Links to BLOGS.

 

 

Rather than cross post all the blogs I write (and I write quite a few), here are links to some recent blogs. But if you want to be totally up to date: please visit the social media page which has all the links there. 

With hope in your heart

19 December 2014

Since discovering 'Adopt-a-word' (a way of supporting the 'I Can' charity which helps children and young people to communicate), I have chosen a word for the forthcoming year. You can read about my previous words here. For this coming year, I have chosen HOPE...

 

Why hope?

Because, quite simply, hope is what keeps me going. And I suspect I am not alone in that. When I wrestle with my own personal, professional and political challenges, it is my hope that things can and will get better, that keeps my chin up. If I did not have hope, I would give up now. Hope is the basis of my actions to build a better world, (and be the dad, husband, son, family member, friend... human being that I wish to be).... 

Letting go of secrets & lies...

Add Date here

What We Did on Our Holiday is a peach of a movie. Building on the winning formula of Outnumbered, where children take a central role in the humorous narrative, this is a film to delight, entrance, move and generally make you laugh out loud. I giggled & chortled through most of this film. And when I wasn't doing either, I was probably shedding a few tears. This is a rich and warm film: as beautiful and powerful as the highlands of Scotland.

Going, going, gone... girl

23 October 2014

Gone Girl will keep you guessing until the end and then even beyond! It is one of those films that will grip you and fling you around like dog with a stick. At various points you might speculate that you have an idea what is going to happen, but you will be wrong, so wrong!

A critical test of the PCC structure

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A week from now, the polls will be open across the South Yorkshire police area to elect a new Police & Crime Commissioner. This will be the second by election for a PCC: the first was in the West Midlands and followed the untimely death of Bob Jones. The turnout in that election was 10.4%. The South Yorkshire poll could not be happening in more politically controversial circumstances: not only does it follow the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal & subsequent tardy resignation of the former Labour PCC, police conduct matters, long past but still very raw, also feature (Orgreave & Hillsbrough). The four candidates (Conservative, English Democrats, Labour & UKIP) featured on a live webcast a couple of days ago, in a live Star and Sheffield Telegraph Question Time-style debate. (I would say it was more oak, pine & cedar that QT style!)

Never give up!

22 October 2014

I awoke yesterday morning to the breathtaking news that an Anglo-Polish team had managed to use a man's nasal nerves to repair his spine and restore some life changing functionality to his lower body. Amazing! For me, this was a Christiaan Barnard moment: a genuine breakthrough in medical science. My hearty congratulations to everyone involved, not least the courageous patient at the centre of it all...

Quiz Night Success

22 October 2014

24 people crowded into a back room of the White Hart Inn in Buckingham last night to take part in Labour Party Quiz Night. A very good time was had by all! The Maids of Moreton were worthy winners with Red Oktober coming a close second...

Cowabunga!

18 October 2014

My son was heavily into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they first arrived on the scene 20 odd years ago. So it was with a sense of warm nostalgia for those days when my son was very young and delightful (in the way that small boys are - though he is still wonderful now!), that I sat down to enjoy the film. I was expecting good CGI, a loose and not too complex story with some convincing acting. I was not disappointed, indeed I was thrilled! There is even a cameo performance from one of my favourite actresses: Whoopi Goldberg (who I still think would make a fantastic Dr Who).

1 October 2014

I have just blogged about Pride: the wonderful and inspirational new movie about the time when a group of gay men and lesbians supported some striking miners in South Wales in 1984. Please go and see this film. You will laugh, smile, cry and (maybe even) punch the air (I did).

At one point the film features a stirring and touching rendition of 'Bread & Roses', sung by Bronwen Lewis (a contestant on the Voice a couple of years ago). The film is all about the power of solidarity. This song punctuates the film with a (musical) note that the struggle for fairness and equality is not just about bread. It is about roses too...

1 October 2014

Pride is a sumptuous and joyous film of the very highest order. It tells the true story of how a group of gay men and lesbians decided to raise money in support of striking miners in 1984 & 1985. The narrative tension pivots on the culture clash between the cosmopolitan bohemian London activists on the one hand and that of miners & their families from a traditional and small Welsh town on the other. The fusion will warm you, inspire you and delight you...

28 September 2014

David Cronenberg is not known for his frothy romcoms, so I was not expecting to 'enjoy' Maps to the Stars. I was correct. This is a dark movie about not just Hollywood's 'underbelly' but the desperation between its toes and under its fingernails... This is a gripping and tragic film that will draw you inexorably into its sticky and glutinous morality...

29 September 2014

The bubbling news over the weekend, as the Conservative Party sat down to pray in Birmingham, is that Mark Reckless has done a Daniel Carswell... and joined UKIP. Following the Clacton by election where polls are suggesting that Mr Carswell will be elected as the town's UKIP MP, there will now be a by election in Rochester & Strood as well. It is too early to say whether Mr Reckless (a notable member of the Home Affairs Select Committee) is likely to be elected or not. I would imagine that the Conservative Party will be throwing quite a few kitchen sinks at both constituencies in forthcoming days and weeks...

26 September 2014

I lived in Oxford for twenty years. Even so, I was always aware that much of it was hidden to me behind the bowler hatted door stewards and alluring gates to the various quads. The Riot Club appears to open a few doors on a side of Oxford I was only dimly aware of...

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