stronger than those who gave in. They're trying to hold on. They desperately want to find positive things to live for, they have not given up hope that this world could be a better place for both themselves, and others. They don't want to give in, and on some level, actively want to feel alive again. The finality of death is so very absolute; there's no coming back from that, and they know it.

Yet the sad truth is, that added tenacity generally puts them in the 'freak' category, as opposed to the 'tragic'.

It's as if they're dismissed for 'Crying Wolf'.

Sinead O'Connor is such a person. I positively guarantee most people will be speaking of her recent antics very differently to the way people currently speak of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, for instance. And what Pavlovitz's article points out so poignantly, is it seems no-one will care or try to help her until it's too f**king late.

That is when people will start saying nice things, trying to look like compassionate human beings. All the radio stations will play Nothing Compares To You on repeat. And frankly, it will mean nothing. Try showing love to those in pain while they're still alive.

The Stigma of Mental 'Illness'


I think part of the problem and stigma, for some any way, is being depressed and suffering from anxiety do not feel like an 'illness'. The classification of 'mental illness' suggests on some level, you're mad and/or some kind of babbling loon. (Which is ironic, as many studies claim greater levels of intelligence leave an individual more susceptible to depression.)

Depression and anxiety are not often 'spontaneous' like an illness. Some people admittedly do simply have propensity for greater sadness inside them, but it's not always that there's 'something wrong' with them. Sometimes depression and anxiety are a very natural reaction to a world that, let's face it, is all too often a horrible piece of sh*t.

Harsh realities, disappointment, tragedy and bereavement, unpleasant life experiences, frustration, loneliness, injustice - they forge who a person is. Some are able to rise above these detracting factors, others are not. But really, in a sense, they are the cause - not 'deficiency' in a victim's brain. The equivalent would be beating an animal repeatedly with a stick, then saying there must be 'something wrong with it' because it can no longer walk. No... it's because the creature was beaten within an inch of its life, to the point it could no longer function in a normal capacity. That's not 'illness'.

I suppose you could argue it's just terminology, and that even in the analogy I just gave, the beating of the animal physically 'made it ill'. But it doesn't feel the same. It doesn't feel fair, or acknowledging of causation. And I do genuinely think that's part of the stigma. Some people are fragile because they got repeatedly bashed, not simply because they're 'ill', or somehow started out weak.

Why So Prevalent in The Arts?


An old friend commented when I posted this article on social media, asking the following question:



It's a fair question.

I've always happened to believe that yes - you do need a screw loose somewhere to be a performer. In a sense, you have to be slightly 'mental' and/or pretty needy to want to make a career out of saying "please look at me, please love me and think I'm wonderful". That counts for all of us in the business, myself included.

Then within that group, you get a spectrum. At one end you have the egotistical types, who genuinely think they are amazing, and everyone should rejoice in their presence - performing is a way to enhance their social status as much as anything else. And at the other, those who aren't so sure. Those who have major insecurities/personal problems etc, but performing is something they're called to regardless. More 'neurotic' than 'egotistical', applause is the only love they know. They are the ones at risk. Because naturally, the first type are more geared to succeed in an odious business that literally runs on egotism, especially if they are actually talented. Whereas type-twos don't fit in so well. The business tends to stamp on them, as do the ego-maniacs who think they're so much better than the 'social lepers'.

So basically, you've potentially got already damaged/insecure people being exposed to egotistical and often very bitchy cliques, in an absolute cut-throat business where the very ability to work and do what you love is usually entirely dependent on getting on with those same cliques. (And kissing the right asses.)

If/when things go wrong, type-twos lose their entire way to relate to people, and the only thing that makes them feel 'worthwhile'. And often, the higher the rise, the higher the fall. I reckon my friend Natalie was right on both counts. The factors are symbiotic, in fact.

I'd also say that most performers/artists etc are generally more emotional and in touch with their feelings than 'Average Joe'. And I guess when you feel more, the things in life that hurt, hurt more. That's a fairly rudimentary assessment perhaps, but there's something in it. And sadly, often when people are thought of as being 'dramatic', the content of what they say - even the reason and genuine pain behind it - can be entirely dismissed.

I hope somebody steps in to help Sinead O'Connor, I really do.

