Schnorbitz once fell into a swimming pool at Terry Scott's house, only to be rescued by Barbara Windsor.Aren't show business people lovely?
Schnorbitz once fell into a swimming pool at Terry Scott's house, only to be rescued by Barbara Windsor.Aren't show business people lovely?
Why was the film altered for its American release? Joseph Breen, of Hollywood's self-policing censorship body, objected to a comic relief passage. Phil has run off into the night and is brought to a police station by a constable. A streetwalker named Rose (Dora Bryan) is cracking wise to the desk sergeant and the shaken-up little boy gravitates to her. When the cops ask Rose to help them question Phil, she struggles, amusingly, to assume a maternal role. Breen ordered Reed to excise references to the fact that she's a prostitute being booked. Now, happily, Rose has been restored to her tawdry glory.
In reality, however, the future of the Caldon canal is far more dismal. As a cul-de-sac, it does not have the same status as the canals on the north-south through route on the national waterways network. Many ofthe structures on the Caldon have been awaiting maintenance for years. In the light of current funding cuts, those works are likely to be postponed for even more years. For instance, piecemeal repairs have been made to the Hazelhurst aqueduct and embankment over the last few years rather than the necessary major work that was planned. Its structural failure could easily cause the Caldon to be closed, which would have far-reaching effects for the local economy and the entire canal network.That would be a tragedy.
We should remember that the Caldon was reopened by a dedicated band of volunteers back in 1974, and there is a real risk that, within living memory, whose who reopened the canal could see it close again.
When Sir Dirk Bogarde, the matinée idol, star of European art-house cinema and author, died eight years ago, he left more material than most for any would-be biographer.
On top of over 60 films and 14 books, including several bestselling volumes of autobiography, there were cupboards packed with letters, photographs and film scripts left at the flat in Chelsea, west London, where Bogarde spent his final years.
It was left to his nephew, Brock Van den Bogaerde, to deal with them. He decided that before despatching any material of note to institutions for study by future generations, he should put together a website that would serve researchers and fans alike. The plan was to include everything "from magazine covers to his views on acting, his role in British cinema, in European cinema, in theatre and every book he ever wrote. It was such an enormous life, it really needed a website to put it all in perspective," he says.
The resulting 600-page site, www.dirkbogarde.co.uk, is launched today on what would have been Bogarde's 86th birthday. It offers a reminder of the literary as well as the acting output of the star of films including The Blue Lamp, Darling and Death in Venice, but also a glimpse into the private world of one of the 20th century's more complex leading men.
Blackman is that rare thing, a thinking, Lib Dem-supporting former Bond girl.And her Liberalism goes back a long way, as an earlier posting of mine records.
Much of Blair’s legacy, it seems to me, is precisely a demonstration of precisely how a doubtless well-meaning determination for positive liberty can lead to a huge growth in arbitrary authority, intolerance and hierarchy, both at home and abroad. We will make you happier and more secure, whether you want to cooperate or not, which is why all these CCTV cameras, ASBOs, summary penalties and ID cards are for your own good, if only you’d bloody well realise it…..After all, this programme went out in a week during which the government had proposed criminalising those who do not stay in education until they are 18.
There is a situational logic to revolutions. Disparate groups unite to overthrow an existing regime, but once they have succeeded in doing so the cause that brought them togther has gone, and they then fight one another to fill the power vacuum that they themselves have created. These internecine struggles, usually savage, among erstwhile allies perpetuate the revolutionary breakdown of society far beyond the overthrow of the old regime, and delay the establishment of a new order.All very reasonable, you might think. Yet the Left in Britain is still drawn to these adolescent fantasies of political revolution, which is why its members so often dismiss profound liberal thinkers like Popper and Berlin as Tories or extreme right-wingers.
The population at large begins to feel threatened by unending social chaos, and in these circumstances a strong man who can bring the warring factions to heel and impose order comes forward and meets with widespread support, or at least acquiescence. Thus a revolution carried out in the name of civil liberties, or equality, or to bring a tyranny to and end, will itself end by putting into a Cromwell, a Napoleon or a Stalin.
All revolutions are uncontrollable, and all revolutions are betrayed. It is in their nature that these things should be so. This fact makes belief in violent revolution as a means of changing society not only irrational and delusory but profoundly immoral.
"While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing."
