Month: April 2014

James Moyies – big on anger, short on answers


james moyies leaflet

On Monday I took a look at (and disassembled) the leaflet of the Tory candidate for Victoria. But I am standing for election in the east of the borough, in the ward of West Shoebury.

West Shoebury is interesting, as far as the local elections in Southend go, as it is the only seat where UKIP stand any chance of breaking through. James Moyies has been putting considerable time and effort to winning a council seat, and after coming up 3% shy in 2012, he clearly fancies his chances against incumbent Tony Cox this year.

What Mr Moyies is actually offering, though, is a bit of a confusing story.

Read on…

Heresy of the Week – Star Wars will go downhill from here


a long time ago in a galaxy far far away
Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

Whilst it has remained formless, existing in idea alone, the new Star Wars films have served as receptacles for fanbase hopes and dreams. Now, with the announcement of the cast, it is crystallising into an actual film. Expect disappointment to rise as a result.

Read on…

04 “Oathkeeper” (Game of Thrones season 4) [SPOILER]


GoT oathkeeper

After the controversy courted by the last episode (and the fact that in its fourth season Game of Thrones can still be considered controversial is a source of some amazement to me), I sat down to “Oathkeeper” hoping for a little more story progression, a little less newspaper-bait.

And boy did I get it.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)

Denis Garne, Rewriting History


denis garne leaflet

As some will remember from my blog a little while back, Denis Garne is the Conservative Party candidate for Victoria ward this year. His history in Southend politics was interesting to say the least, as I discovered.

Now, I am standing for election in West Shoebury (an area of Southend to which I do have links — my fiancée’s entire family living in the ward) but I live in Victoria. So unsurprisingly, last week a blue-and-white glossy leaflet for Mr Garne’s campaign dropped through our letterbox.

It makes for interesting reading. For the most part it is exactly what you would expect from any party political literature at election-time. But given Denis’ political past, there are some…shall we say interesting statements contained.

Read on…

Full list of Southend Local Election Candidates 2014


southend civic centre

A few thoughts on the statement of nominated persons released today for the Southend local elections 2014:

  • A full slate of 18 candidates fielded by the three major parties: Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
  • Of the rest UKIP have fielded 12, there are 9 independents (though I’m not sure how many are standing for the Independent Party Group), 3 Green Party candidates, and bizarrely one National Front.
  • I am deeply skeptical about the independent candidate for St Luke’s, whose name is down as ABC. I suspect it’s either a mistake by the returning officer, or (more likely) a cynical ploy to be top of the ballot.
  • I’m not sure what the story is with Andrew Mooring in Eastwood Park, down as representing the “Local Conservatives”. Are the other Conservatives not local then?
  • 12 sitting councillors are standing for re-election (not including Martin Terry, who has resigned his Westborough seat). Two sitting councillors, however, have moved wards: Lib Dem councillor Barry Godwin (from Leigh to Belfairs) and Conservative Fay Evans (from Belfairs to West Leigh)

Read the full list of candidates…

Imprint (2014)


As a number of other Southend local politicians and political bloggers have already done so, and the election campaign is well and truly underway, I guess it’s time for me to attach the legally-required imprint to my humble blog:

This blog is hosted by WordPress and any election-related statements are promoted by Matthew S. Dent on behalf of Labour candidates in Southend, all of 268 Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 5ET.

The books that made me: “Dragonflight” by Anne McCaffrey


dragonflight by anne mccaffrey

“Lessa woke, cold.”

It has been, disturbingly, some thirteen to fourteen years since I first read that first line of one of the books which most shaped my interests in fiction, as well as more broadly. I was either ten or eleven at the time, pinching a paperback copy from my dad’s bookshelf and burying my nose in it like a younger child teetering around in a parent’s shoes.

I’ve talked about Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series before — most notably when she passed away a few years ago — but I’m not sure that I’ve ever really explored the moulding effect that it had on young Matt.

There is, actually, a reason why this is the first blog in a series I’m planning about those landmark tomes. Dragonflight was, as far as I can remember, the first “grown-up” book that I read.

Read on…

Heresy of the Week – Marvel conquered the world by giving the people what they want


avengers

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

 With Marvel standing triumphant over the  geek-verse, it bears reflecting on how they have done it. Essentially, by giving the cinema-going, film-watching fans exactly what they want.

Read on…

The unravelling myths and misinformation of Nigel Farage


nigel farage

Say what you like about Nick Robinson, but he’s rather good at nailing down a slippery character. From the horse’s mouth:

Nick Robinson: So why isn’t [your wife] taking a British person’s job?

Nigel Farage: Because nobody else could do that job.

NR: No British person could work for you as your secretary?

NF: Not unless they married me.

NR: You don’t think anybody’s capable of doing that job?

NF: What, marrying me?

NR: No, of doing the job as your secretary.

NF: I don’t know anyone who would work those hours, no.

Do as I say, not as I do; isn’t that the very definition of hypocrisy?