Monday, 7 August 2017

GAME OF THRONES SPOILERS TO BE MADE PUNISHABLE BY FLOGGING, ACCORDING TO NEW GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION



New government legislation has suggested those who post Game of Thrones spoilers online, ahead of the regular broadcast time, should be beaten and publicly flogged. 

‘Not all of us have Sky Atlantic you know’ commented one angry fan of the HBO series. ‘And these nerds who stay up to watch it at 2am the night before are obviously complete losers.’

‘Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m half way through renovating my loft to look like the throne room of King’s Landing. I’ve made an Iron Throne out of kitchen cutlery.’

‘Admittedly, it’s not very comfy.’

A former university lecturer in North Yorkshire, Harrison Dingle, was recently divorced by his wife of 35 years - simply for a Facebook post last year, revealing Jon Snow was not in fact dead. Mrs Dingle later cut off his penis, force-feeding it to him inside a Melton Mowbray pork pie.

Tory politicians are reportedly overjoyed by the idea that UK society should mirror the imaginary world of Westeros, adding the show seems ‘a very fair and workable model for post-Brexit Britain’.

A potential ‘Walk of Shame’ was also briefly discussed, for anyone on a salary of over £50k who openly supports Jeremy Corbyn.

The idea was dropped, as there aren’t any.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

"I WAS AN EDITOR FOR THE LEFT-WING BLOG 'EVOLVE POLITICS'. NOW LET ME TELL YOU WHY YOU CAN'T TRUST THEM AN INCH."



I talk about a lot of stuff frankly on social media, but I do try to avoid discussing my own dirty laundry. I try to focus on general, more widely effectual subject matter. But this one time I'm gonna make an exception, because as ever, I would like truth to be out there somewhere. And it may well be my last 'piece' for a while - I have truly had enough.

Until very recently, I was a writer and Assistant Editor for a left-wing publication called 'Evolve Politics'. I'd written for them since February, and after making a positive impact, I was asked to be an Editor in May. I worked for the publication tirelessly, often through the day and night, and for very little financial reward. In fact, it was me raising the issue of remuneration that resulted in Evolve seeking out sponsorship so they could begin paying their writers a vaguely feasible wage. Something they subsequently got - in part - off the back of a piece I wrote that went viral to more than a quarter of a million people and was listed in several newspapers.

Then out of the blue I was sacked a couple of weeks ago.

Why? Allegedly because I was frank, and used bad language on a Facebook thread under a pseudonym: a deliberately comic and 'potty-mouth' satire account I run based on the character 'Malcolm Tucker'. In fact, only the guy in charge at Evolve even knew it was me: it was in no way connected or affiliated to the publication. I simply took on a 'troll'. It honestly never occurred to me that the boss would be 'holier than thou' as to reprimand me for bad language (that wasn't particularly offensive any way) from a private account, let alone from an anonymous one in defence of our own team. In fact, he went a step further.

He wrote a post effectively outing my pseudonym, dramatically apologising for my "appalling" behaviour. In other words he played the hero to parade his own 'integrity', and sold out someone working for him simply to court the praise of trolls - who mostly didn't know or even care what it was about.



Yep, I do enjoy the odd expletive, and I take few prisoners - I freely admit it. But I do know 'integrity': it's something I strive for. And it's something this organisation definitely doesn't have. I was extremely alarmed to read today that Evolve Politics have applied for an official parliamentary lobby. I found it very disturbing - the idea that such an organisation might garner that much influence, whilst simultaneously lacking any journalistic integrity whatsoever.

For me, that was the final straw. Let me say a few things about Evolve Politics' supposed 'integrity'.

The Man Behind The Curtain


When I told the 'Editor-in-Chief' that his reaction was unnecessary and actually very disrespectful, he behaved like the worst kind of man-child I've experienced in 38 years. He just blocked me on Facebook - my only method of contact. Removed me from website admin, closed down my Evolve Wordpress account, including locking me out of all my articles; he virtually spat in the face of six month's work. Refused to speak to me, terminated my income without a second's thought - when I was only just beginning to make ends meet after more than a year of writing. (With a four year old child to support, for the record.)

What a great example of 'socialist ethics'. What a truly remarkable way to demonstrate how things should be 'fair', how people at the top shouldn't abuse their power, or behave irresponsibly without accountability. Evolve's owners take the lion's share of all revenue from all articles, leaving their writers with pitiful fees - and then preach of 'socialism'. They are frankly everything they claim to oppose.