All over the country, brewers sell their own beer in their own pubs - it's a practice as old as the pub itself. We recognise that some of our customers at the Lewes Arms don't accept this practice, but we are proud of our wonderful beers and proud to sell them.But locals are quite happy for the pub to sell Greene King beers. What they want is for it to sell Harvey's as well.
What I'm trying to argue is that we have adopted, both our politicians and ourselves to an extent a narrow economic idea of what freedom means and that's based on the idea that the individual is free once his or her wants or needs are simply satisfied and is free just do what he or she wants.Thanks to Not Saussure.
Other Ideas of freedom are actually about changing the world both individually or collectively and transforming it and having the power to do that which is freeing yourself from the constraints, I don't know, scarcity or political oppression, all sorts of things. But really there are many, many different ideas, and much wider ideas of freedom. That's what I was trying to say.
Sir Menzies Campbell's turn - is the PM "disappointed" that the wealth gap is greater under him than Mrs Thatcher?Except that Sir Ming was quite right.
"He is absolutely wrong," counters Mr Blair - the wealthy are wealthier but those at the bottom have done very well. "Yes, we haven't penalised high earners but those at the bottom have done well."
Sir Ming is undeterred - "how can it be fair" he asks, that the lowest earners pay a higher proportion of their wage in income tax than the highest?
He's simply incorrect, Mr Blair repeats.
It’s staggering that after 10 years on office he doesn’t realise that what he said is wrong and that Ming Campbell is absolutely right. The data is here - published in Parliament. The lowest decile pay 42.6% of their income in tax. Their average income is £8,376 The highest decile pay just 34.9%, less than the fifth to ninth deciles it should be noted. Their average income is £84,357.Thanks to Tim Worstall.
What a legacy for a Labour Prime Minister.
But it may not be good news:
A species of wild animal which used the Skye Bridge to cross from the mainland to the island has spread faster than expected, experts believe.
Pine martens first arrived on Skye shortly after the bridge opened in 1995, according to Roger Cottis of the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
He said the population had spread nine miles (15km) south and west from territory near the bridge.
"They are a predatory animal. Certain birds and small animals are vulnerable and there will be an impact.
"On the mainland, the birds and animals have come to terms with the pine martins' presence - there is an equilibrium.
"But on Skye there could be potential for changes. It will be something we will be monitoring."
I ask Lembit what it was like growing up in Northern Ireland with an umlaut?A pity, because apart from that it is a good line.
It's not often I find a reason to disagree with Polly Toynbee.And there's Randy from Big Brovaz with:
We entered Eurovision because we thought it was about credible acts.
When news of his death first came through, I was with Michael Holding at the Melbourne Cricket Club here in Jamaica.As Liberal Legend wrote yesterday, he first came to prominence as part of the successful Kent team of the late sixties and early 1970s. He first appeared for England in 1972, in one of the first one-day internationals.
The devastation written on the former West Indies bowler's face spoke volumes for the impact Woolmer made on the game and people he came into contact with.
- 2003: Consultants Arup put total cost of building and staging the Games at £1.796bn
- 2003: Tessa Jowell launches bid in May telling MPs it will cost £2.375bn - including a 50% contingency
- 2005: Bid succeeds in July with "prudent" estimate of preparing for games of £2.4bn
- 2006: Tessa Jowell says Olympic Park costs up to £3.3bn
- 2007: Olympic Park budget now at £5.3bn - including regeneration and infrastructure
- 2007: Total budget, including contingency, security and tax, reaches £9.35bn
The section ominously carried no advertising, but was not headed "advertising supplement". Yet it was paid for by the government's Housing Market Renewal Partnerships - which agreed the synopsis - to boost the controversial Pathfinder housing policy. In return for a large sum of money, the agency was offered pre-sight of the copy to "correct inaccuracies". In effect, it secured sympathetic coverage. None of the writers (nor the Guardian's readers) was told of this, or that their fees were being paid, in effect, by the Blair government. Some were given to understand that they were writing for the Observer.
The supplement was laudatory of the nine Pathfinder housing clearance projects in the Midlands and north. This potential honeypot of £5bn of public money (half an Olympics) was launched in 2003 to "kick-start" the renewal of down-at-heel cities. This admirable ambition was vitiated by the method chosen, to assemble and demolish Victorian inner-city neighbourhoods for sale to private architect/developers. The option of using the money to give repair grants to residents, or confront the horror of clearing postwar housing estates, was not pursued. Developers demand cleared sites, as with the green belt. The Pathfinders' job was to find and clear them.
