Roger and his views > Westminster September 2017
Gale's Westminster View - September 2017

September. The Tramp throws down the gauntlet to ‘Rocket Man’. The Young Un picks it up and throws it back. Are we on the edge of hydrogen warfare? Another bomb on the London Underground fails, mercifully, to fully detonate. The United Kingdom is dominated by Brexit, The rest of Europe is not. In Mexico an earthquake leaves a trail of destruction. Hurricane Irma cuts through the Caribbean and leaves a trail of destruction. Hurricane Maria slams into Puerto Rica and leaves a trail of destruction Hurricane Boris hits the British Isles and leaves a trail of destruction. The shine comes off Auntie Su in Burma and Mutti Merkel falters in the German elections as the Alternatif fur Deutschland marches on. Uber is no longer alles on the taxi ranks of London. St. Vincent of Cable is an alternatif Prime Minister. So he tells anyone who is prepared to listen. The United Kingdom Indescribable Party elects its fourth Fuhrer in just over twelve months. In Brighton the Comrades do like to be beside the seaside as ‘Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn’ puts his 1970s Labour Party on election alert. Tory rebels are told “Back May on Brexit or get Corbyn” by Deputy Green. The Prime Minister tells us that she ‘is going on’ and she then goes off. To New York, Canada and Florence. George Cambridge goes off to school, Kate Cambridge is expecting her third child, flying fists put English Cricket on the back foot, the National Trust is on the wrong foot. Again. Ex-Chancellor Osborne steps into pariah territory, The Beast of Bolsover earns unexpected criticism as a ‘scab’, the man who opened the doors to unskilled workers from mainland Europe, ‘Legacy’ Blair, says that we should close the door to unskilled workers from mainland Europe and it’s Strictly no same-sex dancing on Saturday night’s BBC Television. At least for this year.

How to make friends and influence people. The President of the United States uses his outing at the United Nations in New York to vow that he will “Destroy North Korea and its’ Rocket Man”. And for good measure adds that the US treaty with Iran negotiated by the O’Bama administration was “The worst deal ever”. The Young Un, has a hydrogen bomb and, arguably, the means to deliver it to a target quite a long way from home. Short of generating the annihilation of the planet, and it is arguable that both the Commander in Chief and the Dear Leader are insane enough to do exactly that, it’s a little difficult to see quite where we go from here other than to hell in a handcart.

On the domestic front The Tramp’s woes continue. The candidate who screamed “Lock her up” at his Democrat opponent from the Presidential Election campaign platform because of Hillarious’ alleged use a private e-mail accounts now finds that Team Tramp ((Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus Jared Krushner et al) has been using private e-mail accounts! His Health Chief Tom Price, meanwhile, has treated himself to four hundred thousand American taxpayers’ dollars’ worth of private jet travel while not reforming Obamacare. Looks like “Draining the Swamp” needs to start at home and word has it that the man in the tied cottage on Pennsylvania Avenue was not amused by the profligacy of the now-departed Mr. ‘High’ Price. A Hershey Bar to the first person who can state accurately how many of The Tramp’s initial executive appointments now remain in post. The real problem, of course, is that despots with trouble at home tend to look for diversions overseas. Thermo-nuclear war might be a high a price to pay for one man’s comb-over.

Outside of the United Kingdom and, possibly, the UK Ex-Pat community, everyone in the rest of Europe is not talking about Brexit. Certainly the EU’s Chief Obstructer, Mr. Barmier, has taken it upon himself to ‘Educate the British’ while demanding an illegally unrealistic 90 billion euro blackmail price as an exit fee and the equally absurd ‘President’ Druncker, the former Leader of Luxembourg County Council, continues to promote his vision of a United States of Europe complete with Foreign Policy, Euro-army and President , and what passes for a ‘Finance Minister’ in the Eurozone avers that ‘Britain will regret Brexit’, but anyone who believes in the Berlaymont or in Whitehall that the vast army of sans culottes below the stratosphere gives more than a toss about whether or not Britain, or indeed anyone else, remains within or out with the EU is baying at the moon.

