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Month: October 2009

I’m all in favour of collective bargaining, and can understand the principles behind the Royal Mail dispute. However, isn’t striking at the height of a recession to maintain existing working terms, when countless thousands of jobless would happily accept the inferior terms on offer, bordering on the suicidal?

When so many high-profile child abuse cases are in the news, it’s sometimes hard for one to stand out, but this one manages it. Being so used to reading and hearing of terrible acts of inhumanity, I find my visceral reactions to situations like these increasingly rare. Rationally and logically, I abhor and condemn the acts, but it takes a lot to make me feel physically sick, as I did reading that report. And yet in that terrible catalogue of…

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Just seen some rough clips on BBC News. Dimbleby on stunning form. First question about the BNP’s adoption of Churchill. Griffin concludes his case for Churchill’s natural home being in the BNP with a snide dig at Jack Straw, talking about his own father’s WW2 service versus Straw’s father being a conchie. Dimbleby – nobody’s idea of a Trot – straight in: “What relevance does that have on the question?” (doubtless thinking “If you want to play that game, matey,…

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Roll up for the first must-see Question Time since Ian Hislop ripped Mary Archer a new arsehole in 2002. As a man of the left, I have to say that Peter Hain’s posturing has done nobody on the liberal side of the equation any favours. I suppose the protest had to be made, in full knowledge that it would be rejected by the BBC Trust, and I’m just grateful that it was made by the risible Hain rather than anybody…

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So farewell, then, Ludovic Kennedy. Quite apart from being a television heavyweight from the golden age of current affairs, he was also a campaigning, crusading man of principle, whose book 10 Rillington Place led pretty much directly to the pardoning of Timothy Evans. He could do funny too, as his cameo in Yes Minister and his partnership with Peter Cook on A Life in Pieces proved.

Who’s the callow youth with the lovely Cleo Rocos’ arms draped around him? Its me, over a decade ago, in my early days as a hack on Publishing News, at the launch of her book Bananas Forever. Tony Mulliken of Midas PR was masterminding the publicity for the book, and, in an unguarded moment, I let slip to him my enormous regard for the late Maurice Cole and my profound love for his glamorous sidekick. Tony took great delight in…

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Note well, I will be on BBC Radio Norfolk this afternoon just after 2pm, talking archive TV with the excellent Stephen Bumfrey, talking being the one thing I can still do largely unhindered. Broadcasting under the influence of co-codamol. Hmmm, let’s see how that works. Anyway, the whole affair is part of my campaign to take over whatever fragments of the frequency spectrum Iain Dale isn’t using at any given time. Today, Radio Norfolk. Tomorrow, the worl…ah, more likely Radio…

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Ben Miller’s Radio 2 thing about Benny Hill is in my current queue of things to be listened to, and it will be interesting to see how it views Hill’s demise. The more I think about it, especially since a particularly thought provoking email on the subject from Matt Rudd, his worst crime was sticking with producer Dennis Kirkland for so long. Dennis was the perfect producer for him at one time, but not by 1989. I met Dennis once,…

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There’s a slightly strange sub-plot to all this arm business. Pretty much everybody who’s examined me at close quarters over the last fortnight or so, has observed what splendid working order the rest of me is in. This morning, a very nice physiotherapist reassured me that my good arm was so flexible that, when fully healed, even with a reduced range of motion, my right arm should be not that far off most people’s range of motion. This specialist in…

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