But my demise within the organisation stemmed from previous run-ins. See, there is a dark secret concerning this 'influential' left-wing news outlet. Unlike The Canary, which is run by experienced journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza, or even publications like SkwawkBox and AnotherAngryVoice, which are run by knowledgeable individuals with worldly perspectives, Evolve Politics is run by a young couple who basically know bugger all about anything outside their own very limited life experience. They are simply two hypocritical and petulant kids, who've become experts at grumbling and whipping up viral memes.

To be more specific, Evolve Politics is run by a chap named Tom Rogers.

I never met Tom, nor would he speak to me on the phone - he remains entirely anonymous for 'official' purposes regarding Evolve. He says it's due to debilitating illness. Out of respect and sympathy for this condition, whatever it is, I gave the issue a wide berth - letting a lot of his weird behaviour go. Including his sleeping all day/being up all night, his drinking binges, his forgetting of entire conversations, his frequent hypocrisy, not to mention his completely 'Jekyll and Hyde' temperament. But frankly, being ill doesn't give you the right to behave like an asshole. Or assume you can get away with it.

Integrity


Ironically, even the slogan Evolve Politics have coined on their header is 'fake':


Jim Waterson never said that referring specifically to Evolve. He referred to a string of left-wing websites, among which Evolve were one. Tom took the comment of of context, twisting it to boost his own publicity. (Oh the irony.)

Bottom line? Tom does not stand by any of his work. He instead hides behind his girlfriend Jess - who's officially in charge, but actually does little. (If anything.) Her qualification is she's apparently got an English degree (something she often liked to remind me, like I was supposed to bow in awe) whereas Tom has no qualification at all, as far as I'm aware. But his anonymity allows him to share Evolve's pieces as a supposed 'neutral' reader all over social media, and ironically, comment anonymously whenever he sees fit. He also argues with readers all the time, but just deletes the comments if they're too clever and/or show him up - I saw it for myself.

Tom writes for Evolve under several pseudonyms, including 'Summer Winterbottom', 'John Corr', and 'J.D McGregor' - basically to make the coverage and contributions seem more than predominantly one disgruntled guy in his bedroom. And now he wants access to Westminster... it's almost funny. But certainly, for Tom to chastise (let alone sack) anyone else for commenting behind a pseudonym, is more than a bit rich.

It's the tip of the iceberg though.

Only days before, I'd been contacted by a former colleague at The Canary who informed me (out of courtesy) they were running a story directly calling out something we - and a few in the MSM - had covered concerning an alleged 'suicide bomber' and threats made by the 'Cornish Republican Army':


It was apparently hyperbole nonsense: something more than a few of our readers had responded to say:



I myself wrote the piece. But here's the crucial detail: I was actively INSTRUCTED to write it - by Tom. Literally given the sources to use, and Tom chose the wording of the headline down to the very last detail. (That's pretty much his main involvement at Evolve: to make memes, and decide which angles get plugged/how they'll be spun.) At the time of publishing, I was actually told off for trying to reduce the scandal/click-bait factor.

But I did take the claim by The Canary seriously. I believe in truth, and accountability. So I advised we should investigate, and issue a retraction/apology if necessary. The Editor's response? That it 'didn't matter'. That The Canary's story probably wouldn't gain any traction:






It was a shameless and quite appalling reaction.

Journalistic integrity matters. Especially for those who would report from Parliament.

Mistakes happen, but no-one with any sense of ethic should recoil from retracting them, or owning up to mistakes. In a nutshell, their hypocritical and self-styled intention to 'Evolve Politics' is a complete sham. Evolve are, in fact, no better than the worst of the manipulative right-wing MSM publications they spend so much energy decrying.

Those publications at least have to follow some level of due process though - both in terms of journalistic accountability, and employment practice. Another final straw for me, was recently seeing Tom post an article under one of his pseudonyms, haranguing The Sun for an article they'd retracted:



At the absolute peak of his pomposity, Tom postures over how noble his organisation is... yet again. Jeers at the tabloid for having to retract their mistake - eg: something he certainly didn't have the decency to do himself. I found it pretty sickening. You know when The Sun show up another organisation's lack of ethics, it's in trouble.