The Sun King Macron is derided in the provinces of France as ‘rich, supporting the bankers and out-of-touch’ and has watched his popularity wither since his coronation. Mutti Merkel, less successful than she had anticipated although still Leader for a fourth term of Germany's largest party, now has to both cobble together a coalition without her former Social Democrat partners and at the same time try to marginalise some eighty-eight newly-elected far-right members of parliament. “Europe is looking the other way” as Pedro Plod beats up those behind the Catalan ‘referendum’ and the Spanish Prime Minister, Sr. Rejoy, with or without Spanish law behind him, uses thug tactics to practically guarantee a massive separatist vote come ‘not-polling’ day. Somebody is going to have to sit down with the Catalan President, Cortes Puigdemont, sometime very soon although who that someone will be is by no means clear: The European Union, with its vast army of Chiefs and a supporting cast of less-than-brave Indians is clearly not up to the task and given the legal minefield that is the Spanish constitution a fair few Prime Ministers after Sr. Rejoy may have come and gone before the ‘ Catalonia Question’ is finally answered. And then there is the arrest of Alexei Novalmy who seeks to challenge Comrade ‘Ras’ Putin at the polls. In true neo-Soviet style Comrade Novalmy is charged with the heinous crime of “violating procedure for holding a public meeting”, an offence that sounds as if has been drawn from the first edition of Joe Stalin’s KGB rulebook.

The British have voted to leave the European Union but with all of these other distractions going on around him Fritz in the Strasse is still probably more concerned with the latest Bayern Munich results than anything as yesterday’s news as Brexit.

Would that it were so in Britain but that, sadly, is not the case. The negotiations, the machinations, the wheeling and dealing and scheming and conniving , the self-service and the lip-service within which leaving the European Union ‘But Not Leaving Europe ‘ has become entwined are now as obsessive to Government and Opposition alike to the virtual exclusion of the day-to-day business of running a nation. Sure, there are taxes to be raised, roads and railways and houses to be built, a Health Service that is in need of a thorough overhaul, armed services that are doing their courageous duties throughout the world, education programmes and social benefits to be given due attention and all of the other stuff of administration that still has to be pursued. Rather as in the Island of Cyprus, though, where notwithstanding the need to maintain a full range of public services and an economy “The Cyprus Problem” and the illegal Turkish occupation of the Northern part of the Island has now dominated politics for more than forty years since the invasion , the British political system is comprehensively mired in Brexit.

With good reason, of course. The Great British Public has exercised a choice that is going to have a social, an economic and a political impact upon every man, woman and child living in the British Isles whether British by birth or foreign national, for generations to come. This choice was made without any plan in place and so from the day after the referendum most of Government has been playing catch-up while some in high places have been playing to the public gallery with an eye on the main political chance. Thus we have Mayor Boris, the ‘Reluctant Brexiteer’ and self-styled Prime Minister in Waiting returning to the mythical side-of-a-bus claim that there is “£350million” waiting to be spent weekly on the NHS once we stop paying EU Bills that, in breach of every agreement and Treaty, he believes that he can walk away from with impunity. On the other side of the Chamber we have ‘Prime Minister in Waiting’ Red Jerry Corbyn, one has thought a lifelong Little-Englander, marching to the beat of Sir Kier Starmer’s drum and defending the UKs right and duty to remain within the Common Trading Partnership while skating over just how he intends to square this who voted in Labour marginal seats to end Freedom of Movement is not entirely clear. Notwithstanding the best efforts of Prime Minister May and The Old Knuckleduster, the Brexit Secretary David Davis, to kick some post-electoral life back into the discussions with M. Barmier we are not, it has to be said, negotiating from a position of strength. Having Mayor Boris and Comrade Corbyn ‘on your side’ when trying to score for Britain is, as Lord (Geoffrey) Howe once vaguely said, a bit like going out to the crease to discover that your team has broken your bat.

‘Cabotage Rights’ are not normally on the lips of those who patronise the Saloon Bar of the Rose and Crown but they soon may be. If, post-Brexit and as is suggested, Air France/Lufthansa and other European Airlines target our cabotage then British Airways, Easyjet, Flybe, Thomas Cook, Monarch (already with problems) and others who transport millions of Brits annually to sunshine destinations are going to face very real problems. Add to that the slump in the value of the pound sterling and ‘staycation’ may become the order of the day as people wake up to the fact that we are not just “controlling immigration” or “repatriating our law-making process’ or “regaining our sovereignty” but paying a real price in terms of real everyday life for the privilege of, downstream, hopefully building new markets with the Old Commonwealth, Asia and the Far East, Latin America and, give or take the spat between Boing and Bombardier, the United States . It can still be done of course but let’s not pretend that it will be easy or that M. Barmier and Herr “It will be a miracle if we start to talk about trade before the end of October” Druncker intend to make it any easier. Quite simply, Brussels has no interest in a long-term solution to our situation.