Chelsea have banned celery from Stamford Bridge and ordered fans to stop throwing it during matches after the Football Association launched an investigation into instances of salad tossing at their recent matches.
the programme has also had it’s fair share of scandal ... Most notably, Peter Duncan’s film career before he became a presenter, Janet Ellis had a baby out of wedlock (shocking I know! - especially as it was Sophie Ellis Bextor!), Michael Sundin’s death of an "unspecified illness" (AIDS), Richard Bacon taking drugs at the 40th Anniversary party and John Leslie … well, just being John Leslie!And it does not even mention the fact that Valerie Singleton narrated Nudes of the World in 1961.
South Africa, seen as Zimbabwe's most important neighbour, broke its usual silence on the government in Harare to state its concern.
"South Africa urges the Zimbabwean government to ensure that the rule of law including respect for rights of all Zimbabweans and opposition leaders is respected," Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said.
Guido Fawkes suggests that the actual words used were rather stronger.
One of the PM's closest aides Ruth Turner wrote of her concerns that "Lord Levy had asked her to lie for him".
This emerged in court when the BBC was granted permission to report the reasons an injunction was served about a cash-for-honours news story.
The judge who granted the injunction at the police's request said "there is a substantial element of truth in what the intended BBC broadcast was to say".
The new plans do not affect the link from Shropshire, which will still go ahead, but WSMR trains will not take passengers to London from Wolverhampton, instead they will stop at Tamebridge in Walsall.
Mr Nelson said: “Nothing else has changed, except instead of carrying passengers from Wolverhampton to London we will be carrying them from Tamebridge to London.
“People travelling from Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton will be able to travel on our trains as they will stop at Wolverhampton, but passengers wanting to go London will not be able to get on."
It's strange, given their fatal consequences for boyhood, that cars should often be referred to as "boys' toys". The word "boy" is being taken away from boys, to be used as an arch substitute for "man". Footballers have a "bad boy" reputation; and what did that Wonderbra advert say? "Hello boys."I was reminded of this by an article on the BBC website today which discussed why boys no longer join choirs. It begins:
... many of the products aimed at boys are trying to hustle them on to puberty as fast as possible. Once you've got sex in the equation you can sell a magazine, market a car and target any product. Whereas boyhood ... Well, what is that? It's beginning to seem an increasingly mysterious, abstract realm, something existing frozen in time on the covers of the William books, like a distant, slightly troublesome memory, or a reproof to the way we live now.
Boys tend not to join choirs because they think their singing voices "do not sound like boys", research suggests.
Dr Martin Ashley of the University of the West of England says they associate "boy" bands with adult voices.
A south Shropshire village has celebrated the opening of its new post office.We asked A. E. Housman to carry out some market research:
Customers were given free sweets by Clun sub postmistress Janet Bradbury at the new branch in Church Street.
Clunton and ClunburyDamn.
Clungunford and Clun,
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.
"I've evolved from a little whining pussy to a thrill-seeking wreckhead to a Conservative who still loves the wreck-ups."It seems the truth is less colourful. The paper says:
He also cited a questionnaire posted on the site where the ear-pierced and spiky-haired councillor confessed to having taken drugs and stealing in the past year.
Wales on Sunday has learnt his 'drug-taking' amounts to no more than a painkiller for an injured shoulder. And his stealing exploits involved pilfering some sweets from his cousin. He has since offered to resign to local party chiefs.Thanks - rather improbably - to Labour Watch.
Describing him as "a bit of a prat", one source in the Tory party yesterday suggested Rogerstone councillor Mr Chapman made the comments on the site - since removed from the web - "to make himself look like a man's man in front of his mates".
He added: "He is a bit of a Jack The Lad character. But he is absolutely scared stiff now, the poor so-and-so, absolutely wetting himself. He's like a rabbit caught in the headlights."
Liberal Democrats today dismissed as “highly unlikely” a report that Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik might bid to become the party’s candidate for London Mayor next year.
The report suggested that the Mid Wales MP was being touted as candidate for the job of trying to unseat Labour’s Ken Livingstone.
It said that his entry into the race would “liven the contest up” and would not harm his parliamentary career if he performed well.
A colleague was quoted in the Daily Express as saying: “The party is keen to have someone well known with charisma to stand for the job, and that’s certainly true of Lembit.”
Thanks to Liberal Democrat Voice.
