Playing the Race (Music) Card

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In ‘All You Need is Cash’, Eric Idle’s 1978 spoof documentary on his spoof Beatles, The Rutles, there’s a scene in which Idle as an inept interviewer grills a veteran bluesman called Ruttling Orange Peel; Mr Peel claims he invented the ‘Rutles Sound’, despite the intervention of his irate wife who informs Idle that every visiting […]

February 18, 2015

The Cruel Sea

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Hard to imagine such a scenario as you rest your flabby western butt on a comfy sofa and tear your hair out because you can’t find the latest must-see series as recommended by The Guardian on Netflix, but what would you do if your idle idyll was suddenly brought to a halt because armed guerrillas […]

February 17, 2015

The Mountain comes to Mohamed.

Ms Raccoon has been off scurrying down another rabbit hole. It proved to be a rich seam of material. We may be some time digging into this one folks… It started when the morning newspapers brought word of yet another leak from the porous world of Operation Sapphire, the Metropolitan police’s specialist sex crime unit. Alleged […]

February 16, 2015

The Sunday Post: The Rape of Dresden

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Dresden. 70 years ago 13 square miles of the city lay in smouldering ruins. Something like 25,000 people lay dead. Many died from lack of oxygen as the fire storm swept through the city; others were simply burned alive. I heard a couple of interviews with a survivor this week – Victor Gregg. He was […]

February 15, 2015

25 Hour News & The Ladybird Library

  The usual weekly bulletin and an additional feature, as requested by some…        

February 14, 2015

Hall and (Wild) Oats

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Well, we have now had four episodes of ‘Wolf Hall’ and I read that audiences have been dropping faster than Anne Boleyn’s knickers. I have been glued to my recliner of late (not been too well – gout and a sinus infection), whilst my faithful secretary, Miss Mandy Balls (37), has helpfully provided me with […]

February 13, 2015

Old Lags and Retrograde Justice.

In the year of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the wheels of Justice appear to be not so much turning slowly as spinning uncontrollably in reverse. On the one hand we have demands for pardons for offences that were seen as heinous 50 years ago, whilst on the other we have a race […]

February 12, 2015

Sorry Seems To Be The Easiest Word

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In the past few weeks, a proposal has been aired by several prominent public figures to ‘begin a discussion about pardoning all the men, alive or deceased, who like Alan Turing were convicted under the UK’s Gross Indecency law and other discriminatory anti-gay legislation’. Phew! This particular law emanates from 1885; homosexual acts between consenting […]

February 11, 2015

Someone’s Looking at You

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Zirndorf is a seemingly nondescript German village on the outskirts of Nuremberg; in the foreboding shadow of a city that owes its location on the map of European history to grandiose public pronouncements of Aryan supremacy, Zirndorf is probably only known to those who live there. However, for all of Germany’s concerted campaigns to confront its Nazi […]

February 10, 2015

Wilde Thing

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It may sometimes seem like we are living through an age of finger-pointing paranoia unprecedented since the Taliban-esque era of the post-Civil War Puritans; but we have been here more recently, and a couple of centuries closer than the seventeenth. Change ‘paedophile’ to ‘homosexual’ and place not a harmless, has-been pop culture court-jester in the […]

February 9, 2015