Caroline Flint, a thoroughly straight and decent former Blairite Minister (yes, such a beast does exist) has said that Labour will not “take a wrecking ball” to the legislation necessary to extricate us from Europe. Labour is, though, giving a fair impression of exactly that. True, the “Brexit Bill”, which used to be known more grandly as “The Great Repeal Bill” , staggered across the line with a Commons majority on Second Reading of thirty six (326/290) thanks to the support of some principled Labour MPs including ‘The Beast of Bolsover’ Dennis Skinner. For his utterly consistent stand in the voting lobby Dennis was probably for the first and only time in his long trades-union dominated life branded as a ‘scab’ but it bodes ill for the passage of the legislation through its later stages. Speaking in Florence and in an endeavour to move the Brexit process forward Prime Minister May indicated a possible transition period through to 2021 – just a year shy of the date of the next General Election – and of payments of £9 billion a year to the EU continuing through to the end of the currently agreed European budget period. While this may ease the pain both for British business that does not want a ‘cliff edge’ agreement and for a Brussels bureaucracy that, for all its bluster, wants its pensions, its salaries and its dining bills paid, it again rattled the Boris cage, prompting the Great Orator to opine that a £30 billion settlement bill was “not acceptable”. If the man was looking for martyrdom as a Leadership-enhancer it was not forthcoming. While the Home Secretary, Forever Amber Rudd, criticised his back-seat driving (reminding the audience of that burning question “would you want your daughter to be driven home at night by Boris Johnson?) he was not sacked and the PM’s reaction was a dismissive “Boris is Boris” If, on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, Mr. Johnson, seeks to challenge the Prime Minister then Ruth Davidson, the undoubted success of the 2017 general Election, is ready to challenge Mr. Johnson as a possible and worthy successor, when the time comes, to Theresa May. Accusing the ex-Mayor of “over-optimism” in his approach to Brexit might seem small beer but the feisty Scot knows how to land a punch and more will surely follow. At the time of writing the Tory Party is seeking to present a united front, or something approximating unity, in Manchester. More of that, no doubt, next month.

There was a time when Conservatives were allowed to enjoy the pleasures of the Bournemouth and Blackpool beaches but it is now left to the Socialist Workers’ Party in Labour clothing to head not North but, remaining within striking distance of the Socialist Republic of Islington, to the Sussex Coast and the gay, Regency, splendour of Brighton. Make no mistake about it, it was a good week for Red Jerry, Comrade McDonnell and the Brothers. Fresh from his triumph at the TUC conference where General Secretary of Unite McCluskey likened himself modestly to Mahatma Ghandi or, perhaps, Nelson Mandela in influence, and with the applause following his backing for Public Sector strike action still ringing in his ears, the Shadow Chancellor reiterates his call for “insurrection” to bring down the vile Tory Government and install JC in Downing Street. In a “Back to the Seventies” £312 billion plus bid to reinstate Nationalisation under Workers’ Control’ McDonnell has promised to buy out the disastrous and costly PFI contracts for schools and hospitals that were, yes, tentatively introduced by John Major but catastrophically rolled out by “The Legacy” Blair in order to keep the investment in buildings off the balance sheets. As Mr McDonnell omitted the “without compensation” from the SWP mantra “nationalisation under workers’ control’ we have to assume that Jerry’s Magic Money Tree will once again bear the fruit necessary to buy out legally acquired contracts. It is comforting to know that that the Shadow Chancellor is war-gaming the ‘run on the pound ‘that would surely follow the formation Corbyn’s “Government-in-waiting”. It might just not be capital flight but a brain and enterprise drain that the Comrades would have to face.