Detectives are investigating whether Lord Levy, Labour's chief fundraiser, urged one of Tony Blair's most senior aides to shape the evidence she gave to Scotland Yard, the Guardian has learned.
Police have been investigating whether Ruth Turner, the prime minister's director of external relations, was being asked by Lord Levy to modify information that might have been of interest to the inquiry. Officers have been trying to piece together details of a meeting they had last year. Ms Turner gave an account of it to her lawyers and this has been passed to police.
His elder brothers were called Bernard and John. By contrast his own first name, Wystan, was exotic; but it reflected one of his father's great interests in life. George Auden was a doctor of medicine by profession, but he was also widely read in many other fields, among them Saxon and Norse antiquities.
This was partly the result of his having been educated at Repton school in Derbyshire, for the parish church there has a particularly fine Saxon crypt which attracted his attention when he was young. The church is dedicated to St Wystan, a Mercian prince who was murdered in the year 849 after he had objected to the uncanonical marriage of his widowed mother to his uncle - "a rather Hamlet-like story," remarked Wystan Auden.
The story of St Wystan is recorded in a Little Guide to Shropshire, under the entry for Wistanstow, the place in the county where he was martyred. The author of the Little Guide was Wystan Auden's uncle, the Rev. J. E. Auden, and Wystan carefully preserved his own copy of it. He was very possessive about his first name; he said he would be "furious" if he met another Wystan.Wistanstow is a charming village, not least because it is the home of The Wood Brewery and its tap, The Plough Inn. But Wistow in Leicestershire also claim to be the site of St Wystan's martyrdom - and the site of the miraculous growth of golden hair from his grave that first proved his saintliness. And I have always understood that it has the stronger claim: when the Church appointed a commission to investigate the claimed miracle, its members all came from the East Midlands.
The churchyard at Wistow in Cambridgeshire, for instance, is the likely location of the 9th-century martyrdom of St Wystan. Each year on his feast day, human hair was said to grow through the churchyard grass. "But when I visited shortly after his feast," writes Sharp coyly, "the grass was neatly mown."So three places claim to be the site of Wystan's martyrdom. Unless, of course, you know of any more.
Mark Sykes was son of Sir Tatton Sykes, a 48 year old reclusive bachelor hypochondriac who was maneuvered into a most unsuitable marriage to an 18 year old girl by the bride's mother. They were never happy together and became less so as Lady Sykes descended into sexual promiscuity, drinking and heavy gambling. After spending large amounts of money paying off her debts, Tatton Sykes published a notice in the papers disavowing her debts and legally separating from her.Blimey.
And the Sunday Herald said yesterday:
The e-mail which triggered the probe into an alleged Downing Street cover-up was sent by Number 10 aide Ruth Turner.
It was sent to Tony Blair's chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, and concerned Labour's chief fundraiser Lord Levy.
The injunction barring reporting of any details of the e-mail was amended on Monday so the BBC could say who sent the e-mail but not its full contents.
Scotland Yard's injunction against the BBC, preventing it from broadcasting new details in the cash-for-honours investigation, is expected to be lifted this week when a team of detectives led by the assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, John Yates, has completed a new focus of its inquiry.
Following up my investigations, Lib Dem shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Moore asked Margaret Beckett what would appear to be a straightforward enough question: "whether the first draft of the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction dossier authored by John Williams makes reference to Iraq's ability to deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes."John Williams was a foreign office spin doctor. Draw you own conclusions.
Beckett responded with a classic non-denial: "There are no plans for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to publish Mr. Williams' draft document, extracts from it or to confirm details of the contents."
A confidential Downing Street email was at the centre of the dramatic intervention by the Attorney General into the cash-for-honours investigation, it can be revealed.
Details of the email relating to one of Tony Blair's closest aides and a senior Labour Party fund-raiser had been obtained by the BBC which was preparing to read excerpts on air as evidence of a Downing Street "cover-up".
The email is understood to relate to Ruth Turner, the head of government relations, and Lord Levy, Labour's chief fund-raiser, who have both been arrested over the alleged awarding of honours in return for big loans to the party.
Scotland Yard sought the 11th-hour assistance of Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, amid fears that its year-long investigation was about to be undermined by the television broadcast.
But in a sign of disagreement within Sir Menzies' inner circle over the party's position, his chief of staff Ed Davey told BBC News 24 he "did not recognise" the source of the story.This suggests that the "senior official" was not as senior as he or she led the BBC to believe. But where is the new professionalism we were promised from Ming's leadership?