Tom was also outraged by supposed 'slander' when Evolve were accused by Media Guido of sharing an incorrect 'D-notice' story regarding Grenfell Tower. He put grand gestures all over social media, asking lawyers to get in touch, saying Evolve were going to sue for defamation etc. Trouble is, the claims were NOT wrong. Team members at Evolve HAD in fact shared the false 'D-notice' story. They'd just deleted it before anyone noticed. Yet again, Tom just wanted to look far nobler than he actually was, even if it meant taking hypocrisy to a whole new level.

Apparently for Tom, his team member's free speech and bad language were worth apologising for, even from an unconnected source. Even due a grand gesture of 'apology'. But researching and/or apologising for his own categorical misinformation and manipulation of news was not. Says it all really. Tom prizes his own sense of 'offence' as being more important than actual truth - the very definition of a 'snowflake', for all intents and purposes.

Warped Priorities


My impressions of these young 'socialists' admittedly became skewed quite early on, when in a three-way chat with Tom and Jess on Facebook, one of them glibly mentioned "hating their dad and waiting for him to die, at which point they'd be rich." Again, ethics at their very finest.

Regarding that same 'Cornish Republican Army' story - and more specifically Tom's intention to tell it the way he wanted - the same guy who supposedly fired me out of  'decency and integrity' also casually ASKED ME TO LIE. Days before, he'd asked me to throw in a made-up source/quote to justify his desired headline - to literally invent one out of thin air:



It was a request I categorically refused. See I actually do have a sense of ethics, and common decency.

Hard left VS hard right = a bloody mess


I've had a fair bit of unfortunate stuff happen in the past few years. Everyone has their cross to bear of course, but certainly, it's been no picnic. Changing careers dramatically from touring musician to writer, I put my heart and soul into my work for Evolve - hoping to make a difference. And I think I was beginning to. I was making waves in all the right directions, and a lot of people seemed to enjoy my style and candour. To have it all whipped away and to be back to square one in a heartbeat - simply down to the petulance of one unhinged guy? Well, it's actually pretty painful to be honest.

But in truth, writing for an organisation constantly looking to whip up scandal and/or a one-sided narrative was also pretty painful.

Things went wrong when I started to challenge the 'click-bait' direction and the megalomania of the young chief. I'd supposedly been invited on board at Evolve specifically because of my desire to seek a 'middle-ground', to look at both sides of any argument. And also - ironically - my fairly frank writing style. But like the 'snowflake' he sadly is, Evolve's Editor-in-Chief Tom Rogers can't handle any scrutiny or 'independent thought' whatsoever. His glorified blog caters for very little more than a howling 'Corbynista crowd': there is no nuanced or balanced reporting to be found. And I do say that as someone who actively supports Jeremy Corbyn (on most issues, if not Brexit).

In fact, I see how people like Tom (and even myself, to a degree) have been responsible for growing levels of intolerance in this country too. Perhaps not on the same level as the tabloids, or the right-wing menace that currently blights us. But part of the problem nonetheless. It's not even that there aren't a couple of decent writers at Evolve. For example, the other Assistant Editor, Matt Turner - a recently graduated politics student - is a very intelligent and reasoned individual, and he writes regularly for The Independent. But he too is young. And he certainly doesn't pull the strings at Evolve. He's frankly just a name to give Tom and Jess' pet project a level of 'legitimacy' - and he gets pocket money in return. And sadly, however competent Matt is, when the top of the tree is rotten, most of the fruit falling off it is pretty rotten too. The idea that Evolve are now posturing to be taken seriously as a legitimate outlet, I find utterly jaw-dropping. Yes, this piece may seem like 'sour grapes', but frankly I don't care. I want anyone and everyone to know the truth and what this new breed of 'hard leftist' actually looks like. Because wanting people to know the truth, and fighting for the underdog is why I got into this writing malarkey in the first place.

I'm very tired of all the arguing, the division and dishonour. So much shameless and unapologetic hypocrisy. Hard leftists are almost as bad as the far right - it's true, I can't deny it. No-one's listening to anyone any more. The art of compromise, weighing the value of what someone says (as opposed to which team they support) - even free speech and humour are being entirely lost. Political writing has led me down quite a bleak road, I must say.  I've engaged with hundreds of thousands of readers in the past year, but still I doubt most respectable outlets would employ me: I am stained by the association. So a year of work has - ironically - just been to put money in other people's pockets. 'Socialists' like Tom and Jess.