The overhaul of the Labour Rule Book, reducing from 15% to 10% and possibly down to five, the number of MPs required to back Leadership was designed, of course, to shift power to Momentum and “Oooooh Jeremy Corbyn’s” adoring grass roots. With bargain-basement fees and Party membership rocketing the man who was written off only a few months ago could be leading the Labour Party into the twenties and his own eighties. The Darling Bud once said from the despatch box “remind you of anybody”? Yes, actually, Fidel Castro. Although of course British audiences and particularly television cameraman could not ride out an eight-hour monologue Red Jerry did his best to sustain a totalitarian-length address to Conference. That his thunder was mildly stolen by one Emma Dent Coad, the elected parliamentary representative of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, must have been galling. Ms Dent Coad’s assertions that the Duke of Edinburgh had cheated on the Queen and that Prince Harry cannot fly a helicopter, subsequently retracted as ‘a joke’ , distracted from the soviet-style orchestration of events in Brighton but the Red Flag echoed to the rafters as the delegates left town and we all need to remember that there is a generation for whom the 70’s and Marxism are a part of a history no longer taught in schools, for whom Red Jerry’s friends in the IRA did not exist, and for whom ‘The Winter of Discontent’ is probably a Russian novel The ‘Snowflake’ generation wants promises of reduced student debt, low-cost home ownership, generous benefits, cost-free healthcare, and at some time in the future non-contributory pensions and that is what they are being promised by those currently sitting on the other side of the House of Commons. Not surprisingly they are lapping it up and the Government is going to have to bust the myths and to offer some serious and affordable aspirational alternatives for the young.

Back to the real world to the fatal Earthquake in Mexico and to the storms that have devastated the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. As one who has spent many years working with the media industries I was inclined to think that “fake news” was a product of the fertile imagination of the President of the United States of America. I still believe that Mr. Trump has a great deal to answer for but on the “fake news” front I believe that he may have a point.

Take Hurricane Irma.

Some time prior to the arrival of the Grade Five storm the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship Mounts Bay, equipped with a helicopter, highly trained personnel and emergency equipment and supplies, took up station as what used to be known as “the West Indies Guard ship”. She was positioned there by the Ministry of Defence because while nobody knew precisely what damage would be sustained and in what exact location it was clear that the islands that form part of the British Overseas Territories were in for a hell of a battering. As soon as practicably possible after the storm had passed our navy put some very courageous personnel on the ground in Anguilla to conduct the basic clearance that would allow other ships and aircraft to back up the relief effort. The Mounts Bay then moved on to repeat the exercise in the British Virgin Islands. This herculean effort was the subject of armed forces film footage that was supplied to the British Media. Curiously, none of it seems to have made the airwaves but one television channel carried an interview with a woman claiming, apparently falsely, that she was from Anguilla and complaining that “nothing is being done to help”.

Some weeks ago an RAF C17 transport plane, one of the world’s largest, left the UK for France where it picked up emergency supplies which it then flew to the French island of Guadeloupe. This was necessary because France’s own relief capacity was at full stretch and the island needed rapid relief. Again, this was known to our newspaper and television channels but remained unreported.

I have nothing but sympathy for those hundreds of thousands throughout the West Indies who have seen their homes, their possessions, their livelihoods and in some cases life itself destroyed. Our family knows of a delightful man who ran a beach café in Barbuda, an island whose population of some 2,500 has had to be completely evacuated, whose new premises were wiped out in an instant along with his entire very modest business. Through the magic of incredibly still-accessible Facebook he told my daughter that he was alive and waiting to get home to “start cooking up some good seafood again” and there will be similar stories of resilience and determination throughout the Caribbean. These people deserve, and are receiving, every ounce of assistance that we can practicably offer but it is a nonsense that must be changed that because” the computer says no” our Overseas Aid budget cannot immediately and generously be used to help them. This is one instance in which charity ought to begin at home even if that “home” is very many thousands of miles away.

It has been reported that “The French and the Dutch had boots on the ground faster than we did”. For reasons of administration French boots were already on the ground. It not widely understood that the French Overseas Territories are part of what is known as “Metropolitan France”. Martinique, for example, is for legal purposes as much a part of the French “mainland” as Montmartre in Paris or the Departement of Aquitaine. Once you are on a French Caribbean Island you are within the European Union – a source of some concern to those responsible for security, certainly, but a fact nonetheless. There are, therefore, French garrisons and gendarmerie permanently stationed within their Overseas Territories. The administrative difference between those “colonies” and Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands or the British Virgin Islands which are self-governing is very considerable. That also is something that the media could, but has chosen not to, report honestly.