A labyrinth of mines was created in and around Reading from the 18th century on to extract chalk for bricks. But over the next 200 years people forgot where most of the mines were and houses were built over many of them. Now mysterious holes have opened up across the town. Walls give off odd creaking sounds as foundations shift and, in extreme circumstances, bits of houses have vanished.I do hope Reading Liberals have not lost any Focus deliverers recently.
I understand it is to do with an email that incriminates someone in a fairly drastic way. I do not know what the terms of the injunction are, but isn't this an injunction which the Labour Party should have asked for rather than Her Majesty's Government?Later. A number of bloggers are pointing out that the BBC originally accompanied their report on the injunction with a picture of Ruth Turner. It has since been taken down.
I am aware of the identity of the individual who is the subject of the email, but I think if I name them I'll probably be banged up at Heathrow on my return! And, dear reader, you wouldn't want that, would you?
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that there were concerns that disclosure of information would impede the investigation, and that Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, was acting "completely independently of government and in his independent public interest capacity."
A good example of what is wrong with way the railways are currently run comes from my favourite newspaper, the Shropshire Star.
In my youth I was a rail enthusiast and member of the board of British Rail. I was sure of the need to privatise the railway, to free managerial blockages and liberate its entrepreneurial spirit. But one thing was vital, to retain the vertical management crucial to operational discipline. If the railway were to be divided, it should be as in the old days, into integrated regional companies, with managers controlling assets, risks and balance sheets as one.
Between 1991 and 1993 this argument was lost. John Major, Norman Lamont and the transport secretary, John MacGregor, conceded the Treasury view that the route to greater rail efficiency led, via the City of London, to vertical fragmentation and internal subcontracting. The daily discipline needed to run a railway could be replicated by private incentives backed by contract law. The result was the Railways Act 1993.
The act was a blunder, a fiasco, a nonsense, intellectually grotesque, one of the worst passed by any postwar parliament. It was the classic work of stupid and arrogant men thinking that because they sat in London chatting to highly paid bankers and consultants they must know better than horny-handed sons of toil.
Shropshire’s direct rail link to London has hit the buffers following objections from train giant Virgin.The irony, I am told by those who know about such things, is that the railways are now more closely controlled by Whitehall than they were during the Second World War. There was far more scope for innovation under dear old British Rail and its curly sandwiches.
The company bidding to restore non-stop services to the capital has announced it is scrapping its current bid and will now submit fresh plans.
Virgin Trains is objecting to the Wrexham, Shropshire & Marylebone Railway (WSMR) Company’s scheme to run trains to the capital.
The West Coast Mainline operator has a contract which protects it from competition on the line from Wolverhampton to London. It is also worried about extra services clogging up the busy route.
It means the Office of Rail Regulation, which oversees all train companies, will reject the WSMR bid, forcing it to change plans.
This website is dedicated to telling the truth about the British government's September 2002 dossier Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction - that it was, after all, "sexed-up" by the government's spin doctors. It will use contemporaneous documents, transcripts of oral evidence and freedom of information requests to reveal who really wrote the dossier, how it was "sexed-up" as a result and how the government covered-up the truth. It will also solve the greatest political whodunnit of the century so far: who put the notorious 45 minutes claim in the dossier?Thanks to Iain Dale.
A celebrated politician and diplomat who played a key role in the carve-up of the Middle East after the first world war is to be called on to perform a final service which could reap incalculable benefits for global health.The point being that, as a wealthy man, Sykes was buried in a lead-lined coffin and therefore his remains are likely to be better preserved and offer more useful samples to researchers.
Nearly 90 years after his death, researchers hoping to find the best way of treating the predicted bird flu pandemic have been given the go-ahead to exhume the body of Sir Mark Sykes, 6th baronet and co-author of the Sykes-Picot agreement, which dismantled the Ottoman empire.
In shorthand, Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes was the man who carved up Turkey and caught bird flu, but his 39-year life remains a monument to how much can be achieved in a short time: he was a senior diplomat, MP, father of six, Boer war commander, author of four books and manager of the biggest estate in Yorkshire.
In between times, he created singular sculptures, commissioned the finest Turkish room in the country at his stately home of Sledmere in the Wolds, and maintained a pile of huge Victorian churches donated to nearby hamlets by his eccentric father, also Sir Tatton. Sledmere burned down in 1911, when his father refused to take action until he had finished his pudding.