Why I’m backing Yvette Cooper for leader of the Labour Party

i'm backing yvette

I went into this contest with an open mind. I hadn’t chosen a candidate, and wanted to hear what they all had to say. I could have gone for any of three of the four candidates.

The truth is that I could still live with any of those three. But one candidate has, for me, stood out as the best of the candidates. One candidate who has stood head and shoulders above. One candidate who has convinced me that they have what it takes to take the fight to the Tories and to lead the Labour Party forward from the defeat we suffered in May.

I am proud to say that I am backing Yvette Cooper to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

Read on…

04 “Dead Air” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


There’s nothing I appreciate more in a TV show than a capacity to take risks. I can think of few worse things for a series to do than cling to the safe, the comfortable, and the well-trodden path of the past.

So whether it succeeds or not, a TV series which is willing to take risks and push boundaries will always win respect from me.

And that is exactly what Defiance seems to be doing with its third season. In part, I suspect its creators are just staggered to have achieved a third season. But they aren’t wasting the opportunity. Only three episodes in, and it’s already shown a brutally dark and unforgiving attitude to its storytelling.

So if anyone is wondering why I seem to have a special place for this series, there’s your answer.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)


s4s blog

It’s only just getting off the ground, but “Southend For Stella” is now officially a thing. With a Facebook Page and a Twitter account.

This is a group of like-minded Southend Labour members, who believe that Stella Creasy’s community-based, grassroots approach to campaigning is exactly what the party needs. These are the same techniques which we have used to great effect in Southend, why we are now part of the administration running Southend Council, and how we held our own in a disastrous general election for Labour.

So like, follow, and let’s get Stella elected as the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

Is this a victory for public transport in Southend?

southend bus

I was rather pleased, reading in the Echo yesterday that the portfolio holder for transport on Southend Borough Council, Cllr Martin Terry, is apparently earnestly considering a park and ride arrangement for Southend.

Readers will, I hope, forgive me for staking a small claim to this policy, given that during the election campaign myself and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southend West, Julian Ware-Lane, called for just such a measure as part of a number of vital transportation reforms that the town desperately needs.

Read on…

Jurassic World – A Review

jurassic world

I’m of about the age that means the original Jurassic Park film was formative of my affection for films and dinosaurs. It is a pretty key piece of my cinematic education and psyche.

I’m also a bit odd, in that I don’t regard the sequel, The Lost Word as a complete catastrophe as everyone else thinks it was. Yes, it could definitely have done without the gymnastics, and it was weird that the back end of a Godzilla film got caught up at the end. But there was still a good film in there somewhere.

Jurassic Park III, mind, was an unadulterated disaster, start to finish.

So that’s the pantheon of Jurassic Park films. That is the scale on which Jurassic World be judged, but this blogger at least.

Read on…

03 “Broken Bough” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


The third season started, without wanting to include any spoilers, with a bang.

It’s odd that a series which is so good has somehow managed to evade popular awareness so far. It’s perhaps a bit niche, but post-apocalypse has a fairly widespread appeal. And Defiance has (For this viewer at least -Ed) managed to hit the nail pretty precisely on the head.

Maybe the third season will be where it finally breaks into the mainstream?

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

Why I’m backing Stella Creasy for Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

stella creasy

Last week I blogged about the importance of being able to win elections, and win power, if you want to make a difference.

I am a campaigner. An activist. When it comes to politics, I am most comfortable on the doorstep (Or behind a keyboard -Ed). Interactions with people are where the difference is made, where the fight is won.

So naturally that is what informs my choice for the new Labour leader and deputy leader.

That is why I am backing Stella Creasy for deputy leader.

Read on…

01 “The World We Seize” & 02 “The Last Unicorns” (Defiance season 3) [SPOILERS]


So Defiance is back for a third season, and enters that select club of series not put down after the second.

As regular readers will recall, I’ve quite enjoyed the first couple of seasons. They haven’t been flawless, but any series which blends Farscape with Fallout is onto a winner from the start.

Where it runs into a slight problem here is that at the end of season 2, the grand threat and story arc which had sustained it over the first 25 episodes came to something of a conclusion. The question, then, which this presents is how to move forward. Bringing back the original big bad seems shortsighted and lazy, so I would hope that Defiance wouldn’t choose that point. But then does it craft out of what it had already mentioned but not explored, or does it introduce something completely new.

See, I’m getting into it already.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)