There is a very real danger that, given the demand of twenty-four hour news to generate a “narrative” and the ease with which via social media the voices of malcontents rather than the silent majority can gain dominance, the news agenda will be permanently distorted. We have had, in the Caribbean, and will have for very many months to come, men and women of our armed forces and our aid agencies who will go about their daily business with courage and dedication helping to rebuild shattered communities and lives as they now tackle the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the trail of devastation in Dominica and with the Hurricane Season still only at the beginning, they and those responsible for their deployment and management deserve not criticism but our heartfelt appreciation and thanks.

In other news the shine has come off the reputation ‘State Counsellor’, or in British terms Prime Minister, of Myanmar (Burma in old money) Aung San Sui Kyi. “Auntie Su” as she is known by the popular press, is a heroine, human rights activist , Freeman of the City of London and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner which makes it more appalling that, having suffered herself under house arrest and at the hands of the military oppressors of her own people she should now, from a position of what can only be described as supine moral cowardice, acquiesce in something akin to the genocide of Burma’s Rohingya Muslims. There is, she has said, “no ethnic cleansing” of the three hundred and thirteen thousand ‘Bengali migrants’ estimated to have left Myanmar since August 25th. The world is now a media village, however, and the international media coverage, even if one-sided and distorted which well it may be, gives the lie to the denial of the grim suffering of the Rohingya people. The brave young Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafsai, now a twenty-year old University student, has described Aung San Sui Kyi’s lack of forceful intervention as ‘tragic and shameful’ and that is the opinion that is likely to resonate around the civilised globe.

Back at home ‘Boy George’, the ‘Editor ‘of the London Evening Standard and erstwhile Chancellor of the Exchequer under Man David has scarcely enhanced his marginalised position within the Conservative Party by announcing that he ‘will not rest until May is chopped up and in my freezer’, prompting the observation from an “official spokesman” that “the contents of Mr. Osborne’s freezer is nothing to do with me”!

St. Vincent of Cable, re-tread Member of Parliament for Twickenham and now the Leader of the twelve MPs that constitute the Parliamentary Liberal Party has, in a statement reminiscent of the Liberal Leader David Steel’s risible “go back to your constituencies and prepare for Government” statement made in 1981, announced that he is “an alternative Prime Minister-in-waiting”. As an alternative-in-waiting to Mr. Corbyn you could, I suppose, argue that case but there is as much chance of St. Vince holding court in Number Ten as there is of Henry Bolton, the unknown soldier and security expert who is now the fourth leader of UKIP in just over a year seizing the same prize. Interestingly – or not – Mr. Bolton once also stood as a Liberal candidate.

It was thanks to good fortune that a bomb planted on a London underground train at Parsons Green failed to properly detonate and that as a result lives that would otherwise certainly have been lost were spared in what has been the worst year for terrorist attacks since the 1970s. With London briefly on Critical Alert – the highest level – again and with another twenty-six people injured it is no surprise that Londoners would like to know why bomb making instructions, including ‘items frequently bought together’ are still available on line.

Perhaps the President of the United States, who found time in his busy schedule to tweet criticism of security in our capital city, might care to address that issue as most of the offenders are US-based companies.


Ballswatch

The popular Saturday night BC TV extravaganza has been wrestling with the ‘casting’ of dance-partners of two of this years’ ‘celebrities,, a lesbian comedienne, Susan Calman, and a gay vicar. They are now receiving abuse for agreeing to be paired off with ‘straight’ (so far as we are allowed to know) professional dancers. No same-sex Please, we’re British.

The Salford Broadcasting Corporation “does not allow the abuse of reporters” said BBC Chairman Sir David Clementi addressing the Royal Television Society convention. “Reporters” (like Laura Keansburg who is regarded by the levies as pro-Tory) “have a responsibility to question” and “truth and accuracy are under assault”. There are those who might feel that ‘truth and accuracy’ suffer more at the hands of BBC reporters than they do from politicians but who would dare to suggest such a calumny?

Westminster City Council has a difficulty with a proposed statue of Millicent Fawcett, the suffragette. The suggested likeness poses our heroine holding a placard reading “Courage calls for courage everywhere”. Unfortunately the side view presents as a distinctly unliberated lady hanging out the washing. Back to the drawing board.

The Royal College of Gynaecologists (Oath the saving of lives) has voted in support of abortion on demand.

Will Lt. General David Leakey be succeeded by a lady? Rumour has it that the position of Black Rod will go to a woman when it next comes up for grabs.