If the likes of Evolve Politics are given access to Westminster, it will truly be the death of any sort of journalistic standard in this country. I'm not saying that new voices and representations aren't desperately needed... but let's just make sure they're vaguely competent and vaguely ethical, eh?

A pecking order in all things


In closing, I would like to offer a paragraph from a piece I wrote for Evolve - again, now quite ironically - referring to The Daily Mail, and the 'regime' of Paul Dacre:

"There is a pecking order in all things. The people at the top always call the shots: their will is the ultimate goal, and everyone below them fears for their livelihood. Feudalism becomes the natural order, unless legislation prevents it. “Fairness and accuracy” don’t come from those lower down the food-chain following directives blindly. Those ethics only arise when lowlier people dare to question the autonomy and agendas of their superiors, even if it’s to their detriment."

I kinda proved my own case in point.

What's next for me? Who knows. Maybe I'll give the music another go after all, however old and ugly I happen to be. All I know is trying to be a 'voice for good' has got me absolutely nowhere - the world is a bloody mess, and I personally feel more disillusioned and angry than ever.

I just never thought it would be with people supposedly on the same 'team'.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: DON'T WISH AWAY THE BBC, IT'S STILL SOMETHING BRITS SHOULD BE PROUD OF



Both the Left AND Right are presently going nuts over the 'scandal' of the BBC's top paid talent. It's a witch-hunt, and it concerns me.

I agree the salaries are grotesque. Most of them could earn under half or even a quarter of what they do, and still live more comfortably than most people ever will. It is very unjust, I don't dispute it in the slightest. But you cannot blame people working at the top of their field for accepting the generous salaries offered to them - that too is ridiculous.

Such blind opposition to the notion of enterprise, and apparent 'sour grapes' that some people earn good salaries is ultimately what so many distrust about left-wing politics. Those who might seem to want 'everyone to be poor'. Make no mistake, that is where and how fears of Communism take root among middle-class and high earning people; it's exactly why that slice of the electorate are so bitterly opposed. And perhaps not entirely without reason. The answer - as always in my opinion - lies in finding an equitable middle ground.

As for the Right moaning about it - ha. They can f**k right off! Led by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre, moguls with vast financial empires, the Right stands for people and corporations who make these salaries seem like chub change. Not to mention establishment politics that enslave the poor and vulnerable. As ever, they have no moral authority, in any respect.



As Newsthump suggest, DON'T be distracted. Know your enemy. These guys & gals at the BBC are not the enemy - they're just people working at the top of their field trying to make the best of life, like the rest of us. They're certainly not the ones taking money AWAY from other people, or making the decisions that make everyday lives impossible. That is all the Tory government. (Not to mention most MPs earn these sums too - topped up by ridiculously well paid work they do over and above their MP salaries.)

The real story, which even the left-leaning Mirror demoted to the top-right of their front page, is that the Tories just casually ruled millions and millions of British citizens must now toil and languish in servitude for yet another year of their lives. Now, people will have to be nearly 70-frickin-years old before they can feasibly start to take it easy in the twilight of their days. 'Work work work'. And guess what? Millions of those same people will die in that additional year. They'll have worked their lives for pensions they never even survived to receive. Who reaps that benefit? Where does that cash go? We all know the answer, it's government coffers. So they can give themselves pay-rises. It's utterly appalling.

But by all means, do have a go and focus on a handful of high-earning people who simply entertain us.

You don't burn down an entire house because big parts of it desperately need renovation. While the BBC news departments admittedly ARE in the pockets of their Tory bosses (an issue requiring redress), the institution itself is a marvellous thing that we should all be proud of. It's simply been stained, like everything else in our country.

The BBC certainly continue to provide a platform for culture/drama/comedy for millions... you know, that 'little' stuff that makes life vaguely liveable. As someone who was brought up and works in the Arts, I could never hate the BBC, or wish them away. 

I fear for the day the BBC dies. What replaces it will be even worse, and more on par with something far more insidious. Like Fox News.

#KnowYourEnemy
#BBCpay