It is reported that rampaging pigs have attacked a man near Burley in the New Forest. The swine are allowed to roam free from September 11th until November 12th to eat the acorns that would otherwise be devoured by, and poison, sheep and the famous New Forest ponies.

The retail outlet John Lewis has dispensed with ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ labels on Children’s clothing . This is to “avoid gender reinforcement stereotypes”

Lena Tigger, who we should probably refer to as a ‘merperson’, has been banned from using her £150 Mermaid’s Tail swimming aid in Bromsgrove’s pool. “Mermaid Aries” as she likes to be known professionally, is another victim of the ‘elf ‘n safety police.


Valete

Cormac Murphy O’Connor became head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales in 2000. The Tenth Archbishop of Westminster , created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul 11, has been recalled by his maker at the age of eighty five. “I have” he said “been texting the angels and saying ‘get on with it’ “

The final curtain has come down on the career of Sir Peter Hall, the 1960s founder and driving force behind the Royal Shakespeare Company that played in Stratford’s Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and London’s Aldwych as a permanent ensemble of actors . Peter Hall, who was eighty-six, also Directed Britain’s National Theatre.

The Irish-American J.P.Donleavy, author of The Ginger Man, was rejected by forty-five publishing houses before Olympia Press took him on in 1955. He went on to sell forty-five million copies and fifteen novels before his death at ninety-one.

Ninety-five year old Jake “Raging Bull” La Motta has thrown his last punch at ninety-five. The ‘man with the granite chin’ was World Champion from 1949 until 1951 and the first fighter to knock down the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson.

David Shepherd, born in 1931, was awarded first the OBE and then the CBE for his wildlife work. The creator of the David Shepherd Foundation and Elephant Orphanage was a game warden in Kenya before embarking on a career as a popular artist His pictures embraced Spitfire, Lancaster and Comet Aircraft, warships and “The First Rhino” but it was his 1962 depiction of “The Wise Old Elephant” that adorned many sitting room walls and generated the funds that he ploughed back into wildlife conservation.

Sir Teddy Taylor (80) was elected as the Eurosceptic Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East after he lost his first seat in Glasgow Cathcart. Teddy was one of (in those days) few Tory MPs opposed to foxhunting. He served as a junior Scottish Office Minister under Ted Heath but resigned to oppose the UK’s entry into the Common Market.

Victoria, Dowager Countess of Lucan, whose husband Lord Lucan disappeared forty years ago leaving their nanny, Sandra Rivett, dead on the floor of their home (it is said that he mistook her for the wife that he intended to murder) has taken whatever secrets to which she may be privy to her grave at eighty.

The Actor Tony Booth, ‘Scouse Git’ , star of the TV comedy series “Till Death Us Do Part” and father of “The Legacy” Blair’s wife, Cherie (Booth) was eighty-five and Liz Dawn, Vera Duckworth in “Coronation Street, was seventy-seven when they died.

The founder of the Playboy magazine and Casino clubs, Hugh Hefner, was ninety-one when he finally gave up the chase. ‘Hef’, as he liked to be called by everyone except his staff, claimed to have slept with between, variously, one thousand and two thousand women. He was a direct descendent of William Bradford, one of the Founding Fathers who sailed to America in The Mayflower which may account for the stage name of his first 1955 ‘Playmate’ . Janet Pilgrim.

And Jack Good, the 1950’s creator of the TV shows that brought Rock music to the small black-and-white television screen has rolled away at eighty-six. Filling the gap between 6pm and 7pm on what had been the BBC’s “toddlers time” when dutiful mothers put their babies to bed Jack launched Six Five Special presented by Josephine Douglas and Pete Murray.in 1957. The show, which attracted twelve million viewers, featured Tommy Steele, Lonnie Donegan and from the US Little Richard singing “Rip It Up”. In 1958 Jack Good shocked the BBC by moving to the commercial ABC television where he produced Oh Boy live from the Hackney Empire. From there he launched the career of Cliff Richard with the first British Rock ‘n Roll hit record, “Move It”.


And finally…….

It has become fashionable amongst die-hard Vote Leavers to demand that the British government be “Churchillian” in its approach to Brexit.

Sir Winston Churchill ,who once referred to “Majestic opportunities or catastrophic failures” ,was of course one of the first and most vocal proponents, in the 1950s, of a United States of Europe.


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